VHS Boxes – A lost artform (The Good)

I’ve got a growing obsession with bad films.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, my other site is a review site of these bad films, and I thought I’d get a little into the origin story of this obsession.

When I was younger, probably about 7 or 8, my family got our first VHS player and there was a local video store that was owned by our mailman that we got a lifetime membership to.  The membership cost $20 and you got 10 free rentals with the membership.  When you went to the store, they had all the vhs boxes out on the shelves with a number on the side of them and when you took the box to the counter they’d get the tape down from a shelf behind and give you the video.

I used to go to the store with my sister all the time and rent movies there.  The one movie that sticks out in my mind that we rented from that store was “The Terminator”.  I remember we rented that movie at least 5 or 6 times and we watched it over and over again.  My sister was usually the one that rented movies, and while my parents weren’t usually too keen on letting us see R rated movies in the theater, oddly they didn’t mind if we rented them and watched them at home.  She was much more into action/adventure films, but horror movies always had the coolest covers, and those are usually the ones I remember the most.  My friend Chris that lived down the street was the one that usually told me about the horror movies because he and his brothers would rent just about anything they could get their hands on.  Now that I’m an adult, and I have the resources to find just about any movie I want, I go back a lot of the time and I get movies that I remember the covers for.  That’s probably also the main reason why most of the movies I write about are movies from the mid 70’s to late 90’s.

The VHS box cover is really a lost art.  Sometimes they’re highly detailed artwork, and sometimes they’re crudely drawn sketches.  They can range from scenes from the movies to shots where the stars heads are superimposed on better bodies, and most of the time they had nothing to do with what the movie was about.  DVD’s really never moved into the territory that VHS artwork had because VHS tapes were cranked out for any garbage movie and a lot of them are never going to see a DVD release.  If they do, there’s probably going to enough work involved in transferring it that they’re going to put some work into remaking a cover too.  Sadly, As we move into the digital age, I think a lot of this artwork is going to disappear altogether.

I also find it ironic that the more I upgrade my tv’s and start streaming content over my home network, the more I find myself watching stuff that’s been ripped from VHS – because that’s the only place that you can find these films

Below the cut are some of the good ones I’ve seen, or I still want to see:

Continue reading VHS Boxes – A lost artform (The Good)

Now, time for a public service announcement

I haven’t written here for a while, like what, 2 weeks or something?  I dunno, whatever or however long it’s been, but something really stirred up some shit in my soul and I have to let this out…

IF THE ASSHOLE IN THE OFFICE BEHIND ME DOESN’T CHANGE HIS RINGTONE FROM MOTHERFUCKING YAKKETY SAX I’M GOING TO STRANGLE A MOTHERFUCKER.

Seriously, you’ve gotten like 5 phone calls in the past 20 minutes, and the first time it was amusing and all that, but I’m soon going to find a blunt object and smash your skull in.

more cowbell.

I saw Christopher Walken on Friday.  He walked right by me.  I didn’t want to bother him while he was eating.  The other patrons of the bar I was at went off on the usual quoteathon that happens when you see celebrities, namely “MORE COWBELL!! HUUUUUUUURRR!”  I was just satisfied that he was in the same bar as I was.

That night I watched a documentary on Terry Gilliam’s attempt at making “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” called “Lost in La Mancha“.  I enjoy Gilliam’s films, and it was interesting to watch a total disaster of a film being made.  In the end, the film doesn’t get made due to all the difficulties they came across during filming.

Saturday night we went out to dinner with my in-laws for Katie’s other sister, since she wasn’t able to attend Wednesday’s dinner.  Afterwards I went out to Dave’s and watched the hockey game, and had a few beers.

Sunday I saw “The Hangover” which I thought was actually really funny.  I had heard about it a few weeks earlier and that it was supposed to be good, but the trailers for the film started to make me doubt that.  With lowered expectations, it was really enjoyable, and even darker than I thought it would be.

Sometime during the weekend, I also watched a Godfrey Ho film called “US Catman: Lethal Track” which was another Godfrey Ho special where he basically mashes up two films that have nothing to do with each other.  Since one half of the film is usually in a foreign language, the actors are dubbed to fit whatever happens in the English half of the film.  Unfortunately, the Thai half of the film is godawful, but the English part is tolerable and funny in the unintentional way.

I’m trying to figure out when I can watch the Mike Tyson documentary that came out recently, and I also have a Luna documentary I want to get to.

Ladybugs

I was eating salad for lunch, one of those ordinary bagged salads that you buy from the supermarket, nothing special.  I poured the rest of the bag into my bowl and started munching, and I got about 3/4ths of the way through it and I don’t know why I did it, but I looked at the forkful I was about to cram into my mouth, and I noticed something on it.  There was a little ladybug on my lettuce leaf.  It was dead, but it could have passed for being alive, except for the fact that it looked a little faded – not so red anymore.

ladybug
Well hello there! how did you get into my salad?

nexus

I’ve noticed that these random musings of my daily life are becoming less frequently as of late.  Let me update myself on my life.

Katie recently got her cast off, and is actually walking around.  I started getting resentful being her chauffer for the last few weeks and not really getting any time to myself to do what I want to do.  Once I realized that’s a total dick thought, and this won’t last forever, I got over it.  Hopefully her recovery stays on track and she’ll be back to independence soon.  Today was the first day that she’s been able to drive herself to work, so I’m sure the end is in sight.

This weekend, we went and saw Terminator: Salvation, and I yelled at some 14  year olds because they wouldn’t shut their damned mouths.  Needless to say, I felt like quite the tough guy!  I don’t think it wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I hadn’t just paid almost $40 on movie tickets and popcorns just to have some bratty assed kids dropped off at the movies by mommy and daddy so that they could get some space from their anal spawn.  If your kid can’t shut up, don’t let the movie theater be their baby sitter, please.

I also bought a grill and put it together on Saturday.  I celebrated by drinking myself stupid on Sierra Nevada summer fest lagers, which were delicious (as far as lagers go).  Sunday I grilled at my parents house where James proceded to eat almost everything off the table including about 5 hotdogs and 3 hamburgers which he stuffed into his face at once.  I’m surprised his face doesn’t have it’s own gravitational field once he opens up his mouth.  I also don’t understand how he stays reasonably thin when he eats like a professional football team.

Monday was spent over Katie’s sister’s house where more beers were drunk, in this case Magic Hat Wacko.

Also, in the last week my power supply on my pc shit the bed.  Unfortunately, when I pulled it off, I didn’t realize that the cables ran under my heat sink so that meant more money for thermal paste that the store forgot to send me (or so I thought).  I went to radio shack and got thermal paste and days later after I had everything working again I realized that they taped the thermal paste to the bottom of the power supply box.  Because I never set the box on a solid surface, instead put it either on carpet or on my little futon thing, I never realized it was there.  Now I have two tubes of thermal paste and nothing to use it on.  So.. I think I’m going to save up money to build a new pc.  Hooray.

Work is where the hate is

I haven’t had much time recently, and while I still don’t have much time now, I figured I should update so I can look back on this date and see that I was still a live.

My birthday passed 11 days ago, thanks to those who wished well wishes. I’m now officially a year older.  I think I’m in a better place health wise than last year and that feels pretty good.  Not too much else has changed that I can think of besides that.

I went out bowling for a few games with my mom and dad and Frank, and I think I had a 600 series… maybe. If not, I know it was at least a 580 series, which I think is actually my best series ever.  Not too shabby for not bowling in about 2 years.  Afterwards I went to dinner with my parents, my sister and her husband, and Katie.  We had ice cream and cake and then Dave came over and we watched the Hatton vs. Pacquaio fight.  While I’m a huge Ricky Hatton fan, I also like Manny Pacquaio quite a bit too so either fighter winning would have been fine with me, but I was not surprised by the outcome.

I took last week off, and I usually don’t update when I’m on vacation for some reason or another.  Mostly I took the week off because I like to have the week either before or after my birthday off, but also because Wednesday Katie had foot surgery and I knew that my help would be needed since she wouldn’t be able to do much on her own besides hobble around on crutches.  That occupied my time for the rest of the week/weekend.  I don’t think we left the house more than 3 times between Wednesday and Saturday, and that was probably just to go get coffee or pick up a pizza or something and just to get out of the house for a few minutes.

Katie is a stubborn as a mule though.  She wanted to go out shopping or whatever like the day after her surgery.  I may spend money irresponsibly or whatever, but she just likes to shop.  She won’t even necessarily buy anything, but she enjoys the aspect of looking at every single item in the store.  When I shop for something, I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for and I don’t like to float around, browsing.  I go right for what I want and if they don’t have it, I leave.  She can turn a 10 minute shopping experience into hours, and that has got to be some kind of black magic shit right there.

Other than that, I used some of my birthday funds and some money I had been saving and bought a PS3.  It came with Motorstorm and Resistance: Fall of Man, which I haven’t opened and I bought Killzone 2.  In addition to that, I bought a game from their online store called Pixel Junk: Eden, which is really an awesome game.  I spent quite a few hours just swinging around and enjoying myself.  I’ll include a little boring clip of the game at the end of this post if the 2 other people that read this are interested in checking it out.

When I got back to work, I had a mess of stuff that needed attention and only just recently did I get caught up (and by recently, I mean like minutes ago).  It only took me about 3 and 1/2 hours to say to myself “These people are fucking idiots”, so I’m pretty proud of that… I knew I was back in my favorite place!

Continue reading Work is where the hate is

Tweet this you twat.

So, I’ve had a twitter account for a while.  I use it to “promote” my website and advertise new posts and stuff after reading all these articles on how you can utilize twitter to reach a broader audience.  Unfortunately, I think that’s a big pile of bullshit.  I do get a few hits whenever I post a new review, but other than that, I don’t see much return from it.  I also don’t use it enough for more people to follow me.  I’m not the type of person to update what I had for lunch or what I saw, because frankly, it’s not that interesting and I’m not that interesting.  I’m almost 32 years old and I realize I’m never going to be an internet star (not that I’d want that anyhow).

I’ve been following people but at first I was following people because they followed me first.   Now I realize that’s really not what you should do, since you get to read a lot of stuff that you probably don’t care about.  I don’t see how someone could follow more than about 30 people.  I check twitter about 4 or 5 times a day and if I have more people to read than that they get lost in the shuffle.  I actually removed someone a couple weeks ago and they asked me why I stopped following them.  BECAUSE I’M SICK OF HEARING HOW AWESOME YOU ARE, that’s why.

Maybe I’m an old douche, but I really don’t see the point of it.  I’ve been on the fence for a while on if I just want to stop checking or posting all together.  At least with my little gig here I know only 10 people read it and this is for me, I’m not obsessing over how cool I am and how I love lobster claws attached to people’s testicles or that I saw Kevin Costner riding a dolphin at Sea World or whatever fucking bullshit people write about.

If I checked it 50x a day I might find it more useful, or if I knew how the fuck to find people who talk about shit I’m interested in or whatever, but for now it seems like it’s just an exercise in narcissism.

Parking lot wasteland

I let Raz give me a haircut on Friday.  I bought some new clippers and saw some videos on Youtube, so I figured I was a good instructor, and he could give me a sweet fade.  It took about 40 minutes, but he didn’t do a bad job, and only left a few longer patches.  I ended up going to get myself a look (wow, Check it out!) on Saturday morning just to clean it up a little bit.  I’m so anal about my hair even though I wear a hat 80% of the time.  I need to get out of the wearing a hat rut again, so I need to will myself out of this hat.  I also want to get back to the guy that used to cut my hair a while back because it always seemed like he did a really good job.

Saturday was spent shopping with Katie.  It was tiring.  We left the house at about 11 and we got home eventually around 9 or so and ended up catching up on some TV shows that we’ve been neglecting.  I got a couple bottle openers out of the shopping deal, and a few pilsner glasses to enjoy assorted beers in.  She picked up clothes for her vacation she’s going on in a few days.  I almost scored myself a mouth harp, but I decided I’d probably fuck around with it for an hour or two  and then totally forget about it.  It was only 8 dollars, and I”m regretting not buying it, but I’m sure it will present itself again.

Sunday, we lazed around for a while and went to see “Observe and Report”.  It was bad.  I think there was a single audible guffaw throughout the entire movie.  The jokes were flat, and the characters weren’t funny at all.  There was an extended scene where two characters just say “fuck you” back and forth for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Comedy gold, right there.  After that we went to Sam’s club and I scored a case of Bell’s Oberon, and we went over to Katie’s sister’s for dinner where I polished off 4 or 5 beers.

I’ve been getting the itch to work on music again, which happens about once a year and I end up maybe completing 1 song and then my mind moves on to something else that I get the itch to work on.  If I could focus my brain on one productive activity, I’d be a star!

Also, lost a writer for my site 🙁

nothing clever is entering my mind.

Today was the Detroit Tigers home opener.  I went down there with Frank, and we got to the bar around 10:30 after traffic and all that mess.  We met Dave and had a few drinks once we were able to secure a table, and I drank Labatt’s instead of my old standby of PBR, mainly because I don’t think they had PBR 🙁

The game was good, the Tigers won 14 – 2 over the Rangers.  After I had to take Frank home, and after I dropped him off, I’ve been lazying around the house.  My head feels like it’s on the wrong body today, and I’m dizzy for some reason and my voice is hoarse (and I wasn’t yelling at the game).  I had some leftover pizza and I’ve been all gassy and gross.  I’ve been trying to beat some of my nemesis’ bejeweled blitz scores in the meantime with House playing in the background…

And then there’s this…

amazing.

The dawning of a new age!

I’ve given in.  My will has been broken.  I’ve succomed to organizing my music in itunes.  I got a program that will auto update my library from a set folder (no matter how buggy it is) and last night I went through and moved all the music I lost from my drive crash off of my ipod on to my computer.  I retagged my hundreds of Led Zeppelin mp3’s and Misfits and Depeche Mode and saw just how much stuff I lost (all of my Acetone and most of my Massive Attack, etc.)  Musicbrainz helped a lot on that, but now it’s mostly showing up correctly in itunes with a few exceptions.

This is the real fucking dawning of the age of aquarius, make no mistake you hollow headed mofo’s.  I’ll be able to make a playlist of all my most recently acquired music instead of adding it to my ipod by dragging and dropping and then forgetting that I added it about 5 seconds after I disconnect the thing and never remember what it was called or who it’s by.  I can sync playcounts and all that bullshit and make smart playlists and roll them up and stuff them directly up my corn hole.  Can you do that?!?  Probably, but this is a life changing event for me, so back the fuck up.

ION (In other news – the new feature of my blog posts! This is the inaugural entry! Exciting, right?) there has been a female duck that has been in my backyard for the last two mornings, quacking away and freaking out my cats.  I wonder if she’s missing another duck or something, because it doesn’t seem normal for my backyard to be used as a duck landing/sounding pad.  I also like to think that she’s just stopping by to say hello and good morning, too.  Maybe that’s the case.

Does anybody know a way

So, I was thinking I was going to write something really salacious (I can’t believe I spelled that right on the first try!) on my little site here and be all “APRIL FOOLS!” later today, but I figured there aren’t that many people reading this anyhow, and this is more or less for me to look back and laugh at what I thought was a big deal.  I’m going to look back at this thing in my waning years and realize that I got upset about a lot of stupid stuff that in the big picture doesn’t mean half a horse shit.  That’s what living’s all about though, right?  There has to be something that occupies the spaces in between the memorable moments, and that’s where I live, in those spaces.

APRIL FOOLS! haha!

Random thought of the day #1:  I dislike not seeing people for a long time and when you see them again, I act like I’m on a first date or something.  I always hated first dates in the first place.

Random thought of the day #2: I like warm weather more now, but the one thing I resent about spring and summer is all the yard work.  Not cool.

1 month and 1 day from now is my birthday.  I should take some days off or something, but what will I do?

Well hello there, my diminutive bird friend.

Dear diary,

I’m really getting sick of cleaning up birdshit from my desk at work.  Yeah, you read that right, there is birdshit on my desk… I work indoors, and there are those high, unfinished ceilings.  Birds get in here and they can’t figure out how to get out and since my desk is against a wall, they get all crazy and decide to expunge their bowels on my stuff.  Thankfully I haven’t had any on my keyboard, mouse, monitor or PC itself, but I have had a few splatters on my work phone.  I of course promptly scrape it off and eat it… ugh, that made me sick to my stomach to even joke about.  I have to disinfect my entire work space.  A few weeks ago I had something on my steno notepad, and I thought that someone got mustard or something on my book, but now I realize it was dried bird shit… fucking disgusting and utterly ridiculous at the same time.

I watched an awesome zombie tv show from the BBC called Dead Set last week.  It’s about a zombie outbreak that happens during a season of the Big Brother tv show in the UK, and the people inside have no idea it’s going on.  It’s 5 episodes long and it was awesome.  I really like the whole 10 episodes in a season and then it’s over attitude that the BBC takes with their shows.  There are a few shows that return for a couple seasons, but it’s a rarity that they have these shows like Cheers or something that go on for years that just meander around the whole point with filler.  I also watched Dead Snow this weekend which is the best Nazi zombie movie I’ve seen.  I was pretty impressed actually.  It’s a more ridiculous and over the top zombie movie (zombies are pretty over the top as it is, right?) that seems to borrow a lot from Evil Dead.

Everyone is out today going to some pep rally rah rah bullshit, so it’s pretty quiet here today, just the way I like it.

i pass along life undetected