A Rather Fishy Monday

A Rather Fishy Monday

So I walked into my office today, not necessarily with a case of the Mondays, but I was very aware that it was a Monday. I had spent my commute to working listing to Neil Gaiman reading his book, The Graveyard Book and pondering what I could write about today, but mostly listening to Neil. Then I walked into my office and the first thing my office mate said to me was, “Dude, its 80 degrees today. The fish are going to be biting!” And as simple as that, I had a topic.

I’m not sure what it is about fishing, but for some people there appears to be me some magical obsessionary mind control power associated to it. I believe it was Steven Wright that said, “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” Besides being obvious, I think there’s a lot of truth in that statement, especially coming from the idiot side of the coin. Still, today was a reminder that of what it means to be a fisherman.

Fishing has been a topic that seems to keep coming up over and over again, randomly and without any real interest on my part. There is the daily discussion I have with my office mate. Then there was some strange that talked to me about fishing for about two hours the last flight I was on. Plus, the last time I was in my acupuncturists office there was a lady having a very loud and intense conversation about the fishing her and her husband had just gotten back from.

Still, talking to a fisher-person about fishing is a lot like talking to my niece about Scooby-Doo. They get this look in their eyes as they begin talking about it. It’s a combination of love, joy, reverence, and bouncy excitement. As my office mate said today as he was leaving work three and a half hours early so he could go fishing for the afternoon, “It’s like crack. I’ve got the fever. I’m twitching and getting out of my seat every five minutes to go look outside to see how the weather is. Don’t worry, I’ll be back in an hour if I don’t catch anything.”

I told him he wasn’t going to be back in an hour regardless if he caught anything or not. He agreed, and with that I had the office to myself for the rest of the day. He did ask me and anyone else that walked into our office if we wanted to go fishing with him. It’s not that I didn’t want to go… ok it was that actually. He did dance a little jig in the office when he did get off the phone, commenting that he had found someone to go with him. Apparently fishing is a “bring a friend” activity. I would have never guessed that.

This belief is mainly a result of the one and only fishing trip I took with my grandfather while growing up in Wyoming. My grandpa was an avid fisherman. He had four or five poles hanging on the wall in the entry way of the house between the garage and the main living area. Out of all the things that were off limits at my grandparent’s house, grandpa’s fishing equipment was the holy grail of them all. We’d sneak into the back yard and invade grandma’s raspberry bushes no matter how many times we were told to stay out. We’d sneak downstairs and look though all of grandpa’s old tvs. He was a television repair man so the house was full or old non-operating televisions saved simply for the prospect of possible used parts. But when it came to grandpa’s fishing goods, we would look at them from afar, but never dared get close enough to even touch them.

You can imagine my and my brother Mike’s surprise when one day, my mother informed us that grandpa would like to take us fishing that Saturday. I believe I was 7, so that would have made Mike 8. Self control and patience were words that had been said to us many, many times, but we really didn’t have a clear understanding of what they meant at that age. So you can imagine the concept of sitting quietly so as to not scare the fish did not last very long.

I mean for the first half hour to an hour it was all rather grand, we learned to cast, and reel in the hook, and then cast again. It was explained that we needed to reel in slowly so that the shiny spinning lure could attract the fish. This lasted about four casts. Being only fourteen months apart in age Mike and I were a bit competitive at this point in our lives, and soon the casting game began. We would take turns casting with all our might to see how far out into the lake we could make a splash. The second the splash was made we would reel in the hook as fast as possible so we could cast again.

Grandpa informed us we would not catch any fish that way and to just cast and leave the line out there. We were to sit quietly on the ground and wait for the fish to bite. This lasted maybe 10 minutes before I had a brilliant idea. It was clear to me that the reason the fish were not biting was because they were too far away from the hook and could not see the little worm, wiggling and calling to the fish to come over and have a snack. So I carefully placed the pole on the ground and started throwing rocks as far as I could into the lake.

When my grandpa yelled at me to stop throwing rocks because I was scaring the fish, I told him I knew that. I then explained that if I threw the rocks far enough then I’d scare the fish closer to the shore so they could seem my hook and I’d catch more fish. I mean it made perfect sense to me at the time, and Mike agreed wholeheartedly. It was a fool proof plan. I’ve later come to learn that it was proof that I was a fool when it came to fishing.

Grandpa just stared at me for a bit. Then shook his head and told us to stay around the lake. He was going to the river and would be back in an hour or two. Mike and I followed orders and stayed by the lake. After twenty minutes of throwing rocks and not getting any bites we decided that we needed to go around to the other side of the lake (it was a very small lake). Apparently the fish were swimming away from the poles instead of towards them because we were not throwing the rocks far enough. Once on the other side we started throwing rocks again. After half an hour we went back to our poles, sure that we would have a fish on the end. Elusive little buggers… there was no fish on either of our hooks, and there was no worm either at that point. The fish had picked the hook clean. So we took a break, and got out our sack lunches and enjoyed some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a can of soda, and some homemade cookies, which I ate first.

After lunch we were both certain that grandpa didn’t know what he was doing. It was clear that there were no fish in that lake. We even spent about three minutes not moving and looking at the water and didn’t see a single fish! So we had a water fight instead. Soon we were both quite soaked and shivering and done with this crazy myth called fishing. We wanted to go home, so we started yelling for grandpa. A little while later he came up a small trail with one small fish on a string. It was an amazing thing to see. I kept asking to see the magic lamp grandpa had so he could wish for a fish. At the time it seemed like the only logical explanation there was for where it came from. I suggested that next time he should wish for a bigger fish. He didn’t smile at me once on during the drive back home, which only took about 10 to 15 minutes, but I would have sworn it was closer to an hour.

Once we got home we jumped out of the truck and ran into the house yelling for mom. Having grown up with her father, she was a touch surprised we were home so soon from fishing. She asked how it went and we told her all about our day, interrupting ourselves only twice to ask if there were any cookies left and if we could have some more. After the story of our day was finished, we went to change into some dry clothes and mom talked to grandpa. Once grandpa left, mom checked with us to see if we enjoyed the fishing part. We were honest, we enjoyed playing in the forest, but the fishing thing was not our favorite part of the day. Mom smiled and told us that maybe we could go back to the lake for a picnic sometime soon.

It wasn’t until years later that we learned that grandpa was so unimpressed by our first fishing outing that he had no intention on taking us a second time. It didn’t matter though, he still let up play with some of his old broken televisions when we’d go over to visit, and that was a lot more fun than catching a slimy old fish any day of the week.

I’ve stayed pretty consistent about my lack of interest when it comes to fishing, but I’ll listen and encourage. Fishing folk really seem to enjoy having an ear around that will listen. I still don’t get it. It seems like a rather unrewarding time suck in my opinion. Then again, to be fair, they probably think that spending hours at a computer writing tangents and random observations is a lot like combing your hair with a cheese grater, slightly amusing, but mostly painful. And as that old Chinese proverb says… Give a man a fish and if you’re lucky you might get some sushi, but teach a man to fish who doesn’t want to learn and you’re probably going to get slapped in the face with a wet fish.

What are your thoughts about fishing?

Image Source:
Google Images, key words: fishing, gone fishing, throwing rocks, genie lamp, fish slap, and homemade cookies.

A Rather Fishy Monday

Write, right? The Writing Workshop Weekend

I know there was been some anticipation in regards to the hearing about the weekend that was the “writing workshop”. What did I learn? Was it worth it? Did I dress up as my favorite Muppet and come some tea with a bunch of strangers? Let me answer that last question first… (insert me giving a blank stare here). Ok, now that that’s taken care of, let’s move on and begin with the basics at the beginning. The workshop was on a Saturday and Sunday and was about 8 hours long, each of those days. Which means it was about 9 to 10 hours long because of all the hugging, kissing, hand shaking and picture taking that happened at the end of each day.

The workshop had a title that equated to writing and speaking and making a lot of money doing that. My cutie-baby-sweetie-pie had gotten me a ticket, hoping it would be useful for my writing and enable me to get a few contacts while I was there. Plus, I love her lots and lots. So when the prospect of spending a weekend with her during a weekend she would be out of town was presented to me how could I say no to that? I jumped on the wagon, saddled up the horses, found the lost sheep, lead the cattle home, and a whole slew of additional old west cowboy jargon that people use instead of just saying, “Yes, I’d love to go with you.” Because we were driving I knew it was going to be a long trip, but fortunately for me I’m very proficient at sleeping in moving vehicles… or parked vehicles for that matter. I can sleep almost anywhere is what I’m eluding there here.

I did have my apprehensions though. I know, I know, shame on me for setting up expectations beforehand. It was just that I had a feeling that not everything at the workshop was going to apply all that well to me and my creative writing topics. The thing was, I was right. The workshop felt very geared towards writing a self help themed book and not creative fiction. I mean some of the writing exercises were quite useful, plus there was some information that will be very helpful for writing my book proposal for when I start shopping for publishers. It’s just that a workshop for writing my own self help book wasn’t quite the writing style I am focused on.

There were a few… bonding exercises? I think that’s what you could classify them as. I think I kept doing them wrong though. I mean I would participate and met some wonderful people, it’s just our experiences were a little different and I wasn’t sure how to relate. Some of the stories were incredibly personal and intense too. Stories about growing up in hard times, or being abandoned at the hospital after they were born a few months premature, or having their father walk out on them when and their mom after they were born, or the struggle of spending a lifetime wanting children and never being able to have any, or stories of either physical or mental abuse, or both. Still out of all of that hardship, these people have risen out of that darkness to make a good life for themselves. It was a weekend of people writing the outline for their own personal VH1 Behind the Music episode and it was quite the experience. I just didn’t really have anything like that to share. Well, nothing that would be appreciated or understood that is.

One thing about the weekend was that I was able to partake from the cup of minority… or cups depending on how you look at it. I was one of the few pasty people there. It was a very diverse group and most of the people there were women. So right there are two of the minority tags I had for the weekend. Then there was the last minority cup I drank from, and it was probably the one I was the most unprepared for. I’m not exactly sure how to put this… do bluntly put, I was one of the very few non “praise Jesus” people there.

The room was full of avid believers who were very vocal about their support of deity in a “Yes Lord” kind of way. It was a lot of fun to be around their energy, and the presenter definitely knew their audience. They started hyping up the whole god angle in their presentations and processes. I can’t say I blame them. Presenting to a group is about knowing your audience and when you get a surge of excitement, and audience interaction every time you mention the word “god” you are going to milk that word for all its worth. This resulted in the room being filled with vocal exclamations and phrases such as, “Yes!” “That’s right!” “Amen.” “Mmm.” “Yes Ma’am.” “Tell it sister!” “You go girl.” and even one, “We’re preaching now!”

There was even a reverend in the group and not a me kind of reverend, but the kind that actually preaches at services every Sunday. Oddly, this meant that the presenters did their best not to offend the clergy in the audience. In a weird way he became the buffer for acceptable topics, whether he wanted to be that judge and jury or not. There was even one point where a presenter made a bit of a joke in regards to sleeping with a wealthy man, and then retracted the joke instantly apologizing to the reverend and confirming to him that she was kidding and, “I really didn’t say that to him reverend.” It was too bad too, because I thought it was rather funny.

So based on all of that, and based on my perspective on the topic of religion, I spent as much time as possible smiling quietly and not saying a word. I couldn’t even share what my novel was about with any of them, because I was fairly certain that they would not only not get it, but express a lack of appreciation for me being there. I wasn’t concerned that they would beat me with sticks or anything like that. They were all very nice people. It’s just that, well, I think if I were on Survivor, that little bit of information would have easily been enough to have me be the first one voted off the island.

There was one thing that happened that did make me giggle though. There was a moment when people were sharing in front of the class and someone chose to use a religious reference to convey the point they were trying to make. They explained that, “… just as it says in the bible, give a man fish and you will feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime.” It was very fitting for the point they were trying to make, the problem was, as one of my road trip friends pointed out to me, that quote is nowhere in the bible. It’s actually a Chinese proverb. Yeah, I still smile when I think about that.

So, was I disappointed I went? No, not at all… mostly no… let’s say about 85 to 90% not disappointed. I did meet some amazing and beautiful people, and heard some true stories that I’d never believe were true had I not met the person sharing their story. I also saw some huge transformations happened for a few people there. There are some people there that will never be the same, but in a good way. I did have to do a lot of on the spot translation to work out if what they were sharing would apply to a satire novel. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Still, there were a few technical bits and shared information that were definitely useful once I get to that point.

I even wrote an outline for a book I may at some point in my life write. I had been playing with the idea for a book based on some personal experiences and perspectives I’ve accrued during my life. Turns out the original story idea could easily be split into two different books instead of just one. So I did get some clarity on that and a scattered outline for that distant time when I’m ready to write a new type of story. I do still have four or five books to either start and finish, or just finish, until I get there though. So, you know, at least I have that going for me. I guess that means I should probably stop writing so I can get writing. I’m a bit of a conundrum that way.

What are your thoughts on today’s Smirk?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: writing workshop, red wagon, diversity, man with fish, and book idea.

A Rather Fishy Monday

Roads Trips, Both Fun and Educational

I’d like to say that this past weekend was a road trip, but I’m not sure it was, even though I spent 4 days on the road, and I don’t mean that in the Kerouacian way. It was fun. It was also very exhausting, a little uncomfortable, highly butt numbing, but still fun. I equate that to the company I was traveling with. You want some random relationship advice? When you meet someone you rather fancy and you are deciding on whether you want to take it to the next level or not, go on a road trip with them. The driving time should be a minimum of 10 hours to your destination and 10 hours back. If you still fancy them, or even mildly like them. It’s worth moving forward.

The reason I don’t really consider the trip a road trip is the adherence to a schedule and destination. I’ve always looked at road trips being 99% about the journey and 1% about the destination, which was not the case this past weekend. Our trip was predominantly about the destinations. Still there were a few things that did fall into the realm of the road trip.

I’m not sure why it is, but there are levels of trust and acceptance that happen on a trip of this caliber. These processes may seem insignificant, but there is something incredibly bonding about them. The first of these two steps happened maybe 6 to 8 hours into the trip. It was subtle and innocent and placed very properly at the end of a sentence. It was the first burp of trip.

Yeah, I don’t get it either. Being of the male persuasion, burping is a, well, a rite of manhood. Learning to burp the alphabet is how the team leader of kickball was decided during recess. He that could burp it the fastest got to pick first. I dare venture to say that this necessary function is viewed with a bit more reserve by your average woman.

It was impressive to notice the air lift in the car when the first burp accidentally escaped. It was that sigh of relief that the bond of friendship between everyone in the car had now reached the “burping is an acceptable activity to do around these people” step of road trip etiquette. Another thing I learned, in the confines of a small vehicle where the burp bonding portion of the trip is engaged, women find burping just as funny as men do. The key thing to point out is that these are unsolicited burps, meaning mostly accidental… which means people start drinking soda instead of water to make sure they have the opportunity to make their contribution to the burp bonding that is now in full stride. Cheers and congratulations are also implemented at this point. If a burp is expelled with purpose, volume, and vibrato the others, after the laughter has subsided, offer their verbal support with a “oh nice one”, “well done”, or “nice push.”

There is a natural progression to this venue of trust, openness, and bonding. There is something inherently accepting about arriving to that stage of comfort to allow your body to perform a very natural and necessary process of human existence. The pungent bodily produced aroma therapy designed for release and traditionally lit on fire by males ranging between 13 to 24 years of age is one of those defining moments in a relationship. Men commonly slip open first, but when a woman finally reaches that level where she can pass wind in front of a guy when she really has to let it out… let’s just say if you are not already living together, get ready to have that conversation.

Does that mean that windows were strategically rolled down and back up a minute later during our trip? Here’s what I can tell you about that… maybe. But, and this next bit is just for the guys, I did learn something about the female mind that I had no idea of until this trip. It’s a girl thing that I had never heard of before, but apparently, women are very conscious and weary about using your toilet early in the relationship. It‘s a very real relationship marker when a woman feels comfortable to finally use your lavatory. Who knew! Well obviously they did, but now we do too. It’s like finding out a secret that you were never supposed to know, like it was a Roswell aliens that were responsible for the assassination of JFK. Sure it’s a mute point to most men, but it’s also oddly fascinating.

I do have to say that the core road trip element of the entire trip occurred in Vegas, namely at Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is the store that Whole Foods wishes it could be, but is just a little too posh and insincere to ever become. There is one key element concerning Trader Joe’s and it can be summed up in one word… wine. Cheap, yummy wine… ok so let’s make that three words.

Utah liquor laws are mostly silly, with a hint or two of mind lobotomizingly stupid. What does this mean? Easy, bootlegging! The art of smuggling alcohol across state lines to assist the never ending urge to completely fill your wine rack at home. I’m not sure why, but the true road trip framework always seems to have an illegal or walking the line of illegal element associated with it. Bootlegging wine from Nevada to Utah was our truly road trippian moment, and it was worth it! I had a glass of one tonight. Besides, it was only one case of wine. I very conservative run based on my bootlegging batting average.

The trip did result in me getting to know two friends a lot better. It was wonderful, and it left me loving my wife more that I did before we started the trip. But she’s one of those people that you can’t help but love more and more every day. So it really was a challenge or a surprise. All in all though, it was a grand and immensely successful trip.

Any road trip insights you care to share?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: road trips, burping, farting, and bootlegging.

A Rather Fishy Monday

When Scary Movies Break the Scary Movie Code

I want to start off by saying I do not like scary movies. Suspense films? Sure, I can do those. What I am referring to are films of the horror genre, namely the slasher, serial killer, psychopath, lots of blood and gore type of films. For the record, there has been the occasional film that gets me to invite them over for a sit down and while we spend 90 to 120 minutes together. You know, things like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, and, um… Ghost I guess.

When I was young I remember trying to watch the classics like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and the camp site one… oh yeah, Friday the 13th. The problem was I just couldn’t get into them. It was even a scary movie that gave me had my first nightmare. Granted, I was 7 and the film was Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. The wolf man in the film scared the hell out of me. In my dream the wolf man kept trying to catch my mom and eat her. I woke up in tears and ran to my parent’s room to make sure she was in bed and ok. Just to be on the safe side I even spent the rest of the night in bed with my folks… damn you Abbot and Costello and your evil wolf man.

I did make ample my efforts in my teens and early twenties to watch and enjoy horror films. I got the watch part down, but I never got to the enjoy part. It just wasn’t a good fit. So I stopped trying to get to the enjoyment phase of the films and moved on the films I would enjoy. I still have a number of friends and a lot of co-workers that are have much love, devotion, and adoration to the genre that is the horror film. I have one friend that is so dedicated to the cause that almost his tattoo collection consists of creatures from the horror film genus.

He loves the gore and goo and splatter of red paint being thrown against walls. He also has an ever growing list of the best horror movie kills. I know one of his top ten kills was is from the 2005 release of House of Wax. It has two levels of satisfaction for him. The first was the simple gore factor involved in how the person was inhumed in the film. The second part of his appreciation comes from the fact that it was Paris Hilton who was the one meeting her demise.

I was originally not aware of this, but after hours of horror movie conversation I’ve learned that there are actually a number of factors involved for the horror minded to enjoy a horror film. Here is what I have picked up so far:

  • Rule 1. The film must be rated R. This reassures the fan that the film maker was willing to cater to the classic staples that make a horror flick a horror flick. This equates to graphic deaths scenes, lots of blood, and ample and consistent use of colorful metaphors, i.e. profanity, oh and a scene or two of your standard 10 to 21 year old nakedness.
  • Rule 2. The film must cater to the classic staples that make a horror flick a horror flick, namely graphic deaths, lots of blood, and ample and consistent use of colorful metaphors, and a scene or two of nakedness. I know this may seem a bit redundant, but for the record we are talking about horror films here and if there is one thing you can count on when it comes to horror films its redundancy. Think I’m kidding? Well then answer me this one little trivia question… How many Friday the 13th films are there? I don’t know either, but I imagine it’s somewhere in the 20s, with plans to make more.
  • Side note: Interestingly enough to the devout horror fan the “lots of blood” factor only seems to add to the comedy level of these types of film. It was explained to me that, “A lot of blood makes it funny because it’s so obvious that it’s fake. For myself, a lot of blood only grosses me out and wants to make me close my eyes.
  • Rule 3. The killer needs to be masked or have a deformed or scarred face… or both. I think this has to do with the “what does this crazy person look like” factor that keeps the viewer entranced throughout the film in hopes that the killer loses their mask at some point and you get a view of the crazy hiding behind the mask.

With all of that now explained, you can begin to understand my befuddlement when I walked into my office one morning to find my co-worker and office mate a touch grumbled because of a horror movie he had watched that weekend. The first thing he told me is that he had watched one of the scariest movies he’d seen in some time. Not sure what to do with the sudden lull in conversation I congratulated him. It seemed like the proper response to someone who was such an advocate of horror. I figure if someone that dedicated to watching scary movies can find something that scares them that would be a bit like that Charlie giving the everlasting gobstopper back to Willy Wonka, or Picasso painting something that wasn’t blue.

According to my own imagination, Picasso’s blue phase was a result of purchasing a year’s supply of paint from eBay and didn’t read closely enough to realize that the supply of paint only consisted of blue and white paint. This realization put Picasso into a deep depression, which he did paint his way though. Still, it wasn’t until he actually sold a blue painting that he was able to finally purchase a different colored paint and bring a little color and joy into his life. Yeah, I know. I really should have become an art history professor.

As it turned out my friend was bothered because the movie which had sucked him in and freaked him out was rated PG-13. To the devote horror fan a PG-13 horror movie is actually cinema blasphemy. The only feeling I can think of that would compare to this is that moment when you realize that all of your fame and hit songs as a recording artist are a result of 10 to 13 year old girls being in love with you. And in another year or two they will be burning everything they own that has your picture on it because of the immense embarrassment they will suffer at the realization that they were so into you. That’s right New Kids on the Block, I’m talking to you. You might want to call Miley Cyrus and tell her what to expect.

Yeah it was weird. For something so trivial it was kind of a big deal to the lad. He even admitted that had they changed nothing about the film and just given it an R rating he would have felt much better about the whole thing. The movie was 1408, and in a sentence, the film about a writer staying in an evil hotel room for the night. That’s really all I can give you about the film. Have I seen it? No. Will I? No. Do I recommend it to others? No idea. Does it have John Cusack in it? Yes, so that’s cool. And a bonus for all you Cusack fans… that like scary movies. I only bring it up because I did find it rather amusing that my friend, who is a horror movie aficionado and a zombie movie connoisseur, would be bother by being scared by a PG-13 movie. I tried to help by telling him if he really wanted a scary movie, try watching any of those Land Before Time cartoons. G rating aside, they are horrific.

I did offer to buy my friend a beer in hopes that it would help him feel better. It seemed to work. He had a Homer moment where he started smiling and then under his breath said, “Mmmmmm… beer.” It’s nice to have friends that are easy to shop for and who are always willing to improve their mood at the prospect of a free beer. And from what I’ve heard, beer makes almost every movie better.

Any thoughts on today’s Smirkiness?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: watching horror movies, Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein, rated r, Willy Wonka, and beer.

A Rather Fishy Monday

The Twilight Saga: New Moon – A Smirk Movie Review

It’s time again for a made up movie review, and what better film to review than the upcoming sequel to the Twilight movie Twilight 2, The… um… The Shinning. What? I was told the fangy people start shinning when they become happy. Wait, actually I think that was Stardust.

Regardless the new title this new Twilight film, this movie has everything you could want in a monster film. There are vampires, werewolves, pygmies, Bruce Campbell, pagans, clowns, killer rabbits, and young republicans.

The film starts out with Bev, or… Betty? Just a sec let me look it up… Bella! Right, so Belle is working at the local animal shelter. Bella’s supervisor Bruce brings in a little bunny with a broken leg, telling her he rescued it from a local farmers rabbit trap, and asks her to mend it’s leg.

After putting a cast on the bunny, Bella is overcome by the bunnies softness and adorable nose wiggling skills and gives it a kiss. The bunny then it turns into a very attractive yet naked prince. Prince, um, Albert thanks Bella for removing his curse, and explains that months ago an evil witch turned him into a rabbit because he accidentally dropped a house on the witch’s sister. Granted, it was only a doll house, but the witch’s sister was in the form of a mouse at the time. The witch turned him into a rabbit because duck season had just ended and rabbit season was about to start.

As Bella listened to his story, the full moon comes out and to her horror and fascination the prince turns into a wolf of the were variety, which apparently means he just turns into a aggressively husky sized wolf. He howls, then snarls, then sniffs Bella, licks her nose and dramatically jumps through a window and runs back to his werewolf kingdom.

The next day Bella’s ex boyfriend, the sparkly vampire, hmm… Robert something, hell, we’ll just call him Bob, shows up to see if she might want to go to the prom with him since neither one of them had a date yet. As he gets close to her, he smells Albert’s saliva on her face. This causes Bob to start acting all pouty and uninterested in anything other than listening to The Cure and Depeche Mode. He also joins the after school theater club, but after getting passed up for the role of Dracula in the upcoming performance of Transylvania 6-5000, he acquires an addiction to Robitussin cough syrup.

Bella begins acting depressed in hopes that the cool kids that act depressed all the time might notice her and ultimately result in her getting asked to the prom. After being rejected by the cool kids pretending to be depressed she goes to an 80’s themed record store to get some sage like advice from the older lady working behind the counter. After listening to a song by Otis Redding she decides to go to the prom alone.

She arrives in a pink dress that she bought from a second hand store and then cut up and stitched back together creating a completely new dress. Albert meets her at the doors, in prince form, and tells her that he has always fancied her and would be honored if she would go to the prom with him. He then adds, “Oh, and I took some E about an hour ago so I’m totally going to start tripping soon.” Belle gets a little emotional, meaning she smiles, and kisses Albert. They then walk into the prom together.

The gymnasium is full of young republicans, who have already spiked the punch, and teachers dressed like clowns because the apparent theme for the prom that year was “The Carnival of Your Life.”

After consuming 3 bottles of Robitussin, Bob agrees to be dragged to the prom by all his other vampire friends. When Bob sees Albert with Bella he begins to cry loudly and openly in front of everyone. The vampire kids start getting embarrassed and the werewolf kids start laughing at the vampire kids. All the young republicans start clapping because they are not the ones being laughed at and want to fit in. Bob, realizing that people are laughing at him, becomes filled with teenage angst and walks up to Albert with fire in his eyes.

Bella tries to stand between them, but Albert pushes her aside, telling her that it’s a personal matter that is between him and Bob. As Bob gets up to Albert the excess of cough syrup in his system hits his gag reflex and he starts unloading a belly full of cough syrup on to Albert’s Hush Puppies. Albert yells, “Dude! Those were brand new!” Just then the moon comes from behind a cloud and shines on Albert, who instantly turns into a werewolf.

All the people who have not drank any punch scream and run away. The ones who have been drinking the punch stay close to the punch drinking more of it and ignoring everyone else. The vampires gather behind Bob, and as Albert snarls at Bob, Bob starts giggling profusely, due to the hallucinogenic effects of the cough syrup. Albert sniffs at Bob, trying to gauge the current threat level, and as he does Bob licks Albert on the nose.

Albert’s E is now in full affect and the sensation of Bob’s tongue on his wolf nose is so amazing that he begins licking Bob’s face. Soon the two are locked like lovers and rolling around the floor making out. All the others vampires and werewolves stare at the scene both baffled and oddly aroused by what they are witnessing. The hate is instantly broken. They start hugging and ask one another to sign their year books.

Fortunately Ducky had his Flip video recorder with him and recorded the whole make out session and put it on YouTube. After only two days the video is viral with over 30 million hits. Albert and Bob are both invited to appear on Letterman to talk about how they overcame their hatred for one each other and began healing two groups of people like creatures who had been fighting for centuries. They both thanked Bella for bringing them together and wished her a life of happiness.

The movie ends with Bella, sitting in the animal shelter, watching the interview. She’s still in her pink dress, which has not been washed in weeks, and has gained about ten pounds. The television explodes and as the smoke clears there is a wooden crossbow bolt sticking through the smoldering tv set. Bruce, her manager, walks up to her and hands her two six shooters and a box full of bullets saying, “They’re all silver, baby.”

Bella thanks him and heads for the door. As she walks into the darkness she whispers to herself, “Now all I need is the Ring of Mordor and my revenge can begin.”

The Box – A Smirk Movie Review

The Box – A Smirk Movie Review

BoxYes, its time again for the real reviews of actual movies that are completely made up. The reviews I mean, not the movies. Ok, well in truth the movies are made up too, but the movies are made up by others, and my review will have nothing to do with the actual movie.

That being said, I give you The Box. Not to be confused with “a box” but it is, in fact, THE BOX. The main difference being that Cameron Diaz is in some way connected to one, and not the other. And as a general rule of thumb if someone gives you a box with a Cameron Diaz in it, you give that thing right back. Trust me. You do not want that type of responsibility.

The Box is both a sad and depressing, yet light hearted and comical tale about a banshee with laryngitis. After centuries of screaming, Frank (James Marsden) loses his voice, resulting in the complete and total loss of his vitality and purpose as a banshee. Frank is put on mandatory leave until his voice returns.

The BoxHaving no real home, because his work has kept him on the road his entire un-life, Frank ends up taking residency in a large empty box in the back yard of an old man named Bruce Campbell (Frank Langella), who is disfigured, and suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

The BoxBruce decides to start smoking pot in hopes that it will help him forget that he is starting to forget, and hopefully forget what it is that he has forgotten. Not wanting to smoke in his house, Bruce decides to make the box his official smoking den.

We learn that the box was built as a fort by neighborhood kids who had long since grown up and moved away. Most of the old decorations had been removed from the box except for one, which was a picture torn from a magazine and tacked to one of the walls. It was a picture of Cameron Diaz.

Frank keeps himself hidden from Bruce for the first two visits to the box, but on the third visit, there is a chemical reaction between the exhaled smoke and Frank’s ethereal form. This causes Frank to appear to Bruce and to experience the effects of the marijuana. Soon the two become good friends, even though Frank still can’t talk. Also, the chemical reaction between the ethereal form and the pot causes the Cameron Diaz picture to come to life and have conversations with Bruce.

Fortunately, the film makers were wise enough to use Rachel Weisz as the voice over for Diaz. Additionally, you only see Cameron from the neck up in all of her scenes. Because of the lack of screen time and the fact we do not hear her real voice once throughout the entire film, it is my opinion that this is the greatest and most watchable Cameron Diaz movie ever made… so far.

Many wacky adventures ensue and the film wraps up with Frank getting his voice back. At Bruce’s request Frank does his patented banshee scream. The effect causes Bruce’s heart to stop mid puff. Smoldering ashes call to the floor and catch fire to the box. The Cameron Diaz photo burns up along with Bruce’s corpse. The shock of losing his first and only real friend removes the screaming desire that make Frank the banshee he once was. Staring at the fire, unsure what his un-life holds for him, Frank feels a hand on his shoulder. It’s Bruce, freshly ghostified and ready to play. The film ends with the two of them heading towards an Ivy League school, inferring that it would make sense that they would have the best pot.

fireFor me this picture can be summed up in the last line of the film. Frank asks Bruce if they should try to save Cameron and bring her with them. To which Bruce replies, “I’d rather chop off my hand and attach a chainsaw to my bloody stump, baby.” Frank nods in agreement and they walk off as the box continues to burn behind them.