Friday, November 15, 2013
Since Keith in France asked... The title of each blog entry is the musical choice for my day. It's the CD that I drag around with me to enjoy while driving. And I rip it and keep it on my MP3 player until the stock in the 30GB rotates it out. I chose a disc for each day. It's my OCD thing and yes, I know it's funny.
Why do I use my CD of the Day as the title?
Well quite frankly, I'm too lazy to find a catchy title and I'd like to give you a peek into my music collection. You know... For what it's worth.
Now on to my update...
I found myself walking through nearly a foot of dead leaves in the backyard the other day. I slipped and nearly fell as made my way down a small hill. Leaves can be slick even when they’re dry.
Sam has been too busy with extracurricular activities to dedicate time for leaf sweeping the yard, so I decided I would give it a shot. How hard can it be to drive a riding mower?
I got that joker started, but I couldn’t find reverse. There was no gear shift! The only thing that looked like a gear shift was the lever that controlled the height of the actual mower bladey thing. (I think they call it a deck) There was a bright yellow lever near the steering wheel, but I didn’t understand its purpose. So I sat on a running mower reading over the printed instructions that weren’t very clear to me. I saw no mention of using reverse so I uttered “Screw it” and turned it off.
The leaves were going to wait until a more capable person came along.
I felt a little defeated. I had a beer ready to roll with me. I had my Zune MP3 player and ear buds ready with random musical goodness. I was prepared for leaf duty.
And dammit, I can drive a straight-drive car or truck.
That’s all I ever heard during my life. All those years my father drove it into my head… “If you can drive a car with a manual transmission, you can drive anything.”
Well, it looks like my father never warned me about the John Deere riding mower and it’s elusive reverse.
Here’s the real kicker…
The next day Sam and Chigger hit the lawn with an all out assault on the leaves. Sam was riding around the yard sweeping up leaves on the riding mower. Chigger was armed with a rake and leaf blower. They fought Mother Nature’s confetti cannon for an hour until grass was visible.
Me? Where was I?
I supported them with KP duty. I prepared sandwiches and beverages for the hard yard workers. I even took them the food so they wouldn’t have to stop. I cleaned the kitchen. I did laundry. I even did a little sweeping and vacuuming. I was mother-fo’ing Hazel!
I was told by a jury of two that it was probably a good idea that I not learn how to drive and operate the riding mower. At first, I took offense to this ruling. But it only took a few minutes to get over it and pop open another beer.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
I often hear about how rewarding it is to be a parent. It all seems so mysterious to me. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a parent. That’s another phrase I hear a lot too.
I’m starting to realize that most people with offspring toss those phrases out an awful lot. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not me that they’re trying to convince. They’re trying to convince themselves how becoming a mother or father is the most rewarding thing they’ve ever received.
After all, they have to constantly worry about the safety and well-being of their offspring.
We all know that children and adolescents are constantly doing stupid things without realizing the consequences. That alone is enough to drive someone crazy. And even if those offspring have moved on, gotten married, and reproduced their own batch of worries their parents still worry about them. AND their grandchildren!
Why would anyone volunteer for such a lifetime endeavor?
Just thinking about it causes me to shudder.
Maybe it’s like a retirement plan. Because as I understand it most times we come into this world with our parents wiping our butts and the favor is returned when the parents are about to leave it.
Having children to me seems like an expensive gamble. Not just because it takes so much money to feed, clothe, educate, shelter, and having them participate in extracurricular activities. Once they get talking and their own personality develops there’s no telling where they’re going to go.
Rarely does anyone think that precious newborn Mary will eventually take on the name “Honey” and swing naked from a metal pole for singles and the occasional fiver. Or that little newborn Johnny runs off to Hollywood fifteen years later only to end up hooked on designer drugs and opening his rectum for well-hung studs in front of cameras.
Parents wish for doctors and lawyers, but usually end up with cubicle workers or God forbid… Politicians.
My parents actually confronted me one day and said, “You’re the only one we’re worried about having children, Eugene.”
“Huh? What? Why?” I asked.
“Well, you’re just so liberal,” they answered.
As it turned out… My father has complained that I can be too strict with my nephew who can be a wild mess.
When my nieces and nephews are in my charge I take on a diplomatic principal of the United States government… I do not negotiate with terrorists.
And that’s what children can be like. Terrorists. They demand and if those demands aren’t met they commit terrorist acts like yelling, crying, pouting, and even destroying things. They’ll leave toilet seats up. Leave dirty dishes all over the place. And sometimes plot against your life with toys and shoes left in pathways and stairs. They try as best as possible to use your emotions against you. And believe me, I’m seen some real masters of that game. I cannot tell you how many parents I’ve seen come tumbling down like France.
So yeah, it truly amazes me when people voluntarily reproduce.
I’m too selfish with my time for children. I don’t like bending my life and schedule to their wants and needs. I’m busy with MY wants and needs.
Don’t get me wrong. I love kids. There’s not a whole lot I wouldn’t do for the kids in my life right now. And thankfully, it’s not a 24/7 lifetime commitment for me.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Do you have a new favorite? Or does it look like your show won’t make it?
We’ve had three new shows that have tasted soil so far… ‘Lucky 7’, the reboot of ‘Ironside’, and ‘Welcome To The Family’.
And we’ve had a few get an order for a full season.
But I haven’t seen any new show that causes me to make a weekly appointment to sit, watch, and relish. I had high hopes for ‘Blacklist’, but it turned out not to be. Twenty minutes into the pilot and I was playing Words with Friends on my phone.
What will I do at the end of the year when it comes time to make my annual year end top five list?
So far that list only contains two shows… ‘The Bridge’ (FX) and ‘Ray Donovan’ (Showtime). And ‘Ray Donovan’ only makes the top five because I have 4 more slots to fill.
I shouldn’t feel bad, because there’s plenty of room on the DVR. I don’t have to worry about a butt-load of shows being lost if the DVR decides to up and quit on me.
I also have time to re-watch some classics with Chigger. We’re currently on season four of ‘Homicide: Life On The Streets’ and ready to pounce of season one of ‘The Sopranos’. She’s seen bits and pieces of ‘Homicide’, but doesn’t know a thing about the greatness of ‘The Sopranos’. It should be fun watching her reactions. I know they were fun to watch when she finally tackled ‘Lost’.
But there’s been absolutely nothing to grab me this season. NOTHING. The broadcast television networks only brought a couple of things to the table to whet my appetite, but once I got a taste I found the offerings lacking flavor and substance.
As of right now, here are the current items still on my plate…
‘The Walking Dead’
‘Masters Of Sex’
‘Sleepy Hollow’ (only 2 episodes down, losing interest)
‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ (so-so so far)
‘Sons Of Anarchy’
‘Arrow’ (no big hurry to get back on)
‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’
‘American Horror Story: Coven’
‘Parks & Recreation’
I added the last one only because of the good things I’m hearing about it. 'Dracula' premieres this Friday on NBC. Vampires have become quite tiresome these days with ‘True Blood’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, and ‘The Originals’. But if it’s keeping zombie series from flooding the TV landscape then I’m good.
I’m just waiting for January and the return of ‘Justified’. Now that’s a damn fine show!
And if you're into pop culture and want weekly updates as to what's happening in the world of television, give The Less Desirables podcast a shot. Available free from our website, iTunes, or stream it with the Stitcher app.
Monday, October 14, 2013
So did you see the season premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ last night?
Was it not the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen?
First of all, let’s give Sweetwater Brewing Company a round of applause for shelling out some bucks for cases upon cases of beer to be displayed during the supply run at the Big Spit store. The product placement worked! It made me want a Georgia Brown at that moment. Yet not one person in Darryl’s supply platoon snaps a case up for later around the campfire. Oh sure, the new guy wanted to snag a bottle of vino for later. But just one?!
Second… The name of the store is Big Spot, but they use an “!” in place of the “i”. So the obvious name to call the place is “Big Spit”.
Third… And this is the biggest issue with the first episode of the new season… A helicopter crashed onto the roof of the Big Spit. The crash looked horrific, but the store roof was seemingly fortified to take the weight of the impact of the crash along with the remaining wreckage. It’s only when a 90 pound zombie walks across the roof the camel’s back break. A decomposing straw of a zombie is too much trauma for the roof to handle and they all start falling through the roof and onto the unsuspecting group led by easy riding Darryl the bow hunter.
Zombies are crashing onto aisles with blood-spattering gore, falling onto cases of delicious Sweetwater beer, and providing general mayhem while the HEAVIEST thing on the roof (the helicopter) hangs on until the last minute before crashing through.
Now I’m not any kind of structural engineer, but I gotta call BS on this one.
So… They had nearly a year to write up a script for the returning season and this is what we get?
I know that it’s a show where disbelief should be suspended, but poorly thought out plot points are just that… Poorly thought out plot points. How did it ever get to the filming stage? Don’t they sit around and discuss these things before a location is staked out for filming? Doesn’t someone’s common sense kick in during the storyboard pre-production?
Or could the producers, writers, and directors think that the viewers are mindless zombies willing to bite into and swallow anything?
And for the fourth and final thought… Is that not the crappiest prison you’ve ever seen?
The shiny new fencing couldn’t hold back a gaggle of kids at a concert by The Wiggles. It’s flimsy as hell. The buildings don’t seem to resemble any kind of prison buildings that I’ve ever seen either in person or on a ‘Ghost Adventures’ outing.
So why do I keep watching?
It’s fun despite the some of the glaring flaws. I'm still in... For now.
Saturday, October 05, 2013
My high hopes for ‘Blacklist’ were quickly tossed against the rocks of disappointment within 20 minutes. It joined other bad company such as ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and the reboots of the ‘Night Stalker’ and ‘Dark Shadows’.
I’m not sure why I understand the popularity of 'Blacklist'.
Is it because of the striking resemblance to the film ‘Silence Of The Lambs’?
Is it because Agent Keen is Raymond Reddington’s daughter?
Surely that last question can’t be that easy to answer, now can it?
Agent Keen is picked up at her home by a helicopter her first day on the job and whisked away to assist in a priority case. Her husband calls… Now keep in mind that we know they’re a happy couple that could spend hours staring into each other’s eyes until one of them farts… She has to tell him over the phone that she’s on a priority case, but he continues blabbing on and on instead of letting FBI Special Agent Keen get back to work. Does her career mean nothing to him?
What a prick. I was so hoping he’d die in the pilot episode. He. Was. Annoying.
‘Blacklist’ has been picked up for the rest of the season, but it’s off my must-see list.
‘Hostages’ was even worse. But since the show airs on CBS I kind of had a feeling that it was going to be bad. The network doesn’t have the most intelligent programs on its roster. ‘Elementary’ is the smartest show in their lineup.
‘Hostages’ lined up all kinds of character subplots within the first 20 minutes… The husband is having an affair. The son owes money to a ruthless drug dealer. The daughter is running around with a boy her parents don’t care for and she may be pregnant. But the BIGGEST plot point goes overlooked until a crew of “Government” men storm Casa de Soap Opera. The mother has to perform surgery on The President of the United States in the morning and he mustn’t get off the table, so to speak. That’s why the family is being held hostage by those “Government” men. The sins of father, brother, and sister could have unfolded as little surprises later on. The real story is with the mother. But I suppose that’s just me. It’s just bad storytelling and it’s off my radar.
‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ was a soft disappointment. Andy Samberg is great at writing and performing short comedy bits and skits. Unfortunately, the skit doesn’t work stretched out for a half-hour comedy show. It’s so far out in left field that it’s not funny.
So the hyped new season hits have really fallen flat with me and that’s okay. I have plenty of great shows returning like ‘Supernatural’, ‘Sons Of Anarchy’, and ‘The Walking Dead’.