Friday, July 25, 2008

The Only Thing To Fear is... Sharks!

In honor of Shark Week on the Discovery channel, I would like to tell you all about my greatest fear - Sharks. It's a known fact that sharks are the scariest thing on this planet. They are monsters in the literal form. I honestly feel that when God decided to take monsters from the earth, he thought "Well, let's get rid of the dinosaurs, dragons, yetis,.....hmmm, I'm sure there is something I'm forgetting. Ah well." Meanwhile the great white shark hid below the dark blue; laughing.
Don't get me wrong, I love the ocean. If I ever learned how to swim I might actually go out past my waist. But I know that when I die, it will be by shark attack. It's said that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning three times than be attacked by a shark. (made up statistic) Well, I have been hit by lightning twice already, so I'm not really liking my odds on the whole getting eaten alive thing. Ever since I was a kid I have feared what was waiting for me in the water. I'm not even talking about the ocean. Even in large pools I got nervous that I would be dragged under by the serrated teeth, and I would look down into the red water and see the empty dolls eyes of the beast pulling me under. The fear still follows me even in freshwater lakes. Yes, I know that great whites could not survive in fresh water, but as I fall off the dinghy and am treading water I watch for the fin rising out of the water headed in my grave direction. So, I guess you could say I'm a little paranoid.
Shark movies such as Jaws and Open Water have not helped me overcome this fear at all. Like many of you, I blame Jaws for giving birth to my fear. Maybe it's due to the fact that I watched Jaws 3 (you remember, the one at Sea World) every Saturday afternoon, though that movie is more of a comedy than the others. The worst is the time that I scuba dived in Cancun, I don't know why I agreed to do it. There is nothing comforting about being 50 feet under and knowing that the only thing keeping you alive is a breathing pattern, and plugging your nose every three feet. Add to that, you are completely surrounded by the blue unknown. Don't worry, I couldn't enjoy looking down at the coral sea life. If I wasn't getting kicked in the head by someone struggling to swim in their flippers, I was always surveying the area around me, looking for a silver point slowly coming towards me in the distance, greedily smiling, thinking to itself "Ah Major, I've been waiting for you!" Meanwhile I would have been slowly swimming to the surface as to avoid getting the bends. Fortunately I did not have such an encounter but my air tank only lasted me twenty minutes when it would last a normal non-panicking person, who wasn't breathing like darth vader, an hour. For those of you who are afraid of spiders and snakes and mock my paranoia of something that will most likely never happen, I say this, Seventy percent of the earth is water. The sharks are hungry. And if Al Bore is right about this global warming myth, then the polar ice caps are melting and you better learn how to!

Monday, July 21, 2008

...and to all a Good Knight!

Dear Diary,
The other night I went to see a movie that I have been waiting three years for. (No, not Mamma Mia, but that was incredible too) The Dark Knight finally came out and I was lucky enough to have a ticket for the midnight show. As it turns out, it was not just a private screening for me and the smelly 30 year olds who were bound to be there. Apparently the people who I detested in high school (the ones that consistently "pants'd" me, the jocks) were all there in droves. Who knew that Batman had such mass appeal. Not only that, they brought girls there too! Though I'm not sure they were big fans of the movie because all they did the whole time was talk to each other loudly (i.e. the row sitting behind me). I would not let others distract me from the prime spot from which I was enjoying the movie. Second row on an Imax screen! Things could not get better, louder, or closer than that! My neck is still sore from constantly scanning the screen and counting the moles on maggie gylenhall's face. 17, by the way. 
So, as for all the naysayers out there who didn't think a movie could possibly live up to such lofty expectations, I say "for shame!" How could you not believe in Batman. I never doubted him for a second. Apparently I'm not the only one who liked the film, I guess it made a little bit of money. Let's just hope they don't jump the shark and hurry and make another "Batman & Robin" to cash in. I don't mind waiting another three years if they take the time and effort to make such a great experience. I am patient when it comes to "geeking out." Hmmm...geeking out sounds a little like "making out." But you would be surprised that it is actually the furthest thing from it, I know I am. Though both can be considered sins if they are taken too far. But I digress...
For all who have not had the chance to witness this dark, riveting film, they should call in sick for the rest of the day (the movie is about that long) and go straight to the theater. The movie is without flaws. For some 2 1/2 hours is incredibly long, but I wish it could have gone on longer. Bale is great, and sadly gives center stage to the rest of the cast, but they do not disappoint at all. Ledger gives a performance that is unrecognizable and will haunt my dreams for years to come. Eckhart is great as Harvey Dent, who the movie centers around. If you can't tell, I guess you could say I liked the film. 
Here's a question for you diary, do you think that Bill Gates has ever wondered if he could become Batman with all the money he has. Sure he has given millions to charities, but they sound a lot like lost causes. (MS, Jerry's kids, etc.) Instead he could be fighting crime and cleaning up the streets of the panhandlers that I always give a dollar to because they give me a judgmental look and I feel guilty. (that dollar could have bought me a Big Gulp) No one would ever know that Batman was Bill Gates. I mean, look at the guy. And maybe, just maybe, if he is reading this right now and makes the ultimate choice to be the caped crusader, I would keep his secret. 
Oh by the way, the Dark Knight is just as good the second time around, and getting pants'd for the second time in a week is just as humiliating.
Major Undeclared

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Don't rain on my parade

So, yesterday was the Fourth of July. Good times had by all in a holiday full of great American traditions such as parades, bbq's, and fireworks. I tend to think of myself as very patriotic. I love the country I live in and am thankful everyday I'm not living in the 14th century in a place such as the middle east. But being so cynical I don't really get into many of the festivities. We were lucky enough to wake up earlier than reasonable and fight traffic to get to a local parade. Keep in mind that parades are clearly meant for those actually in them (their local fifteen minutes/fifteen miles per hour of fame), and for children under the age of 11. 
So, we get there and I find myself standing in the unforgiving independence day sun. I never knew the sun could be so scorching at 9 in the morning! I am standing because apparently the parade die-hards have previously placed their rows of chairs in the grass and shade three days earlier. In all my sweating shiny glory I am praying that I don't see some random acquaintance that I gratefully haven't seen since high school. Who doesn't love the game of "Hey, what'cha been up to?" and "Let me get your number and we'll have to do something." Likely story. One of the first things I notice in the parade is the constant barrage of taffy being thrown mercilessly to the awaiting throngs of children willing to shove their little sister under a float for that peppermint taffy. I couldn't help but laugh as these large groups of children are on their hands and knees to pick up taffy and they are pelted in the head by the next barrage of taffy. I swear to you that I saw at least three children fall on the ground due the "drive-by taffying." As I see this free candy being thrown I can't help but think that Taffy isn't very good. Yes, it may be a guilty pleasure much like candy corn, but it still isn't very good. So I've come to the conclusion that the only reason that Salt Water Taffy is able to stay in business is the immense sales that it receives during the 4th of July weekend. What's that you say? You have Salt Water Taffy in your cupboard months past July? Yes, those are remaining uneaten taffy left over from the 4th. Another thing that makes me laugh inside are when floats drive by and no one is really clapping or waving from the sides of the parade anymore, but somebody in the crowd feels pity for those driving by staring awkwardly and they cheer and clap too loudly, but it is all for not, because they are still the only ones clapping, but at least they get waved at. For example, I live in a predominantly LDS community, and there were a few floats/trucks with banners from the Episcopal and Lutheran churches. The silence was deafening. I felt so bad that these people were getting no love and almost, I say almost, brought my hands to a clap, but thankfully a larger woman on a rascal with her own collection of taffy in her basket, presumably a member of that faith, clapped first and took a fraction of the tension away. Ha, classic. And let's not forget the 29 year old guy, you know the one, he played a lot of hacky sack in high school, who has the unusual talents of riding ten feet high unicycle and can juggle flaming bowling pins at the same time. He was there too, clown nose and all. When else would he be able to use his skills if there were not an Independence Day Parade. God Bless America!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ice to meet you...

So, I just got tickets to The Dark Knight for the midnight show the night before it releases. I try not to "nerd out" too much, but for an even such as this, it's hard not to pull out the second-hand faded Batman shirt I bought my sophomore year in high school (which didn't fit even then) and wear it every day in anticipation. I have a feeling that it could beat out my favorite movie "Bring it on" and take its rightful place at the top. Though, as I think of how great this movie could be and Batman Begins was, I think of Batman's tarnished past. The atrocities that were Batman Forever & especially Batman and Robin.
Batman and Robin was amazingly terrible. And not even entertaining terrible. Awful cast, awful costumes, and an awful disservice to Batman himself. First off, George "Bobble Head" Clooney as Batman? Come on! Yeah I guess the ladies like him, but I'm pretty sure Batman movies are not being marketed to any demographic other than the 13-48 year old, cheeto eatin', profusive sweatin', halo playin' geeks. Now, don't get me wrong about Arnold Swarzennegger, I love the guy, he's pretty hilarious(see also 'punching a camel in Conan the Barbarian'). And yes, I love puns, in fact I think it's a dying art. So you think throwing those two in that cinematic blender would be stuff of legend, but sadly Arnie playing Mr. Freeze is dreadful. Though, I do giggle like a school girl when I hear him say "Cool party." and "Chill out." Comic gold! As for the costumes, since when does the dark knight need rubber nipples on his outfit? Do they invoke fear among criminals? Possibly they give him better aerodynamics, while gliding to save gay robin.
Batman is the coolest comic book character ever. It's rumored that he even beat Chuck Norris in a fight. It is a good thing that the recent movies have kept a darker tone, no need for the flourescent lights and glow-stick raver bummers(see also gays) in the previously mentioned Batman movies.
I could probably go on about this for a while, but it seems I've already outed myself as King Dork, so if you'll excuse me I'm gonna be wiping cheeto crumbs from my keyboard.