Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all!

If you aren't Irish, don't despair- you can still celebrate this Christian holiday!

And while I'm at it, I thought I'd mention the origin's of this holiday- beyond the obvious Irish heritage that is. I noticed this morning, that my local station mentioned that St. Patrick died, but omitted any of the religious significance of the holiday.

When I was a child, I thought St. Patrick was just some magical guy who hated snakes- my grandmother kept a painting of him hanging in her house (years later I found out because her maiden name was McCracken, and her grandfather had been born in Ireland). But St. Patrick really is someone to be remembered- not for driving out snakes, but for his service to his fellow man.

The story goes that as a youth, St. Patrick was kidnapped from Roman-occupied Britainn, and taken to Ireland. God appeared to him in a dream and told him to flee his captors and run for the coast. A boat would then pick him up and take him home. St. Patrick did as he had been told, and sure enough, the boat was there and he was reunited with his family.

Now, you'd think someone who'd experienced something like this would never want anything to do with the Irish again- except maybe using them for target practice. But St. Patrick one day did return to Ireland- where he preached the message of salvation through Christ. St. Patrick even is credited with using the shamrock to explain the trinity (three-are-one) to the Irish. Others would follow in St. Patrick's footsteps, preaching the Gospel to the heathens- but it is St. Patrick whom the Irish credit with their Christian salvation.

Sadly, instead of celebrating St. Patrick's devotion to Christ, and willingness to put aside wrongs done to him, we instead use the holiday as an excuse to drink green beer and pinch people not wearing the right color.

But you can change that. If St. Patrick was able to heed Christ's message of forgiveness and return to the land of his captors, surely on this day in March you can do some good as well. Like witnessing your devotion to Christ, or forgiving a transgression against you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Student of the Month?

As a parent, it may sometimes cross your mind- why isn't my kid Student of the Month? At my daughter's school, they always prominently display the Student of the Month in the main lobby, and they put their name up on the marquee out front.
What has really puzzeled me, is that last year, my kid was the only child to make straight As, for the whole year,  in the whole 3rd grade. She even got a letter the first semester, congratulating her on being one of only 5 kids in the whole school corporation (4 schools) to make the A Honor roll. But she never made Student of the Month?
What exactly is the criteria for student of the month? What kind of children are these that make student of the month, but can't make straight As?
Ah, I see.... I'm reading a report now at work about some kids fighting at one of the schools in our local school corporation. 13 year olds fighting... one gets held down by her opponents sister. A sister who is STUDENT OF THE MONTH. Yep, a high school student holding down a middle schooler so High school's little sister can win the fight. And High School is Student of the Month.
What a great selection process they have.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What Dreams May Come...?

Now, I am not normally one to discuss my dreams. Primarily because dreams are some kind of psychological expression of our subconcious, and I don't particularly want anyone rooting around inside my head.
I will note however, that for the first time in months, I didn't Xbox last night, and my dream was super-weird.
When I first started playing Xbox, I played a lot of GRAW and GRAW2. So much that when I went to bed, I'd close my eyes and still see the HUD symbols from the game and dream about shooting people. Not healthy. I soon began a strict regimen of watching something totally unrelated to the game I had been playing, for at least one hour. Stayed up til 3 AM playing a marathon session of Nazi Zombies on Call of Duty World at War? Watch an episode of Smallville. An intense, 3 campaign run on Left for Dead 2? Watch an episode of Burn Notice.
So far this has worked well. See, I'm a firm believer that it's more the events of the day, and what food you might eat, priot to sleeping, that amp up the weird factor in your dreams. Watch a bunch of scary movies, and odds are, you'll have something scary to dream about. At least, I do.
Last night was rather odd, though. I watched TREMORS THE SERIES on DVD, then fell asleep during a particularly disgusting episode of Dirty Jobs. No Nazi Zombies, no Infected, no Facehuggers or Xenomorphs in AVP (my current ghaming obsession)...
And I dreamt about Sherilyn Fenn. I'm not going to get much into the details here (I like to try and stay at least PG-rated on this blog). Suffice it to say I was literally in heaven and hanging out (figuratively and literally) with Sherilyn Fenn. When I was much younger this would have made perfect sense. I watched a LOT of her movies, and countless other B Movies those many years ago. I thought she was the most beautiful woman ever. But I haven't seen or heard of Sherilyn Fenn in many years. In fact, in the dream it took me awhile to even remember her first name.
I admit I had a thing for Ms. Fenn many years ago. I'm sure lots of fellas did. I even watched many a crappy Full Moon movie solely because she was in them. And I'll take this opportunity to apologize for all those "thoughts" I had. Still, I have to wonder, why did I dream of her now? When I'm married, have two kids, and can't watch those booby-filled B Movies anymore? (Because those kids won't leave my side- argh! A man can only take so much Spongebob!)
This morning, I decided to see what Ms. Fenn was up to these days- you know, besides still being one of the most beautiful women ever. She has a blog, and coincidentally, one of her latest posts was about her dreams. Her super-weird dreams. And she smokes pot and drinks too much wine. And had some kind of feud with her mom or something (hey, I was skimming). Glad she can admit it, but man, it really shattered the image I had of her. Well, maybe not- the image I had of her was as she appeared in many of her movies. Not exactly G-rated. And she's married- great, I already feel guilty having a dream like that, what with being married. Now I get to double that.
Clearly, I need to get back to killing xenos and zombies on Xbox live.
Thanks, Ms. Fenn, and best wishes. It was nice seeing you again- even in my own subconscious. Hope things work out with your mom, and you can kick the pot and wine. And again- my apologies for all those x-rated dreams and daydreams.

Friday, March 12, 2010

How can I use them...?
Well, it's that time of the month again. When I lose text messages.

Hey Spammers- Have you heard of SPAM Filtering

What the hell is with all these idiots that keep sending in SPAM viagra, gambling or real estate posts.
For one, no one even reads this blog. It's a frickin' online resume, dipshits.
I mean, if you're going to post your crappy attempts to scam people, why not pick a blog with real, honest-to-goodness readers?
Secondly... none of your comments get posted. Duh. What dumbass doesn't filter comments? 
Guess I'm talking to myself here (see sentence #2 above), but DAYAM!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Troglodad's Movie Re-View: Raising Arizona (1987)

Today's Movies and TV programs might seem too much for some parents to share with impressionable children. But before you pop in a classic from years gone by, make sure it too isn't a bit rough around the edges...
Long before he tore up the highways of the southwest as flaming-headed Ghost Rider, Nicholas Cage was stealing babies. Well, one baby. Nathan Jr.
I'm talking of course about the classic Cohen Brother's flick, "Raising Arizona". If you're old enough to have kids, surely to God you have seen this movie. It's on cable all the time.
I hadn't watched the movie in about ten years, when I saw it this past weekend on my wayback machine- my Xbox 360 running Netflix.
Hey, I thought, that'd be a swell movie to watch with the kids (mine being girls ages 10 and 4). I wasn't really on the money though. I guess being in your forties means you start getting senile, cause I totally forgot some stuff that was in Raising Arizona.
Okay, from the beginning, the movie is funny, but not really in a way kids might enjoy- the irony of career criminal H.I. McDonough (Cage) marrying Officer "Ed" (Holly Hunter) was clearly lost on my kids. But the movie had 5 babies- the Arizona Quints.
The plot is simple enough, Ed and Hi, cant' have kids of their own, so they decide to steal a Quint after reading in the paper that the Arizona's (furniture magnate Nathan Arizona and his wife) have more kids than they can handle.
The hapless couple steal Nathan Jr. and a man, or rather, baby hunt begins.
Back home in their tiny trailer, Hi and Ed try to give their baby lots of love, but life gets in the way. First, some of Hi's former prison buddies break out and want to stay with the McDonoughs. Then Hi's boss from work- who has 8 or 9 kids himself- starts asking a lot of questions about how Hi was able to adopt little Junior.
Worst though, was the nightmares Hi has after the babynapping- where he sees a scummy bountyhunter (Tex Cobb) coming into town- blowing up a bunny rabbit with a handgrenade as he rides along. That didn't sit too well with my 4 year old. I was laughing my ass off at the over exxagerated, Stoogian violence, but my littlest girl was horrified about a little bunny disappearing in a ball of flame.
Later, it got worse when Hi's boss proposes Hi and he swap wives to spice up their marriages. Thankfully, I remembered this conversation about 20 seconds before it started and hit the mute button. I explained to the kids that they were having adult talk.
Okay, so it's a freaking hilarious movie. For adults. Sure, there's some slapstick- like the fight between Hi and his prison buddies in the cramped confines of a mobile home. But really, this humor isn't intended for a child. Nor is the dialogue.
Overall, your kids are better watching this than SAW, but you should stick to "Baby's Day Out" if you want to watch a hilarious, baby-centric film with your kids.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Troglodad's Movie Re-View: Caveman (1981)

Today's Movies and TV programs might seem too much for some parents to share with impressionable children. But before you pop in a classic from years gone by, make sure it too isn't a bit rough around the edges...
Cavemen. Kids find them funny, from Fred Flintstone to the Geico insurance guys. But if you're looking for a caveman movie to share with your kids, you might want to think twice about Caveman (1981).
Starring Ringo Starr, Shelley Long, Barbara Bach and Dennis Quaid, Caveman was on of those flicks I remember watching after (middle) school in the 1980s. Back when Showtime, HBO and the Movie Channel were so young. I didn't remember anything particularly bad about the movie- just that it was very Airplane-ish, and the people in it didn't speak English- instead opting for a parody grunting-language.
So color me surprised when I fired up Netflix this past weekend and decided to share the film with my two daughters, ages 4 and 10.
Out of the gate, Caveman seems okay. Poor Atouk (Starr) is the wimpy neanderthal who gets no respect because he's brainy not brawny. Maybe this movie was going to have a moral lesson? Sure enough, Atouk fawns over the hottest Wilma in the tribe- Lana (Bach), who herself only has eyes for the brawny leader of the tribe, Tonda (John Matuszak). Poor Atouc shares food he was smart enough to stash for a rainy day with Lana. She promptly brings it to her brutish man to win favor.
As the movie progresses, Atouc is used by the hunters to taste test a new fruit. They discover it makes one very sleepy. Drugged? Uh-oh. Aside from the obvious plot point this will become later, I didn't like having to explain drug use in the film to my girls. Nothing funny about that.
Worse, Atouc tricks Lana and Tonda into eating the fruit. Once they are knocked out (and the rest of the tribe slumbers in the communal cave) he tries to cuddle up to Lana right next to Tonda. Oh, crap... I  saw where this was headed. Sure enough, Atouc tries to position the drugged Lana for some lovin', prying and positioning her sleeping limbs into a unseemly position. She comedically rolls aside as he leaps onto her- promptly humping the cave floor for a few seconds before he realizes she has moved. Then he falls asleep. Har-dee-har-har.
Atouc is then rightfully kicked out of the tribe the next morning after he passes out next to Tonda and Lana and sleeps alongside them. From there, Atouc goes on his merry way, finding his lost friend Lar (Quaid) and meeting new folks along the way, like blonde Tala (Long). Atouc, being smarter, manages to discover (accidentally) fire and its use, and his makeshift tribe of outcasts quickly begins living better than Atouc's former tribe. In the end, Atouc is reunited with his tribe, manages to become the new leader and dumps (literally) Lana when she begins to show him favor. In the end, he walks off into the sunset (or cave) with Tala, to procreate happily ever after.
Okay, so the film does have some good lessons for kids- brains are important, and loyalty is rewarded. It has some harmless humor too. I suppose if it had been on DVD, I could have fast-forwarded, or chapter skipped past the cave-humping scene. But Netflix isn't so good at fast forwarding for me. Maybe it's my slow connection.
Having daughters, though, I worry about the portrayal of Tala as less appealing than Lana. Tala was blonde and wasn't bulging out of her clothes. Don't get me wrong, Barbara Bach was a hottie back then, but Shelley Long was no ugly duckling. Still, it makes it seem like girls have to be smart or pretty, and can't be both. Geeze, no wonder women like Sarah Palin have such a tough time these days- years of stereotyping by Hollyweird makes the populace look at them like freaks.
In any event, I'd recommend against this movie for your kids. It was intended for adults, and if your kids haven't had the birds-and-the-bees talk yet, why risk having it mid-movie?
Now if you'll pardon me, I have to go let Dino in...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Survey says... McDonald's employs idiots

So your restaurant was hawking four extra mcnuggests for $1. Good deal, and my 4yr old loves chicken nuggets. I have to pull over and wait for my 2 dbl cheeseburgers (plain). I get home... and no extra nuggets. What the hell? They had EXTRA time to bag my order and they still couldn't get it right? I called the store, told them I went through and didn't get my nuggets and told them to pay better attention. And hung up- I didn't want to hear any bullshit offers that I could come back. I was already home, and my kid wanted to eat. You can't make up for something like this- even if someone had jumped in their car and driven here, by the time they got to my house, we'd be done eating. A dollar may not seem much, but it's the principle of it that annoys me. How frickin' hard is it to put a single order of nuggets in a bag? My 4 yr old could do it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Survey Says...

Hey, anyone can do an online survey. I know I'll never win one of those $5000 shopping sprees at Target (and I keep laughing every time an associate suggests I will), but when I can, I like to have some fun with surveys. I mean, the more bizarre my answers, maybe a real person will read them...
So, kroger's, this was what I told you...

Please provide any additional comments about the canned and packaged foods department in the text box below.
What do you people have against BBQ beanie weenies? I've been having to make my own (with KC Masterpiece sauce, if you were curious) for years now. Yet, like some schlub, everytime I go to the store, I look at the beanie weenies, hoping against hope that you might FINALLY have them. But NO. You want those magic fruits in a can to be all plain and blechy.
You have no taste.
Please provide any additional comments about the frozen foods department in the text box below.
My wife is not very happy, and neither am I. she keeps making me look for some damn "carmelized onions" pizza. Every week. Frankly, I'm getting sick of looking for it. And she never believes me when I say it's no longer in stock. Either restock the damn things or induce some amnesia on my wife, or send me a certified document telling her that you no longer stock them. Please. I beg you.
Please provide any additional comments about the dairy department in the text box below.
Where the hell was the velveeta?! You know, Modern Marvels recently did an episode on Cheese, and I was shocked to learn the deliciousness of velveeta is actually good for you- it has the highest nutritional value of ANY cheese. So now i don't feel bad buying it for me and my kids (mostly me). So there I was, trying to get my cheese fix... and I could find no dang Velveeta. What the hell?
Please provide any additional comments about the meat department in the text box below.
Where's all the fish? It's like the only seafood you have are swimming cockroach cousins. I want something that swims inthe sea, not crawls on the bottom of it.
Please provide any additional comments about the checkout area in the text box below.
Not enough room for all the sheeple you crowd into the one or two lanes open. It's like a frickin' Japanese subway. With carts.