Monday, December 28, 2009

Random Nonsense

Only I would get a zit on my nose JUST as family and friends are all congregating together for Christmas. A damn zit. At age twenty-eight. What the hell? Have I been eating too many choc-o-late bars? Since there hasn't been an Oxy pad in my house in almost a decade, I've been forced to treat it the old-fashioned way, with some good ol' soapin'. Have you ever vigorously soaped your nose before? It's more difficult than you would think. One badly timed snort can get soap in your nostril, which is never good. After a couple of days, the zit is now in its final stage of life --- the reddish lump. On the bright side, it's almost done with, but on the down side, my brother has been calling me 'Rudolph' all through the Xmas holidays. *angrily shakes fist*

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According to the results of my latest blog poll, the majority of readers believe that the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire, to be proper) should be my bandwagon nation of choice during the World Cup. Fair enough. I will root for the Elephants with the same passion as anyone in the capital city of Yamoussoukro. Perhaps this was destiny; back in my piano lesson days, 'Baby Elephant Walk' was, in fact, my signature piece that I could bust out at a moment's notice at parties. And, back in my baseball-playing days, my ability to cover ground in the outfield was compared to that of an elephant, which was obviously complimentary since an elephant takes up a lot of space and is an excellent defender (of its young).

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When you're driving down a suburban road and another car is coming in the other direction, why is it inevitable that you'll meet at the same point where a third car is parked, and thus you and the other driver have to temporarily negotiate a semi-tight pass?

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'Avatar' is like a Porsche without an engine; it looks great, but doesn't get you anywhere. The movie was as expected,an amazing display of CGI, especially when seen on a 3-D movie screen. It also featured quite possibly the least interesting screenplay of the decade. There is literally not a word of wit or originality to be found within the entire film. You spend the first 30 minutes amazed at the visuals, and then once that wears off, the next 150 minutes are pretty dull. Hopefully there's enough of a backlash against this film that it gets nowhere near the Oscar race, since even in a 10-picture field, there are dozens of better choices than this glorified version of "Pocahontas."

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Speaking of things that are all flash and no substance, enter the Indianapolis Colts. What a sorry display that was yesterday --- throwing away a potential 16-0 regular season in pursuit of, what, an extra 30 minutes of rest for Peyton Manning? The pissed-off expressions on the faces of the Indy starters on the sidelines said it all. They wanted to be in the game, and they wanted to see their unbeaten record come to a better end than having a bunch of second-stringers play like fifth-stringers against the Jets.

Indy does this every year, by the way. They inevitably post a big regular season record and then take it easy in the last one or two games of the year to 'rest up' for the playoffs, even when they have a first-round bye. In a totally unrelated story, the Colts are one of the biggest consistent chokers in modern football history. Indy has posted a double-digit win total in 11 of the past 12 seasons, but have just one Super Bowl to show for it. "But Mark, they won the Super Bowl once," you might point out. That's true, they did take the title in 2006 --- the one of those years when they actually played hard down the stretch since they were fighting for a first-round bye. (And, for the record, a bye they didn't get, meaning they didn't get any down time.) Unless a team has several critical players hurt and capital-D desperately needs to rest them, I'm totally against the idea of mailing in the last one or two games of the season. You can't turn competitive juices on and off like a faucet. Colts management has yet to figure this out after 12 years, and if they were actually concerned about things other than changing the league's passing rules to benefit Princess Peyton Manning*, they might have more than one Super Bowl to show for it. I actually felt a bit sorry for Indy coach/mannequin Jim Caldwell, since some sportscasters have already been ripping "his decision," when he is at best the sixth most influential man in the organization (owner Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, Manning, Chris Polian and Marvin Harrison, who doesn't play for Indy any more but would shoot me if I didn't include him on the list) and looked as pained as anyone on the sidelines. Well, as pained as Caldwell gets. It is still unclear if Caldwell is a human or if he's some kind of hologram projected on the sidelines to pretend that the Colts have someone besides Manning running things. But anyway, hopefully the football gods are enraged over this slight and are preparing for yet another hilarious Indianapolis choke job in January.

* = This nickname is unfair. Princess Peach proved herself to be a tough competitor on several occasions in both Mario Kart and Mario Party. Princesses Leia and Zelda were known to whip some ass. Disney has no shortage of princesses who held their own against tough opposition. I apologize to these ladies for comparing them to noted choke artist Peyton Manning.** So, in the words of Link from the old 'Legend of Zelda' cartoon show, excuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess.

** = I have tried to convince many people about my 'Peyton Manning is overrated' theory this fall. It hasn't exactly been successful, but it's the truth. You'll see. You'll ALL see! *angrily shakes fist*

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Are there any Londoners out there who know of a good place in town to rent independent/foreign/'artsy' movies? My old standby location of Flixx is apparently closed, and since I haven't been in there for at least a few years, may be a long-distant memory. It's unfortunate --- Flixx got me through more than a few assignments in film studies when I needed to see obscure movies for an essay or when I slept through an in-class screening and needed to catch up. (If any professors are reading this, it only happened a few times. Cross my heart.) Even worse, I only needed three more rentals to earn a free movie to own on my Flixx membership card. There also may have been a captain's hat involved. In hindsight, it's my own fault for not renting some of the 'never seen it' movies on my list when I was in Toronto, but now that I'm back home for the holidays, I need a new place to rent quality films rather than suffer through the horrible selections of Blockbuster and Rogers Video. I may even be forced to see if the Oxford/Wonderland Jumbo Video is still open. Do they still serve free popcorn? Or, a better question, does Jumbo Video exist whatsoever anymore? It was only a matter of time before they closed up shop; no business can survive if named after an elephant that was hit by a train.

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