Tuesday, December 1, 2020

A Christmas Story 2

Warner Premier
Release Date October 30, 2012
Runtime 85 minutes 

A Christmas Story is a classic beloved holiday movie written and narrated by the legendary Jean Shepherd.  The movie is also drawn from his classic stories.  There have been several movies over the years based on Shepherds works and they are all written and narrated by Shepherd himself.  I have watched and own them all and they are great!

A Christmas Story 2 features the same characters from Shepherds works however that is where it ends.  I cannot find one trace of any written works of Shepherds involved in this story, and I have read 5 of his books.

A Christmas Story 2 is not good.  The underline back story is actually really good, however the slapstick and day dream segments are excessive.  They tried to spoof as many moments and elements from the original as possible.

I can't imagine I'll ever watch this again.

Until Next Time

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Traditions

When it comes to Christmas my family and I have many traditions to celebrate the season.  I can't say the same for Thanksgiving.  The only constant since 2013 is that Kate is going to cook us a fantastic meal.  In fact that is why Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday, "Because the only expectation is a good meal, and I've got that down."  She certainly does!

I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade every year.  I'm not sure why because the constant lip synced singing always drives me crazy, but there's something about it that draws me in.  This year they still had a very scaled down version of the parade with a combination of live and pre-taped performances.

They also had to get clever and rely on a lot of local, as in acts in New York State, that could appear in it like the Coney Island Mermaid Parade and the Big Apple Circus.  They pulled it off with a very successful show.  Another tradition is that I watch football, but that's common practice for me on Sunday's and Thursdays depending on the game. 

A lot of other people watch the parade and football every year.  One tradition that is unique to me is that every year on Thanksgiving I watch the I Quit Steel Cage Match between Tully Blanchard and Magnum TA at Starrcade 1985.  From 1983 - 1987 Starrcade was on Thanksgiving Night, then in 1987 WWF started the Survivor Series forcing Starrcade to move to December.  

I've always wanted to go to Wrestling on Thanksgiving night.  Back in the day that was always a big night for wrestling and the record books will show that every territory ran on Thanksgiving night.  In fact many southern indie promotions still do!  

What are you Thanksgiving traditions?  

Until Next Time!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Shooting Star or a Meteor

 The other night, Tuesday November 17th, I work evening shift at dispatch getting out of work at about 11 pm.  Walking towards my van I do what I always do walking outside on a clear night which is look up at the sky.  I absolutely love looking at the night sky, there is just something magical about it and it doesn't get old for me. 

On this night walking to my van I saw a bright light shoot across the sky!  It happened fast and when I saw it I yelled out "a shooting star!"  but no one else saw it.  It was big and bright and seemed to get bigger and brighter as it went leaving a streak of light for a tail behind it.  And then, just like that, poof it was gone.  It was marvelous!

My initial reaction was that it was a shooting star, but it looked to big and too low for that.  I stood there for several minutes with my eyes darting around the night sky and didn't see another one.  A quick google search showed me that the Leonids Meteor shower was at peak the night of the 16th into the 17th so my thought is that it was a remnant from the Leonids.  

I want to go to one of the places that is certified Dark Sky parks so I can see the night sky with no light pollution.  https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/finder/  There is one in Maine, but I've been there during the day time and it's not a place you want to drive at night.  The "roads" are not great.  

I've always wanted to be able to take pictures of the night sky, I even bought a really nice camera but I really don't know how to use it proper.  I've read stuff online but I really thinks I need to take a class on it and have someone look at my camera.  I wanted to take an Adult Ed class on it, and once I finished my college classes I was going to, but you know, Covid.  Luckily there's still time. 

Until Next Time! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

My First Con: Supermegasfest 2006

Reading my buddy Brandon's posts about his experience going to Wizard World in Chicago in 2016 has me thinking about my own convention experiences.  

Back on November 18, 2006 my buddy Jay and I went to Supermegafest in Framingham, Massachusetts.  Supermegafest is typically a one or two day convention at the Framingham Sheraton Hotel.  Neither Jay nor I had ever been to a convention of any kind before and there were a lot of celebrities there that we both wanted to meet.

I made the drive to his house in Wales, Maine early that morning and then we headed south to the show.  We stopped for breakfast on the way at the Cracker Barrel and got to the convention right at start time.  There were many people there that I wanted to meet but the "con" prices shocked me.  I had meet several wrestlers before at wrestling events and typically they charge like $5 to sign a card for you and then take a picture for free, here at the convention it was $30 for a combo which I couldn't justify.  However there was two people that I wanted to meet and, unlike the wrestlers that I thought I would meet again someday I didn't want to miss out on meeting Casandra Peterson and Yvonne Craig. 

The main draw that day was Billy Dee Williams but it was $60 for a photo, again compared to today's prices a steal but back then it was just t o much.   My buddy and I were sitting in the break area with a snack and Billy Dee was walking directly towards us, no doubt to a door that lead out back as he had yet to come out for his signing and appearance, he was just getting a water.

Anyhow, as he nears us I say, "Hello Mr. Williams. How are today?'

He replied "Doing good fella's, do-ing good." Looking over his sunglasses with a smile and a nod without breaking his stride.

I usually don't get starstruck, I manage to stay calm a level-headed 99% of the time, it's because of my job as a 911 dispatcher. However, Billy Dee Williams is so friggin' cool and there must be something about his voice because, apparently, everything he says is smooth. Not to mention it's Lando friggin' Calrissian!!!

The convention was in one large ballroom with the vendors and celebrities and the snack area in a separate room, also there were vendors in the hallway leading to the convention room.  By today's standards this was very small and intimate.  

I got wrestling cards signed by Virgil, Captain Lou Albano, & "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff.  Ironically I have never meet Albano nor Orndorff since this show and Albano passed away in 2009.   Jay was super excited to meet Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's and she played the singing telegram lady in the movie Clue.  She was very sweet and super nice to talk too.  

We looked at several vendor tables, the only thing I recall buying was a one shot comic Saw: Rebirth which was a prequel to the first film.  

I did meet Yvonne Craig, who is best known for playing Batgirl in the 1960's movies.  I'm a big fan of her from that series.  I have her book, From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond, and asked her to sign it, she checked the book and noted that I had a bad copy and exchanged it for another one.  Apparently a who batch printed with faulty binding and the center color pages would fall out.  She signed my book and I get this picture taken with her.  

She had a chair next to her for fans to sit in, I do wish she wasn't in front of mirrors.  She was very kind and gave all the time I wanted to talk about the Batman series.  Please forgive my facial hair it was a very regrettable experiment.  

Jay and I both got signed photo's and our picture taken with Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira.  She was not in her Elvira costume, which would have been cool.  Her line had been very long through out the day and we finally got to her after she had been there a few hours and she couldn't have been nicer to us and was very approachable.

We only saw a few people in cosplay through-out the day.  For my first convention this was an eye opening experience and it educated me as to what to be prepared for in the future.

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Difficulties Deciding What Movie To Watch

Some people joke that the hardest decision of the day is, what are we going to have for dinner?  For me though it's, what movie am I going to watch?  Some days it's easier than others and those are the days when an anticipated film opens in the theaters, or comes out on home video, or drops on a streaming service.  On an average day though, I can waste so much time trying to find a movie to watch that by the time I pick one out it's now too late.

I've tried in the past to think about it during the day so that night I'm ready to go and it doesn't seem to work out.  Or I start a movie and I get half an hour in and its's just not very good.  So then I'm left with deciding do I want to finish this movie or just shut it off.  

Other times I'm just not in the mood for that genre of flick or not in the right frame of mind to watch it.  I get really frustrated with myself too!  The queues of my streaming services are full of movies that I thought looked good and wanted to watch at some point, some of them have been in there for years.

Back in October I found a page on Wikipedia talking about a group of directors they called the Splat Pack.  Coined in 2002 they list a collection of violent and gory films like Saw, Hostel, and ect.  I thought, this list is perfect, I'll watch these films.  However, I have seen every film on the list. 

Right now I"m working on making a list of movies and when I want to watch a film I'm just going to put on the movie at the top of the list and then cross it off.  I need to just take overthinking out of the equation.  Hopefully I can make this work.

It was so much easier back in the day when we rented movies at the video store.  You brought them home, you had a finite amount of time to watch them and if you didn't watch them you just wasted money. 

Until Next Time!

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 35, 36 & 37

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 35, 36, & 37.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 35:  Clarissa follows Roxie to a bar and confronts her.  Basically Roxie states that she and Nick have been shit for a long time, and the reason she crashed the wedding was because she wanted to see BRB in person.  BRB, well that's Nicks nickname for Clarissa before he knew her name.  She called him CCG: Cute Coffee Guy and she was BRB: Blonde Reporter Babe.  Roxie tells Clarissa that Headspace is for rent because Nick left town, maybe he went to LA she doesn't know. 

Chapter 36: Still depressed and on a self imposed shut in Clarissa is awoken by Norm knocking on her door.  Turns out MT sent him because people have been trying to reach her.  Clarissa notices that Norm is dressing like a "normal" person, isn't referring to himself in the third person and learns that he has is own MTV program.  Turns out her article was amazing and went viral.  It launched Nuzegeek into the stratosphere, and is why he got the show.  MT is waiting downstairs to talk to her.  

Chapter 37: This chapter takes places sometime later, Clarissa made a good amount of money from the article to bring her debt current.  Her parents have patched things up and are living together again taking it one day at a time.  It's been several months since Clarissa last saw Nick, we learn about what she has been up to.  She goes down to the Brooklyn Bridge where she and Nick had that special moment and we learn about a letter from Sam that she hasn't opened yet.  She finally accepts that Sam was never coming back to Manhattan, he's a Marine Archaeologist and needs to be where that is.  Nick suddenly shows up, states he did go to LA for awhile but he's back and had been building up the courage to talk to her and comes down here nightly in hopes of seeing her.  The book ends with Clarissa telling Nick that no explanations are needed. 

Thoughts:  All in all I really enjoyed the book and this further adventure of Clarissa in her mid twenties.  In the end of the story they do wrap things up in most all aspects of her life and leave us with her and Nick apparently going to make a go of being together.  

Until Next Time!

Friday, November 6, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 33 & 34

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 33 & 34.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 33:  Clarissa heads down to a fancy coffee shop and meets up with her parents who have flown in their marriage counselor from Austria to meet with them.  Apparently they were doing Skype sessions.  The counselor tells Clarissa that she is showing signs of Paranoid Schizophrenia which she doesn't take well, because why would she.  Instead Clarissa flips it on her mother, as does her father Marshal.  It quickly becomes about Janet and her perfectionism and Marshal's feeling of inadequacy.  Clarissa abruptly leaves when she sees Roxie walk by.  

Chapter 34: Clarissa spends this short chapter chasing Roxie down.  She loses sight of her a couple times and ends up outside Nick's Studio Headspace and she sees that there is a "for rent" sign outside it.  The Chapter ends with Roxie opening the door to the studio startling Clarissa.

Thoughts:  This book is rapidly coming to an end and with only three chapters and less than 20 pages it's not leaving me all warm and fuzzy that we are going to get a satisfying ending. 

Until Next Time!