Showing 1 - 10 of 25 posts found matching keyword: keith
Thursday 26 March 2020
Jacob stood in the deserted street and looked up at the large, faded sign.
He had been sent to live with his aunt in Wyoming when the outbreak had started. It was for his own safety, his parents had said. What with the riots and looting and hand-sanitizer made by state prisoners, not to mention the virus itself, the city was just too dangerous.
We'll be back for you just as soon as the shelter-in-place order is lifted, said his mother from behind her n-95 respirator mask. His father gave him a comic book, one of the last printed before the country's last comics distributor had shut down. Then his parents had fist-bumped him goodbye and driven away.
His aunt died from the virus two weeks later. (If only they'd tested her!)
Faced with the dreary fate of slowly starving until he was reduced to eating his aunt's massive, unused toilet paper stockpile, Jacob made the only decision he could. He carefully wrapped his few precious possessions in a hobo bindle and set out on foot.
It was a harrowing journey. The wasteland was a wild and unforgiving place filled with roving gangs of self-driving Teslas fighting over solar energy charging stations. At night, Jacob struggled to sleep under a brilliant sky filled with the reflected glow from SpaceX's Starlink satellites.
It took nearly a month and all of Jacob’s determination, but he finally made it to a place where he wouldn't have to grow up, a neverland without end. The sign in front of him said it all. "TOYS R US."
Jacob couldn't wait to see what wonders lay behind the darkened windows. He made camp in the lonely parking lot and waited for the first employee of the day to come and unlock paradise.
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Wednesday 16 October 2019
Here's your housewarming present, Keith.
Now I have to get to work on a present for Coop's new baby. I wonder what a baby wants on its phone lock screen.
Saturday 5 October 2019
While we were on the way to a second place finish at trivia last week (where we learned that a flute is a woodwind instrument and a Philco Predicta was a television), friend Keith was amused by my phone lock screen and background. I assume that's because he is envious and would like to use them himself. So here you go, Keith.
If you like those, you might want my computer background image, too.
Ask yourself: is it vanity that I have my name and face all over my devices, or is it that I want everyone to know who they belong to?
Tuesday 12 February 2019
2019 moves, part 2 of... many.
7. (1446.) Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
8. (1447.) Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
10. (1449.) Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)
I lump these three together because even though I watched them barely a month ago, I don't think I could tell you which was which. The very definition of popcorn movies, they rely on their fast pace to keep the audience from realizing how little sense they make. I'm pretty sure they all take place inside Ethan Hunt's head while he lies in a coma, but they keep Tom Cruise too busy to make another Magnolia, so I'm willing to cut them a little slack.
9. (1448.) Daddy's Home Two (2017)
Friend Keith challenged me to find fault with John Lithgow's performance in this broad comedy. I couldn't. He's sterling as always. Everyone was pretty funny, including Mel Gibson, playing the character we all believe him to be in real life.
11. (1450.) The Aztec Mummy Against the Humanoid Robot (1958)
Two-thirds of this Mexican B-movie is a recap of the previous two movies in this trilogy about greedy assholes stealing gold from a cursed Aztec tomb guardian. The last third involves building a robot from a corpse to kill a zombie. It has its moments.
12. (1451.) Wizards (1977)
Ralph Bakshi movies are always more meandering acid trips than functional narratives. This one spends most of its time invoking Nazi propaganda as the ultimate evil, then twists at the end to make the good guys look just as bad as everyone else. At least I think that's what happened.
13. (1452.) Old Acquaintance (1943)
Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins are childhood friends who grow to become rivals in work and love. Davis plays the angel against Hopkins' bitch. The animosity between the two is palpable. Pretty good.
14. (1453.) Ghostbusters (2016)
Sure, it's not as good as the movie that inspired it, but rare indeed is the remake that outdoes its inspiration. The movie could have benefited from a director less indulgent of his star's ad libs. (It's most telling that Chris Hemsworth steals every scene he's in.) Still, not bad, assuming you can get past the rampant product placement.
More to come
Sunday 9 December 2018
I've had a lot of bad things to say about the Miami Dolphins as of late. Enough that after today's game, friend Keith sent me this text:
Dude. Stop complaining. Ya'll won for fucks sake.
Yes, we did! With the longest play from scrimmage (69-yards) to win a game with no time remaining in the fourth quarter by any NFL team since the 1970 merger. (I know that's a long qualifier, but I'll take what I can get.)
Watch it on YouTube.
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Friday 4 May 2018
Walter reviews more movies he watched in April!
71. (1300.) The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
Disney advertised the shit out of this back when I watched the Disney Channel in the 1980s, and I just finally saw it. (The House of Mouse gets us all in the end.) It's a good-looking adventure yarn for kids in the White Fang vein, and I enjoyed it.
72. (1301.) Isle of Dogs (2018)
Best movie of 2018! No, that wasn't sarcasm. I'm all-in on Wes Andersom movies.
73. (1302.) Warrior (2011)
Warrior is not a winner. Friend Keith loves it, and I guess I can see why. But the schmaltzy ending doesn't work if you don't care for all the characters involved, and I didn't. Go to hell, Tommy.
74. (1303.) Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Best movie of 2017! Friend Mike let me borrow this, and I'm so glad he did. I watched it, like, 4 times. It's really, really funny with a James Carpenter vibe and 80s synthesizer soundtrack. Marvel can't possibly make a movie better than this.
75. (1304.) Battle of the Sexes (2017)
I was expecting less biopic and more sports action, but I'm never disappointed in Emma Stone. Even when she's a lesbian.
76. (1305.) Coco (2017)
Honestly, I don't get what everyone loves about this movie. Beyond the creative set design, it's a predictable snooze-fest populated with stock characters. I would say it is easily Pixar's worst film. (And yes, I've seen Cars 2.)
77. (1306.) The Greatest Showman (2017)
Hey, Randy! I've seen The Greatest Showman. It delivers what it promises: a throwback to 1930s MGM musical spectacular! I agree that it is too light on reality and too heavy on CGI. But who can't enjoy a film with a character named Walter the Dog-Boy? Not me.
More to come.
Saturday 16 December 2017
In 1977, my father took me to see Star Wars after he had already seen it once. He loved it and wanted me to love it too. I don't remember anything about that experience. I was only 2. However, we did have a VCR — it was huge with faux wood paneling — and I would watch the movie over and over and over again in the years following. We also recorded and rewatched the infamous Holiday Special.
In 1981, my father took me to see Empire Strikes Back in a theater after it had been playing a few weeks. I can't tell you exactly where. All I remember was that it had red walls in the lobby. Though at the time I was disappointed by the cliffhanger ending, I wasn't disappointed enough not to love all the cool new toys. Not long afterwards, my brother accidentally decapitated my original black-vested Han Solo figure, and my parents replaced him with a Han in Hoth gear. What a downgrade. (I retaliated by running over Trey's sensorscope R2-D2 with my bicycle.)
In 1983, my friend Greg Owens saw Return of the Jedi before I did. He complained the movie had too many purple-lipped talking dogs in it. Their catchphrase, Greg said, was "Eat your momma." When I finally saw it (again with my family, again theater unknown though probably in Stone Mountain, GA), his review was borne out. By Christmas, I had all the available Ewok action figures and a Wicket doll.
In 1999, I saw The Phantom Menace at the new Hollywood 24 theater in Atlanta with friends. The movie was fine enough — in fact I think I continue to like it more than many — but I was disappointed by how many people I spoke to seemed to love it for what they put into it, not what it was. Darth Maul, like Boba Fett before him, particularly irked me. Fans decided he was cool because he looked cool. Their love was for a thing they had created in their heads, not a character that had appeared on screen. This realization that fans loved the franchise not for what it was but for what they wanted it to be was the beginning of the end of my love affair with Star Wars. I have a hard time associating with people who worship style over substance.
In 2002, I watched Attack of the Clones at the United Artists Scottsdale Pavilions theater in Arizona with my brother. We both agreed the movie was terrible. Bad acting, worse writing. Between the forced romance and that CGI Artoo video game sequence, this film is almost unwatchable. I distinctly remember saying that the only reason anyone should pay money to see such a thing was to get out of the desert sun.
In 2005, I have no memory of watching Revenge of the Sith. My friend Keith has told me he remembers my laughter at the final reveal of Darth Vader, so I assume I watched it in Atlanta, presumably back at the Hollywood 24. It was awful. How could any so-called fans of the older Star Wars films still love this franchise after old Ben Kenobi was revealed as the kind of man who turned his back on his friends and his responsibilities, "master" Yoda was an isolationist failure, or Vader himself was a tantrum-throwing idiot? Weren't these supposed to be kids movies? Yuck! If this was the Star Wars Universe, I wanted no more part of it.
In 2015, I watched The Force Awakens at some theater on the north side of Atlanta with reserved seating in recliners that kept my feet from touching the ground. I didn't want to see it, but I'd made the mistake of saying I'd watch it if they found a way to bring Han Solo back. They did. I watched. I found it an insulting exercise in nostalgia. (Hey, guys, let's forget all that prequel nonsense. Remember what you liked about Star Wars? Here it is again!) It's now the highest grossing film of all time.
In 2016, I watched Rogue One at Regal Cinemas 11 in Panama City, Florida. It was my father's birthday present. It was a bad present. The movie was yet another excuse for brand reinforcement, a short story intended to fill gaps in the original Star Wars backstory with stereotypical yet well-costumed characters that would make good action figures.
In 2017, Disney released The Last Jedi. A new one already? As if I wasn't burnt out enough. I hear it's different. I hear this one will change everything I've ever thought about Star Wars. I feel like I've heard that before. Maybe I'll see it one day when it comes on television. Maybe. I'm not in any hurry anymore.
Sunday 15 October 2017
The Miami Dolphins came to Atlanta for their first visit to
Georgia Dome 2.0 Mercedes Benz Stadium, and I went to see them with my friends, Falcons fans Keith and Ken (and their lovely wives).
In the first half, the Dolphins played like the Dolphins, stumbling into a 0-17 hole. Jay Cutler was the worst he's been all season, playing without inspiration or conviction, placing balls where they would do the least good for the receivers. Just horrible.
However, in the second half, the Falcons played like the Falcons, committing penalties, throwing interceptions, failing to tackle, and just refusing to finish a game. The Falcons scored 0 second half points. The Dolphins scored 20.
Final score, 20-17, Dolphins! Whoo-hoo! Thank you, Falcons!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my first impression of the new stadium. All I've heard is how wonderful it is. Don't believe the hype.
- The much ballyhooed 360° HD halo screen is worthless for half of the stadium. Those on the ground floor have to stare at the ceiling to see anything. Those in the rafters (like me) can't see half the screen because the near edge obscures the top half of the far side screen. (Given that they can't even make the roof open — not that you'd be able to tell from most of the seats — I assume that it would have been too hard to pitch the screens into a cone so that they would be visible to all?)
- Stadium concourses are given over almost exclusively to concessions with queue lines cutting into walkways, making it impossible to get around without running through crowds standing in line for beer and $2 hot dogs.
- And if you want a $2 hot dog, get one early. Lines don't move quickly. I didn't go myself, but watching and listening to those around me, the minimum wait time appeared to be 15 minutes. (And if you want a Coke, your only option is to stand in line for a fill-it-yourself fountain cup which entitles you to stand in line by the "free refills" drink fountains. That's two lines for the price of one!)
- Speaking of 15 minutes, that was the wait time for restroom breaks — to the men's room!
In short, I didn't see that this stadium was an improvement in any way over the Georgia Dome save the welcome presence of natural light, and I got the impression that I must not be alone. From the very beginning of the game, there were huge blocks of empty seats visible all over the stadium. (I'd guess it was half full.) Given the stadium's evident disdain for people who actually want to watch a game of football, I can't blame those ticket holders for wanting to spend their time doing something other than watch football there.
But enough about that. I went to the building not to pass judgement on it, but to watch a football game with friends. In the end, I think a good time was had by all.*
*At least, all of us cheering for the Dolphins.
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Saturday 16 September 2017
Today was a UGA home game. The Bulldogs played Samford in Sanford Stadium at 7:30pm. However, I wasn't there to see it. Instead, I had to spend the day on Tybee Island with Mom.
Don't get me wrong. I love Tybee. (And I love Mom.) Tybee is a charming coastal town with some fantastic scenery. (And Mom is Mom.) I'm happy to report that most of the island survived Hurricane Irma just fine, though plenty of scars from last week's storm were still visible everywhere. But it wasn't Tybee's beauty or Irma's wrath (or Mom's Momness) that brought us to the Georgia coast. No, we were here to attend friend Brian's beach wedding in the shadow of Tybee's historic lighthouse.
Mom rented a wonderful house at 117 Cedarwood Drive, and she, Audrey, July, and I used it as a base of operations for our weekend stay. Mom frequently visited the beach (just a few hundred yards to our north) to collect shells, each time leaving Audrey behind to rue Tybee's draconian "no pets on the beach" policy.
Sadly, I somehow managed not to take any pictures of the groom or bride, Veronika. For that matter, I don't have any pictures of groomsmen friends Ken, Keith, or Michael, either. The wedding party didn't show up on the beach until after the wedding officiant warned the attendees not to take pictures because that was the wedding photographer's job. Instead, you'll just have to be satisfied with this screen grab from the lovebird's official wedding website.
In fact, the only picture I have of the wedding was taken by friend James. (James was one of my few friends in attendance who wasn't actually in the wedding party. Matt was the other. Why was I not in the wedding party? I'm sure it had no small part to do with my vowing to Brian after Keith's wedding that I would never wear anything dressier than jeans to a wedding again. "Except mine?" Brian asked. "Even yours," I answered. That's what I like about Brian. He listens.) James couldn't resist disobeying the order not to take any pics, but he somehow still managed not to get the wedding party. (Reminder: "Never do what James does.")
I haven't attended a lot of weddings. I don't like them. Yet I found this one left an especially bittersweet taste for many reasons, not the least of which was that Brian was the last of my single friends likely to get married. From this point forward, we're all more likely to reunite at a funeral than another wedding. That's an uncomfortable thought, though it's better than imagining the possibility that I may have to sit through yet another wedding ceremony.
Good luck, Brian and Veronika. Do me a favor and be so happy together that we don't have to do this all over again, ok? Thanks.
Monday 6 February 2017
The Atlanta Falcons were up 28-3 over the New England Patriots late in the third quarter of the Super Bowl. No team had ever come back from such a deficit in the big game, and the Patriots didn't look like they were going to be the ones to do it. All Atlanta had to do was keep doing what they had been doing for the better part of 2 hours, and they would be NFL champions.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you who won.
The Falcons were good enough this year; they should have been able to beat the Patriots. But the one thing holding back, the lead weight around their necks, was their own history. The 1999 Super Bowl. The 2011 Divisional game. Now the 2017 Super Bowl. When a few plays late in the game went wrong, you could see the Falcons lose confidence that they could win. If you think you're going to lose, you're right.
I'm not a Falcons fan, but I do consider myself an Atlantan. This loss hurt. It hurt bad. Like a second betrayal by an unfaithful lover, it's the sort of pain you never get over. You can forgive, but you'll never forget. You can only blame yourself for believing she wouldn't do it to you again. A loss like this, in a city seemingly incapable of escaping it's terrible luck at team sports (1 MLB title, 0 NFL titles, 0 NBA titles, 0 NHL franchises), this loss leaves a permanent scar on our soul.
As my friend Keith, a Falcons fan since birth, said at the start of the postseason, "I'll believe the Falcons can win a Super Bowl the day after they win a Super Bowl." After this game, I don't think either of us will live that long.
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