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Archive for April, 2010

This morning on the Kevin & Bean Show in Ralph Garmin’s “Movie Beat” segment, he mentioned that movie-goers should sit through the credits of Iron Man 2 because there is bonus footage after the credits are done rolling.

Nothing pisses me off more than this ploy. First, because of my general feeling that movies today are just way too long. There’s no need to make a movie longer than 90 minutes.  If your movie is exceptionally excellent and  compelling, like The Hurt Locker, you are allowed to make it to the 2 hour mark. But movies that are 2.5 or 3 hours long? That’s just lazy editing.  I’ve never sat through a movie that long without looking at my watch and thinking, “When is this bullshit over? The plot stopped making sense 20 minutes ago. I have shit to do, and I really have to pee.”

Second, because it’s incredibly self-indulgent and ego-centric on the part of the filmmakers. You’re so amazing you get to steal an extra 10 minutes out of my day while I sit here like a drone listlessly staring at names fly up the screen until you give me some lame-ass 2 extra minutes of footage?  In my experience, these after-the-credit segments are either not funny/worth the wait, or they are some pathetic and obvious attempt to set up a sequel. 

So, if it’s essential to the plot, put it in your 90-120 minute movie. Otherwise, stop wasting my time.

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Nothing bugs me more than seeing a total clusterf* of traffic caused by some fool when no one is beeping their horn.  If you are driving like an idiot or causing other people strife because you don’t know what you’re doing, then you deserve to be startled by someone else’s horn.  I’ve been beeped at many times in my life and I am willing to admit that at least 90% of the time, it was because I had done something dumb.  It is a reminder that a) you are not the only person on the road and b) you are being stupid and inconveniencing others. 

Example: the other day I was on my way home from work and in the right lane, which is always a pain because it’s the most congested lane in this particular intersection and people make it worse by cutting you off at the last minute. On this night, the light turned green and no one moved. This was because the first car in the lane was just sitting there, apparently trying to decide whether to turn right or go straight.  I was about four cars back in the line of traffic and kept waiting for someone closer in to beep (it is an unwritten rule that if you are immediately behind said idiot driver, it is your responsibility to beep; the further back you are, the more confusing it becomes and the target of the beep can be questioned).  In the end, the guy finally turned and I missed the light.  I was less enraged by the missing of the light and more annoyed because no one ever beeped at the guy. 

What else is a horn for if not for alerting other people that they are screwing up?  In my experience, people don’t seem to care about being polite anymore, so what is holding them back from beeping and shaking their fist?  Your horn is pretty much the only voice you have when in your car – sticking your head out the window and yelling is dangerous and generally doesn’t work, especially on the freeway.

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After having pooh-pooh’d electronics that I deemed “unnecessary,” I’d like to pay homage to a few that I feel are quite necessary.  Of course, their status as “necessary” depends entirely on your own point of view, but these are a few that I personally cannot live without.  The first being my DVR.  I once had Tivo and the day it started to malfunction, I almost lost it (incidentally, it was during a crucial point of an episode of “Lost,” which was so not cool).  It was at a time in my life when I was completely overwhelmed by work and letting all sorts of personal stuff slide – doctor’s appointments, oil changes, etc.  But the second my Tivo went on the fritz, I called the cable company and had a new DVR within days. 

The second thing I cannot live without, as I discovered last night/this morning, is my laptop (implied in this is internet access – it’s my window to the outside world!).  I’d had the same laptop since I moved to California seven years ago.  It was a modest HP but it did what I needed it to and I was quite fond of it.  However, I’d noticed lately that it had become really slow, as if even the simplest task was seriously taxing.  I often exacerbated the situation by asking it to do very non-simple tasks, such as download albums from iTunes while I would watch videos on YouTube.  It was also not a fan of syncing my iPod or burning CDs.  Unfortunately for me and my trusty old laptop, last night I asked it to do three of these very things when I decided to buy the debut album from The Temper Trap (amazing, by the way) from iTunes, which I downloaded to my library (approximate duration of download: eternity), then added to my iPod so I could listen to it over my stereo, and then burned  to CD so I could listen to it in my car (you didn’t think that someone happily working on a seven-year old laptop would have an iPod jack in their car, did you?).  I believe this was the proverbial straw.  Less than an hour after all of this activity, I walked into my living room to find the screen on my laptop a strange blue color with DOS-style writing that said something incredibly dramatic, like, “The hardware and software on this machine has suffered a fatal malfunction” (or similar).  I thought, “No biggie, I’ll just reboot!”  Yeah.  My computer would not turn back on.  I thought, “I’ll sleep on it and try it again in the morning – surely it’s just tired!”  Yeah.  When I awoke this morning, it was clear that my cute little laptop had finally shit the bed.  I hesitated for about the amount of time it took to have my weekly Saturday morning chat with my parents, threw on some clothes without even showering, drove myself to Burbank and walked into Best Buy to buy a new laptop. 

So, I sit here writing on a brand new HP laptop.  I acknowledge that seven years in computer terms is practically pre-historic.  And, while I wasn’t exactly thrilled about spending the money,  I am looking forward to enhanced functions and speed. Also, Windows 7 is lovely so far.

However, the moral of the story is that it’s events like this in your life that show you who you really are.  I consider myself fairly low-maintenance and not all that tied to material possessions….so long as a have a DVR and a functioning laptop with internet access.

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Previously (https://twynne105.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/of-daniel-tosh/) I’d mentioned that my original entry on Daniel Tosh has consistently been getting a lot of traffic (by “a lot” I mean more than one a day – hey, kids, it’s all relative) because people were searching terms like “Daniel Tosh racist” and ending up on this blog.  It’s always interesting to see how people end up on this site – it would seem that at least 90% of the clicks are accidental, but I’m not proud and will take what I can get.

Yesterday I looked at the search terms that brought people here and was perplexed by this one: ‘daniel tosh your probably jerking of a midget’.  I will assume the “of” was meant to be “off,” and that the type of person who searches this phrase isn’t bothered by (or may not even know) the difference between “your” and “you’re.”   All I know is, I’m fairly certain I don’t want to know what would possess someone to type that into their search engine.

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It is safe to say that sometimes I think I am more clever than I actually am.  As an example of this, I will point to a few entries I wrote last year (see here: https://twynne105.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/word-of-the-day/; and here: https://twynne105.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/really-merriam-webster/) about Merriam Webster’s Word of the Day email service, where they send you a word and its meaning every day.  My intention in signing up for the service was to learn new and snotty “big” words that I could use to impress people, so I was disappointed when a lot of the words coming through were ones that most people already know. What the hell?!

Well, what I have since learned to appreciate – if not look forward to like a big fat nerd – are the parts of the email that explain the origins of each Word of the Day.  The word “waif” is of Anglo-French origin?  And it means “a stray person or animal”? And the current meaning of  ‘a really skinny person’ didn’t come to be until the 1980’s, and isn’t officially acknowledged by the dictionary? Fascinating!  My other favorite is the word “tantalize” – we all know the meaning, but did you know that its origins are in Greek mythology?  The King Tantalus pissed off the gods, and was condemned for eternity  to remain hungry and thirsty while being surrounded by food and water he could never touch.  So cool! (word origin-wise, of course; that really sucked for him)

I take pride in being the type of person who can gracefully admit when I am wrong.  So, Merriam Webster, my bad.  Totally sorry about bagging on the WOTD thing.  Me and my big mouth are quiet now (about this, at least).

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Back in the late ’90’s when the Yankees and Padres were swapping Jim Leyritz back and forth, he arrived in San Diego once and promptly informed Peter Gammons that the guys had taken to calling him “The King”.  Gammons, in doing his due diligence, asked one of the Padres if this was true only to find that the only Padre calling Leyritz “The King” was Leyritz himself.

This is like my grandmother constantly insisting that my kid refer to her as Great-Grandma.  C’mon, Helen, you were adequate Grandma at best.

The point being that you can’t give yourself a nickname.  A nickname is supposed to be something just annoying enough to amuse the nicknamer while being not annoying enough for the nicknamed to make an issue of it.  It’s supposed to be a “Boy Named Sue”-type scenario wherein a name that one isn’t crazy about helps build character.   With the exception of Ali calling himself “The Greatest of All Time!” in the ’60’s nobody got away with giving themselves a nickname with a positive connotation…until recently.

Going forward, please bear in mind that there is no person in America that I hold in higher regard than “The Situation”.  I think he should be on a stamp.   That being said, however, I find it hard to believe that (as he claimed) someone else (anyone else) nick-named his abs “The Situation”.  Would that there were some sort of judicial system tied to reality TV.  Would that some dynamic prosecutor were given the opportunity to put “The Situation”‘s right hand on a stack of hair gel and ask him, “Who named your abs “The Situation”?  Was it a girl?  Other guys?  Friends?  I find this implausible, sir!”

Which brings us to why I was thinking about this: “Bombshell” Michelle.  You know, the Nazi who was involved with Jesse James.  Sorry, but for the life of me I have no idea what her last name is and I’m not going to search it because of all the things I don’t want left in my search history that lady in particular and nazi’s in general are pretty much neck and neck for the top of the list.

My knowledge of “Bombshell” Michelle is limited to what it says in the “Inside Track” (apparently she’s in some sort of twitter battle with Chelsea Handler and there are at least three phrases in this parenthetical that I’m not sure I can define) which is limited itself.  I don’t know much but I do know this, were I given the opportunity to nickname her “Bombshell” wouldn’t have made the top five.

Scarlett Johansson is a bombshell.  Pam Anderson (without being my cup of tea) was a bombshell.  Michelle Whatever-her-name-is is not.  She’s a skinny lady with big fake boobs and a bunch of ink.  That may get you alot of things in this world but it doesn’t mean you can dilute an agreed upon term and give it to yourself as a nickname.  I can’t just call myself “The Awesome!”, society has an agreed-upon idea of what that word means and I’m self-aware enough to know that I’m not it (to some people).

So, my point being that, going forward, no more giving ourselves nicknames.

Thank you,

“The Awesome!”

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I’m really not sure I understand why someone would need an iPad.  Nor do I understand people’s jubilation over finally getting their hands on one. Isn’t it just like a really big iPhone (and I assume these are the people who are on their third generation of iPhone)?  I guess it has some of the same functions as a Kindle or netbook, but really, is it truly necessary to your life? Perhaps the idea of a touch screen almost-computer is exciting, but HP has had a Touch Smart computer for years.  Oh, you Mac people. 

Similarly, HP is one of my clients and earlier this week I was there giving a presentation. As thanks for my efforts, they gifted me a DreamScreen.  I didn’t even know what it was. I will equate it to a Digital Photo Frame Plus, since it has WiFi capability and you can do things like check weather, view your FaceBook page and listen to music via Pandora.  But that’s about it.  My first thoughts upon receiving it (not to sound ungrateful) were 1) “Where will I plug this in? I’m out of outlets.” and 2) “Won’t it collect a lot of dust?” Unlike the iPad, it is not mobile since it has to be plugged in at all times or it will not work. Conveniently, it does come with wall mounts, so you have the option of having your local weather report flashing at you on your wall at all times.  A huge miss for HP – especially since this is now in market the same time as the iPad – is that it seems like it should be a touch screen and it’s not. Which I don’t get, because HP nailed touch screen technology ages ago.

My experience did not end well since I couldn’t get it to hook up to the internet (admittedly, this might be because I can’t remember the password for my wireless connection, but it was still very frustrating) so basically all it did for me was give me the option of viewing digital photos in a slide show (since I do not have children or pets, this has limited appeal for me), and display 13.3 inches of the current time, like a really big, expensive clock.  After about 20 minutes, I repackaged it in its box and now have plans to sell it on eBay when I have a chance.

Perhaps I am not the best person to have an opinion on this since I have never even understood why people need a Kindle – what’s so wrong with old-fashioned books? Turning pages is too difficult?  Plus, I’m getting old and staring at computer screens makes my eyes water.  Call me crazy, but I now wonder if Steve Jobs is less of a technological genius and more of a genius at getting people to spend money on things they don’t really need.

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