Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Life As I Know It... Part 3


   I don't know why I am writing this. Maybe it's the cold meds, the wine, or maybe it's a form of therapy. I certainly can't speak for everyone, but for the last few years I've had a pretty good idea of who I was. I didn't really get attached and I was really good at being alone. It made it very easy to put my job first. We live in a world that sometimes feels like it encourages us to be selfish. I was pretty good at that too.

   I never really saw myself getting married or having kids. Marriage changes people, the divorce rate is insane, and to make it work you have to be honest and open about everything. I clearly wasn't ready for the last one. I also thought that was something that required both people to be in a certain place in life to make it work. Again, I know very little about how to make a marriage work. The few times that I actually had a, "girlfriend," I was never good at that. I have had girls tell me that I make people love me, but then never try and get to another level. Probably true. Somehow, I became ready. Marriage was something I wanted. It was something that I put my heart into attaining.

  A friend of mine said to me, " we all have a domestic instinct about us." I never thought about that until the other day.  As a person who doesn't get close to people, "domestic," was not in my vocabulary. I found myself being domestic. It took awhile, but suddenly I liked knowing that I was taking care of someone. Maybe I was secretly excited that I could.  I didn't hide the broken parts.No situation was perfect, but after awhile, I let her in. I still have my issues. When you aren't happy with your body, you really don't feel comfortable naked in front of any body. Sorry. Too much info.

  Letting someone in also makes you want the best for them. I never thought in a million years that I would come back close to home for work. I really never thought I would bring someone else with me.You see I put a lot into my career. Radio was something that felt like a part of me. I felt like I was good at it for the right reasons. Maybe it dominated my life too much. I really don't know. Sure it had it's stressful moments, but doing it made me happy. I felt like my job provided almost everything for us. I guess I'd eventually learn that it provided too much.

I don't begin to understand life. I know things are never perfect, but I can honestly say that I was not ready for the changes to mine. Unexpected. Emotionally crippling. Stunning to say the least. I didn't think anything could be worse than 2015 until 2016 arrived. When you lose the only two things that you put the most into, it's crushing. The two things that truly and purely loved. It's beyond devastating.

 Love to me has become the greatest lie ever told. Hearing someone say they love you is one thing. Actually believing it is something special. When it doesn't pan out it leaves you empty. There are things in life that are labors of love. Relationships and careers are two of them. When you perform and often exceed expectations, it makes it harder to understand when things go south. It makes you angry. It humbles you. You ask yourself how people are OK playing God with your life. You ask why they don't look past the things that they don't like about you since you obviously put aside the things you don't like about them. You wish nothing, but the worst karma on them and continue to laugh at their continuing failures. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Who am I kidding or not, I am still the one who lost in this story. The few people that are close to me know how much of myself I put into both. Losing them leaves a person uncomfortably numb almost all the time.

  I wasn't ready for the change. I am dealing with it horribly. I know that I am. It is a bad movie that I cannot stop watching. On one side it takes every ounce of restraint that I have not to tell the responsible parties exactly what I think of them. It hurts watching the things you build crumble. When you put your soul into creating something and someone else shows you and exit and allows your creation to become sub par. I am being kind by saying sub par. Careers and relationships are parts of who we are. It is easy to explain when they crumble from earth quakes and disasters. I am sure I made wrong choices along the way. I found out that providing a middle class home, cable, and Internet were but a few of them. I suppose I should've looked harder for a run down shack with heat and water only. I also should've not wanted more for my intellectual properties. I should've settled for just the bare minimum and been happy with it. I shouldn't have tried to prove that I was better than people who did what I do in bigger cities. Some I continue to learn from. Some I still know that I was better regardless of the obstacles in my path. I should have been better at a relationships. I just didn't know how to grow a good thing when I had one. You find out who your friends are when your life changes and your phone stops ringing.

  I go back to why I am writing this. I DON'T EVEN KNOW. It could be the time of year. My grandma passed around Christmas and I have hated the holiday season ever since. Somewhere along the way someone helped me appreciate the season. My family is slightly fractured. I spent so many years being the outsider at someone else's celebration. Eventually, I found  we had our own. We decorated. We shared the season with friends. We had home filled with what I thought was love. Love clearly doesn't last and now there is no decoration. Just a box full of memories that don't see the light of day. I am the only house on the block not festive.

  I never thought that after figuring out what I was supposed to do with my life, I would be so lost. I need to figure out who I am and I don't know where to start. I thought I knew who I was. I don't want to settle. I feel like I gave everything to be left with nothing on all fronts. I am still trying to figure out why I have to not see MY dogs everyday. Sure I spend time with them, but not the way I did before. I want a big light to point me into the right direction. Whatever you do, don't say GOD. He took my grandmother and allowed my addict of a sister to bring an innocent child into this world. He might work in mysterious ways, but he and I aren't really close these days. I truly hope my rambling helps someone else. I hope they don't find themselves in the same situation. Bitterness and regret are not a fun couple to spend time with.

 It's the season of giving and all I want is to receive. I can accept that I am to blame for my situation. I still have wants.  I want direction. I want what I thought was my life back. I'd like to make a little bit of money. I want to figure out who I am. I want to be happy. Most of all, I want to stop being so God Damn lonely.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Bad Santa 2 Is Almost as Good

  Most would agree the Willie Sokes aka Bad Santa was a role that Billy Bob Thorton was meant to play. The first was raunchy, funny, and gave us a pretty dirty look at every one's favorite, "good will towards humanity," holiday. There is a challenge to movies like this. It is tough to capture the same magic twice.

  Bad Santa 2 comes close. Billy Bob is still the lowest of human beings, his not so faithful dwarf sidekick (Tony Cox) is out of prison, and his horrible excuse for a mother (Kathy Bates) joins the cast. This time around Marcus drags Willie to Chicago to steal millions from a charity. The problem is Willie's mother is also involved and he doesn't like her much. The head of the charity is corrupt, his wife tries to help Willie, and the same raunchy humor is definitely in play. The location change feels fresh. They also do a good job of blending similar jokes with new scenarios.

 The best part of the movie is an older Brett Kelly as the loveable Thurman Murman. He's older, but still worshiping Willie and he is definitely the heart of the film. If Willie has any form of conscience at all, it is because of Thurman. Make no mistake, he is still a horrible human being, but he does have a soft spot for Thurman. Christina Hendricks is Willie's love interest and their trip to AA is entertaining. Bates as his mother is what you would expect. 

 The story isn't the same, but what we loved about the character is. It's a lot of swearing and still extrememly funny. The original is still one of a kind. This one does feel like it's missing the late Bernie Mac and John Ritter, but there isn't room for those characters in Chicago. They took Santa out of the mall, but still managed to provide new laughs, new people, and kept it under to hours. Not the original, but close enough for a good sequel.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dr. Strange : The Dr. Is In


 Marvel has spent the last 8 years introducing us to their cinematic universe. They started by grounding it in reality with a millionaire using technology to become a superhero. Science created a monster, super soldier, and a man who could shrink or grow. They moved on to aliens who came to earth and took us to different galaxies. Now we are introduced to the mystic arts or magic for the common people in the form of Dr Stephen Strange. Created back in 1930 he is Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme. He is definitely not Harry Potter.

     If it feels like you have heard this story before, it's because you have. Replace Iron Man with magic and it is very similar, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't work. Stephen Strange ( Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant, but arrogant surgeon. When his hands are injured in a car accident he exhausts his fortune trying to heal himself through medicine. He soon sets on a path to find away to heal himself only to discover a world or more importantly, worlds he never knew existed. Strange becomes caught up in a battle to protect the earth from threats the rest of the world are oblivious to.

   Cumberatch looks like he is literally ripped from the comic pages. We see a world of magic and martial arts through his eyes. He is perfect for the part. He is great when he is arrogant and even better when wearing a cloak of levitation and casting spells. Dr. Strange is packed full of comic references that fans or previous films and fan boys alike can appreciate. The Avengers are mentioned and once again Marvel does a masterful job of tying their universe together.

  Mads Mikkelson's villain suffers from a lack of depth, but for this origin story is still good enough. The producers did catch some slack for casting Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. She is not Asian and in the source material, the character is very much so. Still though, she does a great job. We are also introduced to Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). In the comic, he is one of Strange's biggest enemies and we get to see him prior to that here. It's a different form of magic than what anyone has seen on film before. It's a little bit Sorcerer's Apprentice and a little Inception.

 The world is a very trippy one. It gives us some cool imagery and one of the most fun chase sequences captured on film in quite awhile. It can some times come across as a bit cartoony and while it is a fun portion of the film, it's also responsible for the part of the film that fails just a little. The main villain in the bigger picture is introduced and it is tough to pull off. The beauty of comics and animation is the ability to do just about anything. The CGI villain (Dormamu) is a bit of an eye sore. Some things are just hard to create and even harder to translate.

   Even with it's minor flaws, Dr. Strange is a fun trip. Rachel McAdams isn't used to her potential, but this is just the origin of things to come. It is a very large scale movie with a very small cast. Big locations, big effects, but a very small cast. It makes it easier to get to know them which is good since Dr, Strange isn't on the same level of fame as The Avengers or Spider-Man. It is a successful expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it's great at keeping your interest. It has humor where it needs to and the right amount of action and drama. In short, another hit for Marvel. He might not be a household name yet, but the doctor is definitely in.