You bet. To quote those masters of linguistics, AC/DC, "Have A Drink On Me".
You bet. To quote those masters of linguistics, AC/DC, "Have A Drink On Me".
Yesterday, after watching my Vikings hold on for a 27-22 win over the hated Bears in HDTV with my brother and his wife, I sat down to watch all three Star Wars movies back home. The DVD set came out this week, and this was the first block of time I had with no plans all week, so what better time?
In all honesty, I had never watched all three back-to-back-to-back. I enjoy the movies, they're among my favorites, but I'm not a SW junkie like so many people of my generation (post-1978). I never had a toy lightsaber, and only saw the movies occasionally, like when USA would show them over Thanksgiving. So this geeking out would be a first.
The DVD set is awesome, if you buy it for the movies themselves, which 99% of America will. As a designer though, I look at the packaging as well; and, well, the packaging is terrible. Awful, even. Whatever do I mean, you ask?
They use four (4) art styles in the set. The box itself is a very cool minimalist style, embossed in silver for the Widescreen version, or gold for the Full Screen. But the individual DVD cases use the same modern collage style as Episodes I and II, and the VHS re-release of IV, V and VI two years ago. The discs themselves have the original movie poster wallpapered onto them. And, horrifyingly, the chapter inlay card has the ugliest piece of abstract artwork I've seen since I made the mistake of looking into the toilet bowl following my last spell of diarrhea after eating spaghetti.
The box, the cases, the discs; all look great. Its the clashing of three styles that is jarring. Other three-movie sets, like Indiana Jones, The Godfather, and Back To The Future, use one style throughout, and the stuff looks fantastic. My guess is, since Star Wars has such rabid fans, they tried to appease everyone by using the original art, the style used on I and II so it matches, and a new design for the box. That's allowing too many cooks in the kitchen, and its bad design.
As we milled around the putting green Saturday morning, preparing to tee off in the company golf outing, an announcement went over the speaker that Tom was drinking Gatorade, whilst other golfers had already busted into the beer. Yes, I was wussing out, drinking Gatorade Frost, and the special ESPN25 edition, no less. It had been a rough week.
Monday and Tuesday, I was in Chicago. Beer at the ballpark, beer at Bud's bar, beer at Harry Caray's in the airport. Wednesday, beer at Pepperjax Grill with dinner, $1.50 Busch Light at the bar.
As a side note, that bar on Wednesday had an armwrestling table. Competitve Arm Wrestling. You bet. I challenged anyone at our table with $10 if they would slap a quarter on the table and yell, "I Got Next!". My brother, god bless him, said he would if he had a ball cap on, so that he could utter the famous line from Over The Top:
(flipping hat backwards) "Time for a little switch."
Notes from my Chicago business trip, where I engaged in more manual labor than the previous year combined:
The trip started inauspiciously, with a 4am wakeup to get around for my 6:55 flight. I found out McDonald's does not serve breakfast until 5am -- a problem since I had to meet my carpool at that time. So at 4:50am, this is what I was told: "We can't serve breakfast for another 8 minutes. Sorry." So, needing food, I wolfed down two cheeseburgers and fries. At 4:55 in the AM. You know, that faint toothpastey aftertaste you have in the morning seems to mesh better with breakfast food. With burger and fries, its just gross.
There's no good way to say this, so I won't beat around the bush: our plane into Chicago almost crashed. The pilot steps on the gas, the plane starts forward, lifts off the ground -- and stalls. Good news is, I got reacquainted with my burger and fries from an hour earlier. Between you and me, they hadn't exactly aged well. I literally said, "What's up, Burger and Fries?" and they replied, "Us!". OK, so I didn't say that. I was too busy thanking God I had cleaned my bathroom before leaving, so at least when my Mom came to my apartment posthumously she wouldn't think I lived in squalor.
The plane had only been about 2 feet off the ground when the electrical system caused it to stall. Southwest cleared us off the jet, got us another one, and 2 hours later, we were headed for Chicago...sans breakfast, which had introduced itself to my lap earlier...
In the ongoing struggle to cede my title of Last Single Man in Omaha to another man, this weekend marked another setback. The story actually begins one week prior, when I spent the better part of my Saturday watching football and sharing the couch with a girl who hails originally from a town not far from my own hometown of Fort Dodge, Iowa. She kicked my butt in Tecmo Bowl on Nintendo, which gets her 1 point. She watched football and drank beer with the guys all Saturday, 2 points. She cheered when Nebraska lost, 2 more points. She was very hot, and had the sense of humor not only to laugh at jokes, but to know why they're funny -- how many girls know 80s movies as well as me? 6 points.
Unfortunately, when we were hanging out at the bar that night, this absolute tool started obnoxiously hitting on her. As this was happening, my friend talked me into leaving for another bar. Seemed right, as I didn't have the energy or the intestinal fortitude to continue the battle.
Flash forward to this weekend. As football time rolled around, the party was kicking off. She was on her way over. I was ready to make a move. It would not be denied.
Until her best friend, who also happens to be married to a relative of my sister-in-law, and who is one hell of a nice girl, caught wind of my intentions. She pulled me aside and talked me out of it.
I was thinking, what would happen if we feed Z-man's name into the Job Predictor? I bet hilarity would ensue.
The Job Predictor site says he should be...
An Astrologer. That's Hifreakinglarious.
So my theory is, and I can't prove this, but he looked into his crystal ball, saw a message written in Comic Sans saying "You Are Not Talented", and he fainted...he got up exclaiming "Birdies. I see Birdies!" and realized if he wanted a future he needed to change majors. If only that crystal ball could convince him not to be more socially abrasive than 80 grit sandpaper, we might have something!
Thanks to my friend Hillary, we have this Artist's Rendition of what that crystal ball might have looked like:
The World's Biggest Darr made an appearance at the bar last night. Which brings up two questions:
1) What is a Darr;
2) Who is the World's Biggest?
Well, a Darr is a person who reeks of assiness, who inspires everyone they meet to at least consider murdering them. In short, a Darr is such a person that you say, "Man, there needs to be a better word for Ass." Fear not, bloggers, as I have invented such a word. The word Darr comes from Darr Road, accessible via Exit 43 outside Grand Island. I've heard there is also a Darr Road in Pittsburgh, so you Steelers know what I'm talking about too.
The World's Biggest Darr is a little punk, who, for the purposes of this blog, will be referred to as Darr Z.
You know, it was embarrassing enough to have thrown up on her floor. And more still to have the shirt returned to me two months later, in front of friends who knew not of The Tales of Kearney, and demanded knowledge on the subject. And even more embarrassing to run into one of her roommates at a New Years party, and not remember her because of a drunken stupor having taken my memory of that fateful evening.
Yep, all that is bad enough. They didn't have to go erect a damn monument to it.
September 13, 2003, A day which shall live in infamy
Look at that shit. Madden in an arcade?
I was at a dive bar over the weekend, and they had a Madden Football arcade game. I was stunned. Madden is a console game (and for PC, too, I suppose, though I've always really hated playing games on the computer) and they've ported it to the arcade?
I grew up a scant 60 minutes from Ames, Iowa, in a town of 25,000 called Fort Dodge. (Some of you may have stories about 'Dodge; that's a whole 'nother column.) One would think, being so close in proximity to a traditional powerhouse of Division I athletics, that I would have grown up a Cyclone. Wrong. Wrong.
In actuality, I spent much of my first 18 years -- the years I spent in Iowa before moving to Omaha to attend Creighton -- holding fast to an irrational hatred of Iowa State. There was really no tangible reason; sure, I was an Iowa Hawkeye, but when you're a kid, how jaded can you possibly be to hold such a deeply rooted hatred for something so superficial as a collegiate athletic program?
My brother and I would root against Iowa State in anything. Passionately. If they were playing the Soviets in Ping Pong (or Table Tennis as the cultured folks call it) I would probably have rooted for the Soviets. Good thing that never happened. Imagine explaining that one.
Then, a strange thing happened. When I was in high school, I started spending a week each summer in the dorms at Iowa State, attending the statewide 4-H high school conference. My second taste of dormitory living, replete with similar-aged ladies in the same building (the same building!?!) was truly worthy of my over-used saying "good times". Hell, lets throw a You Bet in here too. You Bet.
My second year there, which took place after my second year of high school (strange coincidence, huh?) was particularly memorable. Me and my buddies had watched the Rico Suave-wannabees in action the previous year, and learned from them. Applying those lessons, our idea was to beat them at their own game. I was 15.
Anyone else see the big acceptance speech by Bush last night? Me neither. I had thought about it, but then I had to take a massive crap. A man's got to have priorities. His is Iraq. Mine is taking a crap.
My buddy Dick Herculanum sent me this note last night:
"So I'm watching Bush speak as I type this, and they scan to someone in the audience, and behind them is someone wearing that same sequined Texas flag vest Continental tried on in the Austin airport... or is that Continental at the RNC?"
Of course, he's talking about this photo:
No, that wasn't Continental, but my theory is this:
A local Omaha wireless company is running a, shall we say, risque ad on the radio? I rather enjoy it, but I imagine some people in this Midlands Bible Belt called Nebraska find it offensive. Which of course makes it A+ work in my book.
It goes something like this: a sexy woman leaves a message on what is believed to be her boyfriend's machine...
"I'm sorry that I waited so late to call. I'm such a naughty girl. But my old wireless company's unlimited wireless minutes didn't used to start until after 9. I used to be up WAY past my bedtime calling people so that my wireless company wouldn't SPANK me with overage charges. But now that I've switched to (company name), things are so much better. Now I can call all the time whispering sweet nothings to you, my sweet snugglebunny. I even got a new camera phone. I can hardly WAIT to use it, he he he...call me back baby, now that I'm on my new phone from (company name). Who knows, now that my old wireless company isn't spanking me, maybe you could! Oh, I'm such a naughty girl!"