Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

No, not today (although essentially that is true). The day I'm referring to was yesterday, Tuesday August 29th. However, as you are well aware, I have not posted since LAST TUESDAY!!! I have been so so busy it's not even funny. I'm gonna H&P Short Form (Only Cy will get that one - and maybe Tom) this post to try and update you on everything that's going on. It's a lot. Let me just warn you with that. . . This will be not all that different from a WEEKEND GRAB-BAG, but this will be filled with many more bullets (however, they will be significantly shorter).

Ready? I'm asking myself, actually. Are you ready, dear reader? Well you better be - - -

Here we go (I really don't know where to start, but we'll just see where this goes):

- Well, first and foremost, I spose, is that my wonderful Heather is home! Barbara and I picked her and Chelsea up from LAX last Thursday. I cannot remember a moment that I've been happier than coming up behind Heather and practically tackle-hugging her :D Plus, one of my dreams (much like it is some girls' dream to one day passionately kiss in the midst of a torrential downpour - I don't know anyone off hand with this one. . . or do I???) came true when I got to kiss the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in the middle of a crowded terminal. Time stopped. People walked on by, and I could have cared less what they were thinking. (If you've seen GARDEN STATE - it was like the final shot) I had not seen this beauty in five weeks and I really had missed her uncontrollably. The shaking, as it turns out, did not stop. . . Well once we returned to Earth (I really never wanted to come back to life - I would like a PAUSE button for Christmas please!) we headed to the car to start our journey home. The ride home was filled with their stories of their incredible trip and I enjoyed every second of it. We hit traffic. I didn't care. I was holding someone's hand for the first time in five weeks! I was truly the happiest person on the face of the planet.

- English 102, another Honors class for me (my second this semester - I need one more in the Spring semester to complete the Honors requirements), is not all bad. I actually kinda like it. Professor John Toth (who gets an 8/10 on the scale) is really laid back and he really enjoys teaching English (go figure). It's gonna be a lot of work, but it's gonna be just fine. It's three hours on Wednesday afternoon so it's kinda tedious (although today's class breezed by), but I'm looking forward to learning a lot here. I'll take this class over Bio any day!

- I have many new CD's. Circumstances and stories on their purchases are beside the point. But here they are: OUTKAST - Idlewild, LINKIN PARK - Hybrid Theory, 30 SECONDS TO MARS - A Beautiful Lie, SNAKES ON A PLANE SOUNDTRACK, RAY LAMONTAGNE - Trouble. They're all good (I really like the Outkast cd - a couple of the tracks are awesome!!) and I'm happy with all of them. I also have coupons for 10, count them, 10 free CD's on the BMG music store online. I'm trying to figure out which ones I'm gonna get. We'll see. .

- Comm 121 is gonna be off the hook, fo sheazy my neazy. I don't know what that means, but what I'm making it mean is: THIS CLASS IS AWESOME!!! After class on Tuesday (yesterday) I went back, showing an interest in a bit more than your average student. Apparently impressed by my effort and interest (or blindsided by my extremely good looks. . . ok, maybe he's just a really cool guy), Mr. Carter offered me the role of one of the editors of the paper! I thought about it for about five seconds less than ten seconds (I always need to be confusing. . .) and agreed, shaking on it with him. My first assignment is actually writing a report on Dr. Jaffe and his award he recently won (more on it when I begin to write the article). I'm really excited about the article, the class in general, and the amazing experience that being an editor will be for me. I'm actually envious of myself! Mr. Carter said the title above to me yesterday when referring to the role that the class and my new role as editor would have in my future. It made me excited with a capital E! Yes. Very stoked.

- I got my schedule at JC switcherooed around so I can have Fridays off, which means I can go see Heather in THE LB (been awhile since that's been mentioned) on those days. She's actually coming home this weekend to go to the Fair, but from then on, it'll be me going down there. Let the driving begin! O, so my schedule is now Thursday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon. COME SEE ME!

- I got to do something that will honestly go in the top 10 all-time memories of yours truly. This thing happened last night at the Antelope Valley Fair. You see, for his birthday, my dad got three tickets to see Lynyrd Skynyrd. So him, my sister, and I went last night and it was freakin' fantastic! They played for about an hour twenty and encored with none other than "Free Bird", which was completely and absolutely incredible. The live versions of that song on their CD's are like fourteen minutes long, and I would wager that they played that song for close to ten minutes last night. The lead guitarist (Rickey Medlocke, who looks like a cross between Tim Robbins and David Carradine) was just a joy to watch. He "shredded" that electric guitar, for lack of a better word. It was a really great experience and I'm thankful to my Aunt Debbie for getting the tickets for my dad! O, by the by, we were in row 18 in the sorta-center. Good stuff. . . I wanted a shirt, but they were $35 so I wised up and chose not to. Do I regret it? Meh, I'm still not sure. O well - at least I still have that $35. . .

- Actually, I don't. Not really. I spent almost exactly that at CIRCUIT CITY today on two movies (KISS KISS, BANG BANG - one of my all-time favorite movies; THE PRODUCERS - a good $10 movie) and then the SoaP soundtrack, as mentioned above. A very good purchase!

- I'm already procrastinating on my homework! I had to go down to the wire on my first English assignment that I had due today! This is not a good sign ha ha!

Well, because of my lack of sleep as of late (like I said, I'm very busy) I've been having trouble functioning during my day. Even though it's now after midnight, I still feel like it's early, so I'm gonna go to bed. I'll do my best to post more often, but I can't promise anything. But I will certinaly make the effort. As long as I post more than Cy, I'll be content :D

Have a good end of the week and a safe weekend!

- - - "Cuz I'm as free as a bird now. . ."
- - - LYNYRD SKYNYRD's "Free Bird"


Tired Justin

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Weekend Grab-Bag: The Deja Vu Deja Vu Version

Ever feel like you've been somewhere before? Ever have strong memories of an event that is supposedly brand new? Have you, dear reader of A RAMBLER'S RAMBLING, ever gone through a series of events that you swore you have lived before and yet know that that's not possible but still believe so strongly that you know how it's all gonna end?

Yeah, me neither. . .

Well, actually, that's just a tease because of course I've had deja vu. Actually, I have it quite often. I'm kinda having it now as I sit here and type about it. . . But either way, this past weekend (including Friday and Monday and Tuesday) was vaguely reminiscent of past times that I've had. I swear I've been in those shoes before. Well, physically speaking, I have. But you know what I mean. . . SO, with this nonsense out of the way, let me proceed with another installment of THE WEEKEND GRAB-BAG, and as always, faithful and beautiful readers (don't you like that I constantly complement you? . .), the following will be out of order in relation to when it all happened (the world will know that as non-chronological - I just wanted some variety. . . Just trying to avoid that awful vu feeling. . .):

- School, yes dreaded dreaded school, began this week. Unlike past semesters I've had at AVC, I have classes on four days of the week this semester (in prior semesters, I only went on Tuesday and Thursday - o, a quick tangent: I find it extremely funny that Thursday is abbreviated with an R in our, and I spose others, college catalog. I understand that T is kinda taken by Tuesday, but it's just kinda funny that R means Thursday. . . Am I the only one that finds this odd?). On Monday I have. . . ya know what? I'm gonna kick it old school and pull out that Deja Vu feeling once more. Here, young people, is my first review of my Sophomore year at AVC in the same fashion as my first review of my Freshman year, one year ago (with one added feature - People I Already Know - or PIAK - you'll figure it out):

BIOLOGY 101 - The first class of my week begins at 1230 on Monday afternoon. Yeah, it's later than I would like too, but it's the only offered Honors Bio class. I need it. O well. So, my teacher's name is Debra Feickert, and at first glance, I found her to look like a family friend (Debbie Axley for those who know her) and act like my Aunt Nancy (especially one early action that I swear was my Aunt bit for bit). THEN, something happened and crazy lady came out!!! Let me assure you, this is not crazy-bad. She is just plain bonkers!!! I swear she went off the deep end and all I wanted to yell was "Come back!" I can't explain it in words. I'll try though. She just. . . well. . . no I was right. I can't explain it. O well. She gets a 6/10 on the scale (yep, brought it back!) because it does appear that she's very thorough, and I need that since I pretty much suck at the sciences. Small class. Three guys/Fifteenish girls. Interesting ratio. . . We actually lectured til the end of the period (not a good sign for the rest of my classes - usually the first day is barely an hour and you get out hella early) so I was kinda bummed about starting so early. Dangit. It begins again. PIAK - Danielle Lincors, a girl who graduated with me from DCMS

BIOLOGY 101 (LAB) - Three hours. Need I say more? (I kinda do, actually) My teacher's name is Nikki Riley. She's a younger (later twenties we assumed) black woman who is (obviously) very passionate about Biology. Mr. Cy Serrano, by the workings of yours truly, is in this lab with me (thank God, too - I couldn't do this class without him) so the time went by much quicker with him sitting next to me. We did a lot of introductory-type stuff and then jumped into a beginning lab (it was just a microscope trial thingy lab - not bad). This teacher, though, caused the best laughs of the week from Cy and me (yeah, that's proper English folks). She said "Are you with me?" probably 300 times throughout the three hour course. No joke. Plus, she sounds like the Debra Winger impersonation of Oprah (for those who have ever seen the skit on MAD TV or seen SCARY MOVIE 4). It's high comedy. A 6.5/10 for Nikki (she asked us to call her by her first name - weird) since she provides more laughs than others. . . even though it's unintentional! PIAK - Cy and Danielle Lincors again

COMMUNICATIONS 121 - Before I go into deeper detail about this class, let me just say the following: if, in the infintesimal chance, I make it "big" in life and someday get to write my memoirs out in a book, three things will be written in it. 1) My heroes have been, remain, and will always be my dad, Andrew Gott, his dad, William Gott, and my basketball coach from high school, Devin Thomas. 2) The MY GIRL post from late July on this here site. I love my "us" story! 3) This COMM class (also known as Journalism 121) was the reason that I reached the plateau I achieved. That, my friends, is the potential this class brings me. Professor Gary M. Carter will most likely go down as the second greatest teacher I've ever had up until now (D. Ro cannot be topped DCSers) and I am looking forward to what he is able to get out of me. His first words to us were "Welcome to class. And let me also welcome you to the staff of THE EXAMINER". I about lost my mind at that point. Yes, the Examiner is the AVC newspaper. Yes, I will be published (officially) many times by semester's end. Yes, I'm stoked out of my skull!!! I will be a reporter (I assume) and you will hear much, much more about this class as the semester continues. My only gripe is that it's not more than two days (or more than an hour twenty on those days). In a first for the ratings system, Prof. Carter gets a perfect 10/10. PIAK - Not a soul

HISTORY 118 - Another Jaffe class! This one is History of the Old West. Could be fun. Either way, it's Jaffe. Plus, Cy is in the class with me (again). Can't get much better than that. Being back in the room again is kinda trippy. Almost deja vuey. . . PIAK - Cy and one guy named Shaun who had Jaffe last semester too

PSYCHOLOGY 101 - Another online class. I had a short (well, over an hour) orientation on campus today, and I'm just pretty much "Meh" about this one. I'm taking it to later (next semester) take a Psych class I need to transfer and to take one I want (the ever-popular Human Sexuality course). So I gotta do what I gotta do. Mr. Payam Heidary (he's Jewish) is ok - kinda goofy. I'm kinda goofy I guess. O well. (5/10) PIAK - My twin from TWELFTH NIGHT (Drama my Sophomore year in HS) Miss Trena Buus

HONORS ENGLISH 102 - Don't know yet. It's tomorrow. Three hours. Yipee! (Sarcasm city right there folks) PIAK - Check back later

- Wow that was a lot.

- Well I started work at United Medical Endoscopy Center (or UMEC, as it most assuredly will be called from now on) on Friday. I worked 7 hours (mostly hardcore training from Cy) there and then left there and pretty much went straight to JC to work for another 7 hours. The UMEC stuff is a lot like my AVSC (Antelope Valley Surgery Center, my job before JC - I worked there for about 8 months after my Junior year and into my Senior year before being laid off) stuff that I did, except this is more computer work and different filing stuff. However, I'm still in a medical center. I am still filing (and sorting people's charts!). I am still occasionally seeing pictures of people's colons (not always the prettiest thing - actually, it never is even remotely appealing to the eye). And I am still finding fun names and laughing my head off at them (note to Tom: today I found our best one! It was so cool to see it again! . . the rest of you wanna know, huh? Maybe later . . .). All that to say, I'm very gracious to my other other Mama for giving me another job. Very gracious, indeed.

- JC is crazy right now. I don't wanna talk about it. It pisses me off just thinking about that place. Well, I will say that I turned down the offer to do Salads. It just wasn't gonna be my cup o' tea per se. Thanks anyway Jenn.

- Sunday night went from being a potentially great night to being a bust to being a really great night. Wanna read on, don't ya? Well I had been attempting to work out a Poker game at my house for that night. Of course, it did not work. I was bummed out, to say the least. Well, Manny ended up coming over anyway (he had been the only one who wanted to play as bad as I did) and we ended up chatting/playing cards/watching ROUNDERS (again) until 0130 Monday morning (which was bad because we both had to get up around 0700). We had a lot of fun, though. I feel like I've known the guy for years, but really it's only been a month or so. Funny how things work out. . . Well he even asked me to fill in as one of his groomsmen, since the one he had planned on having is currently MIA. I said it'd be an honor and a pleasure (since I know and am friends with both him and his fiance', Jenn - who is Justin's sister). I'm excited. Ok, real quick; I have to tell you how I lost our game. Here's the scenario: We're about even in chips (he's got a bit more than me) after almost two hours of playing. We both put in half our chips before the flop (I had an A-5 of spades). The flop comes out 2-3-4 with two spades. Not only did I flop the wheel (the straight that goes from Ace to Five) and the nut flush (the best possible flush) draw, but I also had a straight flush draw, only needing the 3 of spades to get the second best possible hand in Hold-Em. I bet a little to draw a call or a raise. He raised me all-in and I called before he could count out the chips. I had it. Well, not quite. He flips over a 7-3 off-suit (terrible starting hand - actually the second worst I think) meaning he only had a pair of 3's. The turn (fourth card) was a 7. Now he had two pair. The only possible way for him to win was to hit an impossible 7 or 3 (of which only one would help him since the 3 of spades would give me the straight flush) on the river. I burned a card (as always) and left the river face down, asking him to flip it. He took it, looked at it himself and began laughing, saying "You better turn away". He spins the card on the table, showing me the 3 of clubs, giving him a full house, which of course was better than my straight. I was so mad I could only laugh (which we did; for about five minutes). O well. Good story to tell of my bad beat. DAMMIT MANNY!!!

- Well, I should retire for the night. It's now 0030 and I gotta get up early again to work at UMEC before my BIO class at 1230. That's twelve hours from now. Ew. . .

O, and the name is SHIRLEY A. MANN - - read the middle initial too. It's what makes it so grand!

Goodnight all! See ya soon (we'll see)!

- - - "My computer is my wife and the college is my home"
- - - Mr. Heidary, my Psych teacher, at the orientation today. Could be misconstrued. . .

Sophomore Justin

Thursday, August 17, 2006

El Pesar Es Una Perra

(Very loosely) translated, the above title reads: "Regret (or actually, the grief) is a bitch". And it is. I had a really bad night because of one thing. One thing. And honestly, dear readers, that one thing will hurt me for another week. I'll get to that later - I gotta lot going on, and I'm gonna try to get it all out to you, but it's late and I have to be up at 0700. Well, what the hell. I better get used to this no sleep thing - school starts next week. Dangit. . .

I believe I said something the other day about heading to Arizona (I just checked - yes I did). Well the trip can be summed up in one phrase, (which I used to describe an attempted nap on the way home): "More frustrating than refreshing". Was the trip beneficial? Yes. Does the couch look good in my room? Yeah, I spose it does. Am I excited about the coolness that is having a couch in one's room? Of course. HOWEVER, you have to understand how much we drove in a 24-hour period. It took us 6.5 hours to get there on Tuesday night (we didn't lay down in our hotel beds until 0030 on Wednesday morning - and then we woke up at 0700) and then, because of the trailer we were pulling, it took us 8 whole hours to get home. We were driving more than we were there! The ride over wasn't that bad, because I actually got to drive for a few hours (from Palm Springs to Quartzsite) and that broke it up a bit. God, that ride home though. Man it was rough. You see, I'm an extremely impatient driver. My comfortable speed is between 75 and 80 (I wouldn't lie about this - yeah, I speed, but it's really within the flow of traffic). The entire way home, we never exceeded 65 (and really stayed between 55 and 60) because, again, of the trailer. It was SO frustrating for me! I mean, yeah, we made it home and now I have a couch, but holy crap I was going crazy inside. Did my dad and I have a bonding experience and did we enjoy the time we shared? Yeah, but I'm sure he'd admit that all that driving was really unnecessary (we came up with alternatives to us going to get the couch only after we had already picked it up and were heading home) as much as I do. O well. What's done is done. . .

So last night, Justin and Cy came over after I had set up my couch. They liked it, and actually gave me a few pointers and such (Cy's I think will be discarded - I think I like my couch where it is. . . I'm just not sure!). Justin and I actually played NHL FACEOFF '98 for PS2 for about two hours (I think - I kinda lost track). Either way, he beat me 5-4 in the games we played (meaning he won five and I won four - I was up 4-2 also - dangit) but it was a lot of fun to play the old school hockey game - I think we've found our new NBA JAM!

I woke up this morning (after having gone to bed around 0200 - that's 19 hours of being awake) around 1130. I really hate that! (Note: It won't happen again for a long-ass time with my new workload upcoming - you'll see) Anywho, I got showered, ready, and rocked and rolled out of the house. I went to Cy's work (actually, it's his mom's too ha ha) to fill out some paperwork to get me started over there doing what I did best for about seven months a couple years ago. You see, I was a file clerk for Mrs. Serrano (who I lovingly refer to as "Mama") over at the ANTELOPE VALLEY SURGERY CENTER from June 2004-March 2005 with my good buddy Tom Mierau. We did all sorts of grunt work over there, but got paid damn good money doing it (we made $10.50 an hour doing that - it was awesome!). Well, when Mama left there (she was nursing director at the time) to begin her own medical center of sorts, mine and Tom's role became more and more forgettable for those now in charge. We got laid off in March and it was then that I began my great job search (which didn't result in a job until August of 2005 when I got a hosting job at a new Italian restaurant. . .). Cy has been working for his mom (doing what Tom and I did plus more) this summer, and now that school is starting for him and his co-workers, Mama needs another helper. Enter me. I'm actually starting in the morning because that's the only time that Cy and I are both gonna be available - he's gotta train me (which might be weird at first. . .). Next week, when school starts, the times that we're gonna be there kinda overlap. When I'm there, he won't be. When he's there, well, you can figure it out. But, yeah, I'm excited cuz that'll be an extra 10-15 hours of work for me (pay isn't as good, but it's still money man) and that'll put me ever-closer to being able to get married (my ultimate reason for working so much - can't get married til I got money!). I can't wait (for marriage, of course haha)!!!

Speaking of marriage, on to why none of that is going through my head. While I should be jovial and excited about my new opportunites (among them, a chance to train as a SALAD CHEF at JC - a couple of the former salad guys got canned, so myself and Chris were asked if we were interested in mixing in a few chef days with out TT days. . . training begins next week. . . scary!), I can't get my head past what I did tonight when truly the most exciting thing of the week happened to me. You see, Heather has not been able to get a hold of me in a long time. Well, she hasn't tried. I understand that phone/internet access is difficult for her to get (and I truly wouldn't want her to go crazy just trying to get in touch with me - - well maybe I would. . .) but it's been really hard for me to get through these weeks barely hearing from her. Honestly, in the four weeks she's been gone (yep, the countdown has reached it's final week!) we've talked for cumulatively under an hour. That's it. It's not enough for me. Well, tonight I finally heard from her (of course she called me during work - my bad luck!). However, I wasn't thinking straight. We were kinda busy (or at least I was - a few too many tables had gotten up at the same time) so I answered my phone in a rush and said that I was at work and really couldn't talk (which was partially true - I could have gone outside for a few minutes). Add that together with the fact that I couldn't hear her (I was in the corner of the restaurant - not great reception I tell you) very well and you have our thirty second conversation. I did hear an "I love you" which brightened my day like none other (it's hard not hearing that as much as I'm used to. . .) and I responded with my own "I love you too" but who knows if she heard me. . I realized after I hung up (something I really really didn't want to do - you know, the guys at work were razzing me about just missing "the loving" - whatever that means ha ha - but the things I miss most are things like her voice, her laugh, and her presence; all I really want is to be in the same room as her!) that I should have just let her leave me a message if I didn't have time to talk. At least I would have known what was going on with her! True, her mom called me later on in the night and left a message saying that they were boarding their plane for Fiji, but I would have loved to wish her a safe journey or, o I don't know, anything but what I did. I was so mad at myself! Heather, if you read this, I'm sorry. I really am. . . You see, when I hear from her, I have so much (a week's worth - the last time I talked to her was last Thursday and the time before that was the Thursday prior) to tell her, that I kinda lose track of everything that's going on. My head kinda goes bonkers, so to speak. Reliving it right now makes me mad again. Great. Now I gotta go to sleep upset at myself. . .

This trip has been hard on me. I thought I'd be fine and have moments of insanity (brief, of course) but altogether be alright (I think I just used two words that are "bad English" - sorry Grandma Pat!). Well, I'm not! Tonight, I was so frustrated with myself that I had to take like five mintues to collect myself. I was angry, and when I get angry, it evolves into sadness. I was on the verge of tears when I was by myself collecting my thoughts. It was so hard to keep it all in. I haven't cried in so long (being macho means you don't cry - and I've had to be that way whenever I think of Heather being away, especially when we dropped them off four weeks ago - I had to be strong for Barbara) that I don't know how long I would if I let it all go - the frustration, the pining, the just plain insane amount that I miss Heather - and I don't know if I'll ever know. I'm gonna be so busy over the next week (I'm working a total of almost 15 hours tomorrow between my two jobs, and then I start school and then my life with two jobs on Monday) that it's gonna fly by, and before I know it, the greatest day ever will have arrived (next Thursday!!!). I don't know. I'm not sure what I learned about myself. I think I need to think a bit more about me and my crazy head. I still don't know what Heather sees in me - - I think I've got her hypnotized or something :D - - -

Well, now that it's 0100, and I have to wake up in six hours, I'm gonna retire for the night. Sorry for this "downer post". I just had to let that off my chest. . .

Thanks for listening (all four of you ha ha). I appreciate it.

- - - "Well the truth is, I miss you. Yeah the truth is, that I miss you so."
- - - "Warning Sign" by COLDPLAY

Goodnight (or good morning - - ),


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Rambler's Rambling: Year Two

Happy Anniversary/Birthday/Whatever to me! Well, not me, but this here website. You see, it was one year ago, on an August 15th that had me gearing up for my first year of college as well as preparing to begin orientation for my brand new job at a brand new restaurant, that I began A RAMBLER'S RAMBLING. With the help (but not a lot) from my good buddy Cy (who frequents this blog - actually he probably visits mine more than he does his ha ha), I began a quest that I hoped would last a couple months and result in a couple nice pieces of writing that I could have to remember.


I took right to the whole blogging experience and kept up pretty well throughout my first semester at AVC and continued to blog occasionally through my very busy second semester. This summer, it's been off and on, but it's also provided my two most favorite posts I've ever done (MY GIRL: A retelling of mine and Heather's "story"; THE REST O' THE YEAR MOVIE PREVIEW: My last post - it's really really good in my opinion and I hope you think so too).

And today, the first day I'm posting from a new location (well, I guess I can't hide it forever - I'm completely rearranging my room and my computer desk is on the other side of my room now) is also a day that I'm bon voyaging for a day. My dad and I are heading to my home state of ARIZONA for a banzai trip. You see, my great-grandmother (one of them - I still have two living actually) died a few months back and I received the option to get her couch. Well, my room is pretty big actually (it's more of a loft, but I've made a nice home out of it) so I'm gonna set it up in my room. Plus, when I move out (could be next August - fingers crossed) I'll be able to possibly take it with me (depending on where I go and all). But I must get it first. So we're leaving in about two hours and then coming home tomorrow afternoon. Quick, I know, but that's the only way to do it.

So, yeah. That big secret I had a week or so ago has now been revealed (it was just that my room looks completely different than it used to and will continue to change with the addition of my new couch - I had wanted it to be a surprise to Heather when she comes back, but the appearance of it still will be - SURPRISE honey!) and I'm really excited about it. My room is gonna look really good. I can feel it! Maybe I'll take some pictures. . .

Well, I gotta get myself ready to roll here in a bit, but I could not not (double negatives are just fine in my book) post on my anniversary thingy. So, enjoy!

Let's just hope that a year from now, after having made giant decisions (at this point next year, I hope to be gearing up for my Junior year in college at a brand new school to me, Cal State Northridge, as well as having a job transfer of some sorts or something - lots happening next August!), that I'll be able to continue on with A RAMBLER'S RAMBLING. Everytime I post, I just hope that someone gets five minutes (or in the case of my last post - the movie preview - fifteen minutes ha ha) of fun and laughs and ponderment because of me.

Thanks to all who have ever ventured to this here site and read anything that I've ever typed. You don't have to come back, but you just might miss something important - you never know!

And in the words of you truly:

"And so begins the blogging journal of yours truly, Master Justin Gott. Is one's life complete without the emergence of a blog in their life? Do people actually read these so-called "Web Logs"? Is this even gonna work or am I completely over my head in technical mumbo-jumbo? I don't even know, so we're gonna learn together. That's right. All four of you will read this.
Thanks for reading. Thank you. And Goodnight."

Can't say much more than that! But I gotta end the same way I did a year ago. . .

- - - Michael Buble' is feeling good


Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Rest O' The Year Movie Preview

Wow - I don't really know what I'm getting myself into with this! My Summer Movie Preview contained a list of 25 movies (and a Wildcard - which later became a part of the Top 25) and a brief explanation for its status in the list. Well. . . The end of the year is always a huge time for movies (not unlike the Summer) but what's different about them is their substance. The "good" movies come out between September and December. This is Oscar Season. While some of these movies on the list coming up will definitely be heard from come next March and April (the time of the Academy Awards), some certainly will not. You see, there are pure pleasure (comedies, horror films) movies coming out soon too. And I was honest with this list. As you'll see. What will follow is my list of the TOP 40 (yes, you read that right) films that are being released betweeen September and the end of the calendar year. I desire to see all of these films for one reason or another (which I will explain) although I feel I need not explain myself (ha ha - but I will anyway). This will be good practice for the future Journalist, I think. Also, you will find links (if you haven't noticed, I figured out how to place HTML links in my posts - click and you get sent somewhere else) to movie information pages and trailers. This is a service I am providing you. I'll be expecting payment via a check or cash in the mail. Thanks :D - - (That's a joke ladies and gents) - -

Ok folks. Here we go!!! (And just so you know, you're gonna need QUICKTIME to view a vast majority of the trailers. So go download it!)

40. NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (12/22) This film is one of those classic family comedies that releases right around Christmas to get the whole family to come out to the movies. Ben Stiller stars in this movie as a security guard at The Museum of Natural History that comes to life after the doors are closed. Robin Williams also shows up as Teddy Roosevelt (yes, our former President - former as in really long ago ha ha) and for that reason alone, this movie makes it on the list. The teaser shows a T-Rex skeleton chasing Stiller through the halls of the museum. I've seen this before. It's called JURASSIC PARK. And then the dinosaur was real, not just bones. O well - can't blame 'em for trying! TRAILER

39. OPEN SEASON (09/29) Another in the long line of animated animal movies (there will actually be two more appearing later on in the list too). This one stars Martin Lawrence (who, I believe has a great voice for animation) as a bear who has grown up in a house and must make it out in the wild for once. He gets help from a small, fast-talking deer voiced by none other than Ashton Kutcher. I know, once you've seen one animated animal movie, you've seen them all (read: THE WILD, MADAGASCAR, BARNYARD) but this one has a little bit more to offer, including the great voices of Patrick Warburton (Kronk from EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE) and Jon Favreau (Vince Vaughn's buddy from SWINGERS, MADE, and THE BREAK-UP). TRAILER

38. CHARLOTTE'S WEB (12/20) Another remake of a classic family movie. This one is a live-action version of the animated film from 1973. Young Dakota Fanning is jumping into the role of Fern, the young girl who befriends a pig named Wilbur and family fun ensues. The voice cast is quite extraordinary actually: Julia Roberts (Charlotte, the angelic spider), Steve Buscemi (Templeton, the trouble-making rat), and various other animals voiced by the likes of Thomas Haden Church, Robert Redford, John Cleese, Andre Benjamin, Reba McEntire, Kathy Bates, and even Oprah Winfrey! The giant, high-class cast, as well as the fact that it's a new version of an old favorite (I remember watching it many times at my grandma's house) film make this one worth going to (plus, I know for a fact that Heather will want to see it). TRAILER

37. THE BLOOD DIAMOND (12/15) Not a lot is known about this movie, especially since there is no trailer out yet. What I do know is that Leonardo Dicaprio (always a good bet with Leo) is starring as a South African mercenary in this Edward Zwick (THE LAST SAMURAI, GLORY) film. Djimon Hounsou (of GLADIATOR fame) costars along with Jennifer Connelly (A BEAUTIFUL MIND, HULK) in what should be a pretty intense visit to 1990's Africa. Head here for more information, if you want, but I'll be there at some point just because I really like Dicaprio. Hell, I've seen that Titanic boat sink to the bottom of the Atlantic a few times, so this is no stretch for me.

36. THE BLACK DAHLIA (09/15) Supposedly a part of the novel series that brought us what would become the film L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, this movie appears to be a tasty film noir attempt. I absolutely love detective/crime movies (probably my favorite genre) and this one appears like it has the potential to be one of the better ones. A great cast in this one as well (Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart - who recently astounded audiences in THANK YOU FOR SMOKING - Hillary Swank, and Scarlett Johansson) will bring me to see if the crime gets solved right (it usually does, right?). Also, Brian De Palma, the director, has been known to create some great great films (THE UNTOUCHABLES, SCARFACE) so we'll see if he can strike gold again. TRAILER

35. JET LI'S FEARLESS (09/22) In what is supposed to be (it's in the tagline, so it better be) Jet Li's final martial arts epic, Li plays (what else?) a guy who defies a country with his kick ass fighting skills and inspires a whole lot of people. Or something like that. It looks like the fight choreography (done by famous choreographer Yuen Wo Ping) is really good, as is always true with Li's movies. I could see myself waiting for this one on DVD, but it still makes an appearance because it's (again, maybe) Jet Li's last martial arts movie. We'll just see about that. . . TRAILER

34. EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (10/06) Ginormously successful stand-up comedian Dane Cook (who is also my friend on Myspace ha ha) gets his first starring role in this teeny comedy co-starring MTV's own Dax Shepherd (you know him from the first season of PUNK'D or from a comedy called WITHOUT A PADDLE) and Jessica Simpson. Yep, no acting awards will be given for this one! Either way, it's about two workers at a COSTCO (in the film it's KOSTMART I think, but that's what it is) vie for the love of the new employee played by Simpson. A strong comedic supporting cast (Andy Dick, Harland Williams) plus the involvement of Cook makes me wanna cough up my five dollars for this one. TRAILER

33. FAST FOOD NATION (10/20) A possible compaion piece to this year's THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (the best movie, in my opinion, of the year so far), it's an adaptation of the widely successful book of the same name. A satirical comedy of sorts, but mostly a revealing drama (not documentary), NATION stars Greg Kinnear (always good for a few laughs) among others in this film by acclaimed director Richard Linklater. If it's half as good as THANK YOU FOR SMOKING is, then it'll be alright in my book. TRAILER

32. THE WICKER MAN (09/01) This horror remake (is there any other kind of horror movie nowadays - - ) stars Nicolas Cage (a man who can do NO WRONG in my book) as a broken down cop (after witnessing the death of a young girl) who goes on the hunt for answers to the questions of the whereabouts to another little girl. The plot may be kinda normal for your usual spook-fest, but the visuals put forth by the trailer are scary in themselves and Cage is a quality actor who can make you believe anything is possible (or believable). It's the first scary movie on this list (with two more to follow) which just goes to show that horror is still in baby! TRAILER

31. THE GOOD SHEPHERD (12/22) Really, what is getting me interested in this one is the cast (Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro). De Niro actually is the man behind the camera in this espionage thriller (his first stint as a director since 1993's A BRONX TALE). Add to the top-notch cast a Christmastime release date, and it has all the makings of a quality end-of-the-year film. No trailer yet, but that could really change this around for this SHEPHERD. I will wait with expectancy to be sure.

30. BOBBY (11/17) A mishmash of stories will be told as Emilio Estevez ("the Mighty Ducks guy" - that's for you ROXBURY fans out there) writes and directs about the last night of former Presidential hopeful and American favorite Robert F. Kennedy. An all-star cast includes Elijah Wood, Sharon Stone, William H. Macy, Lindsay Lohan, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Demi Moore, Christian Slater, and Laurence Fishburne (and will also include small parts for both Estevez and his daddy Martin Sheen). The story of Kennedy's last night is what intrigues me, not the cast (although that helps) or Estevez (meh, I guess that's ok). With a CRASH-like plot, I hope, for Estevez's sake, that it works. If it does, you could see Coach Bombay at the Oscars next year. No trailer yet.

29. TENACIOUS D IN THE PICK OF DESTINY (11/17) Although I have no prior Tenacious D experience (I have never heard a CD of theirs), I am a huge Jack Black fan. And the thing that makes this one appealing is the fact that he's essentially playing himself (something he does to perfection; see SCHOOL OF ROCK and HIGH FIDELITY if you don't believe me). A truly odd premise, I hope that fans of D will make this one a success and that non-fans (like me) will be introduced to the truly weird, wild, and wacky world of Jack and Kyle in a great way. TRAILER

28. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS (12/15) No, I didn't spell it wrong. That's the title of the new Will Smith movie. Is it action-packed? No. Are aliens involved? Nope. What about robots or Martin Lawrence? Neither of them as well. So what could he possibly be doing then? Well Smith is trying to win that Oscar that evaded him when he was nominated for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali back in 2001. It's also a book adapatation and has him playing a struggling daddy (oddly enough to his own son, Jaden, who co-stars in this, his first film) who wants to turn his life around from the poverty that he's in. A possibly inspirational film, it all revolves around Big Willie because there are no other big names appearing (save for Thandie Newton from CRASH and M:I:2). I hope it's successful because I like Will. And I would hate to see him go down in flames, unlike the character he plays (I'm assuming it's a happy ending). TRAILER (You need Windows Media Player here

27. CRANK (09/01) Jason Statham rocks. Straight up. Another starring-vehicle for him gives him essentially the same requirements as always: Look cool. Do dangerous crap. Be buff. Well that's about what this film is. Shoot, I'm just gonna kick back and enjoy the nonsense. No questions asked! TRAILER

26. RUNNING WITH SCISSORS (10/27) Another adaptation from a book, this movie appears to be really quirky and it has the possibility of becoming one of those critic faves that does really well in the writing department come Oscar time. Brian Cox, Annette Bening, Evan Rachel Wood, and Alec Baldwin are all supporting characters to young, up-and-coming actor Joseph Cross who could really make a name for himself here. Watch for this one come March when the nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay come out. TRAILER

25. FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS (10/20) Clint Eastwood is back with this story about the guys who raised the flag at Iwo Jima back during World War II. Next year, Eastwood plans to release a companion film about the Japanese soldiers who were around there at that time. Could be interesting. The reason this one is lower is the cast. It's a bunch of younger guys who are trying to show their acting chops. I like Ryan Philippe (CRASH) and Barry Pepper (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), but Paul Walker (FAST AND THE FURIOUS) and Jesse Bradford (SWIMFAN)? Really? I'm not so sure about that one yet. No trailer yet.

24. LUCKY YOU (10/27) The much-delayed Poker film is finally seeing the light of day. I hope. Eric Bana (MUNICH) stars as a Poker player who runs into all sorts of personal demons at the World Series of Poker when his dad (Robert Duvall), also a professional player, shows up and brings with him all sorts of fun memories. Director Curtis Hanson (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, 8 MILE) has promised that it's not all about Poker, but about people and conflict and all that good stuff. I don't care anymore! I just wanna see it! (It was supposed to come out last year!) TRAILER

23. MAN OF THE YEAR (10/13) What if someone like Jon Stewart ran for President and then actually won? That's what this Barry Levinson-directed comedy asks. Robin Williams (in what appears to be a return to true Robin form) plays the Stewart character and his sidekicks range from Lewis Black (an actual Stewart sidekick) to Christopher Walken (can't go wrong with that casting!). An interesting concept (I myself would probably vote for Stewart if he ran!) and a hilarious group of comedy faves (add Jeff Goldblum into the mix as well) make me really excited to laugh in October. TRAILER (You need AOL Player here)

22. ALL THE KING'S MEN (09/22) The one thing that bothers me about this adaptation of the famous Robert Penn Warren novel (I've actually never read the book, but I've heard it's really good) is the delay in getting it into theatres. It was supposed to come out last December, but was pushed back because it wasn't ready. Hmmm... Either way, Sean Penn, Jude Law, Mark Ruffalo, and James Gandolfini are all here (along with Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, and Patricia Clarkson) to remake the Best Picture winner of the 1949 Oscars. Best of luck Willie Stark. Best of luck. TRAILER (You need Windows Media Player here)

21. DEJA VU (11/24) Denzel Washington (consistently strong acting) in a Tony Scott (crazy visuals and wild ideas) film about a cop who is trying to solve a case while dealing with that feeling that he's been there before. Call me intrigued. TRAILER

THE TOP 20!!!!

20. HAPPY FEET (11/17) A film that Heather is all sorts of pumped up for, I find it amusing as well. It's essentially the animated equivalent to MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, only with comedic efforts. Robin Williams (again!), Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, and Hugh Jackman are all penguins in this different look at the lives of our little tux-wearing friends from the Arctic. The toe-tapping trailer (and Williams' antics) are hilarious, so I'm crossing my fingers on this one. THAT TOE-TAPPING TRAILER

19. HOLLYWOODLAND (09/08) Another crime movie (it's a good season for me!!!) has Adrien Brody searching up and down Los Angeles for the truth about real-life television Superman George Reeves' death. Reeves is played in flashbacks by Ben Affleck (who I really like) and Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins (WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?) are co-starring. An intense drama to be sure, I'm already curious in a whodunit sort of way! TRAILER

18. ROCKY BALBOA (12/22) Number Six. Wow Stallone's old. I wanna see it for that reason alone. (O and I wanna hear EYE OF THE TIGER just once! Is that so much to ask?) TRAILER

17. APOCALYPTO (12/08) Even with all this Mel Gibson-bashing going on, his historical epic is still planning on being released. To me, I don't care. The movie hasn't changed into an Anti-Semitic movie just about Jew-bashing. It's still the same movie he made a year or so ago. The ancient Mayans struggled with internal issues just like we do - isn't that the truth! Although the subtitles could throw me off (I'm not a huge foreign film fan), I'm intrigued. I'll be there Mel! TRAILER

16. THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP (09/22) The most recent film made by ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND director Michael Gondry looks just as kooky and crazy as his last movie (he did direct DAVE CHAPELLE'S BLOCK PARTY, but I'm talking about feature films, not documentaries). He'd honestly get me there with the trailer alone! See for yourself: TRAILER

15. THE FOUNTAIN (11/24) A sci-fi epic written and directed by Darren Aronofsky (the acclaimed director of REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and PI) that stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. This movie travels through time from 1600 to 2600 and then back to the present day showing the lives of three different couples (or are they?) all played by Jackman and Weisz. It looks pretty trippy and it's been ready for awhile, but apparently Aronofsky has just been preparing it more. I just saw that it's only 96 minutes long! I don't know about that, though. . . TRAILER

14. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING (10/04) The second horror movie on the list (and not the last), this prequel to the 2003 scare-fest has all the makings of another hit. The first one was intense, disturbing, and scary - everything you'd ask for in a TEXAS CHAINSAW remake. This one has all new characters (thank God - no more Jessica Biel!) except for the scary-ass cannibalistic family that wreaked havoc the last time around. Scary stuff. Bonus points for using the same formula on the trailer as they did on the first one (the remake had one of the best trailers ever!). TRAILER (Note: You can only watch this trailer online between 10 pm and 4 am - sorry)

13. BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN (11/03) Sacha Baron Cohen (better known as Ali G or as the French NASCAR driver in TALLADEGA NIGHTS) is starring in this film actually titled the above. I will just call it funny! TRAILER

12. JACKASS: NUMBER 2 (09/22) Yep, it's a sequel. The movie no respecting critic would applaud now has another part to it. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't go see it or that I'm excited for it. I am SO EXCITED for this movie, plainly because I know for a fact that I will be laughing at one point or another (but probably both!). You can't deny that! TRAILER

11. CHILDREN OF MEN (09/29) A very interesting, grungy-looking film about the very near future. Clive Owen (an actor who, if he plays his cards right, will be appearing on my list of favorite actors) stars alongside Julianne Moore and the always-great Michael Caine (however, like we've never seen him - he plays a goofy, philosophical hippie; wow that was a redundant description!) in this anti-BLADE RUNNER. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the guy who directed the third HARRY POTTER movie as well as the largely successful foreign film Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, this gritty drama looks really really good. I'm pretty stoked for this one! Basically, women can't have babies anymore and the human race is preparing for extinction. Owen comes across (by way of his ex-wife, Moore) a girl who is pregnant and they must get her to safety to keep our civilization going. Intrigued? I am. TRAILER

O MAN! THE TOP 10!!!

10. A GOOD YEAR (11/08) Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott. Yep, I'll be there. Although it's not a sandal epic (like their prior collaboration, you may have heard of it, GLADIATOR), this one looks just as powerful. Crowe plays a wealthy London stock-broker who hears that his uncle has died and left the vineyard, where he had a majority of his childhood, to him. When he goes, of course his life is changed. But does he sell the vineyard and continue on with his wheelin' and dealin' lifestyle? That's why we go to the movies! TRAILER

9. THE HOLIDAY (12/08) A stellar cast (Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, and Jack Black) makes for a very interesting holiday rom-com (romantic comedy). Two women switch places for the holidays (Winslet from England and Diaz from L.A.) because they're fed up with their present situations. They both meet men (not in their plan) and must deal with the rest that occurs. Law and Black play the love-interests (Watch the trailer and tell me that Jack Black does not look freakin' cool in this movie! I dare you!). Good stuff. TRAILER

8. CASINO ROYALE (11/17) Another JAMES BOND movie? Yep, but not quite. A redux version, if you will, of the entire Bond franchise is in the hands of new Bond Daniel Craig (of LAYER CAKE fame). I, for one, cannot understand all of the griping by the "die-hards" who say that he's no good as James Bond. I think he'll be awesome and I can't wait to see what he does with the role. The film was rewritten by CRASH writer/director Paul Haggis and directed by GOLDENEYE (The only Brosnan Bond film that was any good) director Martin Campbell. A better, grittier Bond is supposed to hit us hard come November. I'm glad that Bond and his martinis are back. And it's Bond, not Blonde (Craig is the first blonde Bond)! TRAILER

7. THE GOOD GERMAN (12/08) Thanks goes out to Entertainment Weekly for showing me more about this one! A black and white movie directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney, Tobey Maguire, and Cate Blanchett! I'm there! (It takes place in WWII Berlin around the time of a meeting between Stalin, Churcill, and Truman). No Trailer yet.

6. BABEL (11/10) A gritty, CRASH-like drama starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Set in the middle East, this film looks pretty dang intense. If you can only watch one trailer, I would recommend this one because it's hard to explain in words what it all will entail. Good stuff, though. I promise. TRAILER

Well ladies and gentlemen, I've made it to the TOP 5 (and so have you, I hope)! It's been almost three hours since I started this here dealio, so I hope you've enjoyed it thus far. So without further ado, here's the final 5:

5. THE LAST KISS (09/15) My boy Zach Braff is back in a movie written by CRASH writer/director Paul Haggis. This coming-of-age movie is about a guy (Braff) who is in a serious relationship with the perfect woman when he goes through a bit of a crisis and considers going after that flame that he meets at a big get-together (THE O.C.'s Rachel Bilson). Other stories include great actors Tom Wilkinson and Blythe Danner as well as little bro Casey Affleck in what appears to be a funny/heartfelt/sad/great movie. I have high hopes. Don't let me down there buddy! (Use the Zach Braff link to get to the trailer)

4. SAW III (10/27) Yep. Another SAW movie. This is the third straight Halloween that I will be able to be involved with the sadistic nature of the serial killer Jigsaw. The first two (more the first one than the second one - although the second one's ending was awesome!) blew my mind and I have just the same expectations with this one. The teaser trailer played before THE DESCENT but it has yet to appear online. It looks like it'll offer the same amount of gore, craziness, and just straight-up villainy as the first two. Bring it on!

3. THE PRESTIGE (10/20) This one has all the makings! Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman star as opposing magicians in turn-of-the-century London with the assistance of both Michael Caine and Scarlet Johannson. That would be enough to get me there, but the director is none other than the great Christopher Nolan (MEMENTO, BATMAN BEGINS)! For that reason alone, THE PRESTIGE has jumped up multiple stops and I cannot wait to see this movie! TRAILER

2. STRANGER THAN FICTION (11/10) Another Will Ferrell movie? Yeah, I know, the guy does too much, but it appears as though he's picked the right role in this situation. A Charlie Kaufman-type dramedy (in that it explore the inner workings of the human mind), FICTION (directed by FINDING NEVERLAND director Marc Forster) stars Ferrell as Harold Crick, a lowly IRS agent who suddenly begins hearing a woman's voice in his head describing everything that he does. Turns out, it's an author (Emma Thompson) who is writing a novel about one Harold Crick and her novel is actually coming to life in the form of Ferrell's character. Confused? Yeah, well it goes deeper. The author gets the idea to kill off Crick and so he must decide how to get to her before she does so (with the assistance of a philospher/professor played by Dustin Hoffman). He also goes on a journey of his own as he's learning about himself and life and death and all that jazz. I'm very intrigued and I will certainly be going to see this one. TRAILER

Now, for what you've all been waiting for. The Number One Movie of the next four months!

THE DEPARTED (10/06) There are several reasons this film sits as the number one most anticipated movie by yours truly. 1) Directed by Martin Scorsese; 2) It stars Leonardo Dicaprio and Matt Damon as well as Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg; 3) The plot is intense! Dicaprio plays a cop who goes undercover into the Irish mafia while Damon plays a dirty cop who is in cahoots with the Irish mafia - chaos ensues; and finally, the biggest reason that this movie is numero uno, 4) Jack Nicholson plays the head of the Irish Mafia that Dicaprio infiltrates. Yep. Jack is back! The trailer is actually a little iffy with an oddly-placed song, but that's not the movie. This film is gonna be great and I really really can't wait for this one! TRAILER

There you have it you ungrateful foes. Four hours later (once I go back and put all the links in) and I have this piece of information completed. I hope you learned something and I also hope that I introduced some films to you. Happy Movie-Watching!!!

The Rambler

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Two Halves Make A Whole

Ok, so if you wanna read the first half of this here post (well, kinda) then head here first before you read on. Just a precaution. You might get lost in a minute if you don't read that first. Secondly, well, I guess I have no second thought. So. . . On with the post!!!

I left off with George and I seeing TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY. Well, after we got out of the movie we started looking around at the other screens. You see, this theater that we went to has each movie listed at the door into the screen and also has the time that the next show begins. Well we got out of RICKY BOBBY around 1630 so we started looking for convenient films that we could sneak into. There were no employees to be found, so we figured we'd take the chance. We had our choice between a few films (unfortunately, MIAMI VICE, the film I wanted to see, began about fifteen minutes before we got out of our first film) but we ended up settling on M. Night Shyamalan's new film LADY IN THE WATER. This film, let me tell you straight up, is very, very weird. Some (like a reader responding in this week's Entertainment Weekly) saw it as a much deeper film (or something like that) but I just found it to be exactly what the teaser trailer said it was: "A Bedtime Story. . ." Was it entertaining? Kinda. And is it recommendable? Sorta. If you like Shyamalan's films (or at least some of them, like me) then it certainly won't hurt you. Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard both give convincing performances, even when saying words like "narf" and "tartutic" and "scrunt" however. Well, I guess I can say go see this movie if you have an open mind to experience a film that is different from pretty much everything else out there (well, except for all his other films). So, yeah. (Grade: C+)

After seeing LADY IN THE WATER, we headed back to his aunt's house (that's where he lives with his aunt and high school age cousin) to change into basketball clothes. We then headed to the park where we played basketball for almost two hours. That was fun. From there, we headed back and his aunt got home around the same time. We proceeded to make dinner (really good steak, mashed potatoes, and buttered carrots) and eat that up pretty fast. From there, it was back to the jacuzzi for the continuation of our stories and conversations. His cousin joined us for a lot of the conversation (she's pretty cool for a high schooler ha ha) and we finished around 0100 or so (I can't really remember). We had to get up kinda early on Tuesday morning though because George had to be at work kinda early. We said goodbye and see ya later (either me going back down there or him coming home for a brief amount of time) and then I hung out at the house for just long enough to get ready and whatnot and then I headed out.

I went to BEST BUY first to take advantage of a couple of deals they were having (Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Special Edition DVD'S - I bought SE7EN and MEMENTO - and 3 for $25 - I bought GOOD WILL HUNTING, ROUNDERS, and THE ROCK). From there, I headed south to meet up with the 76 freeway to take me west to Oceanside where Heather's dad works. He lives in San Clemente but his shop (he owns an Auto Body Shop called CARCOA) is in Oceanside. I had called him the day before asking if it was cool if I stopped by for lunch (figuring the attempt would count for something) and he had agreed. So I met him and then him, his wife Claudia, and I went to this French restaurant called Le Passage (I had been there before with them and Heather) for lunch. Lunch was really good and I think that our conversation was pretty good as well. I still get kinda stressed out (well not really stressed out, but nervous) when I am around her dad, so I kinda get a little jovial over a "successful" trip.

So I left there and began the long trek home (the trip took me about 2.5 hours). I got home and didn't feel very good actually. I laid in my bed watching the World Series of Poker on ESPN and then Cy called asking me to come rescue him and his sister Amber from COSTCO. I obliged and met them there and we headed to the Mall. We ate dinner at RED ROBIN (which was ok) and then walked around the Mall for quite awhile. Cy bought some VANS and I bought a couple more bargain-priced movies at GameStop (I bought the JURASSIC PARK 3-pack and THE GAME for a grand total of $17!). We had a good time people-watching and stuff (Amber's pretty funny when it comes to people) and then we left the Mall. We decided to go see a late-night movie (it began at 2140) because on Tuesday night's, the price for a ticket is the same as the matinee price. We went and saw what turned out to be one of the scariest films I have ever seen. THE DESCENT, a British horror film just recently released stateside, is scary, gory, and actually a good movie. Not a whole lot of horror movies are actual good films (read: none) so this one being so intense, scary, and actually a quality film makes it the surprise of the Summer. (Grade: A-) - - O and don't tell anyone, but I slept with my television on that night cuz I was still scared :D

I'm kinda blanking on Wednesday but that night I went over to Cy's and we watched a critically-acclaimed film from this year called BRICK. This was, by far, one of the most quirky films I have ever seen. The dialogue was so over-the-top (no one talks like this!) and the film was quite difficult to follow because of it. I didn't really like the movie. I was quite anticipating the movie because it was supposed to be so good and all and then with all the film noir bits and pieces it was supposed to be great. Well I was unimpressed. It was actually funny in the Unintentional kind of way. Bummer. (Grade: C)

I had to work on Thursday night, and then, obviously, tonight. I have to work tomorrow night also but then I'm off again until next Thursday. Yeah.

Well, I do have more to say (I think there's other things I was gonna say here tonight) but it is indeed 0300 in the morning. That's late (Or early, depending on how you look at it :D ).

- - - "Working hard and being hard at work is not the same thing."
- - - No joke: this quote was the quote to work by tonight at JOHNNY CARINO'S. It was posted by the main computer. Upon reading it a second time, I realized it was kind of a double entendre. Read it again. And think kinda dirty. . . Sorry :D

Goodnight everyone out there (and good morning to the East Coast!),

Late-Night Justin

Friday, August 11, 2006


So it's Friday afternoon and I have work in a little under two hours. I'm still reeling (blog-wise) from the whole power outage fiasco from two nights ago. DANGIT!!! I had some good movie review stuff in there too. O well. Let's see if I can (quickly) redo what I had. . .

So going to Murrieta was a lot of fun. I left on Sunday and it took me two hours to get down there (which was actually really good time). George and I went to MULLIGAN'S (a family fun center with Go-Karts, Mini Golf, Laser Tag, and arcade games) along with his fellow employees at Chick-Fil-A. You see, they're closed on Sundays (I believe the founder was religious) so they were having this employee appreciation dealio and I just happened to get in on the fun. We had these bracelets that got us into unlimited games (except arcade games) and we used them quite well. We drove the Go-Karts once (always fun - I finished third because these cheaters bumped me out of first), played one game of Laser Tag (I was third in points on my team - the winning team - and the only ones who beat me were these young kids who acted as base defenders for our team), and George, his friend Ryan, and I played one round of mini golf (I came in second with Ryan winning by one stroke on the last hole). It was actually quite a bit of fun. We also played some arcades, specifically one game called DRAGON PUNCH where you hit a punching bag and depending on how hard you hit (and the angle you hit it at) you get a certain amount of points. Well one guy had gotten the high score (9291) earlier that day and so all of us attempted to beat this high score. I watched as these guys used all their muscling efforts to beat this score but to no avail. I stepped up, finally, and took a whack at it. On my second try, I got my highest score of 9261, just thirty points shy of the high score. I couldn't believe it! Anyways, Ryan finally stepped up and Tai-Chi'd that bag to a score of 9299, which was enough to get us all to walk away.

We left MULLIGAN'S and headed to one of the other guy's houses to play some poker. You know me - if there's a Poker game, I'm there. And I'm there to win. Well, I told myself (and George) that I wouldn't be all "You gotta play the right way" if I went, seeing as I was the guest and all. WELL. . . Yeah it was pretty retarded. So each player (there were 10, and at $10 each, that was a nice pot to the victor) was given 50 chips, each one worth 1. That's right. I was so frustrated. I decided to just wait it out while the other (quite amateirish) players knocked themselves out. Well I got a great hand, went all-in, and got beat by a complete jackass with "Trip 2's" (That means three two's). So, by the request of George, I assisted him in his playing, seeing as I was by far the most experienced player at the table. If George won, he said he would split the winnings with me. Well, all that to say, George won and we both left with $45. It was a good night.

George and I ended up staying up until 0400 in the morning (from 0030-0330 in the jacuzzi) just talking about how things had been for both of us. It's really cool to hang out with George. We get along really well and it's cool to catch up with someone you haven't seen in three months. We slept in til noon (or just about), got ready, and went to lunch (Chick-Fil-A actually; it was my first experience. It was pretty good.) before we went to the movies. The first film we saw was the new Will Ferrell comedy TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY. I had pretty high hopes for this comedy, since it was "From the Guys who Brought You ANCHORMAN" and that film is one of my most favorite comedies ever. Well, it made ANCHORMAN become an all-time classic in my mind because RICKY BOBBY was just not that funny. I don't even remember laughing out loud (something I did frequently in CLERKS 2). A lot of the laughs come from cliches, and that kinda pissed me off more. You know that cute little kid who ends up having a wicked tongue? Yeah, there's two of those. You know that stereotypical Southern man who always has a beer in his hand and offers up drunken advice? Yeah, one of those too. Altogether, I would not recommend this comedy, simply because I didn't find it funny. Bummer. (Grade: C-)

Well, because of distractions (the season finale of the WORLD SERIES OF POP CULTURE) and errands (running to the credit union, going to Lenscrafters - more on that later - and taking Caleb to his swim lessons) I will be unable to finish this post right now. However, in hopes of not losing all this good stuff, I'm gonna post it and finish it tonight (very late) when I get home from work. I'll see ya later then!



Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Cause Of Frustration

Wanna know one of the biggest causes? Here it is:

- Power outages that happen while you're away from the computer while you're in the middle of a lengthy post. The post gets deleted cuz it's not saveable while being posted.

This happened tonight. I was in the middle of a WEEKEND GRAB-BAG and I got a call from Cy. I went over to his house to watch a movie and then came home to discover that the power had went out while I was away. I'm so frustrated!!!

Well I guess I'll finish it tomorrow sometime - or actually just plain do it. I have absolutely nothing to finish. . .

Sorry. Just blame power and its inability to stay on always. That's what I'm doing.

Now with power,


Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Side Effects of Pining

Hey all.

So it's Saturday morning/afternoon/whatever. I have to work at 1700 tonight. I worked 13 hours over the last two days and I have but one more day before my four days off. That is the one thing I like about this crappy schedule: My days aren't divied up throughout the week. It's three straight days and then I have four off. So, yeah. One more night.

Well, the Heather countdown is down to exactly 19 days as of 1320 this afternoon. And no, I'm not counting :D I really miss her. I got to talk to her yesterday for a whole five minutes (VERY EXCITING!) and she says that they made it to Sydney ok. Their vacation part of the trip has now begun. They get to enjoy all sorts of fun and stuff for the next two weeks and then head to Fiji for another five days of maxin' and relaxin'. I'm happy for her (I really, truly am) but at the same time I just want her back! I'm very selfish when it comes to my wonderful Heather. Again, if you don't like it - don't bother with me. Someday soon, it's gonna be me and her and that's it and I can't wait. She is who I need and it sucks being so very far apart.

Because I have little to do at this juncture (at least before school begins again - ARRGHH!!!), I've kinda done some things that I usually don't have time for. One of them, however, I can't talk about. But you already knew that. . . I've updated my DVD list (the ones I own), watched some movies (TAXI DRIVER: A great performance by Robert De Niro turns a potentially boring film into a memorable one (Grade: B); NATURAL BORN KILLERS: Probably the most demented, strange, and WTF movie I've ever seen. However, performances (Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr.) and the purpose of the film (showing both our and the media's infatuation with the potentially insane) make it noteworthy. It's certainly not recommendable because of its, well, it's just not okay (Grade: B-) - - - and also prepared, quite lengthily in fact, a giant post coming very soon. After my giant SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW in May, I've decided to do three of those a year, one for each "third" of the year. SO, the upcoming "TIL THE END O' THE YEAR MOVIE PREVIEW" is right around the corner, my friends, and it's bigger than the aforementioned SUMMER one. I'm gonna have to be at the top of my game, but I think I'm ready. Bring it on!

I'm heading out tomorrow afternoon for George's. I'll be hanging out there til sometime Tuesday and then I'll be home that night. I'll post Tuesday with an update on how all that went and you can expect the giganterrific (yes, it's now a word) post in the coming weeks (before school starts on the 21st for sure). So look for it!

Just thought I'd give you a what's up today since I won't post til Tuesday. Hope you have a great weekend (I think I will) and I'll see ya around the corner - - -

- - - "You're only as healthy as you feel."
- - - Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) in TAXI DRIVER

Later later alligators,


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cusack, Colbert, and Changed Campaigns

"Campaign" came up on the Thesaurus (via Microsoft Word) for the word "Plans". I needed a "C" word. Meh. That's what I do with my time. I come up with cute alliterative ways to improve my blog. It's for your enjoyment, not mine. I hope you do enjoy it. Just nod so I feel better. Thanks. . .

Today, well, today sucked. It really did. Here's why:

A) I woke up way later than I wanted. It's not like I had anything to do this morning (basketball has kinda taken a breather right now) but I hate waking up at 1130. I hate it! I feel like I wasted away the morning (well, I did) and it always begins my day with the opposite of a bang.

B) I did leave the house for three minutes to take a movie to the Post Office. SCORE!

C) I spent the following hours doing a mixture of the following: online poker, tv watching, web browsing. Yep, that's it. (Note: I moved on a bit more in my project - ya know, the one we do not mention here). I was waiting by the phone (or, actually, the phone was by me) for Heather to call around 1500 (that would be 0800 in the morning tomorrow where she is) but she didn't. I was sad. I was also waiting to hear from Justin around 1300ish cuz that's when he got out of work. I also didn't hear from him til much later. I was bummed.

D) Justin and I made plans to go to Black Angus with Jenn and Manny and then go see MIAMI VICE at 2030. Well, about a half hour before we were to meet, I called Justin and he said that he was no longer going because he was tired (rightfully so - he got up at 0400). Well, my plans then changed drastically. I ended up going from a full night's agenda to a boring night by myself (the rest of my family also had plans tonight). I called up NICK'S PIZZERIA and ordered an individual cheese pizza (light sauce of course) and a side salad (no dressing as always). I went and picked it up (a gift to leave home for a small amount of time) and took it home and ate while watching JEOPARDY. You can start calling me old names now - - -

E) After dinner, I came upstairs and caught a bit of MUST LOVE DOGS, the 2005 rom com starring Diane Lane and one of my most favorite actors, John Cusack. I have seen at least ten of his movies and I just truly enjoy his acting. So I watched the last half of this girly movie for two reasons: 1) I miss Heather. Chick flicks make me happy cuz they make me think of the incredible times that I have with my baby and 2) Cusack. End of story. After that, I watched a new episode of THE COLBERT REPORT, the incredibly funny and astute spinoff of THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART. This show is quickly moving up my charts when it comes to favorite television shows. Great stuff. Keep it up Stephen!

F) Now I'm blogging (obviously) and watching HIGH FIDELITY, another Cusack movie; my favorite of his.

Blah! What a day!!!!!!!!! And I mean that in such a shoobadawoop way (don't ask, it just came out!) that I can't take anymore. I'm going to bed almost pronto now just because I can't imagine staying up anymore.

Go rent HIGH FIDELITY. It's great!

- - - "What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"
- - - Rob (John Cusack) in HIGH FIDELITY