#32 – The Time Traveler

The following is a true story.  What I think happened may or may not have actually happened, but the actual story did.  It’s not a very long story, or a very eventful one, but it’s something.

It probably occurred somewhere around 2-3 years ago.  I can’t be exactly sure.  I remember that it was hot out, but maybe it wasn’t summer yet because it may have occurred during the school year.  I’m not sure of the day or month or year.  I’m not sure if it was a weekend or a weekday.  I do know that my daughter was with me, and that we both saw what we saw, although what she saw and how she remembers it may have been influenced by what I saw and how I related it to her.

We were driving east down Bluemound Road in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  Bluemound runs east/west.  It’s also known as Highway 18.  It starts in Milwaukee right around Miller Park where the Milwaukee Brewers play baseball, and extends into Brookfield, Wisconsin into Waukesha County and beyond.  I’m not exactly sure how far it goes or where it ends.  It may extend to the Pacific Ocean for all I know, but I kind of doubt it goes that far.  I mean, who really keeps track of how far roads, streets and highways go?  Google Maps probably does, I guess.  I don’t always have a lot to do – maybe sometime I’ll drive west on Highway 18 until it stops and report back.

I don’t know where we were coming from.  It’s possible that I had picked my daughter up from school, but Bluemound would have been a bit out of the way.  Back when she was in grade school she would occasionally go home after school with one of her friends and I would pick her up from there, and they live just off of Bluemound just shy of Brookfield so it’s possible we were on our way back from there.  We also could have been coming from the hair salon (all of us – me, my wife, my daughter, my two sisters and some/all of their kids and my mother go to the same hair salon and go to the same stylist.  I’ve been seeing her for like 12-13 years.  She’s super awesome, not just as a stylist but as a person.  I was the first to see her and I’m probably her favorite, but then I’m most people’s favorite anything.  People don’t always like to admit that, but it’s true) which is located in Brookfield and is as far west as we go on a regular basis so maybe one or both of us had gotten our hair did.

I know it was 2-3 years ago because my daughter was still riding in the backseat.  There are guidelines as to how long a child should be in a car seat based on age and height and weight.  She’s in the front seat now, but I’m pretty sure she was not yet when this took place.  She was out of the kid car seat but still in the backseat.  They say the air bags in the front can be harmful if you are not a certain height/weight.  I always wonder about adults who may be short or do not weigh a lot.  Maybe they shouldn’t be driving based on those requirements.  Or maybe they should be driving from the back seat?

I suppose it depends on how old you are, but do you remember when no one knew or cared about seat belts or car seats or seat belts way back when?  I can recall my brother and two sisters crammed in the back seat of our blue Chevy Nova, or hanging out of the back of our super awesome red station wagon.  When I was really young I can recall sitting in the front seat well on the passengers side by my mom.  Even when people used seat belts most cars were only equipped with lap belts, and I don’t remember using them a lot.  I remember them being more of a nuisance than anything, and that the metal would get super hot in the summer and would hurt if you touched them.  Back then air conditioning in cars was optional and expensive.  I don’t remember which of the many cars my parents owned when we were kids was the first that had air conditioning, but it was not the first few, that’s for sure.  It might have been the Ford Escort that they bought when I was in high school, which was also the first one that I recall having the seat belts with more than just the lap belt.  The belt actually came across your chest automatically when you turned the car on.  That Escort was in three accidents, two caused by me, the second of which destroyed the car for good and occurred after both sister #1 and I had both moved to Wisconsin and had already graduated from college and moved in together for a couple of years.  She had taken ownership of the car.  That car lasted a long time, but the second accident I caused finally killed it, the accident occurring when I was on my very first date with my wife.  It was around 5 minutes into the date, and I’m always surprised that there was a 2nd date after I killed the car and almost killed us in the process.

But as always digression is my specialty and my curse so back to the story.  We were at the stop light at the intersection of Bluemound Road (Hwy 18) and Mayfair Road (or Highway 100, or 108th Street, which is another major road in the Milwaukee area that travels north/south and could extend from Mexico to Canada for all I know).  Both of these roads are major roads in the greater Milwaukee/Waukesha area, and the red lights are interminable.  (I don’t know about where you live, but I actually feel like all of the stop lights are interminable.  Maybe it’s just when I travel on them.  More likely it’s just me being impatient but sometimes I think I’ll have to shut the car down and stay overnight until the light turns green.  The amount of my life that has been wasted waiting at red lights in Milwaukee will be something I’ll recall and regret on my death bed, and I’ll rue all the things I could have done with my life had I not wasted all of that time.)

So there we were, waiting to turn left from Bluemound onto Mayfair.  Nothing much happening.  But then, seemingly out of nowhere, I saw a man on a bicycle.  That is not unusual in and of itself.  But the man on the bike looked unusual and his bicycle looked unusual.  The bicycle looked like one from the early days of bicycling.  The front tire was oversized, and the back one was tiny.  The seat was up high.  It looked like this, man-on-bike as did the man riding, or trying to ride it.  He was dressed up, or at least dressed up in comparison to how most of us dress when the weather is warm.  He wore a cap and heavy looking pants.  I’m not sure but I think he had a vest with a coat over it.

I’ve since learned that riding these old-time bicycles and dressing this way was/is a fad that had occurred/is occurring.

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/the-penny-farthing-makes-a-comeback

But even still, I don’t know that a hipster would have been trying to ride this bicycle on and across this particular intersection.  He was so out of place that it was hard not to notice him, although I feel like I would have noticed him coming.  Maybe I was too upset because the light would not turn green, but if I’m being honest it was as if he just appeared.  As he began to cross at the crosswalk on Mayfair where he had a walk sign he appeared to struggle to get up onto the seat and it took him a few false starts to being to ride to the other side of the street.  I’m probably extrapolating at this point but it almost seemed as though he was nervous or unsure of his surroundings, maybe like he was seeing things that he had never seen before.

I pointed him out to my daughter and we watched him ride this odd and unwieldy looking bicycle across the street.  I was so transfixed by this anomaly that I forgot about the stop light and didn’t notice that the light had turned green and we had the arrow to turn left (don’t get me started on left turn signals and how they last for approximately three seconds before they turn red again).  So I kind of had to floor it to get through the intersection lest we miss the light and would be forced to wait through another one, not to mention the amount of people I would have pissed off behind us who were also waiting for the light and would have had to wait as well.

As we turned through the intersection we both looked back to try and locate the cyclist to see where he was headed.  I feel like I caught a glimpse of him as he continued down Mayfair Road over the bridge that goes over the highway.  But I’m not sure if I did or not, and I know that after the turn was complete he was gone.  I know we both saw him and then I know we both did not see him.  It was as if I the few seconds it took to turn left he had completely disappeared.

I know I influence my daughter a lot, good and bad, so the fact that, as we drove the rest of the way home we decided we had just seen a time traveler appear and disappear was probably me saying it and her believing it because I had said it.  It was probably nothing, and there is a perfectly good explanation for his appearance and his bicycle, and his dress, and his sudden appearance and disappearance, no matter how out of place and odd that it was.  But I do know that there was no where for him to go – no where to turn, nothing that would have obstructed our view of him after we had made the turn.  The only thing he could have done was to through the huge bicycle over the fencing on the bridge and then jumped off in the few seconds that we looked away.  I feel like we would have heard something about that had that occurred.

Like I said it’s not a long story or a very eventful one, or maybe even a very good one.  But it’s something that happened and it’s something I wonder about.  Every once in awhile when we happen to be driving in the area my daughter and I will reference the time we saw a time traveler.  We’re mostly joking, or at least she is.

I’ve read that time travel into the future is theoretically possible.  You don’t have to take my word, but you could take Steven Hawking’s word, if that does anything for you.

He and they say that travel into the past is very less likely, although I’ve read some stuff that may refute this.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_paradox

And I suppose none of it is very likely at all.  I kind of like to think things that are impossible are actually possible.  Just like it’s impossible that the Earth is round, or that the Earth revolves around the Sun.  Just like it’s impossible that we could travel to space, or to the moon.  Just like it’s impossible that we could get a machine into the air that can take us great distances over the Earth in a short period of time.  Or that we could have modes of transportation that were not carried by horses, or that we would have devices that could send communications to anyone and everyone around the Earth and beyond in an instant.

So it was nothing.  But if you look back to what people must have thought was impossible, the things that we take for granted, things that would have astounded people 10, 15, 100, 1000 years ago, then maybe nothing is impossible.  Maybe everything is possible.  Maybe if you can think it, it already is.

And that’s the story of the time my daughter and I saw a time traveler.  Thanks for reading and see you next time.

 

 

 

 

 

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#30 – Random7, or Genie in a Bottle

 

Do you want to have some fun?  Are you just saying you want to have fun, or do you really want to have fun?

My posts are getting pretty heavy.  I thought I’d try something different.  The 7 or so people that read this blog seem to like these Random posts – a real crowd pleaser.  So let’s go!  (As always, I make no guarantees that I’m not repeating myself.  I suppose I could go back and look at the past 6 but eh….whatever.)

263.  Some advice – if you are ever granted 3 wishes from a genie in a bottle or lamp, your first wish always, ALWAYS, must be for unlimited wishes.  You’re welcome.

264.  To the people that only want to say ‘Merry Christmas’ – settle down.  ‘Happy Holidays’ is perfectly fine and is all inclusive and it really shouldn’t bother you that much.

265.  To all the people who don’t want people to say ‘Merry Christmas’ –  believe me I get it.  But maybe we should relax on it a little bit.  There are other battles to be fought – we cam get to that one down the road.

266.  I’ve changed my mind on #168.  I’ll play music as loud as I want.  Roll your window up if you don’t like it.  And I see you looking at me but I do not care.

267.  I’ve always liked the Beastie Boys.  I think their song Sure Shot is super cool – smooth.  I didn’t realize until recently that they name checked Rod Carew, one of the best and most underrated hitters in baseball history.  Made the song even cooler.

268.  Who is Sam Hill, and what, if you don’t understand something, did people (used) to say ‘What in the Sam Hill?’

269.  In addition to a cape, I think I’d like to get a cane and maybe a top hat.  Not a curved cane though, one of those straight fancy ones.  The ensemble would be my fancy wear for important events like weddings and funerals.

270.  Do you know where the term ‘bulldozer’ comes from?

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bul2.htm

271.  And ‘Head for the Hills’?  If it’s going down, why the hills?  Is it safer?

272.  Do you say ‘coo-pon’ or ‘que-pon’?  If you say the latter, what is wrong with you?

273.  I think they should make a prequel series to the Brady Bunch.  I really want to know what happened to Carols first husband and to Mikes first wife.  What’s the deal there?

274.  On the Brady Bunch, they only address the fact that the kids are step-kids and that Mike and Carol are step-parents to each other’s kids one time.  After that, it was just Mom and Dad.

275.  Are you aware of the Mandela Effect?  It’s probably not a real thing.  But (and this is true) I’ve felt for most of my life that there have been two female pitchers that have played major league baseball.  They played for either the Seattle Mariners or one of the Canadian teams.  They played in the late seventies.  One was left-handed I think and one was a submarine -type pitcher where the arm angle comes from underneath.  Neither one of them threw very hard – they relied on breaking pitches and control.  They were middle relief pitchers and did not play for very long.  They weren’t great but they weren’t awful either.  It’s weird to me that this didn’t happen because of the details I remember and that for the longest time it just felt like a fact and was not that big a deal.  I’m not sure I’ve ever told anyone about that and it seems real and super weird all at once.

276.  This is a cool little documentary series on Netflix I recently watched.  I like history and the etymology of things and it was super interesting.  I love Netflix.

277.  If I were to rank my all-time favorite MC’s, Chuck D would be #1.  I think I’d listen to him rap the phone book.

278.  These library boxes are everywhere in my neighborhood.  Is it only a Milwaukee thing or do other cities have them?  I like the idea and maybe I’ll get one.  But the ones I’ve seen never have any good books, and I’ve never seen anyone take a book out of one.  I’d want to put some cool books in mine but wouldn’t want anyone to take all my cool books.library-boxes

279.  I don’t know how they do it in your city, but Milwaukeeans have this habit of not going around people that are turning left.  So, a car is stopped waiting to turn left.  The car behind will stop too, waiting for the car to turn so they can go straight.  Instead of going around, they just sit there.  Cars line up behind, not knowing the first car is waiting to turn left.  So we all just sit there like assholes, not knowing what is going on in front of us.  The whole thing could have been avoided if the first car had just gone around.  It’s really upsetting.  What do they do that?  If you do that, what in the Sam Hill are you waiting for?  Go around!!

280.  I don’t think this is an original question, but it bears asking again – why the Braille at drive up ATM’s?  Have they been anticipating self-driving cars all of this time?

281.  Libraries don’t use card catalogs anymore, do they?  They can’t, what with computers and all.

282.  ‘Akimbo’ is an odd word.  Can ‘akimbo’ be separated from ‘arms’, as in ‘arms akimbo’?  If so, please use it in a sentence for me because I don’t see any other use for the word.

283.  It’s odd to me that Superman flies like he’s lying down.  He’s Superman – I don’t think he needs to make himself aerodynamic.  I think if I could fly I’d fly like I was standing up.  Also, he never flies sideways.

284.  I love comics and superhero movies, but I think we’re reaching an oversaturation point, or at least I am.

285.  I want to be part of the Zeitgeist, but have never been 100% sure of what that means.

286.  It’s somewhere in the Constitution that we are afforded a fair and speedy trial.  I don’t know that either one of those things happen anymore, if they ever did.  Also, I’d like a better definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

287.  Sports though – I think that grown men screaming and throwing tantrums because the do not like the way a official made a call is kind of infantile and ridiculous.  Act like a grown up.

288.  Brad Pitt is my favorite actor.  There, I’ve said it.

289.  Have I mentioned the famous Midwest racer Dick Trickle?  If I have, it bears repeating.  He was a car racer/driver, and his real name was Dick Trickle and that is awesome.

290.  My three favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Margaret Atwood.  My three favorite books are ‘The Martian Chronicles’, ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, and ‘A Handmaid’s Tale.’

291.  I used to tell people I’m like a duck.  Smooth sailing on the surface, but paddling furiously underneath just to try and get anywhere.  I don’t feel like that so much anymore.  Just once in a while.

292.  The best thing I have ever heard is when my daughter sings to herself when she doesn’t think anyone is listening.  She’s not a particularly good singer, but when she sings softly to herself it melts me.  She used to do it more when she was younger.  I’d listen in – I couldn’t always make out the lyrics but that didn’t really matter.  She does it sometimes now when she’s in the shower.  I wish I had a recording of it.  It’s just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard.

293.  There’s more but I can’t always remember.  As soon as I hit ‘publish’ I’ll remember more I wanted to say.  I write a lot of them down but then can’t find where I wrote it, or can’t read my own handwriting.  But remember, three wishes, the first one has to be unlimited wishes.  Once you get them, don’t screw it up, ok?

That’s it jerks.  Now go have some Merry Holiday fun!

 

Xmas Pig!!

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#23 – Mr. Awesome’s Top10 Movies Pt.2

Look it, lists like these are obviously objective.  My list is not definitive, even for me.  I combed best movie lists, Academy Award winners, comedies, dramas, sci-fi, etc. to make sure I wasn’t leaving out any movies I like.  I’m sure I have, but this is what I came up with.  I’m interested in what you think of the list, and/or maybe my reasoning.  Hell, I’m just interested in movies you like.  Maybe you know of one I haven’t seen, or didn’t know existed that I may want to give a chance.  For the complete list of my Top10 movies, see Part1 .

— 10 —

GROUNDHOG DAY

groundhog day

Every day is Groundhog Day

“Groundhog Day?  Why Groundhog Day?” my Dad asked.  I get the question.  How could GD be on a Top10 movie list?  On the surface, it’s a fairly inconsequential and standard situational movie comedy, typical of a mid-career Bill Murray movie.  Even then, Bill Murray was a pretty awesome actor, it’s just that he did most of his acting in comedies.  That’s not to denigrate comedies as a movie category.  It’s just that critics, or movie fans and people who vote for or follow things like the award shows rarely find meaning or greatness in comedies, except as a comedic movie.  A comedic movie can be great, but as a comedy and not purely as a movie.  Or that’s my perception of how it goes.

And there is nothing wrong with a straight forward comedy, or a straight forward anything.  Movies or whatever else can and should be taken on face value sometimes, and are purely meant as entertainment, and there is value in that as well.  I just don’t think that Groundhog Day fits into the category of straightforward comedy.

The situation:  Murray plays a dick-ish meteorologist who inflates his own self-importance at the expense of others.  He’s an ass to everyone, including his camera man played by Chris Elliot, and his producer, played by Andie McDowell.  The crew is assigned to cover Groundhog Day and the traditional festivities in Puxsutawney, PA, where the groundhog is pulled out and tells everyone if it will be an early spring or not (if he sees his shadow, 6 more weeks of winter, correct?  Or the other way around?  I can never quite remember).  Murray is none too thrilled to have to cover such a fluffy piece of news and really just wants to get it over with.  They shoot the piece, Murray being shitty to everyone along the way.  He’s in a rush to get back to the city, and they take off in the news van.  It begins to snow – heavily – as they make their way back until it develops into a snowstorm.  Murray’s weatherman is pissed off as the roads are blocked and the highway shuts down and the state police make everyone turn around and head back.  To make it worse, he did not predict any snow whatsoever in his forecast.

So they stay in a bed and breakfast type place until the storm blows over.  Murray’s character wakes up expecting it to be the next day, Feb 3rd, and to be able to leave.  Only it’s not the next day when he wakes, it’s the same day.  It’s still Groundhog Day.

It’s never explained how this happens, that Murray get caught in this loop where every day when he wakes up it is the same day, nor is it ever stated how long he is in that day, over and over (although the internet has theories on this, and you can look there if you were so inclined).  He is the only one who knows that it is the same day – no one else realizes it – it’s a new day for them, just like any other day.  As the days pile up, Murray realizes that he loves Andie McDowell’s character, and he tries to learn enough about her, every day, to make her realize that he’s not such an asshole after all.  He becomes frustrated, though, that every day and any progress he makes resets when he wakes up, her not remembering anything, only thinking that he is the same jackass he’s always been.  There are other situations he encounters with the townsfolk related to his knowledge of them as he day drags on and on forever, and hilarity ensues.  In the end (SPOILER ALERT) he and McDowell end up getting together, the day ends and a new one begins, and everyone is happy.  Pretty standard stuff.

Except it’s not.  Standard stuff.  I think it could possibly almost be categorized as a sci-fi comedy, if we have to categorize.  The reason Groundhog Day exist on this list is because of what I find to be its existential nature.  It relates to things I think about.  What is a day?  What makes up a day?  How can we change, or how can we change the things we may or may not like about ourselves?  How long, or when, or if we become self-aware at all – not the self-awareness of being human (I think, therefore I am) but the kind of self-awareness that maybe you are not happy with who you are, or how people perceive you, and maybe that you want to change who you are at all.  Murray slowly realizes how much of an ass he is, and that he is not happy with how people perceive him.  He does it for McDowell, tries to change and become a better person.

But how long does such a change take, once you may be aware that a change is necessary at all?  Does it take a day?  Probably not.  Does it take all of the days?  And who does it matter to?  Is the change real if no one notices?  Do you get frustrated when people don’t notice the change, or it takes them too long to notice?

The movie takes some dark turns as Murray’s character explores some of these questions.  There’s a good long stretch, kind of a montage of events where he has had enough of being stuck in the same day and he tries to commit suicide.  It’s played for laughs (Ha!  Suicide!  Hilarious!).  And every day he “kills” himself, by different methods, because he’s had enough of being stuck in the same day, he wakes up again, in the same bed, with the same song playing on the clock radio.  He cannot even get relief from suicide – it’s Groundhog Day yet again.

I go to work every day.  I do the same things every morning to get ready for the day.  I drive the same way to work everyday.  I see the same people, do mostly the same things, come home and do the same or similar things with my evening, go to bed and start it all over again.  Maybe I’m not stuck in the same day, but it feels like it sometimes, no?  I used to reference this movie a lot.  If someone asked me what day it was by chance, I’d often respond that it was Groundhog Day, because every day felt the same.  This (and many, many other things) kind of influenced how I was, or how life was, or how I looked at life.

I realized at some point that I didn’t want to be how I was, or at least be the person I thought I was on the inside, the me that people didn’t see.  They just saw the crabby and often mean-spirited person who projected my crap onto others.  It wasn’t them (ok sometimes it’s them and still is) that’s the problem.  To change how I was perceived and to truly become the person I wanted to be I had to slowly but consciously act in a different manner.

One of my favorite authors is Kurt Vonnegut.  One of may favorite quotes of his, which I believe is from his book Mother Night  – “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”  We may feel a way on the inside, but what we show people becomes the reality of who we are, whether we like it or not.  Murray’s character is an asshole because that’s what he shows everyone.  Maybe he’s not really.  He changes, but it takes forever.  It’s taken me forever, but I’m there in a lot of was.  I don’t think you are every exactly where you want to be, who you want to be,but through conscious effort you can get somewhere close to that.  You may feel low, you may feel like it’s not going to happen, but it can and it will if you try.

You don’t have to change if you don’t want.  But if you want to it’s possible.  It’s hard AF tho.  You will despair.  You will think it will not happen.  Murray’s character is on the brink, but suddenly one day it does happen.

The ending for me was a little too tidy.  Part of me wanted him to be stuck in the same day forever, but that wouldn’t seem fair to the character after everything he had been through and all of his efforts.  I don’t think that would have been a very uplifting ending for a commercial studio-type movie starring Bill Murray, so I guess it’s ok.  And I guess it’s good that it shows change it possible.

But how long does it take?  A day?  A week?  Years?  Forever?  I don’t think you can ever get there 100%.  I’m human, after Call, with all the weakness and foibles inherent with that humanness.  But it’s possible to get somewhere good, and sometimes the effort itself can be worthwhile.  Just be careful what you pretend to be.

 

— 9 —

CADDYSHACK

Dancing_Gopher_Caddyshack1

It’s in the hole!

Yes, another Bill Murray comedy.  No, nothing existential about this one.  In Caddyshack, Murray is in his prime of silly comedies, although he is not really close to being the main character in Caddyshack.  The movie boasts an all-star casts of comedic actors, including Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and the criminally underrated Ted Knight.

There’s not a whole lot of plot to Caddyshack.  It takes place on a golf course, and revolves around the caddys, the owner of the club, the golfers and the developer (Dangerfield) who wants to buy Bushwood and develop it with the help of his Japanese investors.  Lots of silliness ensues, and whatever plot there is is secondary to the comedy.  It’s almost like set pieces, or little skits tied together by the overall plot of Danny Noonan, a young caddy, trying to figure out a way to make enough money to attend college.

The plot is fine, but really Caddyshack is about the one-liners.  Most of my daily conversation is peppered with references to TV shows, movies and the like, one of the main ones being Caddyshack.  A lot of times at work, something will jog someones memory to use a quote from this movie, and for the next 5 minutes we’ll just go around and around, quoting lines and giggling about them.  I can list them here, or you can go here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080487/quotes to see some, but unless you’ve seen the movie I don’t know that just reading quotes is going to do it justice.

There’s not much more really to say about Caddyshack, except to say that it will never not be funny to me.  There are probably a ton of movies that are “better” by certain standards of what a “good” or “best” movie is.  But not for me.

Plus there is a dancing gopher.is

Plus plus that Kenny Loggins soundtrack!!!!

Caddyshack is pure unadulterated awesomeness, and you don’t have to think too hard to like it.  It’s just funny.

8—

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

empire

Princess Leia:  I love you.

Han Solo:  I know

Finally, a real science fiction movie!  Or sci-fi fantasy or something like that.  Sci-fi, for me, is where it’s at.  I love sci-fi, although I’m getting closer to something called speculative fiction, something like what Margaret Atwood writes.  Star Wars and the related titles are not speculative.  It’s pure sci-fi/fantasy.

As much as I like science fiction movies, there is only one other one on this list.  But wait, how can a Star Wars movie not be rated as the highest sci-fi movie, or just higher in general?

Let me tell you that I love Star Wars, like most everyone else (I do know a few people who have never seen a Star Wars movie, and it never ceases to amaze me.  Even if you don’t like that kind of movie, or do not like those movies in particular, it seems almost impossible to not have seen some of them by accident, or to have absorbed some of it just through other people and through popular culture in general.  It’s ok, just that I’m kind of shocked by it.)

For me, TESB the best of the 7 SW movies to date.  I do feel like the less George Lucas is involved, the better the movies are.  I don’t know if I can really argue the results, as the SW and SW universe is insanely popular, and even more so, if that’s possible, now that SW is a Disney property.

The original SWor A New Hope, as it was retroactively called, was a good movie and started it all.  But like a lot of George Lucas stuff, I think if you go back and look at it it’s not as good as you thought it was.  Lucas has had the most involvement in 4 out of the 7 movies – A New Hope and the prequels.

My feeling is that Lucas kind of lucked out on the original SW which lead to everything the franchise is now.  That’s not to say that the overall storyline that he developed is not really good or interesting.  It’s just that I don’t think he’s a particularly good director, or writer, especially where it pertains to the prequels (honestly, they were bad.  If someone were just to tell me the outline or synopsis of them I’d say that it was a really good idea and that they movies were going to be awesome.  But as far as the execution, objectively tell me that they were good movies.  Make an argument.  Because they were not).

So starting with TESB, through Return of the Jedi (I liked the Ewoks and I don’t really care if you did not) and culminating with The Force Awakens, the less Lucas is involved the better the movies became (although you could argue and possible swap A New Hope for Return of the Jedi.)  And you could probably argue that the proof is in the insane amount of $$$ GL has earned based on the SW franchise, where as I with my little opinions makes pennies in comparison.  So even the prequel I s, in all of their crapulence, must have merit.  And I think they do, in terms of the entire arc and as an idea of a movie.  But again, just because it infuriates me that they were so bad, I’ll keep saying it.  They were.  So.  Bad.

The reason TESB is the best one and is usually the consensus pick amongst SW fans as the best is because it’s kind of the bridge to the larger themes of the franchise as a whole.  While the original SW was a revelation and exciting and ended with the good guys winning, TESB was so much darker, so much more complex.  I remember after I saw TESB and the ensuing time period between then and TROTJ wondering, worrying, hoping that Darth Vader was not Luke’s father.  How could that horrible bad guy be the good guys father?  And the cliff hanger of whether Han Solo would live or not?  Just the overall tone of the movie was cooler, the cliffhanger ending was cooler.

I guess I love Star Wars because it was something different at the time, even as it borrowed from other movies.  And while at times, especially looking back, some of the dialogue may be wooden and clunky, as is some of the acting, if you put them all together it’s pretty awesome.  A movie, or movies, do not have to be perfect to be good, or be a classic, or to be included in Mr. Awesome’s Top10 list.  I think Star Wars in general, and probably specifically The Empire Strikes Back started my love of science fiction, and at least started to prove to people that maybe science fiction as a genre could be taken seriously, or at least not dismissed as an objectively good movie despite it’s science fiction pedigree.  SW paved the way for much, most or all of the sci-fi we know and love today, or at least I think so.  And there is no better example of that from Star Wars then The Empire Strikes Back. 

So there you have Pt.2.  Pt.3 to follow.  Enjoy your day.

Read more "#23 – Mr. Awesome’s Top10 Movies Pt.2"

#21 – Random6, or Mr. Awesome’s awesomeness

Sooo lazy.  I have so many other great and cool ideas for these blog posts.  I write ’em and type ’em and they go in these endless loops of nowhere so I delete them.  Writing is hard and don’t let anyone tell you differently.  Screw, I’ll just write one of these random post things.  You couple people keeping track like them anyways.

242.  I’m aware that people don’t say or write ‘anyways’ and the correct word is ‘anyway.’  Anyways.

243.  I’m thinking of getting one of these three designs for my next tattoo.  Maybe I’ll get them all, but not at the same time.  Target is Q1 2017.

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A for Aaron?  Or Awesome?

 

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A for Awesome?  Or Anarchy?

 

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A for Aaron?  Awesome?  Anarchy?

 

 

244.  I’ve only ever read one actual published book where I knew the author.  It was a hard read.

245.  While it’s true that I skeeve (is skeeve a word?  My Grandma Carmela used to say it.  My sisters say it now.  It means you think something is gross or nasty or something.  Like something is skeevy) public restrooms and buffets and potential germs, and while it’s true that I never or rarely touch public door handles with my hands, and that if I do I try not to touch anything until I can wash my hands, and that I refuse to eat office food because everyone there is gross (well not everyone but a few is enough to spoil it for everyone) and that I have a block in my mind that does not allow me to think too hard about what may go on in the kitchen in a restaurant so I am able to eat out or that going #2 in any public bathroom MUST BE A 5 ALARM EMERGENCY OR IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, and that I do not let anyone use my work phone and get very uncomfortable if people there use my keyboard or touch the mouse, and that most people know better than to sit in my seat at work because there is nothing worse than sitting in a chair and feeling the warmth of another person’s ass and that I in general check expiration dates whenever I eating at someone else’s house and that I may throw out food at home a bit earlier than is warranted, and that I think shaking hands is an outdated means of greeting (how about a fist bump?  Or a head nod?  Or a forearm bash?  Or a simple ”sup?’) and I barely wait until the person I’ve shaken hands with is out of view before I wash them or use sanitizer, I am not, in fact, a germaphobe like some people have claimed.  A lot of what I’m doing is just for effect.  I’d call me germ-concisous, or germ-aware.  I don’t really get sick that much, FYI.  Go ahead, keep shaking hands.  You’ll all get the plague someday.

246.  I know I’ve said before that’s I’d like to be cremated or some other kind of option rather than embalmed, put on display, and buried.  I came up with the best option the other day.  I told my wife I’ll like to be taken to a taxidermist and stuffed.  I told her she can just put me on the couch and everyone can go on with their lives like nothing happened.  She didn’t think that was a good idea so I told her just mount my head on the wall like a deer head or something.  The only condition is that she can’t shave off my beard.

247.  Why, when corn has not been taken out of its husk, is it called an ear?  Or is it after it’s been taken out?  Where does the ear part come from anyways?  Why not just call it corn?  Is the whole thing corn or is it corn once it’s off the cob?  People eat corn on the cob – how come when it’s the little individual corn(s?) we’re not eating corn off the cob?

248.  What is the plural of consensus?  Consensuses?  Consensi?  I like consensi better I’m going to use that.

249.  We were talking about Superman the other week at work and I wondered aloud about the feasibility of Superman and Lois Lane coupling, if you know what I mean.  So, does Superman have control in that department?  Can he slow things down, as it where?  Or is it out of his control, and if so, does it happen at super-speed?  If it is, then I feel like the first time he and Lois got together would probably be the last.

250.  It seems to me that Chinese characters are very popular as tattoos.  It made me wonder – are there a bunch of tattooed people from China walking around with cool English letters and phrases on their backs, arms, shoulders, chests or wherever?

251.  Do you know anyone who, instead of saying they went to see a movie or are going to go see a movie, instead of saying ‘movie’ they say ‘show?’  Is that a thing?  I know at least two people who say that.  Do other people say it?  Is that what people used to say?

252.  Jack Grabbit will steal your money and your honey, and it’s not funny, just so you know.  We’ve got to kill that bunny.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

253.  What do they call French Toast in France?  I think they actually call it something, but I feel like they should just call it toast.  In France, do they call half burnt dry Wonder Bread ‘American Toast?’

254.  Do other countries have different kinds of restaurants?  If you were visiting Italy, would/could you go to a German restaurant?  And if you live in Italy, are you ever sick of it?  “Oh Jeez, we’re having Italian again?  Can’t we get some tacos or some French Toast or something?  Jesus, I can’t eat all these carbs!”

255.  I rarely have anything like writers block.  The closest I get is something I’ve named ‘writer paralysis.’  Sometimes I have so many different things I want to write that they compete with each other and I end up not writing any of them.

256.  I’m seriously considering getting a cape.  I don’t think I’d wear it very often – it would have to be mostly for special occasions.  I think I’d wear it to the grocery store once in a while, though, just to mix it up.

257.  Where could you even buy a cape?image

258.  I’m seriously considering never wearing a tie or a suit again.  But I know I’ll have to, because of society.

259.  If you’ve read any of these blogs of mine, you have a pretty good idea of my political views.  Let me just say from experience, though, that you cannot deficit spend for ever.  Live and learn, I guess.

260.  Have you ever had an apple-pear?  It’s the most delicious fruit I’ve ever eaten.  I assume it’s some kind of human made hybrid fruit that’s probably some kind of abomination to nature and is going to make my brain melt or something.  I don’t care.  I’d eat them everyday if I could.

261.  I am currently playing a character.  I haven’t decided if the character’s name is Mr. Awesome or Aaron.

262.  See, as I was saying, awful and awesome are the same word.  Something can be awesomely bad or awfully good.  How do you know which is the right one to use?

I see you made it to the end.  That wasn’t so bad, was it?  That was a quick one, like a little appetizer.  There’s more, always more, but that’s enough for now.  Now get off of the internet and go do something constuctive, would ya?

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 A chihuahua surrounded by apple-pairs

 

 

Read more "#21 – Random6, or Mr. Awesome’s awesomeness"