Monday, December 31, 2007

Predictions for 2008

2007 is almost over, only a few more hours left. 2008 is almost here. Tom Walsh from the Detroit Free Press already gave us his predictions and the predictions of various other people around town.

Not to be outdone, I give you my predictions for the coming year.

I predict that 2008 will be the year that the Detroit Tigers get to play in the World Series again.

I predict that 2008 will also be the year that a plan to expand Cobo Hall finally get approved.

I'm also going to go out on a limb and say that this year's presidential race will be an interesting one (and I almost mean that in the sense of the Chinese curse). I predict that there will be a serious third party candidate, with Ralph Nader and the Libertarian candidate (possibly Ron Paul) nibbling at the edges. When we go to bed on November 4th, I doubt we will know who our new president is.

The Book-Cadillac Hotel will finally re-open to the public in October, 2008 after being dormant for more than 20 years. (I hear tell, the place even inspired a really cool documentary.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated. It's being widely speculated that al-Queda is behind the assassination. CNN is also reporting that 22 innocent by-standers were also killed in this attack.

While the United States has the bulk of its military assets deployed in Iraq to referee a civil war, one of the most important allies we have in the region is under siege from terrorists.

I pray that this nation's next President has a lot more common sense.

My Post Christmas Rant

Christmas is over for this year. However, I still feel the need to rant about one particular thing.

In the great State of Michigan, it is illegal to sell alcohol after a certain hour on Christmas Eve or at any point on Christmas Day.

Banning the sale of alcohol on the day that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ just seems ridiculous, in my opinion.

The fact of the matter is that alcohol in general, and wine in particular, was a fundamental part of Jesus' life and ministry.

In the second chapter of the Gospel of John, we are told a story of Jesus at a wedding feast at Cana. When the guests had consumed too much wine and their supply had run out, Jesus performed a miracle and made more of it.

The Gospel tells us that he made 6 firkins (150 gallons) of wine and that its quality of the best they had ever had. This means that not only did make a lot of it, he made sure to bring the good stuff.

Jesus continued to make wine a fundamental part of his life and ministry. For example, did Jesus serve Sprite to His Apostles at the Last Supper? No, he served wine.

Wine.

Alcohol.

That stuff that we here in Michigan aren't allowed to buy on the feast of Jesus' birth.

The Holy Chalice that Jesus used during that meal to serve wine is one of the mythical objects in the history of Christianity.

There is also the fact that some of the earliest brewers in Europe were monks - humble men who dedicated their lives to loving and serving God. And alcohol was a fundamental part of their lives, just as it was a part of Jesus' life.

Banning the sale of alcohol in Michigan is pure nonsense, in my opinion. It's the logical equivalent of the government banning the sale of cherries on George Washington's birthday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

An Improved Christmas

Christmas 2007 is almost over - just a few more minutes of it are left. I am proud to report that:
  • I'm not in the hospital;
  • There aren't any tubes sticking out of me;
  • Bright and/or flashing lights no longer cause migraines;
  • I was able to watch an entire movie this afternoon without anyone trying to take a blood sample from me;
  • I remember the names of everyone around me; and
  • My car is in the same shape today that it was in a few days ago.
These may not seem like big things but, to me at least, they are. This has been a much better Christmas than last year.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Best. Videos. Ever.

2007 has been a year of amazing viral videos. The folks at Time compiled their list the best ones. However, I've never been a fan of dancing prisoners or cats playing the piano. With that in mind, I am proud to present my collection of the best viral videos of 2007.

First up, leave it to the folks at The Onion to make everyone wish that we were all poor this holiday season.



We've also seen women in bikinis shape the course of political discourse this year by proclaiming their love for a certain candidate. Quite frankly, I can only hope this continues into 2008 because God knows most of the candidates themselves aren't very interesting. Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney all had their own gyrating women, but let's face it - Taryn Southern's "Hott 4 Hill" blew them all away.



2007 also saw videos become a rallying point for change, the way Woodstock was a generation ago. Just take a look at This Is For The Soldiers:



In addition to all of that, 2007 was the year when advertisers looked to consumers to generate commercials for them; such as what the Detroit Metro Visitors & Convention Bureau did with their podcast contest.



2007. The year of the best internet videos ever.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who Is Your Publicist?

A few weeks ago, my friend Francis Grunow was named to the "40 under 40" list by Crain's Detroit Business.

And now his wife, Claire Nelson, was on the front page for her work with Open City Detroit.

I love these two. However, I can't help but wonder: who is their publicist?

I Love eBay

It took me awhile, but thanks to the wonders of eBay, I finally tracked down a copy of Headless Body in Topless Bar.

I'm sure this is one of the cheesiest movies ever made. It's just a guess, because I haven't seen it.

However, I don't care. I simply love the title so much that when I found such a DVD on eBay, I had to buy it.

It's Time for "Once"

Today is December 18th. This means that Once is now available on DVD. Trust me - this movie is really, really good.

Its plot is very simple. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy tries to get girl back.

However, they did such a great job at executing that simple plot - everything from the acting to the music to costumes to you name it - it was just that good.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Visit Detroit (Via Lego Land)

Okay - it's almost midnight. I should be getting to bed so I'm not a zombie at work tomorrow. But it's not like I'm going to fire myself. (I have to wait for my clients to do that.)

Anyway, I was surfing the web and found a Detroit cityscape that was made entirely out of Legos.

It is so darn cool!

Although, I have to say that the People Mover does look a bit different from what I recall.

You can see all of the photos here.

D Tales, D Tales

Detroit has a new gossip blog - D Tales - one that is surely destined to put Gawker, Wonkette and the others to shame. The new blog is complete with details about who is dating who (or no longer dating), what happened at the coolest of parties and who should simply be thrown in front of a bus.

I wasn't thrilled with its repeated slamming of Detroit Synergy and my blood pressure went up when the author made a passing jab at the Girl-in-the-D. However, the fact of the matter is that great writing is still great writing.

Full Disclosure: For anyone who doesn't know it, I'm on the Steering Team for Detroit Synergy. As for the Girl-in-the-D, she and her husband have been friends of mine for years. In that regard, I'm more than a bit defensive when it comes to things like this.

Still, I've learned to take all of this in stride.

However, I do have my limits. If D Tales ever starts talking trash about one of John Hodgman's favorite photographers then I will have to hurt someone.

Truth

From the mouth of babes, the Good Book tells us, can come enormous strength and wisdom.

Of course, sometimes it simply comes from an animated cartoon that I found on-line after clicking one of Liza's links.

Can there be any wonder then, why it is that John Hodgman keeps using her work for his blog.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

A severe winter storm blew through Detroit late last night/ early this morning. I've got a little over eight inches of fluffy, white snow on the ground in front of my house now. (That's twenty one centimeters for my dear readers who log-in from countries that use the metric system.)

It's the perfect day to settle down with a warm blanket, a couple of DVDs and a bottle of whiskey. The latter one, of course, is required to calm my nerves about driving through this mess to get to work tomorrow.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Put Your Hands Up

I found Feddie le Grand's video for "Put Your Hands Up for Detroit" on YouTube.



Ah, if only the real Detroit was an cool as the one in the video. (Or at least had so many hot women taking their clothes off to test my reaction to them.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

God Loves Me

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is on television right now! (I'm typing this during a commercial break.)


God loves me!

Liza Thinks for Me

Liza left a comment on one of my previous posts about how she thought of me when she saw a certain cartoon. I got to admit, I thought of me when I saw it as well.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Irony: Thy Name Is Google

I checked out Google Analytics this morning, which tells where people who visit this blog are coming from. I discovered, much to my amusement, that if one does a Google search then not only do I rank 8th out of 1.9 million when it comes to "dating in your 30s" but I also rank 7th out of 2 million for "cool wedding cakes".

So, a single guy who hasn't been on an actual date in roughly two months, writes one of the highest ranked blogs for both dating and wedding cakes.

Irony: thy name is Google.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Magical Pothole

A funny thing happened to me the other evening. I was driving along Michigan Avenue in Dearborn when my car hit what this monster of a pothole.

It was one of those I really felt it and wondered for a moment if my car was alright. I was relieved when I realized that I still had all four of my tires and that none of them seemed to be flat.

Of course, the really weird part of the whole thing was when I continued driving for a moment after that. My had been pulling to the right a bit and needed an alignment. After that pothole, though, it seemed just fine.

This makes me wonder: did I hit the pothole just right to knock everything back into place? Or do I know have two problems with my car's alignment that are effectively canceling each other out - at least for the moment.

I have a feeling that I have two problems now. I'm going to ignore that for the moment. At least until a couple of my clients cough up enough cash for me to get at least one of them problems fixed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gambling in the Newspaper

I live in a city that has three casinos, plus a fourth one right across the river in Canada. That is on top of all of church bingos and the Michigan lottery. However, I have my own kind of gambling addition.

I read the newspaper every day.

Sometimes the news is very good.

Sometimes it's very bad.

Today was one of those days when the newspaper just made me want to crawl back into bed and forget the rest of the world existed. (Unfortunately, I have a job to do so that isn't an option.)

The front page of today's Detroit Free Press proclaims news from Washington, D.C. that a deal on fuel economy standards is near. This is really good news, in my opinion, because it's over due and I believe it will help the American auto industry in the long-term.

It wasn't until I flipped to the local news section that I saw the two articles that made me want to crawl back in bed and stay there.

First, there was the story of Deuntay Miller a 1-year-old boy who died nearly two years ago while in his parents' care. His mother and her boyfriend tried to cremate their dead child in a barbecue grill. When that failed to get rid of all of his remains, they hid his skeleton in their basement and continued to collect welfare payments for their deceased child. Their crimes weren't discovered until investigators began looking at them for possible welfare fraud.

This is troubling on so many levels. The welfare fraud is probably the least of them.

What kind of parent would even think of doing something like this to their own child?

Scratch that - what kind of person would even think of doing something like that to any child?

And how in the world is it that no one seemed to notice that this child had been dead for two years?

Plus, this happened in an urban area. How could it be that none of the neighbors noticed what had to have been a troubling stench when these two pathetic excuses for humans tried cremating their child's remains in a backyard barbecue?

Simple charges of welfare fraud aren't enough for them. I pray that their fellow inmates in the county jail give them a new understanding of what suffering is all about.

Not to be outdone, there was also the news that a crew from the Detroit Water & Sewage Department found a woman's headless torso in a sewage drain yesterday morning. She was clothed in nothing more than her underwear. Her hands and feet had been chopped off. The Detroit Police Department estimates that she had been stuffed there a week ago in an apparent effort to hide her murder.

The only good news is that, at least this time, neighbors noticed a stench coming from the sewer and called someone about it.

Please excuse me. I'm going to finish my work and then I'm going back to bed. I might stay there for a few days.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

To everyone across the country who reads the Voices in My Head - Happy Thanksgiving!

To everyone who reads from Canada and other parts of the world - Happy Thursday!

I hope everyone who visits this blog has a day full of family, friends and really good food.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get another slice of Pumpkin Pi. (Oh, I'm such a nerd!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Smaller Logo - Bigger Screen

I was surfing the net this morning, when I probably should have been doing other things, and came across the new LG enV VX9900 cell phone.

A few notes.

First - a memo to the folks at LG Electronics. Your product is cool, but you're still a ways away from being able to call the product line the enV (as in "envy").

Second, what's with the pitifully small screen size? It's still no bigger than a ravioli.

And while I'm thinking of it, what's with the large LG logo? I feel like I should be charging you for advertising space on the phone, if I were to buy it.

Shrink the logo and give me a decent display screen; preferably one with a resolution better than 240 x 320.

Hayden Is Here

It looks like Hayden Panettiere is in town today.

According to this morning's Free Press, the cheerleader from NBC's Heroes is doing a private event to support Ronald McDonald House charities in Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Ne-Yo is in town, too. He is also appearing at that same event. I'm glad he's here, but let's face facts: Ne-Yo doesn't look as good in a cheerleading outfit as Hayden does.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Recap

I’m working with the Music Hall to produce an event in January that will bring a bunch of Oscar winners and nominees to Detroit. Someone got the idea that we should have a signature cocktail for the event.

I got the assignment on Friday and promptly gathered together a crack team of expert alcoholics to test various recipes. All of them had to incorporate Faygo pop because Faygo is one of our sponsors. It was many hours of exhausting research but we finally perfected the Oscar Orange. I would tell you its ingredients, but it’s a trade secret until January 13th.

Yeah, I love my job!

After that I walked over the Kales Building in downtown Detroit where two different groups of people were having loft parties – one on the 11th floor and a second on the 3rd where we made our own gourmet pizzas from scratch. Both parties ended just in time for everyone to walk a couple of blocks to Campus Martius Park for the tree lighting.

Tree lighting a Campus Martius is something that could have come straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Very cool with a friendly crowd and great family entertainment – even for single folks like most of my friends and I.

Immediately after the tree lighting, everyone ended up at Centaur Lounge on Park. More conversations. More alcohol.

Saturday was a toss-up. I was invited to an art gallery opening and had tickets to Bablesque, which is a troupe of belly dancing superstars. But then a friend called with free tickets to the Red Wings game.

Hockey prevailed.

Unfortunately, the Wings lost 5 – 3. The worst part was the fact 3 of the Blackhawks goals were short-handed ones and the 5th was an empty net situation.

It was still fun. However, if I had known the Red Wings were going to play that badly defensively, I would have gone to Bablesque instead.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Crap! Soap Writers Cross Picket Line

Variety is reporting that several screenwriters from the daytime soaps are crossing picket lines and returning to work. As the grandson of a union organizer, I have to say that this is bad news for Writers Guild and all of the labor unions in the entertainment business.

The writers' strike is only in its second week. If writers from Days of Our Lives and Young & the Restless are ready to cross the picket line already, that means that there will likely be a lot of others in the coming days. The big media conglomerates know this. It will only make them that much more entrenched and unwilling to give writers a larger share of revenues.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Happy Prince Igor Day

Some folks know this. Others don't.

When I established my own production company four years ago, I named it after Prince Igor - an 18th century Russian opera by Alexander Borodin.

Today, of course, is Prince Igor Day - a day to commemorate the 127th anniversary of this opera's first public performance. It's a company holiday for me. I use it as a chance to put aside all of the other stuff that I would normally do so I can gaze into my crystal ball for a clue as to what next year holds for the company.

2008 looks like it will be a good year. (*knock on wood*) I have more proposals in front of prospective clients and investors than I did at this point in 2006. That's always a good clue as to what the future holds.

Sexual Sock Drawer

I was leafing through this week's issue of the Metro Times over lunch. They mentioned a statistic that supposedly men with a messy sock drawer have sex three times as often as men with an organized sock drawer.

Quite frankly, I have serious doubts as to whether or not there is any validity to this claim. For starters, they didn't reference the source of this statistic. That, in my experience, has always been a red flag.

However, I don't feel like taking any chances when it comes to something like this.

I'm going to go make a huge mess out of my sock drawer when I get home.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

It's Time to Drop Out

U.S. Senator Barack Obama promised that he would finally get tough with his main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and that he would do it in the debate earlier this week. Quite frankly, I've seen boxes of Kleenex that were tougher than he was in the debate Monday.

With that in mind, I give you my open letter.
Dear Senator Obama,

It's time for you to drop out of the presidential race. All you're doing now is sucking up air.

Sincerely,
Your former supporter

Moving to New York

I have this sudden desire to move to New York. They have their own group of Jedi.



Or I could try starting a similar group in Detroit.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I Am Henry Rollins

I have 23 different things on my "to-do" list for today. How many of them did I get done?

None.

I know I'm going to pay for it dearly for the rest of this week. I'm going to have to put in a lot more hours in order to make up for it.

What did I do today when I should have been working? For the most part, I goofed off on my computer.

I also discovered that, when it comes to dating, I am rapidly becoming more and more like Henry Rollins.


I haven't gotten so far that I'm willing to kick a woman out of my car for reading Harry Potter (unless that's the only book she has read recently). But I am becoming more and more like that comedy routine every day.

My question is: just how worried should I be when it comes to this trend?

Annexing Canada

The Bush administration commissioned the folks at Disney to produce a seven minute video to promote the U.S. as a travel destination, according to a report from the Associated Press. I love the concept of doing this. Tourism is a great industry and it should be promoted.

There's just one problem.

One of the destinations that Disney included in this video is the Horseshoe Falls, which is in Canada. There are two other waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls and are on the U.S. side of the Niagara River. However, they weren't included at all in this video.

Yes, the Walt Disney Company and the U.S. Department of State has essentially annexed a portion of Canada.

I can't say I really blame them. There are several parts of Canada that I won't mind having in the U.S. (Most notably, whatever part Darling is currently occupying.) However, according to news reports, the Canadian government is just a tiny bit upset over this.

Besides, things didn't go very well for the Bush Administration the last time it tried to grab territory arbitrarily. Grabbing a portion of Canada, no matter how beautiful it is, simply cannot go well for the U.S.

I believe the lesson that can be learned from this experience is that the Bush Administration shouldn't have hired Disney to create this promotional video. They should have hired my production company.

I have never confused the U.S. with Canada, even though I live in a city that has had Toronto stand-in for it in numerous Hollywood movies.

I also wouldn't have used so much stock footage in the video. Just take a look at this promotional video that I did for Detroit, in advance of Super Bowl XL. There's not a single frame of stock footage in it.



Oh, and I wouldn't have had the only people who actually speak during the video be the ones standing in front of that brick wall. It gives the sense that the only Americans who are friendly are the ones who have their backs to a wall. I think it would have been much better to weave in a series of people saying, "Welcome!" throughout the entire video and to have it be at each of the different landmarks.

But that's just me. I'm just a guy who knows the difference between what is in the U.S. and what isn't.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Harmony Is Open!

Today has been one of those good news/bad news days.

The good news is that astronauts from Discovery added a new room onto the International Space Station today. It's been named Harmony.

My first thought was that they should have changed a few letters and named it after a Harry Potter character instead. In fact, I think every room on the International Space Station ought be named after a character from the Harry Potter books. That or one from a Mark Twain novel.

Anyway, the bad news is that they also found metal shavings inside of a joint that is needed to turn solar panels. I know it's bad when I forget to do the dishes and they get kind of crusty. It's a pain in the butt to clean them. I'm just imagining the challenges associated with cleaning metal shavings out of a metallic joint while traveling at 1,000+ m.p.h. in outer space.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

PS3 vs. Wii

Continuing with my series on things I found on-line while searching for other things (yeah, I should find an abbreviation for that or something), I give you a parody of the PC vs. Mac commercials. It's PlayStation 3 vs. Wii.

Now, if you'll excuse me, after watching this video, I have a desire to go buy a Wii.

Right after I remember what it was that I was searching for when I found in the first place.

My New Best Friend

After all the madness that happened last night, you'll find a photo of my new best friend to the left.

I saw some really cool Halloween costumes last night. The ones that I remember are:
  • Eric and his girlfriend came as an electrical plug and socket;
  • Kelly Fontes looked wonderful as Wonder Woman; and
  • Little Bo Peep and Strawberry Shortcake were well represented.
However, my absolute favorite was the guy who came dressed up as the one and only Alok Sharma - and no, it wasn't Alok who was dressed that way.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Friday, Friday, Friday

I'm not sure why, but this Friday is the day when it seems like everyone has some kind of an event planned.

The evening kicks off with Illuminate Detroit at Willy's Overland Lofts. This one is sponsored by Detroit Synergy and, since I'm on their steering team, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that I'll be spending the bulk of my time there. (The photo at right, by the way, is event organizer Liz Tintinali at the last Illuminate Detroit.)

The folks at CAID are also having an Illuminate after party from midnight to 5 a.m.

The folks at Detroit Fashion Pages then have their designer showcase, featuring Maisha Davis, in the Penobscott Building.

Plagues and Pleasues on the Salton Sea is showing at the Detroit Film Center. I really want to see this movie. I've heard nothing but great things about it. However, I'm not sure if I'll be able to squeeze it in. I might go see it if the DFP event doesn't seem like it's all it's cracked up to be. Otherwise, the movie goes into my Netflix queue.

I also have a friend's birthday party going on at Pulse, followed by another friend's Halloween party in the Kales Building. I already told the Halloween party organizer that I won't be there in costume, simply because I'll be bouncing in between all of these other events.

The folks at the Creative Energy Alliance are having their Howl-O-Ween Bash that evening, too. It's at Stage 3 in Warren, which makes it a lot farther away that the other five events. I doubt I'll be able to squeeze that one into the mix as well.

So many events. One short evening.

Quick Update

Anita's funeral was last week. Her husband and children seemed to take her passing as well as anyone could reasonably expect.

In other news, my concerns about becoming the third sudden death have been greatly alleviated. The doctors say my heart is in the same condition that it was last year.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Granholm Endorses Round Earth

Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced her endorsement of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic party's nominee for President of the United States today.

Immediately after making her endorsement public, Granholm announced that the Earth really is round and that Paris Hilton really isn't all very talented.

You'll have to excuse me not regarding this endorsement as news worthy. It's been rumored that Granholm would support Clinton's presidential campaign since before she was even a candidate.

Again, nothing news worthy here. I could have easily forgotten about this before I even finished reading the email that announced - if it weren't for this line:
"Hillary Clinton's proposals and track record are evidence that she is clearly the candidate best prepared to lead the nation and be a champion for Michigan," Granholm and Cherry said. "From her commitment to ending the war in Iraq, to her positions on..."
I'm sorry but praising Clinton for her "commitment to ending the war in Iraq" is like congratulating Britney Spears for winning the Nobel Prize in Physics. Clinton hasn't made such a commitment, she publicly ridiculed those who propose attacking terrorists and she refused to commit to bringing our troops home from Iraq by the end of her first term, if elected.

How in the world can any of this be construed as a "commitment to ending the war in Iraq"?

I think it's time for Michigan to institute a policy of mandatory drug testing for all elected officials.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

RIP - Anita Kramer

Some folks have heard about this one already, but my cousin passed away over the weekend at the age of 29. She leaves a husband and two small children behind.

Her cause of death hasn't been determined, pending an autopsy. She was at a garage sale when she collapsed suddenly and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

She and I weren't especially close. However, losing someone that young - and losing them so suddenly - is always disconcerting to say the least.

I think it's even worse since this is the second person this month that I know who has passed away suddenly. It makes me think about something that my grandmother used to say, that things like this always come in threes.

And that, in turn, had me wondering who the third person would be.

And worrying about that, in turn, made me think about a heart murmur that the doctors found when I was in the hospital this past December. My doctors concluded at the time that is was a harmless murmur and nothing to worry about. However, after my cousin passed at the age of 29 and with my this being the second unexpected death in as many weeks, I would a little worried.

In fact, it was at that moment that my cell phone slipped out of my handing, hitting a concrete floor and breaking into two pieces.

After the panic subsided, I made an appointment with the cardiologist who treated me last year - just to make sure that everything is still okay. Intellectually, I know that I'm almost certainly still fine. However, I also know that I wouldn't have been able to sleep very well until I at least made an appointment.

Anyway, Anita's funeral is Thursday. She will be missed.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Holiday

Today is a double holiday. In the U.S., it's Columbus Day - complete with a Presidential Proclamation about Christopher Columbus sailing across the Atlantic Ocean; discovering the Americas for Europeans.

For our neighbors to the south, it's Thanksgiving Day.

My New Coffee Table?

I've been thinking that I need a new coffee table and I found a kit that you can use to build your own interactive LED version. My only issue with it is the kit will cost $420.55 and that's just for the for LEDs, boards and sensors. I'd still have to get a boring coffee table to build it into.

It's cool, but I'm wondering if it's $400 cool.

Anyway, after the car repairs from last week, it'll be a couple of weeks before I can buy this thing. That gives me time to think. As always, thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wow!

It's both weird and sad when a major anniversary passes you don't even realize it until it has passed.

This past Thursday, October 4th, was the 50th anniversary of the Sputnik I launch. It was one of those moments when history itself was changed forever.

Americans, and the rest of the world, woke up, realizing that the Soviet Union had a huge technological advantage over everyone else. The United States launched its own space program with an unprecedented fervor. Shortly after that, President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to send a man to the moon and return him safely home.

It's just sad that an anniversary like this didn't get more attention in the news media. I did a quick Google search and only found one published news article from any of the major media outlets that talked about it. (Kudos, by the way, to everyone at USA Today for not dropping the ball.)

Oh, and I realize that this makes me a total geek, but I got a huge thrill out of listening to a recording of Sputnik's telemetry broadcast on NASA's web site.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Free Month of Netflix for Anyone Who Wants It

The folks at Netflix know I'm a movie junkie. They gave me these cards to pass out to folks that I know who might be interested in a free month of the Netflix service so they can try it out for themselves. The problem is that I'm usually so busy with one thing or another that I haven't had a chance to hand them over to anyone in the week or so that I've had them.

As a result, I thought I'd post the relevant information here. Anyone who is interested can collect a free month with Netflix.

If you're interested, click here. Enter the priority code of M84954834575 to collect your free month and to learn more about Netflix. This offer expires on October 31, 2007.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy waiting for me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Schadenfreude

The Germans have several unique words that don't have an English counterpart; one of the is schadenfreude. It means taking pleasure in the pain or misery of others. That really doesn't quite describe how I feel at this moment, but it's the closest I can think of.

I know, an opening paragraph like that deserves a serious explanation. Here it is.

There was this woman that I kind-of sort-of dated - way back in 1992. I have to say we "kind-of sort-of" dated because we never actually went on a date. Whenever we bumped into her, she was constantly touching my arms, commenting on how she liked my cologne and generally exhibiting a certain level of interest.

I eventually took the hint, asked her out on a date and she said "yes". We made plans to meet after class, since we were both in college at the time. When the appointed hour arrived, she was nowhere to be seen. I figured she was just blowing me off.

The interesting thing was that I got a phone call the next morning, apologizing profusely and asking for another chance. I agreed. Long story short - this pattern of her saying she wanted to go out, never showing when ever we made plans repeated and then calling to express her regret repeated itself a couple of times.

Eventually, I gave up on and began referring to her as Psycho Girl during any conversations about the subject to my friends. In fact, fifteen years later, none of my friends from that period of my life will mention this woman's name aloud. She is always referred to as Psycho Girl.

Anyway, I learned through the proverbial grape vine recently that Psycho Girl is on the board of directors for one of Detroit's largest employers. I know this sounds really bad, but I can't help wondering if it's okay for me to blame her for the anemic state of the economy in southeastern Michigan at the moment?

(If anyone has an opinion on that, please feel free to leave a comment.)

Of course, all of this was one-upped to the nth degree when I found out about another ex-girlfriend of mine.

There is another young woman who I dated a few years after Psycho Girl who is simply know as Uber-Bitch. We had a brief relationship that never really went anywhere. I broke it off because there really wasn't any chemistry between us.

She responded by making a series of phone calls to various literary agents in New York that she knew, telling them that under no circumstances what-so-ever should they try to publish a novel that I had finished writing. I eventually found a home for my novel, but her efforts did pose a few challenges for me.

Anyway, I have since learned that Uber-Bitch's life has had a meltdown in recent years. She is in the process of getting a divorce from this guy that she met after me and her career has come plummeting down. Her years of back-stabbing and manipulating have reportedly led to her getting fired from her current job.

To top it off, from what I'm hearing, no one else in the industry who is in a position to hire anyone is wiling to even talk to her. The whole thing is karma meets schadenfreude in dark alley.

When I heard about this, I couldn't help but ask myself: just how many copies of my novel should I send her?

(Again, if anyone has an opinion on that, please feel free to leave a comment.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Triple the Keira

Keira Knightley recently remarked that she is "twice the size" of most actresses in Hollywood.

Um... yeah. I don't think so.

The only time Keira Knightley is twice the size of other actresses is if there are three of her all at once.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Like a Boy

I found the video below on YouTube. If this doesn't do wonders to boost military enlistment, I don't know what will.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Coming to a Radio Near You

Thanks to my involvement with Detroit Synergy, I will be on the radio this coming Monday. I will appear on Detroit Today, which airs on WDET 101.9 FM. We're going to discuss this trend of people leaving Michigan for one reason or another.

The segment will air on Monday, September 17 at approximately 10:20 a.m. If you're not lucky enough to live the WDET broadcast area, you can always listen on-line.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th

September 11th.

I miss the days when today's date meant nothing more than it was brother's birthday.

I miss being able to look at the calender 1/12 of the year and not think about the pure horror and disbelief that I felt as I watched United Airlines Flight 175 slam into the South Tower of the World Trade Center live on CNN; the utter dismay when it collapsed less than an hour later and - above all else - the overwhelming sense of helplessness when I saw the North Tower still standing, but knew it would collapse soon.

I miss what it was like to walk through the World Trade Center itself.

I miss being able to sit back on boring days at work and just ponder what it would be like to go back to Windows on the World.

I miss being able to visit buildings like Renaissance Center in Detroit, the Sears Tower in Chicago or the CN Tower in Toronto without thinking twice about it. I know, of course, that those buildings are as safe as anyone could reasonably make them, but there's just enough about them to remind me of the World Trade Center.

I miss being able to flip through pages of an old sci-fi story I once wrote, without thinking about how those characters could have saved most of the people in the World Trade Center that day. (They had a spaceship that could hover in mid-air and hold its position, even while pumping a few hundred gallons of water onto a flaming building. Yes, I am a sci-fi nerd.)

I miss being able to respect the leaders of my government. I knew that even if I disagreed with President Reagan or the first President Bush, they wouldn't have used the tragedy of that day as an excuse to invade and occupy a country like Iraq nor to limit the freedoms and privacies of Americans.

I miss the life that I had 6 years and 1 day ago. I fear that I may never get it back. That fear, of course, is only amplified when I browsed through my friend Paula Turner's portfolio and see the photograph that she took to the left, which shows where the World Trade Center once stood.

I miss the days when September 11th was simply my brother's birthday.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

My Confession

I have a confession to make.

I'm helping to plan Detroit Synergy's Wooden Anniversary Pub Crawl. It's a great time, having a lot of fun with a couple hundred of your best friends, as we bounce between 8 different bars in one evening. There will be drink specials at each of these bars, of course, and the folks at Hard Rock Cafe are offering free parking for participants.

Like I said, it's a great time. More importantly, this is Detroit Synergy's big fundraiser. The group doesn't charge dues or anything so it relies on pub crawls to keep themselves afloat.

None of this is all that newsworthy - or even worthy of a "confession" per se. Well, here's interesting part.

Some of my Wolverine friends, decided that they didn't want to go because it was the same day that the University of Michigan was playing the University of Notre Dame. I was a bit frustrated by this. I tried to be as accommodating as possible when it came to scheduling the pub crawl. I picked the only day in September when there were no Tiger, Lions or Red Wings games and made sure that there wasn't anything going on at Hart Plaza or Cobo Hall.

However, when the Wolverine fans decided that they didn't want to come to the pub crawl because of Michigan/Notre Dame game, I had to take drastic action in order to make my event a success. I had to sabotage Michigan's entire football season.

I snuck into the Michigan locker room early yesterday morning and put molasses onto the shoes of each player. Not too much, mind you. It was only a dab on the sole of each shoe. If I used any more, they would have noticed for sure. However, and this is the important part, it was just enough to slow the Wolverines down.

The result of this, of course, is already known: Michigan lost to Appalachian State by a score of 34-32. It was, in the opinion of every commentator and Wolverine fan, the most humiliating defeat in the school's history. They lost to a team that most had never even heard, in a game that everyone - and I do mean everyone - expected them to not only win, but to win by a large margin.

And they had this defeat handed to them on their own home field.

Even Mitch Albom is now saying that the Wolverine's season is essentially over. No matter what they do from this point forward, there is no way for them to redeem themselves from a loss this bad.

This, of course, means that those Wolverine fans no longer have an excuse for not coming on the pub crawl. With the season essentially over, none of them really care whether or not they'll beat Notre Dame. Plus, they now have all the more reason to drink.

It was a desperate and completely unfair of me to resort to such a tactic. I readily admit that. However, desperate times really do call for desperate measures.

All I can say is that I hope my Spartan friends don't start using Michigan State's game against Pittsburgh as an excuse for not coming to the pub crawl. I would not relish having to sabotage another team's season just to get more of their fans at this event.

It would be so much easier if everyone simply checked out some of the details for the pub crawl, maybe took a look at photos from a previous pub crawl and then simply registered here for the event. After all, a drink special - or a football season - is a terrible thing to waste.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Use the Space Shuttle, Luke

Every time the space shuttle lifts off, it always carries some special cargo with it. When it lifts off this coming October, however, it's going to carry one of the coolest pieces of cargo ever.

NASA is actually going to carry the lightsaber that Mark Hamill used in the original Star Wars movie up to the International Space Station.

Yes, I know this is a publicity stunt. 100% stunt.

But it's so darn cool!

Monday, August 27, 2007

When it rains, it pours

This morning starts out with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announcing his resignation. In and of itself, that was an amazing - and uplifting - experience. I thought for sure it was be the biggest story of the day.

But then it was announced that Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charge for lewd behavior in the men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

All in one day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It Must Be Friday

It must be time for 4th Fridays with Ford again. I know this without even looking at the calendar because the weather forecast is calling for rain.

So, yes - 4th Fridays with Ford and Cinema D will each happen tomorrow as scheduled. No matter how much it rains.

We had this problem last time around and it was still as blast.

Oh, and speaking of last time around, I've learned a lesson: don't try making a sarcastic remark while someone is trying to take your picture. Paul caught me with Aria, Tim and Kim in the midst of such a wise-crack last time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday. Nothing all that special happened yesterday because, well, it was a Monday.

The big party was Friday night at Whiskey in the Jar in Hamtramck. August was bartending. This meant that booze was plentiful. I also bumped into friends that I literally haven't seen in years, which is always cool.

Anyway, it was only last week when I realized something birthday related that is actually kind of cool. I have finally reached that point in my life where it's actually legal for me to date women who are half my age.

Webcam Girls Go Wild

I found this video on-line while I was searching for a link to one of my own video clips. I have to admit, I'm jealous that I didn't think to do something like this.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Keira's Clevage

Liza left a comment in one of my posts below about Keira Knightley's ad campaign for Chanel. Among other things, she talked about how incredibly thin Keira Knightley is and how her body didn't look humanly possible in the Chanel ad.

I read her comment just a couple of minutes after reading another article about how that same image was real in the first place. I figured this was an omen. Something that I would post about, at the least.

According to an interview that Ms. Knightley gave, the folks at Chanel used PhotoShop to make her look the way she did. Her breasts are much smaller in real life so they added a bit to them when they were putting together their ad.

I have to admit, I wasn't terribly surprised when I read that.

Actually, I should amend that. I wasn't surprised that Chanel used PhotoShop to create an image that they thought we garner more attention and, in turn, sell more perfume. The surprising part, in my opinion, was that Keira Knightley was willing to confirm that this happened and do so in a published interview.

Anyway, PhotoShop or not, she still looks great. I love her hair, eyes, lips and - well - everything else.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Number 1 with Wiggles

Earlier this week, I discovered that if one types "dating in your 30s" into Google's search engine then I come up as one of the top searches. In fact, as of this morning, this site ranks at number 4 out of approximately 939,000 search returns.

Of course, the really interesting discovery in the whole thing came this morning.

Drum roll, please.

Google also ranks me as number 1 when the search terms are "Jello wrestling Detroit".

I swear, I almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard when I saw that for the first time. I started this blog as simply a way to share my thoughts on a whole multitude of issues.

Plus, it's nice that friends and family who no longer live in the Detroit area have a convenient way of keeping up with my life that doesn't involve me telling the exact same stories over and over again.

But this Jello wrestling thing really floors me.

It also makes me wonder what would happen if I were to organize a Jello wrestling match (here in Detroit or elsewhere) involving the three female celebrities that I have blogged about in the past year: Jessica Alba, Keira Knightley and Melissa Theuriau. Not only do I wonder what would happen to the traffic on this blog if I were to write about such a match, I also wonder who would win it.

My initial hunch is that Keira Knightley would win this hypothetical match. However, I don't think anyone should discount the other two. Jessica Alba, after all, looked seriously bad ass in each of the Fantastic 4 movies.

Plus, something tells me that Melissa Theuriau wouldn't be a total push over herself. This, of course, would be especially true if this Parisian darling were wrestling in Detroit - the Paris of the Midwest. It would give her a bit of a hometown advantage. (Okay - more of a hometown advantage than either of her rivals would have.)

Anyway, I think it's incredibly cool that my blog ranks so highly in such interesting categories.

Nice Hat

I saw the new Keira Knightley ad that the folks at Chanel are running. You can see it for yourself at the right.

All I have to say is, "Wow!" I have a sudden desire to run out and buy a few bottles of Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel.

That and a bowler hat.

Anyway, Marilyn Monroe once told a reporter that all she wore to bed was few drops of Chanel No. 5.

Looking at this ad, I can't help but wonder Keira Knightley wears to bed every night.

Hmm...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ding! Dong!

Ding! Dong! The witch is dead.

Karl Rove has announced his resignation from the White House.

I'm not foolish enough to think that this means he is done and gone. However, he will no longer be a part of American politics on a daily basis.

An Interesting Discovery

I made an interesting discovery over the weekend. If you type "dating in your 30s" into Google, one of the top responses that come back is this blog.

It's kind of interesting. I never really intended for this to be a blog about dating or even life in general for someone in their 30s.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cool Night Light

It's been awhile since I've posted about some of the cool things that I find on-line, probably because I've been so broke as of late that I have steered clear of anything the remotely resembles shopping.

Anyway, I found these cool night lights as I was surfing around this afternoon. I was looking for something completely different - and I found these.

They look like like something out of a science museum, except that it's much smaller and fits directly into a light socket. It would probably freak some kid out, but it makes for a cool night light for adults.

I Didn't Die

Tuesday, August 7th has now come and gone. I'm still alive.

This means that contrary to what that stupid person said in a YouTube comment, I didn't die within 7 days because I failed to repost his comment on someone else's page.

Unless, of course, I'm like Bruce Willis' character in The Sixth Sense; where I'm already dead and I just don't know it yet.

Hmm...

Can dead people still blog if they don't know that they're dead?

Oh, my God! Where is Haley Joel Osment's character when you need him?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Tale of Three Women

This afternoon started out with me headed to a simple lunch date with one of my friends, Amanda. We discovered, much to our dismay, that Jacoby's Bistro was closed for renovations so we instead grabbed a couple of sandwiches at Au Bon Pain and found a table in Campus Martius Park.

Our lunch went along much as expected - good conversation, good food, delightful atmosphere.

The odd thing was that, at almost the exact moment that Amanda had to get back to work, another woman came walking up to me. It was Jodie, who recently returned for Liverpool. My meeting for this afternoon was already canceled, leaving me with a bit of time on my hands, so I said good-bye to Amanda and sat down with Jodie.

We talked some more about all of the things that happened while she was in the U.K. and a little bit about life in the D. Eventually, though, she had to head back to her office as well.

I started to head back to my car when my phone rang. It was my friend Tom, who is in town from Las Vegas. As I was talking with him, I noticed that there was another friend of mine also sitting in the park having lunch by herself.

It was Kim. We talked for a few minutes about the house that she and her husband are rehabbing in Indian Village and life in general. After that, we each had to get going.

It was weird, though. I started my day with one lunch date and I ended up with three - all back to back.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Might Die Soon

Some nut case posted a comment on one of my YouTube videos, claiming that I would be dead in 7 days unless I re-posted that comment on 10 other videos within the next hour. I promptly deleted it as spam.

I'm not at all worried about my health or longevity.

However, if by some weird fluke, I actually do leave this world on August 7, 2007 then I ask all of my dear readers to watch The Ring in my honor.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cinema D - Rain or Shine

The National Weather Service is calling for rain tomorrow in Detroit. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won't.

The one thing that I know for certain is that Cinema D: The Detroit Film Festival will go on as planned regardless. In fact, the entire 4th Fridays with Ford program is a go - rain or shine.

We have a spacious tent reserved for tomorrow that will encompass most of the north lawn of Campus Martius Park. No matter what Mother Nature has in store for us, Cinema D will once again celebrate indie filmmaking in Detroit.

Our features this month are Human Achievement, a feature-length drama by Dan Jones that won "Best Feature" at the East Lansing Film Festival, and Selitoya, a dramatic short film by Tim Krynicki that won "Best Short" at the Moving Media Festival earlier this year.

In addition, we have free concerts from Lola Morales and Maxi Priest as well as the Black Bottom Collective. Really. How much better can it get?

Oh, and let's not forget that the good folks from the Buzz Bar will be on hand to keep the booze flowing until midnight. (If you haven't had their new cocktail, the Detroit Rock & Rum, then you have clearly led a sheltered and deprived life - at least in my opinion.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I've Been Shot

I was scrolling through the Detroit Fashion Pages this afternoon, checking out their photos from recent events, and what do I see? Lil' ol' me.

That's me in the charcoal gray suit talking with Stacy, a jewelry designer from Pontiac, and her bartender friend. We were on the veranda of the Detroit Yacht Club at sunset.

My friend Dan's face is just barely visible to the right.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vengence Is Mine, Sayeth the USPS

A little over a week ago, my brother Mark got a summons for jury duty. I took it as a opportunity to give him an inordinate amount of grief.

Mark, of course, just smiled. Normally, I would feel guilty about making fun of someone misfortune - even if the "misfortune" is nothing more than jury duty.

However, this is my brother. We've been given each other grief like this since he was still in diapers.

But here's the thing: guess what I just got in the mail today.

If and when Mark finds out, I am never going to hear the end of this one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Melissa

Today is Melissa Theuriau's 29th birthday.

On the (very) remote chance that she ever finds her way to this blog, I wish you on the best on your birthday! You make me wish I paid more attention in French class.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Strip Poker

Ann Marie Weinert, the kick ass narrator from my documentary on the Book-Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, made this short film called Strip Poker. It's funny as all heck.

If only the video kept going for another few seconds.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Weekend is Here

I have to admit, there are moments when I didn't think it would arrive. But it's almost here. Just a couple more hours.

And then it's the weekend.

Tomorrow, I'm heading to Ann Arbor for a meeting with producer of my next film. It's also gives me a chance to grab some tacos from Tio's. (I don't know what they put in those things but their tacos are absolutely addictive.)

As for the rest of my weekend, thanks to the folks at Netflix, I'm having a Godfather marathon; watching all three of "The Godfather" movies in a row. It's something that I've always wanted to do, but never got around to.