Monday, March 29, 2010

It's A Hot Tub

For some reason my response to almost every question asked of me this weekend was: "Hot Tub Time Machine".

Really, what an awesome idea. It's a hot tub AND a time machine.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I will. You don't let awesomeness like Hot Tub Time Machine pass you by. Just ask John Cusack and Darryl from The Office.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lights, Motors, Action!

Yes, that is a car blasting out of a building in the picture. It's all part of the epic stunt spectacular that is Lights, Motors, Action! All of this goes down at MGM in the WDW.

Lights, Motors, Action! didn't really seem like my thing. I'm not into cars. But, the show is actually all about car stunts and car chases and other movie stunts. It's like The Transporter, except without Jason Statham (which is totally tragic).

So, you go into this huge stadium and soon enough cars are revving up their engines and racing around the stage. Then there's some motorcycles, then there's some gun shots, then something EXPLODES! You can feel the heat. Then we get to some jet skis and some people fall off of buildings and then someone gets lit on fire and then something major happens (it may or may not be another EXPLOSION). It's super awesome.

One hint...sitting in this stadium is mad hot. They cram about a thousand people into this place and part of it is covered, but part of it isn't (note...sit in the covered part). My mom and I were there in September one year and it was about 90 degrees outside. We got there about 30 minutes before the show started and had to sit in the stagnant heat. It was awful. They have about 5 fans towards the top of the bleachers and I would sit somewhere in the breeze of the fan. You will thank me.

4/5 or 8/10. It's a good show, but the bleacher seats are uncomfortable and hot.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

This quote reminds me of the coming of spring. Especially after my mom says that one of her tulips is starting to come up already!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Old People and Movies

Have you ever been in a movie theatre with old people? A few things are guaranteed to happen. #1, the old people will be PISSED about commercials before the movie. I mean so pissed off that there are rude gestures and loud grunts and other old person noises. #2, the old people will be ready to walk out by the 4th preview. Nowadays, there's always 4-5 previews, even at the cheap theatres. This is about all old people can take. #3, the old people will loudly sigh "Finally" when the movie begins. And #4, some of the old people will be sleeping by the end. That's a given. My grandpa naps every 3 hours, and there's no way an old person can sit in a darkened room for 2+ hours without taking a little snooze.
This weekend, I went to see The Hurt Locker with Mike. It was suppsed to start at 4:15 on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. When Mike and I walked into the theatre, we realized that we were the only people under the age of 60 in the room.
At about 4:17, the movie hadn't started. They were showing those pre-movie ads on a loop. There were about 3 ads total, so after sitting there for 5 minutes, I had seen each ad 7 times. So had the old people. A slow grumbling came over the crowd as you heard some of the elderly in the back saying, "This movie's 2 minutes late!" "When is the movie going to start?"
At 4:18, one old memaw couldn't take it anymore. "WE WANT THE MOVIE!" She shouted. Other grandpas and grandmas agreed. They couldn't believe the outrage! Their time was being wasted. Of course Mike couldn't let this go by, so he started a chant in the theatre "Movie, Movie, Movie". This got the seniors riled up. There were more shouts of "Start the movie!" and the one angry grandma kept saying "We Want the Movie". I thought there would be an elderly stampede.
In the end, the movie started around 4:20 and the seniors settled down. Until the coke commercial started and then it was all "What in the hell?!" "A commercial!" "Just start the movie already!"
I love going to movies with old folks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gang Leader for a Day

I swear that I took a picture of this book, but I can't find you'll have to go without. As sad as you are, I'm worse because I love pictures. I love pictures so much more than words.

But, I have a book to review and more importantly I have a list that I can check something off of and nothing brings me quite so much joy as checking something off of a list. Gang Leader for a Day was a compelling read. The author recounts his time studying the Chicago projects and its gangs. He didn't just study the projects, he basically lived in them and became an honorary member of the Black Kings gang. Wild right, but sort of inappropriate for a sociologist student at the University of Chicago.

The information that Sudhir Venkatesh obtains is fascinating. He sees the gang at work, watches how they recruit, how they make their money and conduct their business, how they run the projects and justify their crimes. In the projects, the gangs run things like a large and corrupt corporation. They are often brutal and unfair, but surprisingly community oriented and just. It's bizarre.

Towards the end of the book, the author really gets into his moral and ethical dilemma. He's becoming more of an accomplice to crimes than a casual observer. He wonders if he's crossing a line...and he is. About midway through the book you start to see that Venkatesh has become so enmeshed with the gang that he's no longer a subjective researcher. I actually think it helps his research in this case. The gang members and other residents of the projects became more human which you don't often find in these types of scholarly studies.

It was good, but perhaps a bit long. 4/5 or 7/10 stars.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Primeval Whirl

This is a deceptive ride in the "Dinoland" area of Disney's Animal Kingdom. All around it are carnival rides and other "kid" stuff. When you just look at it, it seems like a leisurely ride back in time. It is not...leisurely, that is.

For those Minnesotans, remember that Valleyfair ride called Wild Rails? Well, it's like that ride, sort of a rollercoaster, except more jerky with less dramatic drops. Primeval Whirl has the added bonus of a spinning car. So, you're spinning in a car, the track has lots of turns, then a few drops and some hard stops and starts. Basically, if you didn't have neck problems before the ride, you likely will afterwards.

But this ride always makes me the happiest of people. I'm literally laughing the entire time. You really can't beat 5 minutes of straight laughter. Just don't drag little kids on the ride, especially if they don't want to go. Because it's worse than it looks.

4/5 stars!

P.S. The whole Valleyfair thing was a total blast from the past. I wikipedia'd that shit and found out that it's completely changed from the last time I was there!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I haven't posted anything in awhile, mostly because I've been mysteriously busy and because my job has somewhat changed. I say mysteriously busy because I don't really have much going on, but have found myself really behind in everything. Maybe it's a spring thing?

Anyhow, starting this week, I started a new assignment in my same job. I will be at the county hospital 2 weeks at a time with the judge that I work for doing civil commitments and then the next 2 weeks will be back at the courthouse doing trust/probate hearings. The main issue is that while I am at the hospital I have very limited Internet access. I share a computer with someone else and can only use it when they aren't doing examinations in the room that the computer is in. So, I'm not really on the computer at all at work and then get back home and have to look at work email, my regular email, my regular websites and anything else. It feels so frantic and I don't want to spend my entire night on the computer, so I haven't even been able to think about updating ye old blog.

So, being a few days into March, I thought I'd do a little bit of an update. I sort of forgot about March's Eve until about 8:00 the night of. Whoops. But I spent it eating Thai food and watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. So, it was pretty good. I did make a resolution for March. Drumroll please...I am going to try to plan less. I don't know if this makes sense, but the last half year of my life has felt very planned out where every weekend I have a couple of obligations and most weekdays I have something going on. I want to find a better balance of being planned and doing nothing, so this month I'm not going to plan much.

On another note, how much do you miss the Olympics?