Thursday, September 28, 2006

Disaster Movies - Why God?!

Listening to: Radiohead

Drinking: Water

Disaster Movies. Aptly named, because every single time I decide to (or more likely, am coerced into) watch one, it turns out to be a complete disaster.

They are horrible.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a natural disaster (earthquake, flood, volcano, spontaneous ice-age), out of this world disaster (asteroid) or human-caused disaster (fire, terrorism, whatever); they are all mind numbingly terrible movies. That said, the natural disaster types are usually—but not always—the worst.

I could go on and on about various movies, but just from the example-types I’ve listed, you probably know most of the ones I mean. Besides, they all follow the same formula; sometimes ridiculously close. So it’s really only necessary to criticize one, or maybe one from each of the three types. Anyway, right now the movie I’m going to talk about is World Trade Center, because it’s the most recent one I saw.

Let me start by saying that I did not want to see this movie. There were two reasons why it was obvious, without knowing anything else about the movie, that it would be bad, and most likely, very bad. The first reason of course, is that it’s a disaster movie. Rescue workers caught in a collapsing building, this falls into the third disaster category. Second, it’s based on a fairly recent historical event. Either of those things are a pretty good strike against a film; the combination of the two leaves you with odds of seeing a good movie that are about inline with you winning the Viper parked on top of the penny slot machines in the Indian casino (without playing).

Of course I was dragged into the movie by my girlfriend. I am ashamed to admit that I was not dragged in kicking and screaming. I should have left claw marks all the way down the sidewalk trying to keep out of that theater. Now I’ll grant her, the only other thing playing that showed any promise was a movie that she’d already seen. I can understand not wanting to go to a theater to see a movie you’ve already seen. So I caved and bought tickets for World Trade Center. Ooh, it pains me to put into print the fact that I paid to see that movie.

Have you seen Ladder 49? It’s the one with Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. If not, go watch it. I’ll wait.

Ok, you’re back? It sucked like a nitro-boosted Hoover, didn’t it? Ha, yeah I shouldn’t have done that; but I had to suffer, so you do too. Ok, anyway, World Trade Center is exactly the same movie. I’m serious, different city and different actors, otherwise exactly the same. Some normal Joe-types, stuck in a pile of rubble, unable to help themselves, just waiting and trying to hold on to hope. We get flashbacks of the families to show what great guys they are, and so we really want them to live. Some of their buddies die. They almost lose hope and give up, and then, miraculously, help arrives. They are triumphantly rescued and treated as heroes.

Actually, that doesn’t sound as terrible as it actually was. Read that paragraph over and over for two hours though. Then you may get closer to the actual feeling of watching the movie. The problem is that nothing happens and it’s boring. The dramatic elements aren’t good enough for the movie to stand as a drama. There’s very little humor. And the action is sparse. That doesn’t leave much of anything to entertain or challenge a viewer.

The entire movie is two guys buried under scrap metal!

It was boring. I wish it had been presented from a wider scope, rather than from just the two men and their families. Then it may have had more hope, still would have been difficult to do well.

Anyway, I’m tired of writing about it and if you’ve actually made it this far (doubtful), I’m sure you’re tired of reading about it. So with that, I digress.

In other news: I acquired a Pepsi vending machine today, and went on my first official mountain bike ride in Bend as a local. I rode a loop a little over 9 miles, mostly on Phil’s Trail. I started at the trailhead off Skyliners road. It was nice trail, and all single-track, but mostly unchanging terrain and very low technical difficulty. I feel crazy to say anything negative because it seems to be such a nice trail system, but it was a little bit boring I have to admit.

Oh, and I think that my lungs, being accustomed to thick, sea-level air, were struggling pretty hard at the elevation here. The climb was not that steep but I was huffin’ and puffin’ pretty heavy. Anyway, they were nice trails and very accessible so I’m sure I’ll be hitting them again.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What is the Baja Wipeout

Date: September 21, 2006

Listening to: Sufjan Stevens : Illinoise

Drinking: Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port

It is the question that has consumed the mind of intellectuals for all the history of man-kind, the focus of ponderment (yup, made that up) for professional ponderers, the riddle that has ruffled the feathers of every revolutionary rastafarian ever to think revolutionary thoughts…

What is the Baja Wipeout?

I know what the Baja Wipeout is, and I can tell you; but I’d have to kill you. Actually, I would have had to kill you, but this information has recently been declassified and made available to a select few outside the Omega-7 security level. Oops, you shouldn’t even know the Omega-7 security level exists… just pretend you didn’t hear that.

Anyway, since I know only the highest echelons of society are aware of this “internet”, I suppose it’s safe to tell you about the Baja Wipeout. What we’re talking about is an evolutionary leap ahead in the culinary development of the human race. The Baja Wipeout is a pizza; bear in mind however, this is no ordinary pizza. Oh no; this pizza is born out of the inability of both myself and a certain stunningly beautiful and creative woman known as Burl Amber Sequoia Martin to constrain our imaginations to what is commonly known about the universe and pizza.

Now, one may be asking one’s self, “what calamity of condiments is on this wondrous creation of irrational thought and tomato sauce?” And if you’re not asking yourself that, you should wonder why not.

[hang on, I’ve got to go get some more port… you know, keeps the creative juices flowing]

Well, ask and ye shall receive. I’ll tell you what it takes to create a masterpiece such as the Baja Wipeout. Be warned however, you may want to do some mental stretching exercises, else you may find yourself permanently brain-damaged or traumatized; and I’m not lookin’ to be sued. What follows is highly sensitive information. Were the Taliban somehow to obtain this formula, it could be the deliciously deadly recipe for the end of humanity as we now know it. Guard this information as though your life depends on it. Some day it may.

The Baja Wipeout:

  • Whole wheat pizza crust
  • Sweet, fresh tomato sauce, to be used liberally. Forget liberally, abuse the sauce! Pour it on like you’ll never have another chance.
  • Pizza style canadian bacon and pepperoni
  • Mixed mozzarella and cheddar cheese (there may be room for improvement here, we’ve not had ample time to experiment).
  • Quartered artichoke hearts, these should be sliced or split into smaller pieces.
  • Pineapple chunks. Your typical Hawaiian pizza style.
  • Sliced jalapeño peppers. These should be sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Available in a jar.

That’s it, bake it until the pepperoni starts to curl and get a touch crispy, and you’re done!

I’ll admit that it’s conceivable at this point that you may not think the Baja Wipeout sounds all that incredible. This will be difficult but you’re going to have to trust me; you’re mind simply cannot wrap around the greatness of this pizza right now. Go ahead and make one. Somewhere between jalapeno application and sprinkling that last thin layer of shredded cheese, you’ll realize the magnitude of the creation before you, and all that it means for the future of the earth. Make sure someone is around when that happens, because you may pass out, which could be bad if you have a particularly hard kitchen floor. Don’t be ashamed to wear a helmet while preparing this pizza; it could save your life.

I suspect a bottle of Pacifico would compliment this taste-bud-tickler appropriately, appealing to the Hawaiian/Mexican beach influences that permeate the pizza pie. However, I cannot personally attest to the validity of that combination. I happened to have Deschutes Jubelale available, and I can tell you that it was an excellent, if unexpected combination.

In all seriousness, I’m sure it’s been done before; but I haven’t seen it, and it’s awesome. Everyone should try it. Burl and I will take credit. You can send your donations to my paypal account. For tax purposes however, try to keep them under $1,000 unless you just can’t resist.

….I wonder what it’d be like with peanut butter, hmm…

Monday, September 04, 2006

Super busy, gotta prioritize

No time to blog lately. I'm moving to a new town, trying to find a place to live, taking over a business, and learning a new industry--so I've got a little bit to do right now. I do have some potential topics to write about when I get a chance though, including: my reactions to An Inconvenient Truth, stories from a four-day motorcycle ride, how Oregon is the greatest state in the union and my thoughts on alternative fuels, energy, habits and technology.

I'll get to 'em when i can.