4 posts from September 2004

Oldies: Sunday, September 19 - Saturday, September 25, 2004...

Saturday, 25 September 2004: Katie and I did something rather different today. We went on a Ghost Tour with my parents and my brother. The tour was run by Richard Crowe (whom I saw speak at NIU once while I was an undergrad). He took us on a bus tour to several sites in Chicago that are reportedly haunted such as the empty lot where the garage once stood that served as the site for the St.Valentine's Day Massacre. We also saw the Biograph Theater and the alley where John Dillinger was shot and then died, respectively.

In case you are wondering, no, we did not actually see any ghosts... unfortunately. But we did see areas of Chicago that we had never visited before and they were very damn cool. Would I recommend this tour to anyone else? Yeah, but with some reservations. I think that this is good for people that have a strong fixation on ghosts or know Chicago pretty well already so that maybe they will see something new in their town. It's fun for select groups. I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, 23 September 2004: I went to the doctor's office this morning to have my back looked at. He said nothing is out of place. Judging by the location of my pain and the fact that none of my extremities felt any pain or numbness, he thinks that a muscle or some such just slipped out and over into a bad place and slipped right back into place. This would cause severe aggravation of my muscles and tendons and that's what is making me to want to cry in public like a little kid who just had his candy stolen by a big kid.

Now I'm on three different drugs and sitting at home. Heck, my doctor even gave me a written excuse to not go into work until at least Sunday. How long's it been since I got a doctor's note to get out of something? Very cool. I might just keep it for kicks. Could come in handy down the line. Heh heh.

Wednesday, 22 September 2004: Expect me to be ranting about this one for a while. I threw out my back at the gym tonight. I was using the back extension machine (start from a seated position and push back against resistance, yadda yadda) when, on my second set, I felt a pop. Not a good pop, either. Well, then again, how often is any "pop" sound good? Okay, champagne corks maybe. Well, I finished that set and went to do my third and final set and realized I couldn't move my back at all.

So I decided to call it quits with lifting and walked for 15 minutes on a treadmill, went to the locker room, and took a shower. Then I discovered pain. Just try tying your shoes after throwing out your back. Talk about making a case from slippers.

Tuesday, 21 September 2004: Yes, I've held strong. No Star Wars trilogy for me. Some thought I couldn't do it, but I have. And the more I look at it, the less I really want it. Weird, huh? Especially considering what a Star Wars freak I am. I just really hate the changes that much.

I got in a discussion with a salesman at Best Buy about it today (I went there to check out a couple of CDs - I wound up buying nothing). He brought up some valid points and I'd like to think that I did as well regarding my decision not to buy it. It was a really good discussion overall. Although I truly doubt I changed his mind. Not that I was aiming to, but if it happened, so be it.

Monday, 20 September 2004: If any of you want to see what it is I've been working on for a while here at AU, check out our new homepage. No, I haven't done any of the redesign beyond that point. Just the homepage. Hey, I am but one man. Gimme a break.

Oldies: Sunday, September 12 - Saturday, September 18, 2004...

Saturday, 18 September 2004: I watched the coolest thing on TV today, it was a VH-1 special called "When Star Wars Ruled the World." It was part of their "When ____ Ruled the World" series and it was very nicely done. They brought in Harrison (Han Solo) Ford, Carrie (Princess Leia) Fisher, Mark (Luke Skywalker) Hamill, Billy Dee (Lando Calrissian) Williams, Peter (Chewbacca) Mayhew, Jeremy (Boba Fett) Bullock, Irvin (director of Empire Strikes Back) Kershner, and, I think, Kenny (R2-D2) Baker and Warwick (Wicket the Ewok) Davis (but they may have just been archive footage, I'm a bit fuzzy on those two) for interviews and had them talk about the phenomenon. It was just a very fitting tribute to what has amounted to a very important piece of pop culture.

But the best part of it was when Bullock said, "Now that I'm a Pez and a Lego, I don't want for anything more." That line cracked me up.

Friday, 17 September 2004: It's just not a good decade to be a Ramone...

Johnny Ramone (John Cummings), the guitarist of The Ramones, died Wednesday from cancer. This follows the 2002 death of bassist Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin) by drug overdose and vocalist Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Hyman) of lymphoma.

Now, all that remains of the band is drummer Marky Ramone (Marc Bee). Well, I guess you could count Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyi) who was the band's original drummer. But he left the band in '77. So maybe he doesn't really count. Who knows?

Thursday, 16 September 2004: Just wanted to drop an apology to all of you. I had archived the August posts a while back but the link on the archive index was broken. Dunno how that happened, but it did. It's fixed now, though.

Monday, 13 September 2004: For anyone wondering, Katie got her iPod recently. She's actually got one of the newest fourth-generation click wheel models with 20GB of space. She likes it but she has yet to learn the wonder that is customized playlists. I'll teach her soon.

Oh, and inline with how I named my Dopi, her's is name pPod. I thought it was cute. I guess her original plan was to get a green iPod Mini and name it pPod. But considering the miniscule price difference between the two and the fact that for that price difference you get an additional 16GB, we just had to spring. But, also like mine, we got her's really inexpensively as well. We're good.

Sunday, 12 September 2004: Okay, this concert went much more smoothly. Yep, today Katie and I went downtown (yet again) for the Norah Jones concert at the Chicago Theater. However, this time, no train was involved and no feet suffered. We parked at the Grant North Underground and it was so nice considering that the parking lot comes out be Millennium Park and was only three blocks away from the Theater.

As for the show, it was great. Norah's opening act was a solo acoustic act by the name of Amos Lee and he was a real crowd pleaser. Everyone was there for his show (the likes of which I've never seen at a concert before because people always tend to come a little later when they know an opener is involved) and sat there for the whole thing. He interacted well with the audience and we all ate it up. He closed with a song called "Caramel" that was just hilarious. The good old food and sex sort of song. He has a full-length album scheduled to come out in February. I bought his EP at the show and he signed it for me.

Norah came out with her band shortly afterwards and just played her heart out. She covered all the fan faves and many of the band faves. Unfortunately, she only has two albums out so she didn't have too much to play overall, but the show still lasted about an hour and a half, give or take. I'd recommend seeing her play if you ever have the chance.

Oldies: Sunday, September 5 - Saturday, September 11, 2004...

Friday, 10 September 2004: Sometimes you just lose all faith in humanity and last night was one of those nights.

While working at the gym, I was informed by another employee that a mutual friend of ours (who also worked at the gym but is now back at school) had his Camaro stolen from the parking lot at a auto body shop.

I can't even begin to enumerate just how uncool that is. He loved that car with a passion and had been saving up money the entire summer and was saving up more over the school year and into next summer to buy a new engine for the Cam.

People like these thieves need to have something very terrible happen to them. What, you might ask? Well, my ideas may be a bit extreme so I won't really go into them.

Thursday, 9 September 2004: It's about damned time. That's all I can really say about finally getting to the kickoff of the NFL season.

The first game of the season featured the New England Patriots against the Indianapolis Colts and that's a helluva matchup for the opener. Two great teams just duking it out.

Well, as you know, the Pats won, but only barely. They won because Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt was wide right on what would have been the game-tying field goal with 24 seconds left. Ouch, that's gotta hurt. He'll remember that for a while. At least his name isn't Scott Norwood and this isn't Super Bowl XXI. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, 8 September 2004: By Joe, I think I've got it! I know the cure for all the world's ills.

Want to know what it is?

... it's bubble wrap!

Yes, the translucent plastic sheets with bubbles on them intended for packing. Think about all the fun you've had with bubble wrap in your life. Even when you feel like complete and utter crap, sitting around and playing with bubble wrap, I'm sure, has always made you feel better. At least it has for me. And, apparently, it has the same effect on other people or it wouldn't have been featured so prominently in last night's episode of Scrubs.

So, join in with me! Stock your houses and offices with bubble wrap. Let's send pallets of bubble wrap to Al Q'aida. Maybe Osama bin Laden would even forget about his sexual chastising by an American woman (from Chicago, no less) if he had bubble wrap to make him feel better.

Yeah, I must be on something.

Tuesday, 7 September 2004: This morning had to be one of the easiest mornings I ever had waking Katie up. I simply took her hand and ran it down over my mouth and over my chin. She spun over incredibly fast with wide eyes and said, "oh shit!"

Yep, this morning I actually shaved off my goatee. For only the third time in 11 years, and the first time since 2000, it's gone. Katie had dared me a week or so ago to do it and doubted that I actually would. I figured this would be one of my safer dares. Hell, it should grow back relatively quickly. Unless it goes the route of my hairline, I should be set. We'll see. Maybe I'll even give you all a photo sometime soon.

Monday, 6 September 2004: I'm not entirely sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Kevin Smith (director of Clerks, Chasing Amy, et al) has announced what his next film will be. And, unlike the original rumors that he would be directing either Green Hornet or the next Fletch film, it turns out he is returning to the roots that he said he was leaving behind forever. Yep, his next film will be entitled The Passion of the Clerks. Okay, so it is a blatant jab at The Passion of the Christ, but what would you expect from the guy that wrote and directed Dogma — a movie still blasted by religious fundamentalists as sheer blaspheme? (personally, I love the film).

I know that Smith heads are gonna be loving every moment until this film is released. I know that I am going to be excited to see Dante, Randall, and Jay and Silent Bob as well. But it scares me that he is doing a sequel of one of his earlier films. Sequels never seemed like Smith's MO in my humble opinion. Cross references in his films are one thing, but creating a true sequel is something else altogether and I hope to hell this script is fantastic.

My next question is, will this be another black and white like the original or will he be giving it the full-color treatment. You almost need the black and white in this. God I hope he does use B&W.

If you'd like some more information about the new movie, check out Yahoo! News.

Sunday, 5 September 2004: Well, I definitely won't be receiving any awards for consistent updates this past week, will I? All nine of the reviews in the Recent Updates box are new and have been piling up for over two weeks now. That's pretty sad. It took so much self convincing to actually open up Dreamweaver and begin to tackle all this crap that's waiting to be reviewed.

I gotta be more regular and not in an Ex-Lax sense, either. Katie and I watch too many movies for me to not update the reviews regularly.  

Oldies: Sunday, August 29 - Saturday, September 4, 2004...

Sunday, 29 August 2004: It's kinda fun to watch a movie and know some of the locations because you have actually been there. Take, for example, the movie Hollywood Homicide with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. Granted, it's not the best movie around; heck, it's not even particularly good. But, now that Katie and I have been to L.A. and Venice, we have a whole new appreciation for the movie because we can watch it and say, "we've been there!" It's always pretty cool to be able to do that. Or maybe it's just us.