Updates from September, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • nocturnalgroaner 3:02 am on September 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    46: Damn You, Daniel Radcliffe 

    So the trailers and posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are starting to come out and pretty soon we’ll be bombarded with TV commercials and tie in promotions with Burger King or whatever. I can already feel myself starting to get a little excited, even though I’ve been thoroughly disappointed with the entire Harry Potter film franchise.

    I should probably disclose that I am a massive Harry Potter fan. Seriously, I made fanart, started writing multiple fanfictions, had a huge crush on Ron Weasley….. I’m not a purist when it comes to the movies though; some avid fans of any book series will never like a film adaption because it doesn’t adhere exactly to every page of the novels. In addition to being a Harry Potter fanatic, I also really appreciate good movies, and understand filmmakers’ authority to take liberties in order to make a film more entertaining.

    What bums me out the most about the movies is the incredible waste of potential. Obviously, the most heinous instance of this is just the dumbing (and numbing) down of the source material. I always associated the books with an imaginative spirit and humor, and the movies have always been dark, bloated, too serious, and anti-climatic.

    But also, in the movies themselves, there is so much effort and talent that just gets wasted on a mediocre product. The Harry Potter movies have access to the very best. Millions of dollars have been spent in the movies on the best computer animation by the best artists. The art directors, costume designers, actors (mostly the adult ones), and music are top notch. For comparison reasons, I’m totally gonna bad mouth the Twilight franchise. I actually haven’t seen any of the Twilight movies, I did read the first book, but from the trailers and posters, you can tell that the level of effort put into those movies is subpar. One just needs to look at the terrible wigs on the movie posters. For that reason, the expectation is lessened.

    The best Harry Potter movie has been the Prisoner of Azkaban because it embodied the spirit of JK Rowling despite taking the biggest liberties with the story. It also had the most competent director, who was able to get the best performances out of the kid actors and create a film that felt whole instead of feeling cobbled together from a bunch of disparate scenes.

    I always knew that the movies were never going to top the richness of the books. “Azkaban” gave me a lot of hope for the series, enough to last through 3 letdowns. I kinda know already that Deathly Hallows will be a disappointment. My guess is that the acting won’t be very effective, especially since this is suppose to be the most dramatic of the series. Realistically, the most I can expect is that it will be good, for a Harry Potter movie.


  • Dee 6:13 pm on September 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    45: Don’t judge a show by… its commercials? 

    Fall premieres are upon us! This year I was most excited for the return of Glee! I personally love this show, but understand how others might not enjoy it. However, I had an interesting conversation about the show yesterday:

    Friend: “Ugh, there is nothing on TV tonight!”
    Danni: “Are you kidding? Glee is on!”
    Friend: “I hate Glee…”
    Danni: “You do? Why?”
    Friend: “I don’t know, I think it’s stupid.”
    Danni: “I guess it can be sometimes… Which episode did you see?”
    Friend: “Oh, I’ve never watched it.”
    Danni: “Then how do you know you don’t like it?”
    Friend: “Because I don’t think I’ll like it.”

    This sort of thing never made sense to me. I can understand a show having absolutely no appeal to you, in which case you would say “I have no interest in watching it.” However, how can someone say they hate a show that they’ve never even seen before?

    I could understand, say an Italian person hating Jersey Shore because they feel it gives Italians a bad name. But a show like Glee makes a parody of stereotypes and is in no way offensive – well, except for Sue Sylvester. But even her offensive comments are meant to poke fun and parody bullies.

    Anybody out there experience anything like this? Hatred for something unknown? I think it’s just ridiculous…

    • djtbs1 10:48 pm on October 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My wife does this same exact thing. From time to time I will put on some show or movie…
      She misses the first couple minutes so doesn’t what it is. At the end, is like- that show was alright. Only then do I lower the boom that the “show she hates” she just watched!!!

  • Mr Str8 Fwd 6:32 am on September 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    44: Food for Thought – Two Face 

    I want to make a detour in my usual blogging routine. Today let’s talk about a concept from the Batman series. Our villain of choice today is Two-face. Before that let me just tell you how I feel about the Batman concept on a whole. It’s fuckin brilliant. There are other super hero’s with good concepts but batman hits home for me. I feel it’s just genius.

    Former District attorney Harvey Dent had a reputation of being both the clean kind hearted gentleman of the people and equally for being a hard ass bend the law to fit his needs kind of cutthroat politician you’d expect from gritty Gotham City. Harvey Dent was involved in an accident/incident where half his body was eaten away by some type of acid. When this happened he says “To hell with this shit” and became the bad guy we all know and love.

    One thing that stays a part of the Two face package is the coin. This coin he used to always walk around with was also defaced (no pun intended) in that accident. He traps his victim, hits them with a monologue type boring ass speech and then flips a coin to decide their fate. The coin before it was defaced was a way of making his own luck (heads I win on a two headed coin). Now the coin is fair. It’s no longer one sided fate. This coin is important because it is the man himself. It’s a representation of what happened to him.

    So this two faced coin represents the reality of chance. It’s no more laugh and joke around haha I tricked you type bullshit. It’s become REAL. So if the coin says you die you die. If it says Harvey can’t kill you then he’ll probably knock you out. Or that’s what happened on the cartoon.

    This to me is fascinating that someone can embody an idea as a villain. Yea it’s Dent who decides who he flips the coin for but the concept itself is the concept of life itself. You win some you lose some. So if you think of it in that way, Harvey Dent isn’t your normal villain. He’s bad because he’s killing people but he has a sick and twisted version of justice tied along with him. Harvey found out you did a crime or was involved with the crime in his past. He confronts the person with the charge. Example grand theft and larceny. He scares the shit out of you while talking. Then at the end of it he flips the coin to decide your fate. Will you be punished for your crime or will you slip through the cracks. This is both complex, mind-blowing, fascinating and brilliant all in one. That’s not all. This all sounds very similar. Similar to what happens in a court room? The charges are read while you wet your pants in your seat. When it’s all over they sentence you. So did Harvey ever stop being a District Attorney? It even makes me wonder if he’s really a villain or not. He seems to be doing something similar to what Batman is doing.  What was the creator of Batman trying to say about the Judicial system? What was he trying to say about justice? What was he trying to tell us about life’s complexities in general?

    That’s my take on this Batman situation. Also don’t forget that Two face is a minor character. In fact he and Batman don’t get into it that often. To me it seems like he was trying to let us see it. Bane is another minor character in the batman series but he has some serious brawls with the dark knight. Usually when you see Two face it’s more dialog. Hell even in the movie Dark Knight, Harvey was all over it but hardly got into a squabble with Batman. It’s as if he’s trying to tell us something. Think about it.

  • Mr Str8 Fwd 9:09 am on September 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    43 : New York’s Finest 

    Some people think that all I take from NY is it’s dress code. Yankee’s gear, Timberland boots, certain colors I wear…but that’s false. I like to see myself as a the best NY has to offer.

    I wake up every morning before my time and stare at the ceiling. I roll out of bed and drag myself around the house to get ready for my day. I flip the TV on to catch the weather while I iron my clothes. I usually go from one room to the other, half dressed, somehow still sleeping. I take some time out my morning to stare deep into my own eyes. Just making sure I’m still me. Eventually when it’s all said and done I curse and grovel at the fact that I’d rather be asleep. I think of all the shitty things people usually try. I recall times when people just seem to react rashly for no apparent reason. I also take time to think of my reactions. Sometimes I flip out, sometimes I brush it off. But when I step out that house I always smile. Smile at the day, smile at myself or just smile at a cutie walking past my house “Wassup girl”

    You see living in a place like NY you run across a lot of people in a short amount of time. And in a place as diverse as NY your likely to run across a few people that can’t stand your existence. I’m one of the many people that live here. I walk with a slight bop, I prance around like I was just elected mayor and I look people directly in their eyes. I’m light in complexion but not white, I rarely smile, I like to flirt, I dress somewhat thuggish (I guess), and I have a NY attitude. A LOT of people don’t like me. But notice what I said…..I have a NY attitude. That simply means love the people who treat you as an equal and stick your middle finger up at everyone else. This is a big part of my existence. If you show mutual respect than I’ll treat you like a guest in my home. But if you treat me as a worthless somehow unequal halfling than I’m forced to serve you a nice big middle finger with a side of “Fuck You”. You see we New Yorkers aren’t supposed to tolerate disrespect. We’re supposed to be stern with the first @$$hole because there’s usually a row of @$$holes following your example.

    Cross the line and I’m forced to respond. But if you show me mutual respect than your as good as family. Do you understand the logic behind this? When dealing with a large volume of people you eventually get to this point. Your either in the Hug U category or the Fuck U category. This my friends is how we interact.

    Don’t misunderstand me. The point of this post is to show the love New Yorkers share. When that mutual respect is shown these people can really surprise you. You get into the strangest conversations with the strangest people. Your day ends up going in loop-d-loops and you end the day thinking WOW that was different. When you respect someone as a person you can really unlock the potential in each other. I saw it earlier today. I flashed a warm smile at a stranger and that persons whole day changed. Who was that strange man and why did he smile at me like that. It touches people deep inside and alters their mood. All it takes is that one stranger to look at you like your worth looking at. And that my friends is the magic of the city. The assholes get dealt with swiftly but it’s always that unlikely stranger to build an important day.

    Does anyone wanna finish this for me?

    I want you to go out and change someone’s day. Don’t make friends with them, don’t have sex with them, and don’t lend them any money. Just look them in their eyes and smile. It won’t just make them feel better, it’ll make you feel damn good as well.

  • nocturnalgroaner 6:40 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    42: “I tell you I can’t live in service, like a doctor was born for a purpose.” 

    This is quote from the song Rudie Can’t Fail by the Clash. They’re my favorite band and many of their lyrics were quite enlightening to me when I was angst-ridden teenager. Just kidding. I only wanted to be an angst-ridden teenager, and despite being labelled a punk band, the Clash really weren’t too angsty either. I mean, the song that I’m highlighting is an incredibly danceable (skankable?) ska tune.
    It’s a bit hard to describe what makes songs great, but I think one aspect, that the Clash were particularly good at, is making something that sounds catchy and then embedding it with lyrics that are thought-provoking. The result is a song that gets stuck in your head, but upon the hundredth replay, instead of getting sick of it, the lyrics start to show themselves and it gets you more invested.

    I remember when I deciphered this lyric. I was a senior in high school, when I was preparing to apply to colleges. Just the decision of which college to go to was hard enough for me (one that I got wrong, but that’s another story), but having to start to think about what I wanted to be/ what I wanted to do as a career conflicted me even more (and still does). These decisions didn’t seem to bother my friends as much.

    Thinking back on it, I was in this claustrophobic echelon of elitism with my friends and classmates that were all in Honors Whatever, AP I Smarter than You, and National See How Awesome I Am Society. They all knew from way before kindergarten that they ALL wanted to grow up to be doctors …Maybe because everyone knows that they make an ass-ton of money…Maybe because they actually think they might like repairing broken bodies…I think it has a lot do with a certain social status garnered from the title…Anyway, none the reasons were ever enticing to me….But, I thought to myself, maybe I should care about those things?

    It’s almost too coincidental how literally this lyric fit with my situation. It helped me see that there are people who do things the “right” way and that I, probably, wasn’t one of those people.


  • Dee 12:00 pm on September 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    41: Whale’s Vagina 

    If you’re reading this right now, there is a good chance I am either on my way to or I am currently in bright and sunny San Diego. I am a bridesmaid in a family wedding which should be interesting… But what’s with the obscene post title? I felt like expressing my emotions and pre-wedding stresses through quotes from my favorite movies:

    Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale’s vagina.” – This one is obvious, I’m heading to San Diego for the wedding… and this is just a genius line. I had to post it because when in Rome…

    Well, what you plan and what takes place ain’t ever exactly been similar.” – I feel like I had my whole weekend planned of how I was gonna get everything done (packing, last minute errands, hair/nails), however I spent the entire weekend doing what everyone else needed. I only did one of the things that I had planned on doing all weekend.

    What the hell is that?”Theme Wedding.” “What was the theme? Humiliation?” Ok, so the bridesmaids dresses aren’t as cute as they could be… They’re papaya. What kind of color is papaya? It’s not a color it’s a fruit. The dresses are orange. And we’re wearing gold shoes that make your feet look like they’ve been in some freak fun house mirror accident. Yeah, not very attractive at all.

    That’s it for now! Have a good week tabbers!

    P.S. Bonus points to anyone who can name all 3 movies. Now googling! That’s cheating!

  • scott howard 7:00 am on September 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cousins, directions, Drinking, driving, , Rain, Scott, Seattle, Weddings   

    40: A Wonderful Series of Unexpected Events? 

    So, I was just in Seattle this weekend for my cousin’s wedding. (I’m pretty sure that’s all that needs to be said.)

    …Just kidding.

    However, this past weekend has most definitely been an adventure story worth describing in fine detail. I would have to say a good bit of this following story will be something anyone can relate to as well as a great comedy of family events.

  • weekendkeyboardwarrior 1:20 pm on September 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: banks, book, casinos, Dante, fools, gambling, greedy people, money, odds, rant, shady, suckers, tactics   

    39: “Abandon All Hope, You Who Enter Here” 


    Here’s a topic that should be close to Danni’s heart (or distant from it, depending on her perspective).

    Government sanctioned loan-sharking (a.k.a. banking).

    I can’t speak from an insider’s perspective; but I can speak from the perspective of a consumer who understands mathematics and militaristic tactics.

    I understand that speaking in a reproachful manner on the money-making tactics of banks given my current profession is a bit of a paradox; but let me put this angle of the discussion to bed right off the bat.

    The difference between what I do for a living and what banking executives do for a living boils down to volunteerism and mathematics – I make money off of people who give me their bankrolls voluntarily by assuming that they can play my game at a competitive level; when, in actuality, they cannot. No one is forcing them to sit down at the table and put their money in play! They do so voluntarily, thinking they can be profitable at it, and when they discover that they are not… instead of walking away, they blame it on luck and buy-in again. Suckers are my bread and butter! It sounds unscrupulous but when you think about the bigger picture, it’s wholly sane and logical in that these people are not required to sit down at the table in the first place, let alone stay for hours on end trying to win back what they’ve lost. And there is definitely no politics involved as my advantage lies strictly in numbers… I always ensure that I put the mathematical odds in my favor and keep my wins big and my losses small. I don’t lobby senators to make laws that favor me; I simply take universal truths (i.e. odds and probabilities) and use them to my advantage.

    Banks on the other hand rely on customers who have no other choice but to use them, and take them for every penny they are worth. They take people who didn’t want to be playing the game in the first place, and force them to not only play, but to play it out to the end! They fight to enact laws that require the populace to use their “services” (see the mandatory direct deposit laws instituted in many states) until they provide a substantial amount of profit to the bank, to spite the fact that these people wanted to stop playing long ago!

    This would be akin to me lobbying Washington to enact laws that require poker lessons be given at Gamblers Anonymous meetings! It’s irresponsible to force (or even just passionately persuade) the general public to play your game when you know full well that they stand no chance of winning. I don’t go out looking for untalented opponents and try to convince them to play me. I simply sit down at a table and wait for them to show up of their own volition.

    There, now that that’s out of the way…

    Continuing with the theme of the conversation, the way banks operate is similar to the way that casino management operates – they skew the numbers in their favor enough to make it consistently profitable for them while giving the illusion of profitability to their consumers.

    Here is an example – when you go to a craps table and place $10 on a one-roll “hard 12” – the odds of you hitting that in one roll are 36:1. So in order to make that a profitable bet, you would have to be getting somewhere around 37: 1 on your money. But the casino offers you 30:1 on your money, meaning that over the long run this is a sucker bet that will be very profitable for them. But the uninformed gambler looks at the 30-to-1 return on their money, and believes those to be great odds.

    Banks do something similar – they offer interest rates that sound fair, and they skew the numbers to their favor by doing things such as: changing the date that interest compounds to either before or after the payment due date (depending on whether they are the giving or taking the money), instituting obscure fees and charges, and offering balloon payments. Small differences such as these can mean thousands of dollars over the course of a year, but most people never even notice them! And of those who do notice, only a handful actually cares! Every “it’s only money” customer mentality earns banks millions over the long-run. Normally I would say “buyer beware” in such situations, but when using their services is a requirement for survival in civilized society, I have a much harder time justifying it. Your only option is to use a different bank which will undoubtedly be using these same shady tactics.

    The messed up thing is that most bank employees make modest wages compared to the bank’s big dogs (the CEO/CFO etc.) and thus, have no say in the policies… but yet take all of the blame from customers (Danni, I apologize on behalf of all bank patrons). It’s a small handful of ultra-wealthy people making fortunes off of those who cannot afford it.

  • Mr Str8 Fwd 3:21 am on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attire, Clothes, , garments, individual, model, outfits, personal, pref, self-expression, style   

    38: Fashion Weak? 

    I read a recent blog entry from the good people at TAB. That’s “The Awesome Bloggers”. You should check it out, they’re real badass. Anyway, the post was about business casual clothing and how it’s changed. In turn that got me thinking about my own twist on business casual. That of course got me thinking of my own style and how it’s a combination of other styles. But I’ll talk about me later 😉 Instead let’s talk about style in general.

    Style in terms of the clothes you wear is supposed to be a form of self expression. At first I’m thinking, come on….I’m no fashionista. Who gives a damn about what I’m wearing, as long as I don’t look like a turd. But I’ve had a change of heart. Now I see clothes as a very broad way of expressing yourself. Every article of clothing does and should say something about you.

    I know what your thinking. But Mr SF, I don’t want to go out looking like a model all the time. “Well, don’t” I reply. Just know that everything you buy is conscious. How you put them together is also conscious. It’s a reflection of you either way.

    So how does this tie in with me?

    Lately I’ve been replacing the very faded, out of shape, just plain ragged clothes. I buy Jay-favorites like the solid color polo’s, the boot cut jeans, a Yankee’s cap. The essence of the wardrobe I’m replacing. But for every few items that are just like the old, I’ll buy something that I normally wouldn’t wear, but would look good on my body. To take it a step further I force myself to wear it. I do this to broaden my style and integrate things outside of my comfort level.

    Fitted jeans are one example. I have a pair that fits a little closer than I’m used to, and I love them. I feel a little too sexy sometimes but they ARE comfortable.

    Another example are these Converse sneakers. Lol. If you know me you know it’s a stretch, but that’s exactly why I bought them. Of course I had to get them in leather. But the sole is real slim, they’re ankle length, and they’re all white. These are so very far from the footwear I’m used to and you know what? I fell in love with them. They feel different on my feet and they show every inch of my size 11 but I couldn’t be happier.

    I also bought a nice looking Fedora but I haven’t half the balls to wear it yet. “Don’t worry, your time will come.”

    Of course I’m going to challenge you again.

    LISTEN UP!! That purple sweater your Aunt Bertha gave you 5 friggin Christmases ago and you still haven’t touched it? Autumn is right around the corner. Lol, no……..seriously……

    So once a week let your style show. Change up the rotation damnit! Don’t be afraid to try something different. Like that TAB person, you might get a bunch of compliments.

    • dannifoley 8:15 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great post! Just a few comments… First, fedora’s are fun! Rock it!
      Thanks for the related post, I love when tabbers are able to play off one another!
      Also, I love the idea of buying something you wouldn’t normally wear and forcing yourself to wear it – so long as it looks good! I think I will take this challenge and buy something that looks good and force myself to wear it. I’ll let you know what I end up with. 😀

      • Jayson 10:20 pm on September 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        That’s great! I’m glad your going to try it. It’s a good feeling when you end up liking something you never would have tried otherwise. I can’t wait to hear the turn-out.

  • nocturnalgroaner 6:42 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    37: Intro and Coffee Shop Culture 

    So hello all. My name is Tanya. I guess that the gist of my existence at the moment is spending a lot of time “studying” (actually getting sidetracked and reading mindless things on the internet) at various coffee shops in Minneapolis. Maybe you’ve deduced that I’m a student already. I study Urban Studies and Architecture at the University of Minnesota, so I observe things in my surroundings…mostly built things but also humanoid things. Once and a while, I can make some pretty acute observations about very inconsequential phenomena, so, by joining this blog, I hope to write about mindless things (different than mindlessly writing, I hope) instead of just reading them.

    Anyway, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. I’m sure that coffee shops are popular in any urban area, but the number of them in Minneapolis is pretty excessive. Not only does Minneapolis have the usual number of Starbucks location, but the Twin Cities are also home to two of top ten largest coffeehouse franchises in the country: Caribou Coffee and Dunn Bros. I’m not sure how popular these brands are across the country, but here they are everywhere. In addition to the chains, there are, of course, hip independent coffee shops in all the up-and-coming or pretty much gentrified areas of the cities.

    What is really the point of all these coffee shops? By no means am I criticizing people who go to coffee shops, because I went to a coffee shop this morning and I totally participate in the culture. It’s just that when you think about, it’s kinda ridiculous.

    It kind of makes sense to go to coffee shop to buy a latte or whatever over-sweetened, artificially flavored espresso drink, because typical kitchens do not possess espresso machines and there is actually kind of an art or technique to making such drinks. So therefore a coffee shop could be like a restaurant, bakery or ice cream shop. But I find with coffee snobs and alcohol snobs is that the simplest drink (with good ingredients) is the most “respectable”. So the usual for a coffee snob is a black, dark roast, because most people can’t handle it.

    Most don’t even have any meaningful selection of food. When does a muffin or a scone really satisfy hunger anyway? And I’m really skeptical if the “atmosphere” of a coffee shop is the appeal. I just watched the movie “Slacker”. It’s one of Richard Linklater’s first movies and it really epitomizes the 90’s. Anyway, there were a few scenes that took place in the typical 90’s coffee house where unclean flannel wearers talk about crazy bullshit. So if coffee shops were still like this place of cultural conversation, then maybe the trend would be more logical. In reality though, a big portion of coffee shop users are people that are alone, either reading, studying or plugged into their computers. I think it’s quite funny that hipper coffee shops play their hipster music while most people have headphones in. Maybe people with laptops feel obligated to go somewhere other than home with their portable device?

    For me, I guess that I like coffee shops because it’s nice to get away from home or get away from campus. Maybe it also has something to do with people watching. Maybe coffee shops are a necessity for people the growing number of people that are self- employed and don’t have a traditional office. I worked at a coffee shop that had an exceptional patio and I think that’s a legit reason to spend time somewhere. Anyway, I think part of it, that I recognize in myself, is that I just really like to spend money. And that a coffee is cheap enough that I can buy many cups and I get the added benefit of a racing heart.

    So why do you like or dislike going to coffee shops? How do you feel about McDonald’s coffee?

    Maybe I should include pictures next time.I have to run to class.


    • dannifoley 9:09 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You know, it’s funny. I love hanging out in coffee shops, though I’m not sure why. I love to taste the different coffees available, but I think it’s mostly for the free wi-fi and change of scenery.

      Great first post and welcome to TAB!

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