Saturday, April 21, 2012

"My Life Needs Editing." -- Mort Sahl

That opening picture is a bit deceiving... I've long wanted to use it because there's so much about it that I love. But it gives off a strong, gloomy, Gothic vibe that I felt would always be a real downer way to start off a post, so I've held it back. But I believe that today, on "S Day", you're all strong enough to handle it! To appreciate the shot and move on, forward into all the other cool S Day stuff I have for ya today...

Be strong! Don't make me regret my decision, or my faith in you!

Ahh, good, that's right... good, I feel your strength... the Force is strong with this one... The Emperor has been waiting for you... my son...


Me: Join me, and I will complete your training.... with our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the Galaxy!

You: Dad, can I have a new car?

Me: Sure!

[We drive off into the sunset, happy music plays, roll end credits]

There. A happy ending, while still leaving things open for a T Day Sequel...

Favorite Movies (S):

Saving Private Ryan (1998): Five Academy Awards and 6 additional nomination, this film -- especially the first 20 minutes of D Day assault -- was a wake-up call for me (and countless others) on the horrors of war from the front line. More than any other war movie I had seen before it. I read an account by WW2 historian Steven Ambrose, where he recounted the day he was given an advanced screening of the film... after the incredible D Day assault at the beginning of the film, he had to tell the guy on the projector to stop the film, and he laid down and wept for a long while before finally being ready to continue watching. Every year since I've owned this film on DVD, on June 6th I sit down with my girls and we watch that opening scene, just so I can be sure they'll know what happened, to men not much older than they are. What people went through in order to get done what needed to be done. And the Last Stand climax at the end of the film was so well done, the tightness in my chest from watching it lasted well after the movie had ended. How this film lost the Best Picture award to Shakespeare In Love that year, I have no idea.

Singing In The Rain (1952): Some movies need no elaboration. A classic. Movie magic at its finest. So funny, and so fun to watch.

Star Wars (1977): Another film that needs no introduction or elaboration. It actually won more Oscars than the rest of these S Films combined, but certainly not for the acting, lol. The music, however, was so well done, it is instantly recognizable to this day. How they managed to get John Williams to score a low-budget sci-fi Flash Gordon homage like this, I have no idea, but it is amazing music.

Snatch (2000): I've mentioned this film in previous posts, so I won't go on too long about it here. Quirky, elaborate heist story involving bare-knuckle boxing, jewelry fencing, Russian gangsters, gypsies, botched robberies and a gigantic diamond, with memorable characters/performances all over the place. Not for the easily-offended (Wifey made it about 3 minutes into it before leaving the room, lol).

Favorite Games (S):

Skyrim (2011): A huge, beautiful open-world adventure game where you can explore, do quests, fight dragons, and live out your hero fantasies to your heart's content. Play however you wish -- heavy armor and a pair of swords; light armor, stealthy, with daggers; lurk in the shadows with a bow and poisoned arrows; dressed up in a wizard's robe, carrying a staff and wielding magicks... or just pick a town, hang out and craft things to sell, or cook, or mine ore, or test your pickpocketing skills... It's your call. You can be a good guy or bad guy. While there is a Main Quest Line you can beat, technically, there is no end to the game, or the things you can do. Good stuff.

[Honorable Mentions: Scrabble, Serious Sam: the Second Encounter]

Favorite Bands/Singers (S):

Switchfoot: Yet another band I was way behind the times on. They were many albums into their career before I'd even heard of them, so I had a lot of catching up to do. Lucky for me they had a lot of great music waiting for me. The earlier stuff was (and still is) too "high school angst" for me - that was a lifetime ago for me, so I can't connect with it. But their later stuff includes some of my favorite songs ever, including Dare You To Move, This Is Your Life, Meant To Live, Living Is Simple, The Blues, The Fatal Wound and tons of others. A good, solid sound and craftsmanship, with strong lyrics.

Favorite Songs (S):

Something About You by Mercy Me: Love the energy and the sound, though the lyrics are a bit trite.

[Honorable MentionsSatellite by Shaun Groves
Seeing You by Matt Redman
Shameless by Billy Joel
Shine On Us by Phillips, Craig & Dean
Stories of Old by Depeche Mode]

People I'd Like To Meet (S):

Jon Stewart: I went back and forth for quite sometime, in trying to determine who I thought the funniest person on earth was, between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I think I've decided that ultimately, it doesn't matter - they're both so fun to watch, I don't really have to pick. Stewart is such an incredible entertainer. He's smart, and his timing and delivery are a joy to behold. I don't always agree with him, politically, but that's to be expected I suppose. His rant on Trump/Palin eating pizza in New York last June was one of the best bits ever.

[Honorable Mentions: Michael Savage (radio host/genius); 
Charles Schulz (cartoonist/genius); 
Jerry Seinfeld (comedian/genius)]

Favorite Authors (S):

Brandon Sanderson: Terrific, prolific fantasy author who has, I'm sure, published more in the past decade than any other author - more than some authors do in a career. If it was generic fluff, that wouldn't be much of an accomplishment, but the quality level of his storytelling is top notch, across the board. If he keeps this level of productivity up indefinitely, the future certainly bodes well for fantasy readers. Plus, he's a lumbering white nerd like me, so I can relate!

Favorite Books (S):

Second Sight by Greg Hamerton: The concluding volume in a terrific, thought-provoking fantasy tale by Greg Hamerton. Read my reviews here and here.

The Song of Ice and Fire: George Martin is on top of the world right now. If you haven't read any of his SOIAF series yet, grab A Game of Thrones and see what you think. Sprawling, wonderfully-crafted epic fantasy tale.

Odds & Ends (S):

Favorite Book Characters: Strong Belwas (A Storm of Swords by GRRM)
Favorite Movie Characters: Lt. Spears (Matthew Settle in Band of Brothers); Spike (Rhys Ifans in Notting Hill); Cpt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp in POTC: COTBP)
Favorite TV Characters: Sawyer (Josh Holloway on LOST)
Favorite Blogs/Websites: Steam

Well, I'd say that's plenty to get you through the weekend. I'll take Sunday off, I'm sure, and be back on Monday for "T Day".

Adios for now,

Dave the Silly, Sappy and Sudsy


Abbie Josephsen said...

good post :) I think you've shared the D-day clip before and it is definitely a gripping reminder of the events of that day.

David Wagner said...

Abbie for President!!!

Anonymous said...

How do you know he's a lumbering nerd?

David Wagner said...

I've seen him in person, lol. But that's ok, it shouldn't take anything away from him or his abilities. It was more of a self-deprecating comment than anything else. Brandon is The Man.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I love that picture at the beginning. What castle is that? Or is it a castle?

I've meet Brandon. He's a great author and a wonderful person.

David Wagner said...

Kathi: I filed that pic in my archive so long ago, I really have no idea where it is or where the pic came from, sorry. I thought it was a church, but maybe you're right, it might be a castle... if I find out, I'll let you know.

logankstewart said...

So, just to keep you updated on my Skyrim progress, I'm still only baby steps into the MQ. I've been enthralled with Thieves missions and Dark Brotherhood stuff the last several times I've played. Sadly, it's been about 3 weeks since I last played, but I look forward to it again some time soon.

I'm gonna have to check out this STAR WARS franchise. Seems to get a lot of positive attention. ;)

Kristopher A. Denby said...

I had to have my son hide Skyrim from me. It has been a productivity drain for me. Holy cow. The game sucks you in. But it's good. Oh, so good. :|

The Sound and Fury of Kristopher Denby