Friday, February 03, 2006

Parking Tickets & Redheads

So this morning I wake up around 7:10 am. I figure - "ah hell, I've got nearly an hour to go before the ticket-man comes to deface my front car-window with a painful $45 fee ..."

I return to my stack dump sleep mode. Soon, I stir again. This time it's 7:40 am. "Ah shit, man ... you really should be getting up."

A few minutes more.

A few more.

Attention snaps to the clock. It is now 8:03.

Slide trousers into non-offensive position, begin exiting apartment. Temperature low outside.

Return to apartment. Put on coat.

Trot, then run, to car parked up the hill, on the same side of the street. I thought parking here would buy me some time. This assumption turns out to be incorrect.

As I approach my car, screaming "Nooo-oo," in my best Revenge of the Sith

Darth Vader voice, the parking pig is mid-ticket.

He's halfway through punching this thing in, and there's a glimmer
of hope.

As I make my final strides to reach him, the damned ticket prints out, and I blurt out a plea for sanctuary. He doesn't acknowledge my presence, instead moving on to the car two feet down from mine to deliver to it a similar bitter fate.

Then he turns and says, "I can't change it once the ticket is printed."

Furious, I open my car door, plunge in, and sit, with the word, "Fuuuuuuck," exploding in a gust of exhalation from my lips.


It is not until several hours later that I ponder the strange happenstance that has befallen the Spider-Man movie franchise.

You see, Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard's daughter, and a natural redhead) has been cast in the role of Gwen Stacy - Peter Parker's first true love in the comics. The thing is, she's a natural redhead, and Gwen Stacy was a vanilla blonde.

They've died her hair for the role, and there's something amusing in this, seeing as the first movie Spider-Man girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson (in the comics, his second or third girlfriend, depending on if you count the Daily Bugle's Betty Brant*) has natural red hair, which necessitated Kirsten Dunst's dye job for the first two Spider-films.

Howard looks good, though. Hopefully she won't fall from a bridge, and have her neck be snapped by Spidey's web (as he attempts to save her), as happened in the comics.

Maybe they'll off Dunst -- errr - Mary Jane instead. Her team-up with Orlando Bloom in Elizabethtown irritated me. I really wanted to like that film, but they had no charisma, and didn't seem to have a good feel for the roles. I don't know, maybe it was the editing. I wish they had cast Zooey Deschanel and Mark Ruffalo instead.

Crazy, man. Cra-zee.

* Betty Brant, the longtime-Daily Bugle secretary, has appeared in the two Spider-Man films, portrayed by the lovely Elizabeth Banks, who's also appeared in Seabiscuit - another Tobey Maguire flick.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"The Crush"

Have you ever seen that movie, "The Crush?"

When I was in college, I went on a date with this

girl, things went well - but when we stopped back at
her apartment, there was some dude down the hall
from the living room. He was her ex-boyfriend/current

So, as I sat there, watching "The Crush" in her living room
at 2am, I began to formulate possible scenarios.

1) Begin makeout session with the television glow of "The Crush"

in the background, only to be interrupted by having my head blown
off by jealous ex.

2) Make out with the gorgeous young lady with only the hint of
uncertainty and taint of possibility regarding head-being-blown-off,
plus the awkwardness associated with Cary Elwes/Alicia Silverstone
pixellated visages staring at me in the 2am ether, along with the lurking

3) Hatch exit plan despite hormonal objections.

In the end, I took the third option. Though this girl was a knockout,
and pretty damn cool as well, I couldn't shake the thought that this
unstable hillbilly could come crashing through the wall at any moment,
guns ablaze. She had mentioned that he owned guns.

So it was a short drive back to my apartment, a brief kiss, and conversation
here and there in film class throughout the rest of the semester.

Had I risked bodily harm, who knows what would've happened?
Maybe Cupid would've struck. Perhaps Springer.

I think I made the right decision, despite my musings to the

Thursday, December 15, 2005

friendship and romance

The comic book stuff will be coming soon.

I promise.

I think.

I've been thinking lately about the differences
between friendship and romance. I place a
high value on each, but friendship is something
I've come back to time and time again, and relied
on when other sources of support have tapered.

Friendship is something that doesn't disintegrate,
if built upon a strong enough foundation. It can
survive arguments, disagreements, dishonesty,
apathy, anger, depression, chaos, scheduling,
and growth. Regardless of how we may change as
individuals, the value of friendship is that the
heartfelt connection is honored and
maintained - even when certain facets
of commonality may dissipate.

With romance, having a lot in common
makes a connection easier. It allows things
to grow organically (much as I may dislike
that particular phrasing), assisting two
lovebirds in an absorbtion of each other's
best qualities.

With friendships, the opposite can often
be true. We can be drawn to the
weaknesses and flaws in our friends.

This can obviously be true in romance
as well. However, when it comes to romantic
love, the attributes that initially attract us to
one another have the potential to wring
themselves inside-out, like reversible
windbreakers, using our very tastes
against us.

With friends, you can always take a
hiatus from hanging out - and
return to it when the bad taste in
your mouth has receded. You can
be annoyed, or vehemently
disagree with, a good friend
- without the friendship being
any worse for the wear.

You can agree to disagree.

This, of course, is the path that must be
taken in a mature relationship.

However, when it comes to love, this
option often proves quite difficult.
Swallowing one's pride is easy when it
comes to a friend whom you see or hang
out with once a month. After all, if they're
wrong and you can't convince them - you
don't wake up next to them in bed.

Odds are, you won't see them naked after dinner.

Depending on the friendship, its highly unlikely
that kinky sexual acts will take place upon
retreating to your respective places of residence.

There is a deep emotional investment
with friendship, but the intimacy isn't
the same. Even with our deepest friends,
we are not as concerned with their honest
opinions as we are with their brotherhood
and, frankly, the company.

Perhaps this is simply my way of approaching
things. Fair point, ye internet jockeys!
And I should scold myself for intimating that
I don't care about the honest opinions of
my dearest friends. I care a great deal.
But the bottom line is, I don't beat myself up
about it (normally) when my friends and I happen
to disagree. The main thing is that I care about
them, and they tend to support me regardless of
if they agree with my decisions. I back them up
when they need it, and expect the same in return.
Our friendships are not mainly based on common
interests or personalities, but on loyalty and respect.

When it comes to romance, I suppose I simply want more.
I want everything I have with my closest friends, and more.
And not just mind-blowing sex. Though that and fries is a start.

A great love would have to be forgiving. Friends don't need to
be forgiving - we're loyal. Loyalty covers it. You can be pissed
off, and even hold grudges for a while - but your loyalty
ultimately overcomes any bitterness or resentment. With love,
you have to work shit out. Discussing sports or movies until the
anger/disappointment wears off doesn't quite cut it.

With maturity comes the understanding that all shit cannot be
simply worked out. In some cases, we have to simply let shit be.
Let yourself disagree with the person whom you passionately and
with a burning desire wish to have see it your way.

You have to give up some of that love of your own ego, and forge
ahead. Fight on, though you feel that if you just made this
one-last-point, they would surely see the light!

And so, I suppose - friendship and love aren't all that different.

Both are exciting because we are pursuing something valuable
with someone who sees the world differently than us. We are
allowing ourselves to engage with a person who might have
radically different views from our own on some topics.
Engaging their perspectives. Even participating in a little
healthy rivalry, when appropriate. Always kicking in when
the chips are down. Reading one another's blogs, no matter
how littered with clichés they become.

Despite my feelings over the years to the
contrary, I guess Friendship is Love.

And true, deep, impassioned
Love - is a friendship that can
set the world on fire.


Back to the usual
fatuous posts next

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Greatest Movie Never Made


Screenplay: Jon Favreau, Burr Steers, and Cameron Crowe

Directed By: Sofia Coppola, w/special Guest Director Amy Heckerling

Starring: Parminder Nagra, Kieran Culkin, Mark Ruffalo, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Polley, Bill Murray, Sarah Silverman, Rosario Dawson, Goran Visnij, Keira Knightley, Woody Allen, & Zooey Deschanel.

featuring the Music of: Aimee Mann, Norah Jones, and Ben Harper

Producers: Robert Deniro & William Shatner

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Shannon Elizabeth is attractive

Earlier tonight I was talking comics with a friend while eating chili at a local diner.

At the booth adjacent to us was a young couple.

As I was knee-deep in penetrating conversation regarding comics, I didn't realize the earth-shattering nature of this woman's beauty at first.

Then she leaned over to our table and started asking us about comics. Her boyfriend made some inquiries as well, but my friend and I were both momentarily taken aback by the glorious shine and heart-trembling aura of this sophisticated woman, resplendent in her evening jumpsuit.

This vision of heavenly beauty discussed comics, and comic book shops, with us for a brief time, and her boyfriend admitted to having read Preacher, though he cut it short when it came to proclaiming himself a true comics fan.

Frankly, we didn't care. We appreciated his interest in comics, but our minds were occupied - for this too-brief moment, with the mind-numbing, head-rattling, groin-grinding GLORY of this woman's magnificence!!

It occured to me later that this girl resembled Shannon Elizabeth.
Though I didn't see her in silver lamé hot pants, I'm sure she would've looked just as good.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

famous mallrats

Spent the better part of Friday with Chris and his new girlfriend, driving to (and checking out) the Beverly Center's exhibit for the upcoming film adaptation of "Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."

We began checking out the exhibit shortly after our arrival. Unfortunately, ABC television was filming some sort of news report or update directly in front of the exhibit, and the mall representative forcefully requested that we vacate the exhibit space (a relatively small, mostly enclosed area; a large portion of which was large, clear, snow-globey things) until the station finished filming their segment.

After a short period of waiting, we resumed our immersion in all things "Narnia."

Before we left the mall and headed back to OC, we decided to go down to the parking structure area and take some photos along a small walkway connecting the lower bowels of the structure with the outside street. There was a corrugated gate or wall of some kind, and it made for a good background for photos.

Anyhow, after several photos were taken, I looked up and noticed - walking in my direction - will i. am, one of the members of the popular group, The Black Eyed Peas. Upon the nigh-instantaneous recognition of this event, I made some hand gesture (remember: he's still walking towards me down the corridor at this point) signifying that I recognized him. Probably the same dumb "hollywood gunslinging" hand gesture that I often resort to when at a loss for words.

The Black Eyed Peas dude continues walking. A split second after passing me, he stops, whirls around for an instant, and makes eye contact with me. I nod, approvingly, as if to say, "Job well done. I approve of your musical talents, but presently lack the verbal wherewithal to say so." And the moment is over. He turns back around, and exits into the greater world of the underground parking garage.

Perhaps its sad to say: but by these actions, I finally fulfilled what has been a long-time desire of mine (probably dating back to childhood). I've always wanted to see a celebrity in a public place, tacitly acknowledge their presence, and let the moment pass. I'm sure I'm far from the first person with this urge, but its the first time, I myself, have pulled this off.

I don't think it counts when you're at a convention (comic, sci-fi, hollywood collectible), because at such venues, there are probably numerous idiots pulling the same stunt. And in those environments, you're almost encouraged to strike up a verbal interaction.

For instance, my brief conversation with Asia Argento, several years back, consisted of me making a joke regarding the (ha-ha) unique nature of the inset Maxim photo spread I was having her sign in gold ink. Now, to my embarrassment, I had been in line at Comic-Con to have her sign this particular item. Therefore, it does not fall under my random-encounter-with-celebrity rule. And, of course, she's not exactly a worldwide superstar. Attractive, yes. Did I enjoy her turns in both XXX (also feat. Vin Diesel) and Land of the Dead (also feat. John Leguizamo)? Yeah, sure. In fact, I found her to be - visually and otherwise - the most memorable part of either of those films. And her dad's a legendary film director. But neither random or particularly earth-shaking. Though she did laugh at my feeble attempt at humor. I imagine compared to the drooling masses she encountered that day, I rivaled Jerry Seinfeld in his prime when it came to my comedic acumen.

The only other encounter I can currently salvage from my mental recycle bin would be the extremely brief Q & A session I had with film director, John Singleton, following a theatrical presentation of Craig Brewer's film, Hustle and Flow. I was with a friend, and having arrived slightly late to the screening, we found ourselves sitting in the front row. During the official
Q & A session, nearly all the questions were directed to Brewer and Singleton regarding the film we had just viewed. Sensible. Reasonable.

Meanwhile, I found myself racking my brain, attempting to somehow squeeze some comic book-related news from this opportunity.


I remembered that there had been rumors going back quite some time regarding Singleton possibly being involved with and directing a LUKE CAGE* (for those of you who don't know: "Power Man" - Luke Cage was the real name of Power Man, who had ruled late 70s-mid 80s Marvel Comics, alongside his heterosexual lifepartner, Iron Fist (aka Danny Rand) movie.

Anyhow, as people began to exit the auditorium, I seized my moment of geek glory!

"Mr. Singleton, what about the rumors of you doing a Luke Cage movie?" He responded with a brief wish for the studios to get things rolling, began another sentence, trailed off ... and made his hasty escape.

Later, after I had exhausted the novelty of the Arclight reception area with my erstwhile friend, whom we'll call "Gloria," we casually strolled in the direction of parking.

Suddenly - I noticed Singleton chatting with a friend! I felt compelled to drop another comment regarding Luke Cage as I sauntered through the crowd, never knowing if he picked up on it, or if - indeed - my very presence that night had insured that he would never be involved with a LUKE CAGE film.

Anyhow, due to my somewhat uncool behavior that night, I have somewhere in the bowels of my being desired a "do over" when it came to randomly encountering famous folk.

So thank you, will i. am! Thank you, oh mighty Black Eyed Peas dude with cool name and unassuming manner. Thank you for allowing me to purge my negative memories of the Singleton event with a much-cooler, nonverbal "what's up?" to you, as my friends and I finished taking random photos of ourselves before deciding to cross the street for Jamba! refreshment.

* The "CAGE" in LUKE CAGE, is the source of the "CAGE" in Nicholas (formerly Coppola) Cage. Don't believe it? Check the random stoner in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." No Nick Cage there, my friends!! All Coppola! And now he's named his child Kal-El! Next year, the balding actor will grace us with his turn as "Ghost Rider." Hopefully, the flaming skull will dominate the movie. I did like Cage in Matchstick Men, though.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

a sense of fun

Fun is the Nonfat soy-latte of love.

Fun is a vegetarian man from malaysia fluttering down from an
air cargo plane, arms stretched ; ripping through the sky on
a fiery dayglo parachute.