Category Archives: movies

This week’s cover: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ 30th anniversary |

This week’s cover: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ 30th anniversary | EW.comew-cover-1098.jpg


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Oscar Tribute to John Hughes

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Are you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” — Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), Say Anything

But seriously, what do you want to be when you grow up – if you are not doing it already? And if you are what you want(ed) to be when you grew up, congrats. How did you do it? I still don’t know what I want to be or at least how to do it.

My last post got me thinking about this again. When I was boy I was heavily influenced by movies/TV, shock!, I know. I am still am. I wanted to be a truck driver because of B.J. and the Bear. Lead character McKay was from Milwaukee. Oh, I was on the right path, destiny?

Now the thought of me actually being a truck driver. Wait, just think about it for a second. If you know me, it’s at least mildly amusing. I don’t even like to “drive shifter cars. I drive luxury automobiles. Cars that shift themselves” (V. Gallo, Buffalo ’66)

But to his credit (?) Greg Evigan sang his own TV theme. As did Lee Majors in The Fall Guy, a seriously well written tune called The Unknown Stuntman. And yes, I really wanted to be a stuntman for a long time.

Did you listen to it? It’s a melancholy tune, just the classic lovable loser who doesn’t girl after doing all the work. My stuntman desire was augmented by my love for Raiders of the Lost Ark and a TV special called Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can watch all 6 parts on youtube, it’s a simple documentary for younger ones, but you watch it with them. Did you ever see this?

In modern cinema, many stuntmen have lost their jobs to CGI and the like. Many of the best stunts of the past wouldn’t be done the same way today. There was a much bigger element of danger when you drove a car off a bridge or fell into an airbag.

Somewhere in my Raiders of the Lost Ark love, I realized I didn’t really want to be a stuntman. I think I got my stunts kick out of the way with trying skydiving and bungee jumping. I really wanted to be Steven Spielberg, the director. Which is probably best that I realized early I wouldn’t be Harrison Ford. Which is not to say I totally gave up on acting because later I would want to be a comedian and trying acting. Robin Williams, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Saturday Night Live were among the numerous influences. (I’ve talked more about comedy specifically and will again later.)

And the Spielberg dream still exists, though now I would cross it with Wes Anderson and Woody Allen and a few others. The list is long of other partial considerations or even attempts at dreams, goals, or careers.

writer (I worry this is too solitary of an existence for social me. I would need to collaborate in some way.)
comic book artist/comic book writer
record store owner (extinct)
video store owner (extinct)
advertising copy writer – actually went to college for this one before going to film school for a while. Worked in advertising for a while, but never as a writer.
radio DJ (dabbled)
record producer
band manager (still could)
greeting card writer (like 500 Days of Summer! but only because it came up on an career aptitude test)
bar owner (harsh hours)
restauranteur (harsh failure rate)

I did some of these, worked in some of these fields. And Lloyd Dobler, I did sell things for a while and really didn’t enjoy it either. But here I am now, a work-at-home Dad, which you can see wasn’t on any of the previous lists. That said, I did always want to be a husband and a father, so no complaints. It’s a full time job, the toughest job you’ll ever love. You’re so busy and then so tired by the time you have a moment to yourself (usually just when the kids are asleep). Lately just thinking about what comes next now that the boys are getting older and going to be at school for longer days which will provide a little more time, hopefully, to go after the passions.

My problem has been that the things I want to do, really have a passion for, just don’t seem to have an easy career path, especially in regards to supporting a family financially. I made a list for 2010 of possible “jobs” I like still am interested in pursuing. Replicated from the index card near my desk:

FILM – direct, produce, act, write, curate, theater
WRITING – blog, book, film, mag, comic
COMEDY – live, perform, improv, stories, write
MUSIC/DJ – play on web, radio, manage bands
PLACE/VENUE – own bar/restaurant/theater for movies/host B&B, trivia, bands, games, art, sports, wine
B&B – get paid, franchise, web videos
TV SHOW – cable, local
RADIO – host, podcasts
BIZ w/ MU friends (names held here for privacy)

Do I see patterns here? Anyone have any ideas how to help me achieve my goals, dreams, career? Those of you that have done it please share your tips and any advice you may have for the many of us who are still searching.

A few years ago Mama and I hosted an Idea Party based on Barbara Sher’s programs. After talking to a college friend recently, we thought maybe it’d be a good time to revisit the Idea Party. Let me know if you are interested in attending an Idea Party with us.


Filed under Grown-ups, movies, Take a Chance, TV, writing

Doodles at the Movies

Doodles explains The Sandlot to Grandma Moe. And also who Babe Ruth is.


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Groundhog Day —> 2/3

Why is Groundhog Day one of the best movies?

A. written/directed by Harold Ramis
B. it stars Bill Murray
C. and his goal is to get to the day February 3rd, my birthday.

How can I not love a movie in which Bill Murray does whatever it takes to get to 2/3?
Even with Andie MacDowell (Hudson Hawk, Muppets from Space), it’s still a classic romantic comedy.

Here’s another scene. Bonus trivia: Mama used to be the personal trainer for the actress playing the piano teacher.

If you see only one movie today, make it the #34 movie on AFI’s Top 100 Comedies List.

As for the real Groundhog Day – Here are some “facts” or is this case maybe factoid (loate the word) is more apropos (from Wiki page):

Groundhog Day proponents state that the rodents’ forecasts are accurate 75% to 90%. A Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years puts success rate level at 37%. Also, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that the overall predictions accuracy rate is around 39%.

WKBW-TV meteorologist Mike Randall put it a different way: since there are always six more weeks of winter after Groundhog Day, and the concept of early spring in the astronomical sense simply does not exist, then whenever the groundhog sees its shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter, the groundhog is always right, but whenever it predicts an early spring, it is always wrong. The results have an approximate 80% rate of accuracy, the average percentage of times a groundhog sees its shadow.

And Happy Birthday to Amber of My Delicate Slip of Sunshine (on my blogroll). She just couldn’t wait to be born and had to share her day with a big weasel.

But whatever happens today, know that tomorrow will be better. At least I’ll be supposedly wiser.


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Fave Films 2009 (so far)

A list most definitely in progress. Everyone seems to love going to the movies around Christmas. Pick a good one. I still want to see Avatar 3-D, among many others like An Education, Nine, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. No. No. I will not. Doodles was begging to see more Alvin today. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t own it. Why we had only rented it. And I can’t believe I just admitted we even did that much. It was so bad, but the kids laughed so hard. Belching + farting + helium voices = surefire children’s movie hit.

Here are some of my film faves so far in 2009:

The Invention of Lying
Inglourious Basterds
(500) Days of Summer
Up (3-D)
Up in the Air
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Funny People
The Hangover
District 9
I Love You, Man
Star Trek


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Fantastic? We’ll see.

After the second trailer my hopes are still up for Where the Wild Things Are, but were let down by Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Will Wes Anderson deliver with his first animated/kid’s flick?

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