Saturday, April 14, 2012

"There's Nothing Wrong With Being Shallow As Long As You're Insightful About It." -- Dennis Miller

Ahh, I needed a little Tuscany.

Doesn't that just hit the spot? Didn't you feel a slight hunger pang in your soul before clicking the link that brought you here? A deep, pleasantly-echoing pang of desire to see the soft, rolling Tuscany hills? Doesn't it just take you back to those simple, heady days of your youth, when you had not a care in the world, hastily slipping shoes on your feet as you ran out the door after breakfast, your mother calling out to you to be safe and have fun, as you in turn called to Sunshine, your Golden Retriever puppy, so she would join you in your morning adventures?

Remember? Ah, yes, Tuscany... A little slice of Heaven...

Look! There's your mother now!

Go give her a hug... go on, I'll wait...

OK, fine, I ruined the moment, as usual. Well what do you expect!? I mean, I was born in the back of a truck, you know...

Actually, I bet this picture better sums up your childhood, doesn't it...

Ah, well, that's the way the toddler bounces...

OK, today is "M Day!! Aren't you excited? We're exactly half-way through the alphabet! And we have some cool letters to go. Like "S"... look how smooth and curvy that letter is? Oooohh... ssssmooth....

But today is a day for M's.... and for M&M's I suppose.... and, occasionally, for BM's, but we won't go there...

Favorite Movies (M):

The Matrix (1999): If there's one thing that The Matrix taught me, it's that there is no spoon. Actually, what it taught me is that it doesn't matter how good a movie is, don't watch the sequels. Actually, what it taught me was that we need guns... lots of guns. What it really taught me was that people are easily impressed by a bunch of fast-talking nihilism thinly veiled with philosophical terminology. OK, fine, what it really taught me is that chicks in black leather pants will kick your butt, big time. Fine, fine, I relent... what it taught me is that it's always time for Bullet Time!

The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997): A very creative, funny script/movie. Bill Murray is great; which pretty much goes without saying. If you haven't seen it, you need to. Bill plays a bumbling American yokel visiting his brother in England... a surprise visit, mind you, on the very night his brother was having very important business associates over to his house for dinner. So to get rid of Murray, his brother signs him up for The Theater of Life, which is sort of an improvisational adventure that takes the customer around town on a rollicking, 3-hour adventure... but Murray inadvertently gets swept up in a real spy caper, thinking it's the fake one, and survives a crazy array of funny, exciting, dangerous scenarios, thinking he's just dealing with actors rather than real spies, hitmen, mobsters, etc. Very, very fun/funny. Highly recommended.

In fact, if I can piggy-back this entry with my Favorite Actors list for a moment, Bill Murray is a fixture on that list as well... I'm just too lazy to create a stand-alone Favorite Actor entry for him...

Monsters, Inc. (2001): Easily my favorite Pixar film - and there have been a bunch of great Pixar films, as you know. Still, there was something so creative and clever about the premise of the film, I have to put this at the top of my Pixar List. The whole finale where they're chasing each other through all those doors in the factory... brilliant writing. And lots of funny scenes/lines as well. And the premise of using screams for power... clever. This movie me likey.

Favorite Movie Characters (M):

El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas in Desperado (1995))
Miracle Max (Billy Crystal in The Princess Bride (1987))
John McClane (Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988))
William Munny (Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven (1992))

Favorite Books (M):

The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson (2006 - 2008): Terrific series. A bit slow in the first quarter or so of Book 2, but the rest is nails. The first in the series (The Final Empire) actually works very well as a stand-alone... and 2 and 3 greatly enhance the story if you want to take it further. In fact, I think Book 3 ends the series far better than even I had hoped for (and I'm pretty tough to please!). I think I may re-read the series this Summer. As soon as I track down my reviews of the books, I'll link them here. Lucky you!

Favorite Authors (M):

George RR Martin: Yep, there he is, the man himself, next to A Storm of Swords, which I feel is not just the best book in the series, but right up there among the best books I've ever read, period. Every storyline is handled so masterfully, and left so well, just awesome. It's a shame the next book in the series (A Feast for Crows) couldn't carry the momentum forward. George is all the rage now, with the HBO series (which I still haven't seen)... but I can be all hipster now and say I was a fan before he went mainstream. Thanks to Official Blog Lurker Joseph M. for introducing me to the series back in the day. Joe! Quit ignoring me! We're friends, remember!?!?!

Favorite Songs (M):

May Your Wonders Never Cease by Third Day

[Honorable Mentions: Metalingus by Alter Bridge
My Own Prison by Creed]

Favorite Skateboarders (M):

Rodney Mullen: Legend in skateboarding -- he invented the street Ollie, for crying out loud, along with just about every street and flat-ground trick you can name. Plus a bunch of stuff no one else can even figure out or do... Really smart, too. Watch this...

I bet there's fully 30% of those tricks in that video that no one else in the world (pro or otherwise) can do or has ever done. Rodney's mind just works on a whole different level, when it comes to coming up with tricks and skateboarding in general. He's just a quiet, introverted, reserved man who can skate like nobody else. League of his own, that sort of thing.

People I'd Like To Meet (M):

Maru the Cat: Come on, admit it... if you've seen any of his videos, you'd want to meet him as well...

[Honorable Mention: Dennis Miller (extremely smart and funny, though unfortunately fairly free with the profanity, so I won't link him. But he's very, very funny)
Demetri Martin (Also very smart, funny and quite quirky)

Odds & Ends (M):
Favorite Bands/Singers: Muse
Favorite TV Characters: Marshall (Kevin Weisman) in Alias
Favorite Mom: My Mom
Favorite Daughters: Maggie

OK, fine, that's all. Except, of course, for the part where I proof-read and tweak this post for the next hour or so... yeah, as if spending 90 minutes writing the thing wasn't enough! Man, that is dedication! See how much I love you?

Dave the Mumbler


Rebecca said...

Martin! Monsters, Inc, The Man who Knew too Little, The Matrix...loving M right now. I too haven't watched the HBO version of Game of Thrones. I saw that they picked it up for a third season. At this rate, we'll be done with the tv series before Martin finishes the series. Ughh...

I like your new blog look. I was having difficulties figuring out how to stretch my photos out. I am not skilled with HTML and such,

Have a great day! Great post.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaah, Tuscany :)

Laura Marcella said...

Hello, David! Miracle Max is definitely my favorite M movie character! And Monsters, Inc. is also my favorite Disney/Pixar film. Every time I watch it I just marvel at the amazingly clever story and screenplay. The Disney/Pixar team is genius!

Hope you're having a great weekend and happy A to Z!!

Dana said...

Enjoyed your post. We have the same favorite Mom! ;)

David Wagner said...

Reb: Glad you connected with M Day so well! Do you mean stretching pictures, as in the header of the blog, or with pics inside the blog posts themselves? I could email you a quick tutorial for either one, if you want. No HTML involved at all!

Laura: Agreed on the Pixar Team being geniuses.... I don't think they've done a mediocre film yet. They're all so well written/directed. Great crew they have over there.

Dana: I'll say hi to mom for you!