Happy Birthday!

To me. So this was my birthday weekend. I hate it. Let me clarify. I love celebrating my birthday. Friends getting together, having a great time, telling jokes and stories. There’s is literally nothing I love more than when I know I’m gonna see my group of friends. But I hate the fact that I am getting older. Closing in on the first number of my age being a 4. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer to 40 than I am 30.

So when my wife and I started saving for our first house, we made a rule that we could no longer spend frivolously. Not that we did it a lot, we simply don’t care to buy things.  We try to stay behind the curve technologically to save as much money as possible, also we just don’t care, and if you follow this blog at all, you’ve seen the way I dress. So you know I don’t spend any sort of money on clothes.

The other reason for this, is so we have plenty of things on our wish lists for birthdays and Christmas.  She gets mad at me every year because the only things on my list are a few CDs and more of my dumb T-shirts. Yeah, there were another dozen that I found this year.  I’m not fancy. I like my dumb shirts.  This year I got this one, this one, and it wouldn’t be my birthday if I didn’t get something Harley related.

The only problem with this is that my birthday is less than a month until Christmas. It’d be great if it was around June. Then I’d be able to get a CD twice a year instead of having to wait to get all my music in a one month period. But now that we are here, I can finally tell you how excited I was to get my hands on Kacey Musgraves Pagent Material.

Kacey’s previous album, Same Trailer Different Park is probably my favorite album of the last… 10 years?  But I fully recognize that I have reached old man get off my lawn status when it comes to popular music. I think most of it sucks.  The only problem was there was no way her new album could be anywhere near as good as her previous. And it isn’t. But when you’re comparing a CD I’ve listened to a bajillion times to one I’ve now listened to three times, it’s not a fair comparison.

Pagent Material started out with Biscuits as it’s first single, and Family is Family as the second.  Which are very similar to her singles from the first album, which is fine with me. I love them. Biscuits is the favorite song of both my daughters.  They can’t get enough of it.  Especially the video.  They love seeing Kacey dance around.  But Kacey might have been labeled a one trick pony. Her album cuts are where she becomes amazing. Dime Store Cowgirl is the best song on the CD. It’s very auto biographical. And so well written. While I think it’s the best, it’s not my favorite. That distinction goes to Someone to Love.  The song is so stripped down, and beautiful it gets to me everytime I listen to it.  It is absolutely top 3 Kacey songs for me already. Bold claim, but I do that. Like yesterday at my birthday party when I told my friend Mike that Melrose Place was a top 10 show all time. Which it is.  There’s a line in the song that says “We’re all fightin’ with our mirrors scared we’ll never find somebody to love.”  I have never been good at understanding song lyrics, but I understand it as people are constantly hoping that one day they will love who they see looking back at them in the mirror.  And if you’ve read previous posts I’ve written on the subject, you know that’s an issue I have had all my life.  I am constantly hoping that today is the day I will be happy with myself and finally love me.  So it’s a personal line for me in a really beautiful song.

I really think everyone should listen to Kacey Musgraves.  She’s incredibly talented as both a singer and songwriter. Although my sister disagrees about the singer part. I had to wait months to get my hands on this CD, and after only a handful of listens, the one thing I know is that it was absolutely worth the wait.  Now if someone in my family will just buy me some Sunny Sweeney, all will right this holiday season!

The Peanuts Movie

I know, right?  It doesn’t seem like the type of movie that we usually review around here. But I took my two daughters to see The Peanuts Movie on Wednesday afternoon last week because, well, I’m a pretty kick ass dad.  Speaking of things that kick ass.. this movie. I’m serious.

I’ve always been a big Peanuts fan. I don’t really give a damn about Christmas decorations, but I made my wife buy these Peanuts decorations that play like five different songs because I thought they were so cool. Out of our bajillion Christmas decorations, that’s my one. Oh, and the Tinkerbell tree topper is mine too. What?  Tinkerbell is awesome, get off me.

Like anything from my childhood that rocks and gets remade, I expected this to suck big time. But much to my delight, it did not. Half the movie is dedicated to Charlie Brown and his attempts to talk to the new student in school, the little red haired girl. And the other half is about Snoopy fighting the Red Baron.  Personally, I liked the Snoopy parts more, but that’s just me. My wife had to take our youngest to the bathroom and missed a bunch. Afterwards she asked what she missed and I told her mostly Red Baron stuff and she said she didn’t care about that.

If you’re a fan of the old Peanuts, this hit all the checkmarks. At least it did for me. A total walk down memory lane. Maybe too much?  I guess it could be said it was a bit paint-by-numbers, but it didn’t bother me in the slightest. I wanted to see some nostalgia.  It was a good way to introduce all the old characters and storylines to a new generation, with new animation.

My oldest daughter loves Snoopy, and couldn’t have loved this any more. So just for that, they get an A in my book. And they kept my attention the whole time too. It was a great movie for the whole family. Except for those with children like my youngest, who refuses to sit still for more than two seconds unless she’s sleeping or watching Sofia. Otherwise, she’s got places to be.

Ronda Rousey

HO-LY SH*T!!  HO-LY SH*T!!  I didn’t think there was any chance in hell that was gonna happen!  I was talking to a buddy of mine on Friday night and said I really wanted to get the fight but $50-$60 is too expensive for 30 seconds of seeing Ronda Rousey fight.  He said Holly Holm was a worthy fighter and it wouldn’t be like every other fight.  I don’t know a ton about MMA, but didn’t give it much thought. It’s f*cking Ronda Rousey. She’s the most dominant athlete on the planet. No one beats her. No one comes close!  But he was right!  And I’m so pissed that we didn’t get it.  The video is widely available on youtube now, but there’s just nothing like the immediacy of seeing it live.  That “what the hell just happened” moment of it all.  The morning after, I still can’t believe it happened.

Some people are calling it the biggest upset in UFC history. Again, I don’t know enough about MMA to agree or disagree with that. But, I saw a claim that it was the biggest upset in fight history. THAT is a ridiculous claim. This is not Douglas/Tyson or my favorite upset ever, when Lennox Lewis lost to Hasim Rahman.  Lewis was Floyd Mayweather before Mayweather. A completely overrated fighter who ran his mouth too much, played defense the entire time and was afraid to actually fight. Lennox Lewis is my least favorite heavyweight ever. The exact opposite of Tyson. Mayweather my least favorite fighter ever, overall. But that’s partly because he’s such a chicken sh*t in the ring, and mostly because he’s such a dispicable person.  The Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya wrote an awesome article about Mayweather this week.

Back to Rousey, obviously, there will be a rematch. When, I have no idea. But you can bet your sweet ass I will be paying for that one.  That is must see PPV.

New Japanese Market Trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hits the Internet

Greetings!

So I was getting settled in to my Friday morning; sipping on some coffee, perusing news sites, and generally getting warmed up for the work day. That’s when I saw it. Disney just released a new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the Japanese market, and it has quite a bit of new footage that wasn’t in the full-length trailer they released back in October. Take a gander:

So this trailer gives us one or two new shots of Rey on the desert planet, Jakku, that we’ve seen so much of in other promotional videos, but we’re treated to some new voice over dialogue that tells us that she’s “waiting…for her family.” Who could her family be…?

We also see Kylo Ren again having a heart-to-heart with Vader’s busted-up helmet, telling it that he will “fulfill our destiny.” Now, I’ve never been a “Luke = Kylo Ren Truther”, but the “our destiny” part certainly suggests that there is some kind of shared heritage between Kylo and Vader, if nowhere else than in his mind.

The trailer has some other new shots of Leia in a command center, Kylo threatening Rey with his lightsaber, Chewie detonating something, and the trailer ends with Leia’s voice over saying, “Hope is not lost today, it is found.”

In general, I love this trailer, and maybe a little more than the one we got last month. There are some beautiful shots here; including the opening wide angle scene of Rey standing in front of the engine of the downed star destroyer, the TIE fighters in the setting sun, and the camera shot from the side of the X-Wing as it swoops through the clouds. The trailer has an overall subdued tone that suggests we’re not going to get a happy ending with a medal ceremony for our heroes (new or old).

But I keep coming back to that last line spoken by Leia: “Hope is not lost today, it is found.” This statement not only adds to the sense that this movie will be on the darker side, but I think it also hints at the larger plot for The Force Awakens. Much has been made about Luke Skywalker’s absence from all the promotional media we’ve seen. One theory for this is that the movie’s major plot line will be about the search for Luke, as he’s gone into hiding or seclusion, and I think the last line of dialogue in this new trailer supports this theory. Fans of the Star Wars franchise know that when George Lucas re-released Star Wars it came with the new moniker of Episode IV: A New Hope. Luke was that new hope. And now Leia is telling us that hope has been found.

Whew.

December 18 can’t get here soon enough!