1000 Awful Things: #990 When Things Lose Their Novelty

November 4, 2009 Leave a comment

I know there is basically no way to make post without sounding like this guy, but here it goes.

How disappointing is it when you come home with that new shiny MUST HAVE item? You bring home your first big screen TV. Those 46 inches are a solid 26 more than your previous TV. DOUBLE’D! This will be the TV of your dreams for all your life.

Flash forward 6 months later. You see that same TV on sale for $400 less and all you can think about is “man, I could have easily go for 52 inches”. You still love it but you think you could have just gone a little bigger.

Oh well, at least you still have that brand new computer you just bought. It was top of the line! It will be the best for a long time to come…

Awful.

image courtesy of: here

College Football Teams You Should Never Lose To

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

With the help of a few buddies and a few drunken acquaintances, I have began compiling a listing of the types of College Football Teams that any respectable program should never under any circumstance lose to.

This list is a work in progress and I ask to please contribute any thoughts you might have on the issue.

The Current Don’t Lose-To List:

1. ANY Football Championship Subdivision Team (Formerly Div 1-AA)

In 2007, Appalachian State stunned #5 ranked Michigan Wolverines team. App State went on the be the best FCS team by winning the FCS championship and Michigan went on to have one of its worst seasons on record. Moral of the story? The best FCS team barely beat a very bad Bowl Championship Series (BCS) team and nine times out of ten, Michigan still wins that game.

A BCS team losing to an FCS team is like a Major League Baseball team losing to a college baseball team. And yes, it has happened.

2. Any Team With a Hyphen in its Name

Louisiana-Monroe. University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. These are schools that under no circumstance should a team with any shred of accountability lose to. Obviously, schools like University of Tennessee-Knoxville or University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (although a team probably should not lose to UNC anyways) do not count because these are the main campuses.

Idea’s Thrown Out:

1. Schools that Say Where the School is Located Within the State

Examples here would include teams like Central Michigan, Middle Tennessee State, etc. However, after much deliberation, it has been decided that there are enough legit contenders in this category to give them a second chance.

2. Schools that Play on Fridays

Fridays are for High School. That being said, there have been a FEW, and I mean a few exceptions to this rule. Enough so that I am willing to throw it out. However, I can see this one bouncing back in soon enough.

So that is it for now. Thoughts? Any you would add or remove from the list? Why?

image courtesy of: here

1000 Awful Things: #991 The Pavement Princess

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Urban Dictionary defines the Pavement Princess as “A badass 4×4 truck that is usually lifted with huge tires (over 33″) who’s owner is too much of a pussy to take off road.”

Basically, the owners of this type of car are typically of the high school and college age who come from a great deal of money. Rather than flaunt the owner’s affluence by purchasing a sports car the Pavement Princess owner tries to prove his or her love for Southern Heritage.

A Pavement Princess owner screams “I may have money, but I am a redneck just like you!”. This person has likely never taken the truck off-road, as that might get the new chrome exhausts oh-so-dirty!

If the rich in America are spending their money to appear more redneck then this country is doomed.

Awful.

1000 Awful Things: #992 The Scenic Route

October 22, 2009 Leave a comment

America The Beautiful. The majestic Southwest. The homey Southeast. The enchanting North. The… plains?

This Awful Thing comes with a story!

I have been asked to travel with a colleague and assist him with some business related matters. The trip is roughly an eight hour drive and the route is less of The Purple Mountains and unfortunately more of The Waves of Grain. So as I immediately began my pursuit to fly the Spacious Skies, said colleague informs me that he has decided he would like to drive.

Ugh.

You see, I am the young, fresh face in the office. And this particular colleague has decided this will be a perfect opportunity to get to know me. For eight hours. Each way. He claims the drive is particularly gorgeous. I guess he hasn’t traveled anywhere, ever. The main excuse for driving over flying is, of course, the airport theory but I could tell the actual motive is that he is actually looking forward to spending time with me.

This would be fine with me, almost flattering, except for the fact that I cannot stand this person and he cannot better my career in any way. Of course, he left the option of me flying on my own but I don’t think I can stand to see his crushed expression when I tell him I am not interested.

So I will be stuck with this man. Locked in a tin can for 16 total hours. I have no doubt we will run out of things to talk about after about 1, and listening to headphones is rude.

Awful.

1000 Awful Things: #993 The Airport Theory

October 22, 2009 1 comment

I am the type of person who loves technology. I always have to own the newest, greatest, and fastest. Sure, I get nostalgic for “the way things were” but never to the point where I would want to revert back. This is why the following comment drives me so crazy:

“By the time we deal with the airport, have a layover, and rent a car, it will be about the same length of time as if we drove. So we might as well just drive.”

I will give you most of that. You are correct in that the duration of the two events may be similar. However, 6 hours by plane and 6 hours by car are in no way equal.

In a car, you are suppressed into a small vehicle in which there is absolutely no room for movement unless the car is stopped, in which case time is lost. You are driving somewhere with a friend/collegue. You need to pee, he doesn’t. Too bad, guess you are both making a stop. He’s hungry, you’re not. Whelp, might as well find some room in that stomach because ingestion is happening now.

By plane, everything is different. Restroom break? Either in the plane or waiting in the airport, get up and go. Hungry? Just go find something to eat (I realize this is a little harder while actually ON a plane but there are snacks). Want to work on your blog? Just whip out your laptop and recharge it between flights. The best benefit? If you are not a huge fan of the person you are traveling with, the airline could have “accidentally” moved your seat to a completely different spot on the plane.

Now, before I get all the hate. I am obviously taking money out of the equation here. Clearly it is cheaper to drive. However if money is not a concern (corporate travel) then flying is always the better alternative. If I just got asked to drive somewhere 4 hours for work, the first thing I will do is see the airline possibilities and will gauge how long I’m willing to devote to travel.

Phew, that was a long one, but it is most definitely:

Awful.

1000 Awful Things: #994 Eating While Walking

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Hey there, tubbo. I know those fries smell absolutely amazing. I know that doughnut is just begging for a bite. However, in a world of self-loathing and low esteem, do you not realize how much of a fatty it makes you look like when you start stuffing your face before you even make it to the table?

Even worse is when I have to travel past you just in time to see the too-delicious-to-wait come dribbling out of your mouth as you try to catch the crumbs by bringing the plate up to your face while trying to look ahead.

It is another 20 feet, heffer. That first bite can wait.

Awful.

Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Are

October 12, 2009 1 comment

Where the Wild Things Are

Happiness isn’t always the best way to be happy.

What do you get when you mix an artistic director, unlimited budget, and cameras that assumedly were purchased from Best Buy? You get Where the Wild Things Are the latest film by the too-weird-to-be-mainstream yet too-mainstream-to-be-too-weird director Spike Jonze.

The debate surrounding this film over the past few weeks has been whether or not Wild Things is a kid’s movie. It is based on a kid’s book. It features a kid. It has a kid-friendly PG rating. But I am here to tell you that this is NOT a kid’s movie. Granted, I am at that awkward age where I am too old to identify a movie that will please kids and too old to have kids that can tell me. However, what are the three rules for a kid’s movie? Bright colors, lovable characters, and an easy to follow plot. What does Wild Things feature? A full spectrum of colors (assuming the entire spectrum is olive drab), frightening characters, and one-liners like the one posted above that leaves even myself scratching my head.

This is the movie for people like me who loved the book as kids and wanted a movie as adults.

Spike Jonze has crafted the perfect story about a kid for adults. Where the Wild Things Are filmed entirely by handicam puts the audience directly in the hero’s, Max, shoes. Every angle, every shot, is filmed down at Max’s eye level. There are no above shots looking down on Max. This is not omniscient, the audience IS Max, and Max is taking us along for the ride.

The story is a familiar one. Max, played by mostly newcomer Max Records, has too big of an imagination to be left alone. Yet his older sister has seemingly just reached that ripe age of “too old to play with my little brother” and his mom (Catherine Keener, The 40 Year Old Virgin) is doing her absolute best to ignore Max as much as possible so that she can focus on her stupid job and her stupid boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

During an outburst at a dinner-date at home with The Boyfriend, Max hops up onto a table and exclaims “Woman, feed me!” and storms out of the house.

And he sailed off through night and day… to where The Wild Things Are!

One thing that needs to be mentioned is Max Records’ fantastic performance. Every director knows the Golden Rule of “No kids! No Pets!” but that sentiment did not seem to phase Jonze. Max gives an almost Cast Away-like performance considering he’s the only human for about 85% of the film. Additionally, the animation of the Wild Things along with the voice acting is some of the best I have seen. There are many scenes where the animation is shown off through shadows and wind where one gets the “too real to be fake but too fake to be real” thoughts. James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone), Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) create a stunning ensemble of indie-stars.

My only qualms with Where the Wild Things Are go back to the kid-friendliness of the film. Maybe I have read into the marketing wrong, but this a kids book. And it is not like a Harry Potter kid’s book that is also rather adult themed. Where the Wild Things Are is one of those short picture books to put the kid to bed to. Yet the film is very dark and at times scary. And I am hard-pressed to believe that any child will be able to come away with the plot or the theme.

Despite the film not being a good choice for children, this film is a great choice for adults. The “indie-style” filming technique keeps the film visually appealing and the acting is an absolute delight. The best part of Where the Wild Things Are? Fans of the book do not have to worry about the approximately 5-minute story having any parts skipped in this 104 minute film.

FINAL SCORE: (4/5)