Saturday, August 28, 2010

If I worked in a union

I would want it to be the same one Santa Claus aka Kris Kringle uses.

The man works 1 day a year!! And how hard does he work? Sure, he has to TRAVEL the world, oh how horrible, all expense paid travelling in his own private sled. No airline fees, airport waits, delays, etc.

The extent of his office work is making a list and checking it twice, something which by now he has either loaded up into Access or some other Microsoft program created just for him so it is a matter of a few minutes on the computer in between games of Bejewelled.

The best part to me about being Santa Claus is the Union makes him stay fat if he wants to keep his job so non-stop cookies and milk! Bet he has no problem getting one of the elves to stand in line for him at the Hoboken bakery to get him cookies. A

Now this part is not appealing to me because I am not a voyeur but I am sure there a few who would like the "sees you when you're sleeping," not my cup of tea but hey, to each his own.

The ones with the sucky union are the elves. They do all the work! Making the toys, loading the sled, cleaning-up after the reindeer (though I would hate to be Santa if one of the elves got p*ssed off at Santa and fed the reindeer baked beans before take-off), shovel all the snow in the North Pole, rub Santa's feet, etc.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Don't Bring me Cookies Anymore

Occasionally, Don would bring home some amazing cookies from a bakery in Hoboken. Bringing me cookies is akin to bringing someone flowers and much more appreciated! Flowers wilt and die, they require maintenance, some make my allergies act up, but a cookie, a cookie stays with me eternally. I can recall with extreme clarity the taste and texture of a fine cookie as a wine connoisseur dreams of a rare claret they enjoyed once.

Well, the bakery in Hoboken is none other than the home of the TLC show the Cake Boss. Apparently now that the bakery has made the big time of reality tv stardom, the line snakes around the block and eager patrons wait for hours to enter the inner sanctum of the now-famous pastry chef. I saw a PATH train this morning from my train window, at first I thought the graffiti vandals had attacked it, the whole train was covered, including the windows in a giant advertising mess for the Cake Boss, enormous red TLC’s were splashed all over as was the Cake Boss’s face. One car, fine, but the same tacky ad covered each and every car!

I digress from the topic at hand, sort of. Until this show runs its course, Don no longer brings me cookies from this fine bakery. He does, though, attempt to sate my cookie addiction with substitutes, some have succeeded, most have failed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The end draws near...finally!

Well, after starting a novel back in early 2001, it is almost done. I had put it aside several times, picking it up occasionally to work on it. I have since (about the end of 2009) made a concerted effort to work on it almost everyday, mostly on the train.

It is such a strange feeling to be wrapping-up and bringing closure to the characters I created in this dark-comedy fictional novel. It is as if a close friend is leaving me forever!

I am eager, though, to begin the next step in this journey and hopefully find an agent and become an officially published author. And even if it does not get published, it will feel great to say I at least finished what I started and I tried.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Box - Movie Review - Spoiler Alert

There are certain standards I apply to watching a movie, bad being when I demand the producer pay me for the hours I just lost watching their creation. This was one such movie, I want my hour and a half of life back I lost on this one!!

Why Cameron Diaz thought when this script came her way that it was a good idea to take is beyond me.

The movie starts out well enough, although Norma, Cameron's character, getting distraught about a small financial crisis (her son's PRIVATE school tuition will no longer be subject to a discount which she had received as a benefit as teacher at the same institution) is a bit much. Her husband works for NASA and it is clear he has job security. They live in an affluent neighborhood in Richmond, VA in a large Colonial home for just 3 people and hubby drives a brand new Corvette Stingray. Cry me a river on your finances, they live (gasp) paycheck to paycheck because living outside of the city in a smaller and modest home was never an option she considered.

So when a man with a face that looks like a Rottweiler took a chunk out of arrives to explain the box, which is called the button, explains how all her financial woes can be eliminated if she presses the red button, Norma is interested. A million dollars just to press a button. The catch, because there is always a catch when the half-faced Amway sales person arrives on your doorstep, is someone she does not know will die somewhere in the world. There are rules blah blah blah, of course, Norma presses the button, a lady across town dies, they get their money, hubby tries to return it, too late!

Now the premise to me was intriguing, I would have found the movie more interesting if it stayed with the button only aspect, would they press it? Husband and wife debating, walking past it, waking in the middle of the night. A study of human nature regarding greed vs. morality. I would have preferred the man to have a whole face, but that would have made the whole magical and science fiction aspect pointless, he had to have a visible deformity to make the whole box even more interesting...not.

You see, the man, Mr. Steward who is not Mr. Steward, it is just his body that his employers (you are supposed to believe some alien presence from below the surface of Mars which are better than humans in all regards, intelligence, ethics, morality, humanity - I guess that would be Martianity - entered his body via lightning when a camera probe was sent to Mars by NASA) which we are not privy to know who they are, are using him as a vessel to deliver the button and test us all and the people who receive the button decide the entire fate of mankind. Apparently, women like to press the button, the men all just watch in mock horror in each instance while their selfish, money hungry wifes slap the button in much the same manner as Press Your Luck except in this version, you always got a Whammy. Someone dies as soon as the button rose.

There are lots of details which made me say WTF quite often, the library, the motel...portals to this other place, why the Martians would know what our supposed afterlife was even like. And there are tons of unexplained tangents, the movie had more holes than, well, Swiss cheese!

The commercials for this movie were much better than the movie itself and I bet the short story, Button Button which the screenplay is based upon was much better than the movie as well.