My New Year’s Resolutions for 2010

A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_resolution

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I made some when I was younger and never kept them, so I figured what was the point to begin with?

This year is different, though. I’m at a point in my life where many things are falling into place. However, there are still a few things that I’d love to fix in order to improve my overall quality of life.  What better way to make a commitment to change than to blog about it?

So here are my resolutions for 2010:

1. LOSE WEIGHT. I know it was only a few months ago when I wrote this obnoxious post asking people to “join me” in a lifestyle change (I must’ve been drunk sounding all Jerry Maguire-esque going, “Help me help you” like an idiot). Well guess what? I didn’t do anything to keep up with that change…so it was just an empty post. And then remember my 30/30/30 plan? Jeesh…what in the heck happened to THAT?? No, I need to be held accountable and I need to do things in a healthy way that’s not going to disappear once the diet is over.

See, there is a “Biggest Loser” contest going on at work starting on January 7th. We’ve got almost 30 people on 7 or 8 teams participating and we’re all pitching in $20 with the winning team (i.e. the team with the biggest percentage of weight lost) getting their money back and the overall winner (i.e. the individual with the biggest percentage of weight lost) getting the rest.

But details aren’t really important. What’s important is that I don’t feel great about myself and I know that I can do better with just a little bit of hard work and some determination. And that’s why I’m going to document this 8-week diet on my blog. I want to be held accountable by my readers so that I don’t slip up or find a reason to slack off. My feeling is that once I’ve gone through 8 weeks, my habits will have begun to change and I can hopefully turn this diet into a lifestyle change that sticks.

That’s the hope, anyway.

So the initial weigh-in is next Thursday and then we’ll be weighing in every Wednesday after that. If I slip-up or don’t post about the results, DON’T LET ME OFF THE HOOK!! I’m gonna need people kicking my ass in order to keep this up.

At the end of the day, though…I just want to be a healthier, happier CBG at year’s end. I’m certainly happy now, but I could be MUCH happier knowing I lost 25lbs.

2. BUY CHRISTMAS GIFTS BEFORE DECEMBER. I say it every year, but I never seem to follow through.  I need to remember that I WON’T have a ton of cash in December and that if I see something during the year that could be a gift for somebody and I have money on me, I need to buy the damn thing!

3. IMPROVE MY FINANCIAL SITUATION. This one is going to be tougher than losing weight, I think. The good news is that my debt-load is under $1,000 so I should be able to get out of that hole rather quickly (mind you…I own NOTHING after the separation, so that factors into not owing anything).

Of course, travelling every two weeks to be with Sunshine does put a bit of a hole in my wallet…but I’m certain that once my internet bill and credit card are paid off and everything is caught up, the two of us can come up with a plan that allows the visits to continue on a regular basis without breaking the bank. This then leads me to…

4. OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT. If this recession has taught all of us anything, it’s that we need to put a much bigger stake into our own financial future. We can’t be glib about these things and just brush ’em off anymore. It’s really simple…I need to put a percentage of my salary away in a savings account each pay and simply NOT TOUCH IT. Pretty soon, I shouldn’t miss that money and it will (hopefully) grow into the beginnings of a nest egg. And don’t get me started on kicking myself for having not already opened accounts for both of my children. I SUCK!!

5. TAKE A TRIP WITH SUNSHINE. Something that simply isn’t a real option at the moment is going away with Sunshine. Whether it’s just an overnight stay somewhere locally or a week-long trip out of the country, without a “nest egg” or any type of savings that just won’t be happening any time soon. But in 2010, I really want it to happen.

6. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CHECKUP. I don’t have a family physician. I have never, ever had a checkup before. Sunshine fears for my internal organs. Taking a daily multivitamin just won’t do the trick as I rapidly approach 40.

7. READ A BOOK. I know that sounds like I’m a moron for not reading, but I do all of my reading online. I read news and entertainment and sports and weather and everything under the sun on my computer. When it comes to fiction, I normally enjoy it in a visual form. But I ended up getting the novel I wanted from Sunshine’s mom, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. And I gotta be honest…I cannot wait to read it (especially after visiting Washington, DC a few months ago). The last novel I read from cover to cover was The DaVinci Code, also by Brown. So yeah…it’s been a few years. I need to read this thing BEFORE the movie is made (lol).

8. CONQUER A FEAR. My two biggest fears in life are of spiders and heights. I’m not too keen on tackling that spider one quite yet, so let’s continue battling heights…shall we? I walked on a big bridge this past year and hit the CN Tower the year before, but I still get butterflies just by looking up. From everything I’ve read, the most effective way to overcome my fear is to expose myself to what I’m afraid of until I finally get over it. So I’m not sure how I’ll tackle it, but it’s something I want to continue to explore going forward.

~~~~~

So there you have it. These are my resolutions for 2010. What about you? Do you have any of your own?

My Favorite Movies of the Decade (part two)

Y’know, everybody seems to have their own “Top 10” lists for movies at this time of the year. But in addition to that, everybody seem to have their “Best Movies of 2000’s” list. Most of the time, critics don’t appreciate movies that the public appreciates…and in an effort to sound smart, they come up with movies that most people haven’t heard of to round out their top ten lists.

Me? I like to be entertained. Period. I don’t care if it’s an intense thriller or a turn-your-brain-off popcorn movie…just entertain me.

I’m a huge movie buff, so I figured as we enter the 2010’s I’d throw out my own list of favorite movies of the decade. So without further adu, here is the second half of my Top Ten…

6. Gladiator – I don’t know if anybody was really expecting this movie to be as amazing as it was. Incredible backdrops, incredible acting, incredible directing…this truly has become one of the greatest movies of all time. Russell Crowe just exudes a quiet anger. You can’t help but want to root for him to continue being a kick-ass gladiator even though you know he ultimately wants (and needs) his final showdown with Commodus. You don’t want him to die, but you realize it’s the only way he’ll find peace. The bottom line is that you feel yourself truly invested in the character…and that’s what you need with ANY movie. If you don’t care, then why watch? And for me, I was drawn into this movie and the characters from the very first battle scene in Germania. Truly an amazing piece of filmmaking.

7. Pirates of the Caribbean – I really didn’t want to like this movie when it first came out. I mean, it’s a movie based on a theme park ride…how good could it be? Of course, I hadn’t counted on Johnny Depp being as incredible as he was as Captain Jack Sparrow. I hadn’t counted on a breakout performance by Keira Knightly. I hadn’t counted on Geoffrey Rush being so over-the-top as an “arrrhh” pirate that you’d end up believing in his character. I hadn’t counted on this movie being so damn entertaining from beginning to end. Now the second and third movies, while still fun to watch, weren’t nearly the movies that the original was. And to be honest, I wish they’d scrap plans on making a fourth film…even if it does focus on Sparrow’s search for the Fountain of Youth (sounds fun, doesn’t it?). But this is definitely a movie that exceeded expectations on all levels and, I think, deserves a spot in my top ten.

8. Children of Men – This is probably the only “critically acclaimed” movie I’ve got on my list. I remember watching this the first time through and being so absolutely mesmorized that I didn’t realize two hours had gone by once it finished. The directing by Alfonso Cuarón is truly remarkable and the story is compelling. And while I’ve never been the biggest fan of Clive Owen, I found that this was one of four amazing movies that he starred in during the last four or five years that has turned me into a fan (the others being Inside Man, Sin City, and Shoot ‘Em Up). For those people looking for a straight-up thriller or mystery or drama or action movie, you might be disappointed in this. This movie cuts through genres and blends them all. I remember thinking about trying to compare it against something that was previously made, but couldn’t quite do it. I had read that it was a “modern day Blade Runner”…and I suppose that’s as high a compliment as I can give it. It’s a fascinating movie.

9. 300 – Yeah, I know…this movie really doesn’t belong in a normal Top 10 list. But that’s the thing…it’s MY list. And I absolutely freaking love this movie. What really got me was the direction…the storytelling and the feeling that you were watching a violent comic book come to life. The violence was, for lack of a better word, beautiful. Nothing was done for simply the sake of gore, it all had meaning and was done in such a way that you couldn’t take your eyes off of it (as opposed to Quinton Tarantino’s awesome “Inglorious Basterds”, where the violence is shocking and cringe-inducing). Was the whole movie a bit over-the-top? Yeah…but I think this is still one heck of a kick-ass film. I know a sequel/prequel has been given the green light and while I fear it could ruin this movie, I can’t hide my excitement when thinking about watching this type of movie again with a new storyline attached.

10. Every Pixar movie made this decade (Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, Cars, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up) – How can you just pick one here? I mean, has Pixar ever released a BAD movie? Not that I can think of. And when it comes to cartoons, I gage my opinion not just on my own thoughts but also on the thoughts of my kids. If it’s a movie that we can enjoy together, then it’s a good movie. In the case of Pixar movies, I can sit and enjoy each and every one of their movies with both of my children in repeated viewings (as is normally the case with kids) and not get sick of them. Okay…maybe I get a BIT sick of them after a year of repeated viewings, but for the most part they are so well made that you don’t mind watching them over and over. Of course, me being a big kid probably helps that thought process along.

And there are definitely some more I can’t squeeze into my Top 10 that deserve mention for being awesome:

Inside Man – While saddened to know that they’re making a sequel (is that really necessary?), this Clive Owen/Denzel Washington thriller is one of the best-written bank heist movies I can recall watching. Great, great fun.
Elf – One of the greatest Christmas movies of all time…without question.
Iron Man – As much I cringe at including another comic book movie and looking like a bigger nerd than I already do, you cannot deny the incredible acting job done by Robert Downey and how this movie was just one big thrill ride. Awesome stuff.
The Bourne trilogy – I never in a million years would have believed that Matt Damon would be believable as an action hero, but this series of movies re-defined the action genre much like the first two Die Hard movies did years ago.

Did your favorite(s) make the list?  Do you have any favorites of your own?

My Favorite Movies of the Decade (part one)

Y’know, everybody seems to have their own “Top 10” lists for movies at this time of the year. But in addition to that, everybody seems to have their “Best Movies of 2000’s” list. Well, I’m not one to follow the trails of critics. I mean, most of the time critics are just full of hot air…looking for movies with meaning or direction or something that they never really seem to be able to explain. And most of the time, critics don’t appreciate movies that the public appreciates…and in an effort to sound smart, they come up with movies that most people haven’t heard of to round out their top ten lists.

Me? I like to be entertained. Period. I don’t care if it’s an intense thriller or a turn-your-brain-off popcorn movie…just entertain me.

I’m a huge movie buff, so I figured as we enter the 2010’s I’d throw out my own list of favorite movies of the decade. So here is the first half of my Top Ten…

1. Anchorman – I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched this movie, but it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Add to that the intense pleasure that Sunshine and I get from watching it to gether and you’ve got just one more reason for me to love this film. The style, the story, the acting…everything is just so unique and subtle in its tongue-in-cheek delivery that you forget that the whole thing actually is supposed to be taken as tongue-in-cheek. To me, this is far and away Will Farrell’s best movie. What I love the most is that just when you think he’s about to take things too far, he reigns it back in just a bit (something he fails to do in lesser movies like Land of the Lost and Semi-Pro). I can easily say that this is my favorite movie of the past decade…just a pure joy to watch.

2. Cloverfield – I’m sure there are a LOT of people rolling their eyes at this one, and that’s fine. I loved how this was a mixture of The Blair Witch Project and Godzilla. I loved how this was totally filmed in the style of somebody’s camcorder recording an actual event. I loved the directing. I loved how this was actually a love story with a monster thrown in for good measure as a background piece. I love how we are left having NO IDEA just how this whole thing started or how it will eventually end…which a lot of people hated. This movie was 100% original and I find it to be an absolute joy to watch on repeated viewings.

3. District 9 – Much like Cloverfield, this movie was 100% original. I mean, the style of this movie made you think you were watching a documentary 50% of the time and seeing “real life” 50% of the time was extremely entertaining. And the biggest thing was that the “documentary” footage made everything look so real, you truly felt like you were watching legitimate footage.  Lead character Sharlto Copley is absolutely amazing in this film.  This movie was made on a pretty small budget but you would never know it as the special effects were second to none. Be advised that this movie isn’t for everybody…between the language and the violent scenes, it can be a major turn-off for some. But this, to me, is one of the most fun movies I can remember seeing; just a spectacle that I’ve already seen multiple times and can’t wait to own on DVD.

4. The Dark Knight – What else can you say about one of the greatest movies ever made? Honestly…who would have thought that a Batman movie would be so incredible from beginning to end? For me, the true highlight of this movie is Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker. It is absolutely one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. Every time he is in front of the camera he is mesmorizing…and it’s a shame that he was not around to receive the accolades that he so greatly deserved. And the rest of the movie? It’s just awesome from beginning to end. The story, the characters, the directing…everything is spot-on to make this the new template for all comic-book movies being made on a go-forward basis.

5. Lord of the Rings trilogy – I couldn’t just pick one of the three as a favorite, primarily because this really needs to be taken as one massive movie. I actually spent a full day over my Thanksgiving weekend to watch all three movies…and they were made in such a way that it’s a shame to not see them in sequence (even if they do add up to about 9 hours of viewing). I never read the original novel and had never even heard of it until my ex-wife made me go see the first of the trilogy. After my initial viewing, I was confused. VERY confused. But when she bought the extended box-set dvd of Fellowship for me as a Christmas gift, I gave it a second chance. I’m REALLY glad that I did. “Epic” doesn’t really do these movies justice, but it’s the best description I can come up with.

I’ll round out my Top 10 Favorite Movies of the 2000’s tomorrow, but there are definitely a few movies that never made my list that totally deserve mention for being awesome…

I Am Legend – Will Smith’s best movie, imo.
The Wrestler – It’s brutal truth about an industry most don’t take seriously and acting at its finest with Mickey Rourke.
Tropic Thunder – One of the funniest movies of the decade, bar none.
Napoleon Dynamite – This almost made my Top 10 list, but it’s definitely one of those “love it or leave it” type of films.

Did your favorite(s) make the list?  Do you have any favorites of your own?

Mission Accomplished!

The family Christmas tree

Wow, what a holiday.

I’m zonked. Totally wiped out. Drained.

I’m at work for the day today and it actually feels like a holiday (lol). You would think I’d be better prepared to handle a 10-year-old, a 3-year-old, and an amazing girlfriend all at the same time. I mean, that’s what I want for a permanent future going forward…only with her two girls added to the mix. The thing is, over the weekend I felt as though I needed more time to prepare…that I just wasn’t ready yet.

But I’m doing my best to improve each and every day.

Lemme see, instead of boring you with the ups and downs of my Christmas weekend, I’ll instead tantalize you with some of the highlights.

Rugrat and I went to my parents’ place for Christmas. And funny enough, we actually had to wake up her and my little brother (who’s 15) at 7am because the adults were wide awake and ready to get the show on the road.

So here is one of my favorite gifts. I mean, just take a look at it. Go ahead…click on it and enlarge it…I’ll stay here…

Seriously?

Okay, you back? Good. So yeah…my mother bought me a bottle of shampoo for Christmas. No, it wasn’t a joke. Yes, she really thought I still used shampoo. Her thought process was that even though I didn’t have any hair, I still had to “rub something up there”. I attempted to explain to her that shampoo was for actual hair and that I used soap on my head to keep things clean. I don’t really think that she fully understood. She just rolled her eyes and shook her head and mumbled something about having to rub something up there. I love my mom.

Apple of My Eye

Another great gift came from, of all people, my ex-wife. She had originally told me that Ankle Biter was too young to understand what buying gifts for the parents was all about and that we didn’t have to buy each other anything. Yet when I dropped him off for the last time before Christmas, I was given a bag with a gift inside. WTF? I felt really bad, though…because I totally would have done the same thing. So the gift was an awesome mug with a picture of my son on it. How cool is that?? I just need to think about where it’s going to be displayed.

Needless to say, I want my son to remember his parents’ birthdays and holidays. My daughter? She doesn’t normally call on my birthday or get me a gift, and on the “off years” when she isn’t here for the holidays it’s the same thing.  So I never want my son to forget me OR his mom…it’s just the right thing to do, y’know?

So after we opened our gifts Christmas morning, Rugrat decided to stay behind and I took off on a 4-hour round trip to pick up Sunshine for the remainder of the weekend.  Once we got back, we opened gifts that we got for each other.

And seriously, my favorite gift came from Sunshine (of course!). How could you possibly go wrong with one of the greatest gifts known to mankind. EVER!!

Behold……..

THE SLAP CHOP!!

That’s right, my baby got me a Slap Chop!! I can’t tell you the pure bliss that beamed from me when I opened this up. This is one of those “things” that we share and I absolutely adore that she did that for me. She did that a few times with gifts, actually. My parents would kinda look on and smile, but then secretly wonder just why I was so happy with my Slap Chop or PostSecret book. She’s just awesome…and I can’t tell you how much more I loved her on Christmas Day than I did on Christmas Eve.

We left on Boxing Day morning to pick up Ankle Biter and head home for the rest of the day. Saturday night is a total blur…I can’t even begin to tell you what we did. I honestly have no memory of what took place. Luckily, I’ve got a couple of pics…

Oh yeah...Ankle Biter had a 2nd Christmas at my house!
Rugrat & Ankle Biter: 12-26-09
That's right...Rugrat, Sunshine, & Ankle Biter all curled up on the couch to watch TV
And how could I forget that Rugrat lost a tooth!?!

Oh yeah…that’s what happened on Saturday. Heh.

Sunday involved taking the whole crew to my parents’ house again for a 3rd Christmas for Ankle Biter. It wasn’t much, but a few more gifts certainly can make a child’s day…

Ankle Biter: 12-27-09

So Sunday evening consisted of us all relaxing and getting Sunshine ready to head back home. We did our best to get a picture of all of us together, but alas…it was not meant to be. The best we could do was a pic of Rugrat, Sunshine, and I…

Sunshine, Rugrat, and CBG: 12-27-09 (trust me...Rugrat's constantly making faces meant this was the best pic we could get...lol)

After dropping Sunshine off at the bus station, I asked Rugrat what she thought of her. Her response?

“I really like her. She’d make a good stepmom.”

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

So with all of us (minus Ankle Biter but including Sunshine’s two girls) getting together for New Year’s weekend, it’s going to be another very busy and hectic time. But y’know what? I wouldn’t want it any other way.

My Top 10 Websites of 2009

I recently discussed my favorite blogs of 2009. Obviously, I visit more than just blogs during my internet travels. I figured it’s year-end, might as well make another list, right?

So here they are, my favorite 10 websites of 2009:

1. PostSecret
Sunshine
is the one who turned me onto this particular website. And honestly, if it weren’t for finances, I probably would have gotten a book or two for her for Christmas. This website is a weekly addiction for me now. For those unaware, PostSecret is an ongoing community mail art project in which people mail their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. Sometimes these secrets can really hit home, others they can really amuse. Either way the majority of postcards shown are fascinating. Give it a couple of weeks (it’s only updated once a week on Sundays) and try to NOT be addicted.

2. Screen Rant
There are a LOT of entertainment sites out there. For me, though, this one hits all cylinders. Basically, this site scours the internet looking for rumors and stories about upcoming/current/past television shows and movies. If you wanted to know the ins and outs of the movie industry (including movie reviews and box office analysis), then this is the site for you. It’s updated all the time and always includes great links to movie trailers, as well. Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop for movie/entertainment news.

3. FAILblog
You’ve all seen these pics. Somebody does something stupid and the word “FAIL” is imprinted on the photo for the world to see. Well, this site provides examples of that on a daily basis. I absolutely love this site because…well…I guess I don’t really know why. It’s kinda cruel and mean-spirited. Ahh well…that’s just who I am, I suppose. Here are some examples:

4. What Would Tyler Durden Do?
This is an “iffy” pick for me. I mean, most of the time I really love this guy’s sense of humor. Then there are times when he’s calling women fat when, in reality, they’re still more attractive than 90% of “real women” out there (ex: Jennifer Love Hewitt). But still, this site is a daily addiction for me. It’s a site that makes fun of celebrities, but I don’t find it nearly as trashy as TMZ or that Perez douchebag.

5. There, I Fixed It
This website focuses on kludge. What’s that, you ask? Well, kludge is an ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts that form a distressed whole. Need more info? Just check these out and I’m sure you’ll understand why I love this website:

6. This Is Why You’re Fat
The name of the website says it all, doesn’t it? You want to know why you’re fat? Here are some reasons…

7. KISS Army News
I would have never visited this site repeatedly in 2009 if I hadn’t attended a KISS concert over the summer. I’m not going to go into any long-winded detail about how much I love this band and what this concert meant to me, but suffice it to say that if you wanted to know ANYTHING about KISS or it’s former members, this is the website to visit.

8. Popeater
Call this the “polite TMZ”. This is another entertainment website but they’re actually nice to people (for the most part). I dunno…I just prefer this over the majority of celeb-sites out there.

9. WebUrbanist
WebUrbanist is part of an independent online publishing group that aims to educate and fascinate. They show all things urban: from urban design to subversive art and strange architecture. I remember first being turned onto their site via their look at abandoned cities and then my love of their site just grew exponentionally from there. Truly an amazing site.

10. Cake Wrecks
Quite simply, this is a website that is gallery after gallery of deformed, distasteful, and bizarrely decorated wedding and birthday cakes. Need some holiday examples?

Confessions from a Cubicle

Confessions from a CubicleSometimes I drift off at work a bit. It’s not like I actually fall asleep or anything…I just let my mind wander. But sometimes on a break or during lunch I’ll hear or read something online that sticks with me.  This week has been crazy because Rugrat has been with me, and needless to say my concentration at work hasn’t exactly been 100% because I’m wanting to spend time with my daughter.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had enough downtime during the day at work to actually write down some random comments, but today is the day.

What I usually do is just jot something down and then finish these thoughts once I’m home (hence this being posted on Christmas Eve instead of, say, yesterday). And for whatever reason, people seem to enjoy my random take on the world… 

  • It’s been four days since the season finale of Survivor Samoa and I’m still bewildered and upset. I mean, Natalie won?? Seriously?? I understand that social politics play a major role in games like Big Brother, but it’s a rare occassion when a jury on Survivor is so envious and jaded that they take personal feelings and put them ahead of the end goal: choose the person who outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted everybody else. Russell should have won…hands down. I can’t even fathom those who feel otherwise. I mean, there are those who felt that Natalie was a nicer person and that her riding on Russell’s back was a great strategy. WHAT?? Since when has doing NOTHING been a great strategy?? And that argument holds little to no water because Mick received no votes. I mean, the guy won two immunity challenges and was just as nice and sweet and boring as Natalie was. Russell, however, not only found THREE immunity idols (TWO without having any clue, whatsoever) but was single-handedly the one responsible for the voting out of 90% of everybody else from the very beginning. He ran the show. Period. People don’t like him? That’s fine. Popularity has rarely been a major issue on Survivor. Sure, social politics play a certain aspect…that have to. But snakes win all the time because they, for the most part, play better games. It’s not about who is the most popular or honorable. It’s about who plays the GAME better…and there is zero valid argument out there that says Natalie played a better game than Russell. That’s not to say she didn’t play a good game…riding somebody’s coattails is certainly a valid stategy. But to say that her strategy was better than Russell’s? I just don’t see it.
  • I went out on Friday night with Sunshine to a bar with a few friends of mine from work to hear another friend from work play an acoustic set. I gotta be honest…she wasn’t that good. But that wasn’t the thing that stuck out for me the most. This hole in the wall (and literally…this bar was exactly that) had one of those machines that you pop in a few bucks and get a stuffed animal out of. A little out of place, I guess…but whatever. Upon closer inspection, though, I found that this machine contained a bit more than just stuffed animals. It contained a blow-up doll, a big-ass vibrator, and a porn dvd. Now, this got all of us laughing and we each took a turn throwing away $1 on the off-chance of getting that vibrator…but it got me wondering afterwards just why everything else in there was a stuffed toy. I mean, wouldn’t it be more fun to put a whole bunch of adult toys in there instead? If you’re going to go for it, you might as well go all the way…AMIRIGHT? I dunno…I just found it a bit odd. And no…neither Sunshine or I won.
  • Brittany Murphy was 32 when she passed away on Sunday. That’s way too young for anybody to die. Now, I was never her biggest fan so when I heard the news I just thought, “What a shame” and went on with my day. But then I saw the reactions on Twitter. Then I saw the references to drugs. See, Murphy died due to a heart attack. She has had a documented history of drug issues. People immediately went online and told the world that this is what happened when you did drugs. Perez “I’m a huge f*cking douchebag” Hilton actually had the nerve to not only blame drugs, but to also blame her husband for the death (tasteless, really).  One celebrity actually blamed her weight loss on the heart attack and claimed that Hollywood’s need for rail-thin girls was the reason for the death. In actuality, there isn’t an official cause of death yet (although the coroner initially said that it appeared to be of natural causes). Regardless of what the reasons end up being (they’re awaiting toxicology results so it probably was a combination of prescription drugs…a la Heath Ledger), it just really sucks that so many people felt the need to judge Murphy before all of the details of her death had been researched. Let the poor woman rest for at least 24 hours before tweeting that “drugs kill”. Seriously. It’s something like last Sunday on Twitter that I really get a taste for just how wacked-out and morally inept the general public can be at times. It’s a shame, really. What if it was an accidental overdose? Are you still going to sit back and say that she’s an example for Lindsay Lohan? C’mon…just let the poor woman die in peace. It’s nobody’s business, anyway.
  • Rugrat arrived on Monday without any incident. However, her step-father called me once she was in the air to complain about Air Canada. Y’see, where she’s only 10 (11 next month), there is an unaccompanied minor fee associated with every trip of $100 each way. This is kinda crappy, but it is accepted as required practise until she turns 12. Well, the argument presented to me was that Air Canada’s fee is to pay for an employee to walk my daughter to the terminal and wait for the plane, then walk her from the plane to the terminal to assist with luggage collection (at least that’s what her step-father told me on the phone). Now, Rugrat’s grandmother accompanied her to the terminal and waited for the plane…and then I was there to greet her and pick up her luggage once she landed. So why are we paying this $100 fee? The website states that the fee is mandatory for all children aged 8-11, but her step-father (who’s a good man, by the way) told me that he was already on the phone with Air Canada and was told that because her grandmother was the one accompanying the minor through until the gate, then we should be getting our money back because no service was actually performed. I’m not really on the side of us getting this money back because I think the rules are pretty cut-and-dry, but it’s difficult to justify paying $200 extra on every trip when you’re getting conflicting information from the company itself.
  • It’s funny…when I learned that there wasn’t a real Santa Claus and I told my parents that, my number of gifts reduced dramatically the following year. My little brother told me a few years ago that he didn’t believe anymore and I told him flat out: the day you stop believing is the day your gifts will disappear!! I know it’s wrong, but he at least took my advice for one more year (lol). Rugrat is 11 next month…if she hasn’t stopped believing by now, she probably soon will. I don’t know if I’ll give her the same talk I gave to my little brother, though.
  • Random Esquire wants to motorboat my girlfriend. Is it wrong that I don’t have a problem with that?
  • Is it also wrong that I’m not only REALLY anticipating the 20th season of Survivor in February (it’s the “villains” vs. the “heroes”…as the shows most popular and most hated characters are invited back for one more go-round), but I’m also looking forward to all new episodes of American Idol, Lost, Glee, and Ghost Hunters International? Jeez…you’d think I’d have a life by now or something. Maybe it’s because football is ending soon…
  • Speaking of football, I think I’m going with a New Orleans vs. Indianapolis match-up in the SuperBowl. I just don’t think the Vikings can beat the Saints and there is no other team in the NFC that’s even remotely as good. And on the AFC side? The Colts are simply unparalleled. There are too many “pretty good” teams and not enough “excellent” teams in the AFC, so as long as the Colts continue on their path (even if they lose a game before the end of the regular season) I just don’t see anybody else beating them in the playoffs. In the end, I think the Colts might be SuperBowl champs when all is said and done. But having said that, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me to see the Saints come out on top, either. It’s gonna be a GREAT few weeks of playoff football.

That’s all I’ve got on my mind today. Hope everybody has a wonderful holiday…whatever that holiday may be.

Cheers!