Sunday, July 27, 2014

Politics: Presidental Disappointment

Halfway into President Obama's second term, there has been a lot left to be desired of how he's spent his time and money holding what many people agree is the most powerful job in the world.

There are those who will argue both sides of the coin.

Some say that he's pissed away his time playing golf, taking vacations and fundraising while the common American people flounder, counties in our care teeter on the verge of full scale war and our relationship with both allies and enemies make uncharted and largely unmitigated changes.

Some people say that he's been blocked and thwarted by conflicting political powers (namely congress) that disagree with his objectives and tie his hands from making the real progress he otherwise would be making.

And then there have a long and condemning list of scandals regarding Obama's history, his present and his future. The list is unprecedentedly long and deeply concerning given the amount of time and effort put into just confirming that Obama is legitimate and allowed to even continue holding the presidential office.

Regardless of what you say of all the scandals, there is something that bothers me even more than all of this.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Independent Films: What They Are and Why We Love Them!

Most people enjoy movies. They watch them. They love them or hate them. But most people don't understand the terms that describe what a movie is, aside from the genre. So when I say most of my favorite movies are Independent films...does that mean anything to you?

No? Well allow me to explain. 

"Independent" explains where the funding for the movie budget comes from. It also explains how and where the creators of the film got together.

Independent film makers range in size from companies that started small but with movie success over the years have developed a name for themselves like Dream Works, all the way down to smaller ones that few people have ever heard of, like Yari Film Group. They are like Dick's Sporting Goods and Ray's Cycle. Smaller, almost mom and pop shops that have fewer regular employees and a smaller budget to work with. They tend to hire actors specifically for each film and usually work with emerging actors who fewer people know about and are will to work for a lot less money. They also don't have regular donators who provide the funding for their films so they have to do fund raisers and try to find personal investor who are willing to take a chance on the movie flopping and never making their money back.

Aside from those differences, are the types of films they make. Big production houses make your staple films that fall under the categories of: Comedy, Action, Horror, Drama.

Major producers like Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers are huge companies with lots of people who are contracted to work with them for period of years. They have reliable donators who consistently give money to their movie projects because they'll get a cut if the film does well and they can pretty much count on it being a success.

They're a bit like Home Depot and Lowe's. They're huge, they have lots of regular employees and they have a huge budget. They tend to have contracts with actors for how many films they have to make with them in order to get paid in full. And they tend to have the heavy hitter, established actors like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Beals who command a very large salary.

They fit those criteria with a formula so the movie makers and the audience know exactly what they can expect.They follow reliable recipes that have proven popular with their audiences, that way there is very little gamble that they won't do well. But this also mean they don't take risks. They don't give you surprises. They give you splashy special effects, your favorite celebrity faces and an ending you can rely to fit the movie type.

Independent films and foreign films are for people who love adventure and like to think outside the box.

Independent films are less defined. They might make a movie that starts out funny, ends up being about cancer and instead of the patient living, they might die and the movie ends on a sad note. They are full of surprises because they often give you fresh actors who you don't know how will act or react. You don't know if there will be sex between the psychiatrist and his own son while he's counseling a rape victim or if the romantic couple chasing each other throughout the movie will end up getting married or not. They take chances. They give you something you've never had before, wrapped in brown paper instead of a colorful brand label plastic container. Maybe you'll love it. Maybe you'll hate it. But you won't know until you try every one, because they're all unexpectedly different.

Stay tuned for my next post which will list some of my favorite Independent Films. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nasty Gal Clothing Line: True to Name

I will never understand products that are intended to be desirable that are given derogatory names. 

Take the word Nasty for instance. Look it up in a dictionary and you'll see.
 

nas·ty

[nas-tee] Show IPA
adjective, nas·ti·er, nas·ti·est.
1.physically filthy; disgustingly unclean: a nasty pigsty of a room.
2.offensive to taste or smell; nauseating.
3.offensive; objectionable: a nasty habit.
4.vicious, spiteful, or ugly: a nasty dog; a nasty rumor.
5.bad or hard to deal with, encounter, undergo, etc.; dangerous; serious: a nasty cut; a nasty accident.


1. dirty, foul, loathsome. 
2. sickening, repulsive, repellent. 
3. stormy, inclement. 
4. smutty, pornographic. 
Now tell me where in any of that do you find something appealing or attractive that would make anyone want to buy or wear anything that would be described that way?? I just cannot see any motivation there. 
I can only think that they're either trying to be ironic, or turn nasty into an urban word that means something other that disgusting. Much how "sick" is now a way to describe something that is good. At least, depending on who you ask. 
But seriously, the unfortunate name kinda fits many of the clothes. And while I'm sure the clothing designers would not be pleased to learn that my condemnation of their styles and cuts aren't much better than the scathing reviews I had for American Apparel, at least they have decent models, backgrounds and photographers. It's just sadly their clothing that is horrendous and also, horrendously expensive. 

Unlike American Apparel which at least acknowledges it's clothing has little value and they don't charge you much for it, Nasty Gal has a ridiculously elevated opinion of it's self.
And you know how the famous old quote goes: You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. (Who comes up with this stuff?!)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Young Love and Parental Roles: How They Affect Your Future Partner Preference

They say that you never quite get over your first real crush. 

Thanks to growing up watching old Western films with my grandpa, Clint Walker was my first crush.

I never thought about it much when I was younger, but after finding this about a week ago, I'm realizing there is a really good chance, somewhere in my subconscious for most of my adult life I've been trying to find my own living embodiment of this TV legend. 


It would really mean that a lot of things I've wondered about for years, suddenly make a whole lot of sense. I've always been drawn to taller men. Much taller than someone who is a diminutive 5'3 1/2 "needs" to be. I tend to prefer dark haired men paired with blue eyes. It certainly helps that the same grandfather who fostered that love of old westerns and weathered the duty of raising two of his granddaughters as though they were his own daughters, also had hair that was nearly black (even into his 60's) and had clear blue eyes. I like deep voices. Grandpa was a Baritone (one step above a Base). And I'm very fond of a certain style of straight nose (some call them larger or prominent noses, but all I see is it's straight) and straight eyebrows above confident eyes. And a broad, muscular body definitely is nice.

This is not to say that's the only type of guy that I'm attracted to, but it's certainly general collection of qualities that I harbor a soft spot for.

There is also some speculation that people are genetically coded to be attracted to certain types of people. People who have a certain set of physical features or qualities. 

So who is someone you had a crush on that forever influenced your idea of your ideal partner?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Married At First Sight: Not Such a Crazy Idea After All

Last Tuesday launched the Pilot episode of a new show called Married At First Sight. And in the past few days negative reviews have been popping up all over the web. But I'd like to say a few things in favor of the radical idea, which I find myself surprised to say since I've never considered myself in favor of arranged marriages before.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Texter By The Same Name Can Be Confusing



Remember: Anonymous texting is just creepy. 


Sunday, June 22, 2014

You Get What You Take: Bad Choices = Bad Results

While at the grocery store this morning, it was impossible to not notice the woman in front of me, partly because more than half her body weight was made up of fat. While that's a common enough sight here in America, it's still disturbing. The other reason was that she was asking for a subtotal after every item rang up and she had about fifty of them. This of course dragged out her food buying process at least an extra fifteen minutes.

It was likewise impossible to not notice how she prioritized what she was buying, based upon the order of which she put them on the counter to be checked and bagged.

Case of soda? Check.
Box of garbage sugar cereal? Check.
Cans of pork and something I've never heard of? Check
Frozen, breaded corn dogs? Check. 
Bags of chips? Check.

Most of the other food items she bought, I didn't recognize. Cans, boxes, plastic containers all sporting lables I've never bought and honestly don't remember ever seeing on the shelves. But then I've always tried to keep prepackaged, processed food to a minimum and since I was raised that way, I don't even see most of that stuff as being "food". 

Finally, she reached the last few items in her cart. She seemed slightly anxious as to whether they were going to push her payment over the acceptable price limit: What were these last items?
Raw tomatoes, fresh mushroom and bunches of beets.

As she approached the $80 mark (I'm assuming her cut off point) you could see the tension on her face. Brow crinkled, she struggled between fresh vegetables and a giant portion of bakery cake she suddenly extracted from the front section of the cart where people typically put their valuables such as children, purses and raw eggs.

Cake in hand, her face puckered as she looked back and forth between the produce items and the white frosted full day worth of calories. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other and resting my elbow on my cart, propped my chin on my hand. The checker waited. I waited. The five people in line behind me waited.

After another infinite moment of what must have been gut wrenching effort to judge the value of the items left, the woman plunked the cake down on the conveyer belt and glancing around, skooted one bunch of beets near it. $80.24 showed up on the screen. Those were her final items.

She breathed a sigh of relief that her fat insurance was safely bagged and tucked back into her car and started making jokes. "Only three items to put back, I did good this time."

I worked hard to keep my face emotionless. Meanwhile the rejected nutrition make it's way back to the "return cart" pile.