Saturday, December 17, 2011

Liveblogging a Terrible Richard Gere Movie

It's Saturday afternoon and that can mean only one thing: Time to tune into the CW to see what classic cinematic gem the little-network-that-could managed to buy the rights to.

This week is the ol' chestnut classic "Bee Season" starring the man, the myth, the person hamsters use to scare bad children: Richard Gere.

This movie is clearly from the 90s (I'm not even going to check I'm so sure) and everything is supposed to be super meaningful but nothing makes any sense and there is no plot.

No plot.

No plot.

There's a mom, a Richard Gere dad, a son, and a daughter that wins spelling bees.

Ok, so everyone in this family "has a secret." I thought the son was gonna be gay but turns out he's secretly Hindu. Who the hell is secretly Hindu? Get a real fucking secret dumbass. He even made up a phoney "permission slip" so he could trick his parents into thinking he's going on a camping trip with some school club but really he was hanging out at some Hindu rec center and like dancing and shit. I have no idea. How is this a real secret? I mean, teenagers don't tell their parents anything, but joining a religion with the fourth most adherents in the world is not rebellion. Unless conforming is the new rebellion?

There were two back-to-back commercials for baptist churches. Gotta step up the marketing this time of year? Do they compete against each other? Oh, I guess I should mention I'm visiting my family in the South. It probably makes more sense now.

I guess the wife's crazy? Is her secret that she's crazy? This is...and she steals? She steals things like broken glass? Richard is now crying in the back of a taxi. At least he decided not to drive to his breakdown. Safety first!

So everyone is acting like Richard Gere is like this terrible husband and father, but he's the only one who isn't lying and seems to care about anyone at all. He keeps talking to them and asking questions, and they lie and then say "You never talk, we need to communicaaaaaate."


Does Richard Gere have a job? He's just running around dealing with everyone else's problems.

Ok, now the wife is in the hospital for stealing things (in a meaningful way) and walking aimlessly and generally avoiding her family. Now she's saying she doesn't want to come home and is yelling at Richard. So it's his fault she hates her family?

Richard is pulling the son out of the Hindu rec center and they're yelling at each other and the son is all "YOU CAN'T CONTROL ME! MOM IS CRAZY BECAUSE YOU CONTROL USSSSSSSSSSSS!"

Now the daughter is praying. Or something.

Richard is hugging his daughter and telling her she was great in her spelling bee and none of the wackadoodle stuff going on is her fault. Cut to: the son telling the daughter Richard is just using her like he "USED US ALLLLLLLLL!"

What a bunch of fucking ingrates.

The daughter found something Richard was writing? Or reading? Anyway, now she's repeating "light" over and over again and there's some stuff about God and now it appears she has taken some acid.

And now she's having a seizure.

I'm not making any of this up. Clearly, this is why I'm not a big time hollywood writer, I can't think up things like meaningful seizures after a movie about driving around for 45 minutes.

Establishing shot: They are in Washington, D.C. Oh right, she's in the national spelling bee. I remember now, this is the only thing close to a plot point I've seen so far.

I need a drink.

UGHHHH! They are doing that played out movie trope where the character splashes water on their face and looks in the mirror. It's the daughter, if that matters. Then she whispers to herself "We can fix what has been broken." By that does she mean whatever went wrong with my day that I'm watching this?

The mom is watching the daughter on TV with a look like "I'm so proud even though I've had nothing to do with her success, in fact, she only succeeds despite my hostility and neglect." Because she's a terrible mother. Not sure I was being clear there.

Ugh, she is such a smug bitch. She is watching this on TV because she ran away from her family and refuses to come back, but yeah, your family is aces all thanks to you motherly devotion.

The daughter lost on purpose. Because it's meaningful. Now Richard is crying. Now he is hugging his son. I guess all they needed was for an 8 year old to lose a spelling bee to learn the true meaning of family?

OMG! The mom is smiling and crying and just told someone "She's my daughter." Like she's all proud and shit. Fuck you lady fictional character. Just fuck you. Almost anyone can spit out a kid. You can't just give birth, completely ignore your whole family, run away, and then go "didn't I do such a great job. I'm #1 mom, I've got the mug to prove it."

Credits. Salvation.

I'll give that movie one thing: For a movie with no plot, or coherent character motivation, or real conflict, it sure did make me feel angry. I wound up hating almost all of the characters, except Richard who I just felt really sorry for. So I guess since it made me feel any emotion at all (including deep regret that this is what my life has come to) it's art? Ok, sure.

In Conclusion
I have no idea if any of this was funny, but it sure was an adventure. An adventure we shared together. Like Richard Gere, I don't do this for your praise or appreciation, I do this for...some reason. Umm, a reason you are just not intellectual enough to understand. When you learn how to truly appreciate art and the vulnerability of man, you come back. This will all make sense. We can all hug and convert to religions that would piss our parents off. Because that is what grown ups do.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why do you hate everyone downwind of your head?

A few months back, I was taking a cab home after hanging out in houses of ill-repute with some friends. The driver was very nice but he had those things in his ears…what do you call them?...oh right, HUGE GAPING HOLES! Like so big I could fit both fists through one. When I got out of the cab, I tipped very well and SOMEHOW resisted the urge to say,

“Use this to buy staples and fix your unfortunate ear flap situation.”

I don’t know what this practice is actually called, but I’ve always called it “absolutely disgusting beyond all measure.” And a little while later I was proven EVEN MORE right (I know, I didn’t think it was possible either). One of my roommates is obsessed with only the worst reality TV has to offer. Like not the stuff on actual networks, the stuff on TruTV (“it’s not reality, it’s actuality” and actuality is another word for totes fake). So, we were watching World’s Strictest Parents on CMT (Country Music Television for those of you who are woefully uninformed on where to find the best reality TV), which, guys, if you haven’t seen it is…well…it’s pretty ok. Bordering on good in a trainwrecky sort of way. It’s a show where wayward teens (read: spoiled brats) are forced to live with another family that has strict parents (read: parents that actually make their kids do things like chores and shit). It doesn’t have the dramz that other, larger budget shows (Operation Repo) have, but if you hate kids as much as I do, it is intensely satisfying to watch the entitled worlds of these little jerkwads fall apart around them as they realize that FOR SOME REASON not everyone thinks they are a precious little snowflake who deserve to just be handed money for nipple piercings and cigarettes.

So we’re watching this show and one of the “misunderstood youths” has those big holes of bad decision making in both ears. The parents are making him and the other girl that’s there work at this rec center they own for a charity event that night (because they are clearly the devil and if poor kids need money for piercings why don’t they just get rich parents? DUH! It’s not that hard! This kid managed and he literally has several gaping head wounds. GAWD, poor people are so whiney). The parents tell them both they need to take out all of their visible piercings to work with the public, because their business has an image to uphold (the image of being totally old and lame, amiright?). The boy takes out his huge loopidy-doos (totally technical term) and the mom walks by to get something out of the sink AND ALMOST PASSES OUT! No shit, her eyes roll to the back of her head and her body starts swaying like she’s about to fall over. The dad catches her and asks what’s wrong,

“There was this smell. It was really over powering. I think a raccoon must have died in the pipes and the smell is coming up from the drain.”

Dad goes over to the sink,

“I don’t smell anything.”
“I didn’t make it up.”
“I’m not saying you did, but it’s not coming from the sink.”
“Maybe under the house?”
“*SIGH* I’ll get a flash light.”

And then the boy chimes in,

“Uh, guys. It’s not a dead raccoon, it’s my ears.”

To which the parents respond,

The kid explains,

“No really, when you pierce and stretch your skin like this, it smells for some reason.”

So the dad goes over and takes a whiff, howls, and says,

“That’s the smell of death. Your ears are literally rotting on your head.”
“Did you know that would happen when you got them done?”
“Then why…you know what? Never mind, just put the plugs back in and let’s go.”

After watching this I HAD to call my sister because she has these stupid things in her ears too. Granted, hers aren’t huge, but they are still fucking idiotic. So I call,

“Hey Toasted Mini-Wheats, it’s Toasty…so how are thingsssss?”
“Gooood. But for some reason I have the feeling you are about to mock me and you are just stalling to make the sweet taste of my shame linger on your lips for as long as possible.”
“You know me so well.”
“Well we are cut of the same cloth.”
“When did you move you 1862?”
“Shut up and get to why you called.”
“So you know those stupid stretcher things you have in your ears that tell the world your brother and I failed as parents and that you clearly hate us for failing so miserably in your upbringing?”
“Did you know the skin around them is dead and if you take out the plugs they smell like rotting flesh?”
“Wait what?”
“Yeah, if I take my plugs out they smell really gnarly.”
“Ok now we’re up to 1982 in our lingo but back to the issue at hand, did you know when you made this obviously terrible life decision that they would make your head smell like a corpse?”
“Yeah, a couple of my friends already had them and I had smelled them.”
“…ok maybe I’m missing something. I try very hard, on a daily basis, to do everything in my power to not smell like death.”
“Think about it this way: it could be used to repel boys.”
“Unless they also have plugs.”
“So you’ve made it so only stinky douchebags will be attracted to you.”
“Apparently, though I am uncommonly pretty so I bet I’ll still attract normal douchebags too.”
“I hate you so gawddamn much.”
“This kinda backfired on you didn’t it?”
“I can’t hear you over my mind screaming and the waterfall of whiskey falling into this glass.”
“I win this round.”


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wal-Mart Is Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose

Hey y’all! I need to get my southern slang on because I’m getting ready to go home for Easter. All this packcrastinating, packcrasterbating, and maniacally searching for bottles under 3ozs is reminding me of the last time I went home, which was for Christmas. Which in turn reminds me of going to Wal-Mart with my dad three days before Christmas.

It was a barrel of monkey laughs (totally a real saying y’all!).

So I go to my dad and am like, “K here’s the sitch, I have presents for everyone except mom because her and I have literally opposite tastes and she will hate whatever I get her so I’m going to go to Wal-Mart and buy whatever CD I would least want to own. I chose a CD because who the fuck owns CDs anymore? And I realized my horror at CD ownership meant it was the perfect gift for mom. Also, I need to buy Toasted Mini-Wheats [my sister] an iPod and since you guys live in George Washington’s house in a super historic town that is too historic for commerce, Wal-Mart is the only option.”

Dad responds, “So when do you want to go?”


“It’s after sunset! We do not leave the confines of the estate after dark for we are old and feeble and there are roving gangs waiting for us in the evil land known as ‘public.’” Ok, for serious, SOME of that is paraphrasing, but my dad has seriously warned my sister and I of the “roving gangs” that want to kidnap us from the local Target, Wal-Mart, whatever. AND my dad goes to bed at like 8pm so anything after sunset is like snorting cocaine at 4am at CBGBs with some guys you just met, i.e. totally insane and yet teaches you what it is to truly live.

“Well this is the only time I’m going to really be able to go.”

“*sniffle* Godspeed to you, my eldest. I hope one day that we are reunited, but if this is indeed the last time I see you I just want you to know that I told you so. I told you so, so hard.”

“I was kinda hoping you’d come with me.”

“Guffaw! Guffaw AND chortle! Yeah, not happening.”


“Don’t do it Toasty, come on. I mean it, don’t.”

*Lip quiver puppy dog eye combo ATTACK!* “Please…daddy.”

“I already have my coat on for some reason. Let’s get this over with.”


“What was that?”

“Nothing dad, LET’S DO THIS THING!”

We drive the 10ish miles to the other end of town where the Wal-Mart is. Ok, before we go on I want to make it clear that I hate Wal-Mart. They are an evil corporation that is helping destroy America. I KNOW GUYS OK! No need to tell me I get it. But seriously, where my parents live is pretty wrecked already. It’s this tiny suburb in one of the areas with the highest cost of living and doing business in the country so no one can afford to buy things and the local market can’t sustain anything but a section of town that is just large retailers like Safeway and Wal-Mart. There is nothing else, no cute boutiques or local owned anything (except for a couple restaurants and they know us there because we’ve been keeping them in business for decades so clearly we support what local business there is and maybe you could get off my back?).

Moving on.

We get into the Wal-Mart and the only way I can really describe it is, “Vast hellscape of empty desperation and anarchy.” Children streaked with dirt and wearing tattered rags who had been abandoned by their parents days, maybe weeks ago were running feral through the aisles. There was nothing on the shelves but a few scattered boxes that only accentuated how empty the rest of the shelves were. And there were no employees to be seen anywhere.

First we go to the electronics section. I find the iPods but they are in a locked case, which requires an employee. We wait and wait and wait and wait. I look over and notice the CD racks are like five feet away, so I say,

“Hey dad, you wait here. If they come over I want this little square thing in orange [because they are out of pink which is the color of everything Toasted Mini Wheats owns including her hair].”

“Wait, why not this other square thing, it’s cheaper.”

“That’s an iPod shuffle, they suck.”

“But it’s cheaper.”

“But it sucks.”


“Listen Scroogey McCheappants, you are not buying it, I am, and I want this one in orange, do you think you can remember that?”

“Where are we?”

“Right, I’ll be over here.”

So I go over to the CD rack and begin looking for the Beatles album I would least like to own. Since this is basically like trying to decide which turd smells worse, it’s a difficult decision. About five minutes go by and I look over at the iPod case.

Dad is missing.

So I look around and eventually see him walking really fast with no obvious destination through the main aisles. I go over,

“Why are you not waiting where I told you?”

“No one is coming Toasty. I think they are closed.”

“The doors are open and there are lots of people here.”

“I think they just gave up and abandoned this place. Left it for the roving gangs. Oh also, I need to find a book for your mom, I forgot to mention that part. She needs it to read tonight. It’s the latest in that Girl with a Dragon Tattoo series.”

“Didn’t you get mom a Kindle for Christmas?”




“Dad, do you know what a Kindle is?”

“Your brother told me she’d like it. Also he took my credit card and ordered it for me. I think through the computer even though I told him not to because using your credit card on the computer is how they find you.”



“And what happens when they find you?”

“They force you to gay marry and then they take your kidneys and give them to foreigners.”


“Bill O’Reilly told me so.”


“Or the Pope, it’s hard to keep it all straight.”

“Anyway, back to my point. You bought mom a Kindle. Kindles are like the handheld things on Star Trek that hold all the reports and stuff. It’s an electronic pad for reading books on. In two days mom will be able to buy that book for like $0.99 and read it instantly.”

“That’s preposterous.”

“It’s true.”

“I hate how you and your siblings try to screw with me. I’m not THAT gullible Toasty, you are not going to get me to believe you can buy books for a dollar on a gamboy and read them right then and there.”

“Well you download them so you can read them whenever for as long as you own the Kindle, and when they improve cloud technology you’ll probably be able to save it indefinitely.”

*looks like a deer in headlights*

“What I’m saying, Sir Cheapington LovesMoney Esquire, is that you can save like $10 if you wait until Saturday.”

“Wait, am I a knight or a lawyer? You know I hate lawyers.”

“You are a Knight in the Order of the Penny Pincher and you are certified to uphold the miser code.”

“Wow, I must have worked really hard to rise so high in the ranks and have two successful, though related, medieval careers.”

“We were all very proud.”

“Anyway, your mom needs the book to read tonight.” Translation: my mom will throw a tantrum like a toddler on meth if he doesn’t get her what she asked for RIGHT NOW!

“Ok fine, let me just buy this iPod and CD first.”

And we wait. And wait and wait and wait and wait. I actually saw two employees run up to each other, high five, and disappear. I imagine they said something along the lines of, “HIGH FIVE, not only have we helped no customers today, our presence has given them hope and then immediately more frustration when they see us pass them by with not even a hint of recognition or eye contact. WILD STALLIONS!”

I get a very determined look on my face and start to walk towards the case. Dad says,

“Oh no what are you going to do? Why is your fist like that? Toasty?”

“Don’t worry dad, I’m just going to punch this case until it gives me an iPod…in orange.”

“That sounds like a terrible and illegal idea.”

“There is no law here old man. God and the law have forsaken this place long ago.”


Indeed it was an employee who saw us, rolled her eyes, got my iPod, and rang me up. She did this with a look of pure disgust on her face. And though she said nothing during the whole transaction, she did manage to stretch it to about 20 minutes. As she was handing me my bag, my dad asked,

“Where is your book section.”

She pointed somewhere behind her as she walked out from behind the register and towards a door marked “Employees Only. This is where we high five at your expense.”

So now I have to find the book section with my father who is basically a tall, gray child. He is flailing up and down the aisles screaming, “WHERE IS THE BOOK SECTION! I NEED THE BOOK SECTION! I THINK THEY ARE CLOSED! WE WILL BE TRAPPED IN A WAL-MART FOREVER!”

I finally guide him to the other end of the store where we find the “book section.” The book section at Wal-Mart can only be described as “a crushing blow to literacy.” It wasn’t so much a section as two shelves facing each other, and one just had magazines. The one shelf with books was divided into three sections: cheesy romance novels, ethnic cheesy romance novels, and “best sellers,” which were a mix of Michael Crichton, Sarah Palin, and Danielle Steele, because she is the CLASSY romance novel writer. Or something.

We start looking up and down the “book” shelf and just aren’t finding it. I DO find however that they have the series of cheesy books I am currently reading. I’m standing there looking at my series when my dad, who is by now completely frantic and out of breath, says,

“Are you helping? That doesn’t look like helping.”

“Oh not even a little.”

“TOASTY! Damnit! I need to find this book and you need to be more helping and less not helping.”

“Buy me this book.” It was the ninth in the series, the next one I needed, and it was only $6. Six fucking dollars. Come on, dad could totally by that for me.


“You should buy me this book, it’s only $6.”

“No. Absolutely not. No no no no no.”

“Because it has vampires and you’re super religious? Or because it’s full of sex and you’re super religious.”

“It is because you are not helping!”

“Geez fine whatever.”

So I put my book back and look around the shelf.

“Here, it’s right here.”


“Yeah it came out like yesterday, it’s not in paperback yet.”

“Oooooowwwww, *sucks in air through clenched teeth* I don’t know.” Turns the book over to look at the price.

“Are you kidding me, Miserly Von Cheapinstein? You have been frantic about finding this book for like an hour. Are you really going to go home without it now?”

“I GUESS not. Ok now where’s that book you want?”

“You said you wouldn’t buy it for me.”

“That was when you were not helping.”

“Wait so I just couldn’t have it first?”


“I couldn’t put my book in the cart before mom’s?”


“The hell old man?”

“I had to motivate you?”

“That’s stupid. And ridiculous. You are ridiculous.”

“You found the book for me didn’t you?”

“…well played old man.”

“That’s how I became a lawyer knight.”