Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Billy Madison

I looked over to the lane next to mine as I was driving yesterday, to witness one of the more baffling traffic sights one can encounter. (besides motorcyclists being scraped off the pavement of course) I saw this tiny Filipino woman literally compressed between the driver seat and her dangerously encroaching steering wheel like a grilled cheese sandwich. The steering wheel appeared to have the circumference of a hoola hoop in her tiny grasp and she was so tightly packed in the car she looked like a midget in the cockpit of a fighter jet. If that poor woman so much as bumped another car while parking, causing the air bag to deploy, she would undeniably be decapitated. I looked on with a combination of horror, amusement, and surprise, as she drove away, her face literally centimeters from the horn, steering the mammoth wheel as if the captain of an old Spanish sailing ship. I guess sights like these should never really surprise me anymore, it's just that they sort of creep up on you when you're least expecting it. You know, one moment you're riding the subway, momentarily scanning the random crowd of faces, and the next moment a guy's clipping his toe nails . . . . . . . with his teeth. Or you're at the park with your dog and some dude is suspiciously looking around before he takes his underwear off and discards them into the bushes.

Months ago, I was coming home from work taking a back route through a quiet little neighborhood, when I saw a man and his boy exiting a large truck that had just parked in front of a house that I assumed was theirs. As if they had just pulled up to a giant aluminum trough in a public restroom, the little boy, around 3 or so, pulled his pants down and started taking a piss on the street, in front of the truck, his dad, a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom townhouse, me, and the rest of the fucking neighborhood! When the boy was finished, his dad (if you can call him that), came over and practically congratulated the kid before they disappeared into the house. Yes, the house with at least two bathrooms. I mean, they didn't look like they were in a hurry. Their faces carried no signs of desperation, necessity, or worry, akin to people who can't wait a second longer before their bladder explodes. As nonchalant as their emergence on the scene, the public display of urinary transgression was as equally of no concern or consequence. They acted completely normal, as if this were a daily occurrence, (which probably was) as if this were just another trip to the bathroom by a Father and Son at half time, during a Sunday football game. Right when you think you've seen it all.

I began to wonder about my childhood and all the questionable places I had peed. (once on my own leg to quell a jelly fish sting) Hell, I began to sift through all of the adult files as well, including all the accounts of inebriated, piss-poor decision making at sporting events, BBQ's, parties, nightclubs, and tail gaters; not even leaving out any testosterone fueled Dares from intoxicated peers. I'm a guy, after all, my plumbing allows me the freedom to take advantage of certain bladder relieving discretions if you will. If they can be avoided, of course we'd rather not pee in this alley, behind that car, or in the corner of this parking garage, or in the Gatorade bottle I'll have to stare at for the next few hours of our road trip. (So warm in your lap) But if it can't, well as they say, when Nature calls . . . . . you best be answering, because she doesn't like to leave long, detailed messages that take up a lot of space on your answering machine and everybody knows that's rude and inconsiderate and God help you if you haven't called her back in 3 days after you took her to dinner the last time and she invited you in for a night cap, which ended up with you in her bed, making awesome drunk marathon sex sweet love to her for two hours, but you felt a little weirded out because afterward you noticed she had My Little Ponies every where in her room, the walls adorned with stuffed animals and glitter posters, and you had to stare at the ceiling covered in glowing stars until she fell asleep so you could escape, but you're an asshole for not calling her after the amazing fulfillment of destiny your souls had just shared. Okay, well maybe I'm the only one who says that. Anyway, then I wondered if this is the path that people take who eventually grow up to do some R. Kelly type shit. Just sayin', makes you wonder.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Haven't felt much like writing lately, so I've been dedicating that time to reading instead. Besides, there are a few books I need to knock out before I'm ready to take on that new Twilight series. I just hope it's as good as I've heard.

On a similar note, I have mixed emotions about reading books before watching the movie, or vice versa. Movies will inevitably leave out chunks of important storyline or will simply fail to live up to the world painted by the imagination. And if you see the movie first, you already know what's going to happen while you read, making intricate endings hollow or anticlimactic. Movie or Book? I'm generally more inclined to read the book first, primarily because after I've seen the movie, there's no way in hell I'm going to be motivated enough to read the book. Especially, if there is more than one. Perfect example, Lord of the Rings. Sure, I had read the Hobbit as a kid, but after watching the three Ring movies, I don't think the books could top it. Particularly since the movie is probably how I would have imagined it anyway. Although, I wouldn't have made Gandolf such a sissy in the movie.

Fightclub was an awesome movie. I thought that reading the book afterwards would be a good idea as well, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Great book, but it's exactly like the movie and no matter how extraordinary your imagination might be, there's no way it would have created a better performance than what the movie and its actors delivered. And for those of you who haven't experienced either, the narrator and Tyler Durden are the same person. Yeah, I'm in that kind of a mood.

I wish I would have read the Harry Potter books before watching the movies, none of which I liked too much by the way. Here is one instance that I think my imagination would have done a way better job of things. I can already hear the grumbles of disagreement, but I found them to be a little too juvenile for my tastes. Not to mention, anyone standing in line dressed up in anything other than normal clothes, waiting for stores to open so they can purchase the next book in the series, isn't typically an indication of anything I want to be a part of. I'm not one to follow the masses anyway. Notably those fanatically adorned with capes and wielding magic wands. Don't get me wrong though, I'd bang a hot sorceress in a heartbeat. I'm just sayin'.

The Twilight movie might be good, but it has just as much potential, if not more, to suck. It's difficult to make movies with the element of flying in them. You either have to stick entirely with the thought of fantasy, or make it seem realistic enough to correspond with a story that you want people to believe can be real. In either case, the actual physics of flying has to closely mimic the laws that govern flight in our world, otherwise viewers will automatically see the flaws and lose interest. Once you have attained seamlessness in physical action, then you have to look at the acting. There are going to be a slew of teenage actors, and if one of them isn't pulling his or her own weight, then that performance can discredit the entire movie. Happens all the time. Difficult balance I know, but whenever movies depend too much on computer graphics, things generally take a turn for the worse, because in those instances, little attention, if any, is given to actual acting.

Anyway, I could continue this rhetoric for days properly schooling you on movies, but like I said earlier . . . . . . . I'd rather be reading. That is, until I go see Quantum of Solace tonight. And who knows, I just might have to stand in line for a while too, but I'll be sure to leave the tux at home. Of course, only after I crush that shaken martini.