Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is There Such a Thing as Coincidence?

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Some good news on the job front. My managers are trying to help me get certified as a manager as soon as possible so that I can get to Vegas sooner rather than later...but we'll see how it works out. I spent about an hour with Boss Lady D yesterday and basically she paid me a lot of serious compliments in filling out some paperwork and went over my strengths with me...and as you can probably guess, it's really nice to hear somebody talk flowery about you. So a good day was had...and according to some system that determines my strengths by interview questions, my top qualities are Teamwork (playing well with others, going the extra mile, training & helping, etc), Positivity (maintaining a positive attitude, making those around me happy, building great relationships) and Caring (helping out whenever needed & basically giving a damn). Pretty accurate...and perfect for the jobs that I'm looking into. Also, there's another job opening that was just posted yesterday that seems almost too good to be true...so I'll investigate & get back to you when I know more.

Last night, I watched "Platoon" for the first time...and really not much else to say other than it's a Vietnam movie directed by Oliver Stone with an all-star cast (did you know Johnny Depp was in that? I didn't). Bloody, twisted, and about Vietnam...so not exactly a feel good movie...but what would you expect with Willem Dafoe being the good guy (still creepy), Charlie Sheen is the narrator, and Tom Berenger looks like he's pieced together by Dr. Frankenstein. Great flick...but yeah, not a cheerful one. Vietnam sucks.

Luckily, "Signs" was on TV. Now, I make fun of M. Night Shyamalan a little bit (probably because I'm just extremely jealous) but I really like this movie. It's about a former minister / farmer (Mel Gibson) and his family's experience during a slow but steady alien invasion...or is it a hoax? Great suspense throughout. Great, fun performances by Gibson & Joaquin Phoenix and it's just a great movie that almost brings me to tears at times...because it's about Family, Faith, Fate, Aliens, and basically just seeing Signs in every situation. You know that I'm a big believer in "Everything happens for a reason" and though it may seem like the right thing at the time, down the road it turns out to be the best thing. This movie deals with that...and the Love for family & loss...oh and throws in a few aliens...or are they the neighbor kids? Or just dead people walking around? Spoiler alert: ZOMBIE NINJAS!!! What a twist? Now, here's the news...

How to Make A Portuguese Orange Juice - Husband and wife Francisco and Casilda Figueiredo are among the last exponents of a traditional Portuguese handicraft -- making ornamental ceramic penises. For more than three decades, the couple have carefully shaped thousands of ceramic male organs, moulding them into upright shapes and painting them in life-like colours for export to Germany, France and North America. Oddly enough, they say the tradition is dying out. "The days of the ceramics trade here are numbered, I see no possibility of survival," Francisco said as he prepared moulds of the couple's top-of-the-range two-foot phallic-shaped bottles in his workshop. "It will never be like it was in the past." The couple produce ceramic mugs with a penis sticking out of the bottom or the side, penis-shaped bottles and ceramic soccer figures with the male organ popping out from under a flag...and sell for about 15 Euro ($30). The tradition is said to have started in the late 19th century when King Dom Luis suggested that the local potters make something more interesting...and this certainly has an interesting market. I can just imagine being at the home of a lovely elderly couple in Lisbon. "Would you like some milk for your coffee?" "Oh, yes please." Poured out of what appears to be a ceramic mold of John Holmes. "That's ugh...that's milk, right? You know what...sorry, maybe I'll just have some juice. I'll ugh...squeeze it myself."

The Sport of Wife Carrying - It's not just for professional athletes anymore. Julia Galvin came to Finland looking for a man that would carry her 120 kg over a 253-metres track -- the incentive being the chance to win the wife-carrying world title and beer worth her body weight. In the end the Irish woman was carried by an English man through a pool and across hurdles. She did not make the gold, but said she would keep trying until the title and the beer was hers. Wife-carrying is one of a host of bizarre contests that Finns, who can tend to gloominess in the long winter dark, have devised for the scant months of summer when the sun hardly sets and people's mood turns frolicsome. Forty-eight couples from 13 countries, including Kenya, Australia and Canada, gathered in the remote Finnish village to complete the track. Estonia reigned supreme once again, as Alar Voogla sprinted home in just over one minute to win the Baltic country's 11th title, with Kirsti Viltrop clinging upside-down to his back. Honestly though, tell me that you wouldn't watch this if it were on primetime. It also purportedly stems from an even earlier tribal practice of wife-stealing, in honour of which many contestants now take up the challenge with someone else's wife. It has also inspired others to organise events such as sauna sitting, swamp football, cell phone throwing or karaoke singing. All are part of a summer bonanza of events that rake in visitors and cash for as long as the midnight sun shines. So next time you think that there's nothing to do...remember these Nordic events...and celebrate with a beer or two...and throw your cell phone out of the sauna while singing "Yesterday" or something. Always something to do...when you have imagination.

RZA, Eli, & Quentin: The Holy Trinity? - The other day it was reported that rap artist RZA (WU TANG!!!) and director Eli Roth ("Hostel" & "Cabin Fever") are teaming together to develop a martial arts film called "The Man with the Iron Fist" in which Quentin Tarantino may involve himself in. Now, Eli Roth has said that RZA is not only writing the film, he's also directing. "This movie will have everything martial arts fans could want, combined with RZA's superb musical talent. Fans should know that yes, there will be blood... This ain't no PG-13." What about QT's involvement? Seems that RZA "has been studying directing with Tarantino for years. and he's really ready to get behind the camera." This is of course mostly speculation at this point...but this could be awesome. Like Kill Bill meets the Wu Tang Clan. Awesome!!!

Anyway, that'll do it for me today. Busy day at work again...and I'm determined to spend the whole day there after half-assing it yesterday. I need the money for a future move...and that two-week vacation with my mom starting on Sunday. Remember that? Yeah, it was finally thrown together...just in a different order (government work). It's the one to Cheyenne (Denver), Minot North Dakota, maybe a stop by Mount Rushmore, and Great Falls Montana. We'll make it fun though...because it's my mama. Check with y'all tomorrow. Have a great day...and keep an eye out for signs...especially ones that say STOP!!!

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