Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On Holiday

I’m taking a break from blogging for the next 3 weeks. It’s going to be hard for you, I know. But I’ve been too distracted this last month and need to study doublehard now. There might be a post here and there, but don’t expect anything substantial until after my exam on June 20th. And generally don’t expect anything substantial.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Legend pt 3

If you don't live in Columbus, or don't facebook, or didn't see the link next to the previous two parts of the movie, here's the thrilling conclusion.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Drama King

I love drama. There’s probably no way for an outside observer to know this, apart from reading my blog where I disclose my deep, dark secrets. But I do love drama. It quickens my pulse. I feel it and I like it. I like the conflict, the clashing of different ideologies and views. I like seeing which sides win, and whether the victory is based on actual logic or sheer tenacity. I like seeing how people actually act when placed into the struggle, when the ugliness or strength that is usually hidden away comes forth. And though I make it sound epic, it happens all the time. Fights between parents and children, arguments between friends, really anything that becomes really heated is interesting. And when romance is thrown into the equation, it becomes heated all the more easily.

Now I don’t particularly like to be in the drama. You’d be hard-pressed to describe me as dramatic. I don’t get mad enough to get in fights (verbal, physical, psychic or otherwise) and rarely even argue. Either I’m right and don’t need to prove it to you or I don’t care enough about what we’re discussing for it to become heated. But when I am thrown into the drama, I can at least enjoy that pounding heart, even if the results are going to be bad. Because really, how often are the results beneficial? If there’s a fight, things have fallen apart. Even if it’s relationship drama, where at least love is somehow involved, the fact that you’re calling it drama indicates that things aren’t going well. Someone is going to get hurt. You’re either going to get hurt or someone else is, which will bring the guilt and/or sympathy pains. Even when I’m not involved and am enjoying the show, you know there will be negative consequences, and I certainly don’t enjoy that element.

I haven’t had much drama in recent years. I’ve witnessed a nibble here and there, but I haven’t had any myself. Med school doesn’t really lend itself to high drama. I’ve been mad once since living in Columbus. I get irritated and annoyed on a daily basis, but I can really only point to one instance where I was mad. And while the situation was obviously such that it made me mad, I did enjoy the bit of spice it provided. As I recently pointed out things have been very quiet on the dating front these past couple years, so I’ve had no relationship drama to speak of. But recently I had some non-relationship drama, which was a surprise, given how little socializing I’ve done lately. Obviously, I would’ve preferred a relationship, and barring that relationship drama, but the non-relationship drama was still very interesting. Drama where someone liked me would nearly always beat drama of someone disliking me, but when it gets me out of studying for a while I’m not complaining. And had I been actively pursuing this girl the non-relationship drama could have been quite depressing, but given that I wasn’t, I just got some fun wheeling and dealing with no emotional consequences. Angst, lust, subterfuge, betrayal, it made for a great diversion. They’re not about to start a soap opera about my life, but it’s nice that something’s going on. Though it does make it harder to get back to this stupid immunology.

A Hero or 34

So I was posting more than a post a day last week. Weird huh? Man do I hate studying. And it looks like I’ll be doing it for another 4 weeks. We’ll see. In any case, if you were thinking of renting a superhero movie this weekend I’ve ranked them for your convenience.

1. Spiderman 2 - You knew Spiderman would claim the number 1 prize.
2. Bagman Begins – A solid film, regardless of its genre.
3. X-Men 2 – Nightcrawler and Colossus. That’s all you need.
4. Iron Man – Probably a better movie than X-Men 2, but lacking Nightcrawler.
5. Spiderman 1 – A solid choice.
6. Batman – Very iconic. It’s aged a bit, but still good.
7. Spiderman 3 – Wouldn’t make most top 10s, but I’m a longtime fan.
8. Batman Returns – So weird it’s great. Plus Catwoman’s outfit.
9. Constantine – You’ve never seen it, but it’s great.
10. Hellboy – You’ve also never seen it, but it’s great, and the sequel is coming out.
11. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm – A great Batman rendition. Quite overlooked.
12. X-Men 1 – Kind of cheesy, but fun.
13. Blade 2 – Del Toro’s actually a pretty good director, so check this one out.
14. X-Men 3 – Not great, but it has some sweet action.
15. Hulk – People hate on it, but I didn’t think it was too bad.
16. Batman (Adam West style) – This is great to MST3000 to.
17. Spawn – Very 90s, but the effects are pretty nice.
18. Superman 2 – I hate Superman, but this is his best movie.
19. Blade – With low expectations it’s a fun romp.
20. Superman Returns – Lex is great. Just make a Lex Luthor movie.
21. Batman Forever – Watchable, but just barely.
22. Daredevil – Would’ve been fine with better villains.
23. Elektra – It’s got Jennifer Garner in leather. But that’s it.
24. Blade 3 – Jessica Biel in leather, that’s it.
25. Punisher – Silly, but with a couple sweet scenes.
26. Superman 1 – Some iconic moments, but generally boring.
27. Ghost Rider – Forgettable.
28. Batman and Robin – So bad.
29. Catwoman – Even worse. Though, you can laugh through parts.
30. Supergirl – A remember thinking it was dumb when I was 8. A bad sign.
31. Superman 3 – A hero I hate in a bad movie.
32. Superman 4 – A hero I hate in a bad preachy movie.
33. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – Haven’t scene it.
34. Fantastic Four – Won’t see it.

I'm expecting the Dark Knight to crack the top 5 and the new Hulk to be in the top 15. I'll keep you informed.

I’ve left off some great movies that are based on comic books, but not about superheroes. Those include, though aren’t limited to: 300, Sin City, V for Vendetta, A History of Violence, Persepolis, Ghost World, TMNT, 30 Days of Night, The Crow and Road to Perdition. Ok, some of those aren’t very great.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fun over Studying

I've never tried this before, but I think this will link to my facebook photo album. Let me know if it doesn't.

Click Here

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pattern Breaker

I look for patterns. I count to see if more men or women bear their testimony at church. I know how many days it’s been since I’ve stepped foot in the library. I like to know what the average is, and I like to be an outlier.

Sometimes I like to maintain patterns. I have never sent a text message. Not once. I realized that I hadn’t ever sent one a couple years ago and have decided to maintain that pattern. Is it likely that I’m going to be able to go my whole life without sending a text message, or whatever form of communiqué replaces texting a couple years from now? Almost certainly not. But for now I can keep the record going, and that makes me happy for some reason.

I like to be eccentric, so that partially explains this phenomenon. People know that I don’t text. I bring it up sometimes. Hey, I’m Chris, I can play the bassoon, I have 8 sisters, I don’t text. Never met anyone like me have you? But there’s also some intrinsic gratification that I receive from holding these patterns. I’ve had a Sacagawea dollar in my wallet since I was 16. I’m pretty sure that no one knew that (until now of course.) I have no sentimental attachment to it, and I’d spend it if I felt the necessity. I found myself a dollar short last week and nearly had to spend it, but instead I paid with a bunch of change. The pattern remains upheld.

I also enjoy breaking patterns. It gives me some sense of pleasure that everyone else is one way and I’m another. In Columbus there are 2 singles wards, and for those wards there are 4 Activities Co-Chairs at any time. In the 21 months that I’ve lived here there have been 13 different chairs. That seems like quite a high turnover. Why? Because they all get married. Of the 13 chairs, 9 are now married or engaged to be so. 1 has moved away and 2 have been called to be chairs for only a couple months, so haven’t received the blessings of their calling just yet. So if you’re an activity chair in Columbus you have a 75% chance of getting married, and the vast majority of those marriages occur within a year of being called to the position.

And then there’s me. I broke the pattern. Unlike my non-texting record, I’ll drop this distinction at the soonest available opportunity. But at least there’s a silver-lining to my perpetual bachelorhood. I get to stay the outlier.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Kristen Bell Late Night Show

I've never watched Craig Ferguson before, but some people swear by him. And I must admit, he's pretty funny. He has the ability to ask some pretty random and ridiculous things while making it sound like the logical progression of the conversation. And of course Kristen Bell is in the clip so how bad could it be?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Independent Study (watching TV)

An excerpt from an essay I wrote a couple months ago.

ER has taught me that there is never a dull moment in medicine.
Scrubs shows that there are in fact dull moments, but there are plenty of interesting people to fill them.
I don’t remember Cliff Huxtable ever going to work on the Cosby show, so evidently doctors can have family lives.
I’ve yet to see Grey’s Anatomy, but I hear it could show me how to improve my medical social life.
Becker has shown me that I can keep my personality and that bedside manner is optional.
House has shown me some of the consequences of opting out of that bedside manner.
Dr. McCoy frequently reminded me that doctors have their limitations.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman showed me that doctors can in fact do anything, while combating prejudice in the wild west no less.
Doctor Who is probably not a very realistic depiction of my life as a physician.
General Hospital is perhaps less so.
The X-Files taught me that doctors can work for the FBI and hunt UFOs.
MASH showed me that doctors can travel the world.
Lost has shown me that I might not want to.
Doogie Howser showed me that there will always be doctors more talented than myself.
Nip/Tuck showed me that there will always be doctors less moral than myself.
I’m not sure if Dr. Nick and Dr. Hibbert from the Simpsons taught me never to get sick in Springfield. And since I’m not sure where that is, I’ll just avoid getting sick in general.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What Not Not To Wear

Today I was supposedly given 25 dollars free, though I’ll believe it when they show up in my bank account. AND I won a set of free speakers from Entertainment Weekly. Now, let’s ignore the facts that I already have 2 sets of speakers and that the free ones are almost certainly of a lower quality than those I already have. Due to these economic windfalls I’m going to buy a t-shirt. Any ladyfriends can speak up and I’ll take you out to dinner instead, but what are the chances of that happening? A step above zilch.

Here is Exhibit 1

A fine shirt I’d say. A fine animal displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. A screw you to evolutionary theory. I’m not a huge fan of the Captain Planet reference, seeing as he was a pretty pansy superhero. But really, the likelihood of anyone else getting the oblique reference is slim.

Exhibit 2

Ninja Turtles are far cooler than Captain Planet. But, it does lack a platypus. But I quite enjoy the middle-management Michelangelo. But I could use a pale blue shirt more than an off-white one. Guns or Butter!

Exhibit 3

The chances of exhibit 3 winning are pretty slim. I quite like the shirt. How adorable is the crying Pluto? But I already have a Pluto T-shirt. Do I really feel strongly enough about our rejected past-tense planet to have 2 shirts?

Let the democracy of the blogosphere ring true.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Legend pt 2

Posting videos is so much easier than writing about my life. Why didn't I think of this earlier?

Extra Olives

For some reason blogger won't let me post both videos and pictures in my latest entry. I'm sure knowing html would help. Here's some extra pictures of the unrequited Ms Snook in case her dance alone didn't charm you.

Penultimate Pick

For years I thought penultimate meant the best. Boy was my face red when I discovered my error.

This pick for My Island should come as no surprise since I’ve commented on her before. I’d most definitely make a place for Olive Snook.

Olive brings many endearing qualities to the table. Though I date girls of all heights, I do have a special penchant for short ones. As previously stated (and really I do expect people to have read every post for the last 3 years to be fully aware of the minutia of my life) I think her hair is cute, as is her voice. Singing capability, though relatively low on my priority list, is a plus. The Eponine complex makes her especially relatable. And of course there is her ridiculous and ridiculously revealing attire.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More Sunny

This isn't my favorite Always Sunny in Philadelphia exchange, but it's an amusing one. I think the typography is really well done. Just look up Typography and they have all kinds of interesting clips, primarily from hipster cult favorites.

This clip doesn't feature the Me:Husky dynamic, but more the me:Stiletto dynamic.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Search for masochism on Google and now you'll find my blog

So I was talking to Twig the other day (I’ve decided that pseudonyms are fun) and she rebuked my claim that I’m antisocial. Her argument was that I throw far too many parties to be antisocial. I lacked a good explanation at the time, but since then I’ve figured out why I’m right. It’s always important that I think about things until I discover how I’m right. I am antisocial, and I do throw a lot of parties, because I’m a masochist.

Now going to parties isn’t usually a painful experience for me. Nor do I consider my parties more painful than other parties. In fact I think my parties are great, which is one of the main reasons I throw them: I think I’m good at it. But is the fact that you’re good at something a good reason to do it? An interesting point for you to ponder. I submit that it’s probably not. I also throw parties because I like to be in charge of things. Again, is the fact that I like running things a reason to run unnecessary things? Probably not. So I like running things and think I’m good at it, but do I like them? Again, I don’t consider the party a painful experience. I’m not an all shy, and I have the good sense to only invite people I like into my home, so it’s not an unpleasant experience per se. But I’ve had better. I quite often end up talking to just a handful of the people at any social gathering. Occasionally I even leave the party to go do something else. So while I have a good time at a party, I think it’s clear that I actually prefer activities with smaller groups, or even better with one cute individual. And barring that, being on my own works pretty well.

I certainly appear to be a masochist in my dating life (don’t worry, no S&M stories to follow.) Almost without fail I’ve been attracted to girls that don’t like me. Through sheer persistence and ingenuity I’ve tricked a select few of them into dating me, but I don’t think any of them liked me from the start. Obviously the “getting girls that don’t like you to date you” plan hasn’t worked very well. Once a girl actually pursued me and we ended up dating, but of course I dumped her after a little over a week. She was a fantastic girl, cute, smart, talented, the whole bit. And she actually sought me out. So of course I had to end that quickly.

I’m even a bit of a masochist professionally. I enjoy the med school experience, but it certainly involves a fair amount of self inflicted pain. I hated pulmonary, but I just had to hold out until cardiology. Guess what? I hated cardiology. But not as much as musculoskeletal. And guess what? Renal was even worse than that. So I pick a career that involves near constant studying (which I generally don’t enjoy) and end up disliking half the material (studying something you hate is a horrendous double whammy.)

So I’m a masochist. Where do I go from here?

Yesterday I decided that I wasn’t going to throw any more parties. I was done with that. I had thrown one Friday that I think went pretty well, but it really wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted it to. The real reason I throw parties isn’t that I like planning things, or that I think I’m good at it, but that it seemed to be a good way to meet girls. I’ve only organized one guys night, and I ended up inviting girls. At BYU I was able to meet quite a few girls by throwing parties, but it really hasn’t worked here. Of the 14 people at Battle of the Sexes 2, I could only date 1. And I didn’t really get a chance to talk to her. So if my primary goal wasn’t being met and I had things I’d rather be doing, why throw parties any longer? I decided to stop being a masochist and stop throwing these ineffective parties.

Today I planned two parties. Why? Masochism.

Unfortunately I am a man of principles. Surprising, but true. Lazy, cantankerous, antisocial, and evidently bad at sticking to my decisions, but principled. Tomorrow is a friend’s birthday, so I had to throw him a party. I don’t think anyone should ever throw themselves a birthday party. It’s self indulgent. But, everyone should have a birthday party. There are few actual responsibilities of friends, but airport runs, kidneys and throwing birthday parties are among them. So I was forced to throw a party for tomorrow. Then on Friday we have The Flight of the Conchords concert. Some friends are coming into town and I believe people should be welcomed. I also believe that people with mutual interests should band together around their common enjoyment (perhaps that is why I plan parties, but the finding girls element is much closer to my conscious mind.) So I’m figuring out what we should be doing before and/or after the show. But I’m not enjoying it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Here's to you Husky

It’s both sad and scary how closely this show mimics my own personal interactions. This scene is dedicated to Husky.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Food stuff (plus Lost)


1. I’m not happy when it cherry chocolate rains.

Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper isn’t very good. It’s not bad. I didn’t have to spit it onto the floor or anything. But it just isn’t very good. This really came as no surprise since people had told me it wasn’t great and the internet told me it tastes like drinking a cherry tootsie pop. Which is extremely accurate. Oh Dr. Pepper, what can’t you come up with something great, apart from the original? Berries and Cream is fine, as is Cherry Vanilla. But I rarely buy them to replace my standard DDP. I actually quite liked the Red Fusion, which is probably why it only lasted for one summer.

2. The nooks and crannies actually matter.

I’ve started eating a lot of English muffins, for no particular reason, other than they’re delicious. I have no idea if they’re more or less healthy than standard bread, but seeing as they’re delicious probably less. I bought grape jelly for the first time in my life because I decided I like it on an English muffin. A couple days ago I decided to buy the generic muffin instead of the Thomas variety. Thomas has always boasted about their nooks and crannies, which seemed odd to me. Who cares? Turns out these generic muffins stink. They are also nearly entirely cranniless. Is this why they’re bad? Perhaps. I’ll go back to Thomas next time.

3. Dessert week is over.

Last week I made a dirty cake, strawberry graham concoction (I’ve yet to name it, but I’ve made it a number of times), 3 apple crisps and a peach crisp. Additionally we had a strawberry cream cake and chocolate cake lying around the cake. Needless to say, genuine nutrients were a little hard to come by last week. But now it’s over and I’m back to pretty standard fare. And in case you were wondering, I made 2 apple crisps for friends birthdays (it’s my favorite dessert so screw them if they wanted a cake) and one for a party. I’d never made it before and it’s fairly liberating to know I can now make my favorite food any time I please. The peach crisp came about because I had a little extra topping so decided to experiment. It was alright, but I probably won’t make it again.

On an unrelated note, Lost was great last night. It’s either a credit to how dense the show is, or how slow I am, but I usually don’t decide if an episode was great until the next day. Despite the problems with the writers strike, this season has been pretty fantastic. Season 1 is still the best for the sheer mystery of it all, but I might place season 4 before season 2. Season 3 was the weakest so far,but a weak season of Lost is still better than most other television.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What dreams came

For those of you that don’t remember your dreams (my roommate was just telling me the other day how he has a grand total of 3 dreams in his life) here’s a recipe for you:

1. Study for Board exams 12 hours a day. This will addle your brain sufficiently.
2. Set your alarm for a ridiculously early time that you’ll be able to argue with it in the morning, e.g. I set mine for 6 when I didn’t actually have anywhere to go all day.
3. Hit your snooze button 5 or more times. I got up at 8.

Follow this simple instructions and you get a narrative like this:

I started out in the country. I believe that I had given up on being a doctor and was simply driving across the country. At this point, it’s not terribly unbelievable. Along comes a storm/tornado. It looks like a tornado but is several miles across. I decide to hide in a building with a bunch of people. Instead of being in a small town I’m now in the city, and the building I’m in has a transparent roof, which is fantastic for storm watching.

The storm hits, starting with ten foot tall tumbleweeds, which defying the laws of physics can knock cars out of the way. Physics doesn’t really apply in my dreams. As we watch the tumbleweeds other debris starts to hit this transparent building, which not surprisingly, is not very structurally sound. I guess I’m back in the country again because some giant trees topple and break the building. As we’re recovering we’re back again in the city because there’s a spaceship that’s flying over the city, but isn’t quite high enough so is knocking the top couple stories off of the buildings. I know I hit the snooze button at this point because I distinctly thought that a spaceship hiding inside a tornado was a great idea, which in fact it’s not. Side note: have you ever typed the word snooze before? It’s a very strange word.

Back to the dream, I guess the aliens invade and now rule with an iron fist. I realize that I’m the only one that can stop this (I often have some fairly undefined skill/knowledge in my dreams that enables me save the day. It’s a perk) so have to work my way up through a high tech tower. I guess this one wasn’t destroyed by the aliens, or they built it, or something. I don’t remember what any of the creatures look like, other than the final one which was either a bee or a hippo, which means it was probably a Wuzzle. I’m pretty sure I defeat it by getting it to swallow me, which has worked in countless science fiction movies and really never should.

Turns out I defeat the aliens and they leave. The dream has a dénouement where we’re deciding how to put the city back together. A girl asks me what I’d like to do to help and I make a facetious remark about having saved the city on my own so I’ll help with the making out. Yeah, it doesn’t make sense, but I’m pretty sure it was clever in the dream. She however is not amused and yells at me.

Then I finally wake up.

Conclusion: girls have no sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Legend pt 1

Most of the actors featured in this film aren't as blurry as they appear on Youtube. But the poor picture quality does effectively hide the wrinkles on some of our older actors. Mallory, you've found your chosen medium.

There’s only one way to settle this: House Off!

For those of you who keep track of such things, My Island thus far has the following inhabitants:

Myself, 6, Tina Fey, Pam, Kate, Agent Scully, Sydney Bristow, and Veronica Mars.

That means there are 3 spots left. And no, there’s no doctrinal basis for that. It’s just to limit this list from going on forever. The Top 10 is time honored tradition and I intend to uphold it.

Today’s contenders come from one of my favorite shows: House MD. It’s pretty much required viewing as a med student. Not because it’s that accurate, it’s just a nice diversion from cramming facts into our heads. Who will make it out of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital and onto My Island?

Will it be Cameron? Cameron has had the most face time on the show. She has fan collages (which always turn out kind of creepy), classy pantsuits and even this cute little manga self.

Cuddy? Another fanboy collage, why certainly! Still creepy.

Or Thirteen? She’s a intensely secretive brunette bisexual. Was this really a contest? Cameron might have won if she hadn’t dyed her hair blonde this season. But an even bigger problem than her hair color, she’s just too nice. Thirteen has the lucky number.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Jemaine, Bret and I

I am not much of a Buckeye. I’d almost prefer the team does poorly so it’s easier to get around town on game day. But there are some great perks to going to OSU.

What are the chances that Flight of the Conchords would come to BYU? They probably have a reasonably large fanbase there, but the chances of them coming to campus are nearly nonexistent. But they’re coming to OSU in a couple weeks. What are the chances that BYU would buy a thousand tickets and give them away to students? I almost forget the ridiculous tuition I’m paying when OSU throws free 30 dollars tickets at me every couple months.

My costume
(that's a link by the way)

My robot friends

Saturday, May 03, 2008

My Morning Diversion

Since my studying before noon is only about 10% effective, I decided it was a good idea to go see Iron Man this morning. I’m all about efficiency. So I grabbed myself some French toast sticks, stuck them in my cargo pants and went to the 10:30 showing. Which was FULL. Why is the 10:30 showing full? Could be that other people are studying for Board exams as well. Or more likely, they appreciate the 5 dollar price as much as I do.

I hadn’t really intended to see Iron Man first run. I’d be surprised if he was in my top 25 superheroes. But my desire not to study, combined with surprisingly strong reviews (94% for a superhero movie? It must be good) convinced me to spare a couple hours. And it was pretty good.

Marvel does an excellent job throwing in little nods for the comic book faithful. Although I’m much less knowledgeable of Iron Man than say 25 other characters, I was pleasantly surprised with the foreshadowing of future events.

I think all the actors involved did fine work. I like Downey and enjoyed his performance. Tony Stark is a pretty fun character (much more so than his DC counterpart Bruce Wayne) so the movie rarely dragged. I’m traditionally not a big Paltrow fan (I think she’s great in Tenenbaums and ok in Running with Scissors and Mr. Ripley, but otherwise haven’t been impressed) but she did well. I think Terrence will be a good War Machine for Iron Man 2 (War Machine was a character introduced in the 90s to make Iron Man cooler) and he just had to sit through this film to make it to that one. Jeff Bridges had the unenviable task of playing the villain. Normally this is fine, but the fact is the Iron Man doesn’t really have any great villains. I'm sure Iron Man faithful would disagree, but I'm just not that interested in The Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo or Living Lasor.

All in all, a fun ride. It’s an escapist treat that’s well done, so likely worth your time. You only get 3 action scenes, but they're all pretty good and the repartee between Downey and Paltrow keeps your attention until the next thing blows up.

Here's War Machine. I bet my socks (a high value) that he'll make an appearance next time:

Things to watch for:
1. The best Stan Lee cameo yet.
2. The scene after the credits.
3. Shameless Burger King promotion. Which I saw while eating Burger King!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Legend

Evidently a small percentage of my readership wants posts that don’t involve lingerie, and I’m here to oblige. That previous sentence will be the only reference to lingerie. Though this opening paragraph will likely be enough to cause my blog to come up in a lingerie search on Google.

On the opposite side of the spectrum from lingerie is The Legend. In the remote chance that some future employer would find this blog while searching for his name, I’ll simply refer to him as The Legend. In fact, this was the secretive name we used for the movie we made concerning his storied life. In fact because I wanted to keep the movie a secret from The Legend, none of you have likely heard any mention of it. He did unfortunately discover it before it was completed, and if I ever get my hands on the mole that told him . . .

The Legend is a fitting name for the man. He’s that guy that everyone knows that seems pretty close to perfect. Johnny Football Hero, Peter Priesthood, the complete deal. Some have claimed that I have a mancrush on him, but this is in fact a misconception. He’s not my type, even in the limited field of mancrushes. But I did decide to make a movie about his life, to explain The Legend to the world. I did some extensive research, then made up stuff to fill the missing dramatic holes in the story.

Personally I think it may be my best movie yet. Not exactly high praise, but I think it’s true. With every movie I have certain goals, and this one had the following:

1. The return of the narrative. I actually wanted this movie to be a story. Having a plot? Silly, I know. But I set out to tell a story, not just give an arbitrary sequence of events. I think this was pretty successful. There’s even a plot twist!
2. Special effects. I have always avoided scenes that would be difficult. This is pretty necessary considering I make movies with no budget and on random Saturday mornings. But I decided there were a couple effects I wanted and they ended up working well.
3. Rotating cast. Because no one person could play The Legend, I had 9 different people play him. I’d like to point out that I had this idea before I’m Not There. I was slightly upset that their movie made it to the theater before mine did, but what can you do.
4. On location. I normally film in just a location or two. It’s so much easier, in terms of getting your cast their and for controlling light conditions and audio. I didn’t travel to Morocco or anything, but I filmed in a greater variety of locals to further the plot.
5. Extras. I've always wanted to do commentary tracks, special features etc. This time I finally did a bit. A bonus theme song performed by ChrEte, a special Youtube compilation, the Buckeye Blast movie (The Legend started the charity) and a number of other extras actually gave people a reason to buy the DVD after seeing the feature presentation.
6. The voiceover experience. I wanted to try doing more narration. I’m usually pretty dialogue dependent, and I wanted more wide shots with voiceover. I thought this would make things easier, but in reality in made things harder. I also ended up using a bit too much, but you live and learn.

The movie ended up being 30 minutes, which I think is a good length. Though it is too long to post on Youtube, the 60 minutes film I made last year was a bit much for my ADHD audience. We debuted the film back in March to pretty positive reviews. Even The Legend himself gave us the thumbs up. And if he likes it, it must be good.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Jim's Choice

Today on My Island: Office Wars! This would have been much more topical a year ago, but I’m a bit slow.

Pam Beesly versus Karen Filapelli.

Who gets a spot on My Island? Forget Jim, this is all about me and mine today. The winner is:

Pam Beesly! Pam was actually the first person to win a spot on My Island, after Kate, who’s already living there. But why did Pam win? This brings up three important points.

1. I’m not quite as shallow as you think. Because on a strictly aesthetic basis, I think that Rashida is more attractive than Jenna. Jenna’s no schlub to be sure, but Rashida just edges her out. So selection for My Island is not purely on physical appearance, though I certainly admit that it’s a largely shallow (and quite pointless endeavor.)

2. It’s all about the banter. I recently realized that the main thing I’m looking for when I date is the ability to banter. To have a quality banter you must have similar senses of humor, common interests, compatible intellects and interesting personalities. Attraction and banter, that’s really all you need. Karen was by no means a banterless wasteland. She was clever, funny and engaging. But Pam beats her. Pam, though less acerbic, usually has a witty remark for the situation. She plays along with jokes and initiates them herself. She’s a fantastic conversation partner. And that’s why Ms Beesly gets a spot.

It’s worth noting that Pam made it, not Jenna. Having seen her in Blades of Glory and Walk Hard, it’s just not the same. I appreciate the following scenes:

But the sparkle isn’t there.

And why about Jan? If she always wore the following outfit she’d be a stronger contender:

But she’s also a crazy person, and is banterless, so doesn’t make the cut.