Thursday, January 29, 2009


Sometimes, you just have to know when to pick your battles. That being said, from my office I just heard Joe say from down the hall:

"You know what was a movie that was disappointing that got a lot of hype? End of Days. It was Arnold's last movie, besides his cameo in The Rundown."

Against all odds, my brain did not implode after taking in that much false information. 2008 John would have gone down there and corrected him, but 2009 John is just going to sit in his office and pretend it never happened. However, just to purge it from my head, End of Days came out in 1999, just in time to cash in on the Y2K hysteria, but long before Arnold's stint in politics. In fact, over the next four years after End of Days release, he would go on to star in three more movies; The 6th Day, Collateral Damage and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and while he did have an uncredited cameo in The Rundown, his actual pre-Governator performance was a cameo in the greenlit-for-some-reason Around the World in 80 Days remake. That was five movies and five years after End of Days.

As for the hype, I don't recall any surrounding that movie, no more than the usual Schwarzenegger movie, anyway. When I think of hype, I think of a movie like The Dark Knight. You know, something people actually talk about. If anyone was talking about End of Days a decade ago, it was probably about how bad it was, as it got universally negative reviews. It did a modest showing at the box office, probably owing to the aforementioned Y2K hysteria, but I don't think I'd classify it as hype.

I don't expect people to know movie release dates off the top of their heads, that would be unreasonable. But don't pretend like you know what you're talking about and get every detail wrong. Well, maybe not every detail. It was a pretty crappy movie. At least he got that part right.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bill Yes. Dot ORG.

For some reason, I was just thinking of a bit from Family Guy about Neil Simon's The Even Couple, starring Jeff Daniels and Bill Pullman.

This isn't spaghetti, it's linguine.
You're right, it is! I always get those confused. Hey, all of us are human.
I'm glad we're friends.
Yeah, this is really working out.

So I did a search and discovered it was mentioned in the 2006 news archives of Bill Pullman is an organization now? Why isn't it .com, like Kamala the Ugandan Giant's website? What makes Bill Pullman so damn special?

To be fair, the site does state that "Bill is not officially connected in any way to Bill Pullman." So it's not as though Bill Pullman has let all of his many accolades go to his head. And anyway, odds are he would have gone with, I mean, he did play the President of the United States.

I just hope is at least a non-profit organization determined to enhance the lives of those less fortunate, as opposed to a loose association of Lonestar stalkers. They could follow the example of the Society of Bill Paxton Admirers, whose mission statement vows that they are determined to find cost-efficient and ecological ways of converting their impure Bill-Paxton-related thoughts into clean, renewable energy.

What should do is start some kind of campaign to spread awareness that, while similar in name and shape, Good & Plenty is NOT the same thing as Mike & Ike. I found out the hard way. But there's hope for others.

Does anyone actually like licorice?

Monday, January 26, 2009

An Important Chinese New Year Message

Well, it's a new year, there's a new president, and I'm a new uncle. That's right, uncle, like all those Disney castratos. Michele's sister gave birth to a boy last week, making me an uncle, except we're not married so I don't know if that's an official title or like a gray area. Anyway, to go along with all this newness, I guess I owe a new post. Or at least a new-ish one.

Tuesday I was at Harvard Vanguard Kenmore for most of the day. When I made the appointment in early December, they set up a blood test, and two ultrasounds; one for my heart and one for the abdomen.

Hold on, quick question: What do you call a snowman body without a head? highlight for answer
the abdominal snowman

Sorry. I needed to fast for the abdominal one, so I made the appointment for 11:00 AM, then I could have lunch, and go to the cardio scan at 1:30. That way I get get it all done and out of the way in one day. Less to remember that way.

It turns out that somehow, even that was too much to remember. I left work at about ten minutes to eleven, thinking that my first appointment was at 11:30. I did get a voicemail reminder from Harvard, but after I heard the confirmation DATE, I deleted it without confirming the TIME. Or for that matter, which appointment came first.

I got on the train, found a seat, and waited for the Fenway stop, which was about five or six stops away. I don't know what it is about those trains, but if I'm not reading the paper, I'm out like a light after a few minutes. I already read the morning Metro, and before I knew it, we were at my stop. I got up as fast as I could, just as the doors closed in my face and we took off. I got off at the next stop, crossed the tracks and got on a train headed the other way. I got to the building about ten minutes late, which I didn't think was too bad. Except I was still under the impression that the appointment was for 11:30, so I was in fact forty minutes late. I went up to get the blood test first, because that's why I hadn't eaten since six the night before, right? After the blood test, I went to the front desk and said I have two ultrasounds scheduled, but I wasn't sure which one was first. The woman directed me to Imaging, so I went there, checked in and said I have two ultrasounds scheduled, but I wasn't sure of the order. The guy at the desk took my card, looked me up on his computer and said I need to go up to Cardiology on the second floor.

So I went to up Cardiology, checked in, and told them I had two ultrsounds scheduled, but I wasn't sure of the order. The woman at the desk took my card and looked me up on her computer. She said my appointment was for 1:30. I asked about the second one. She said she didn't see anything scheduled and asked me if I was sure it was for today. I said I was, and she checked again. She found out that the abdominal scan was canceled, and it was canceled today. Crap. Then it all came back to me.

I told her that when I got there, I went right up to get the blood test rather then checking in at imaging. Since I wasn't there thirty minutes after my appointment time, they canceled the ultrasound.

So I went back down to Imaging, told the guy that I went to get the blood test first instead of checking in at Imaging (I conveniently left out the part about sleeping through the train stop and thinking the appointment was half an hour later than it actually was), so he checked the computer again, and found that I did have an appointment which was canceled. He didn't have any openings right away, but he got up and went down the hall for a few minutes to see if there was anywhere they could fit me in today. He came back, asked if I had eaten yet, then asked it I could come back at quarter to three.

The original plan was to have lunch at noon, but I'd already waited this long, so why not wait a little longer. I pretty much hung out in the main hallway for most of the day, reading about the inauguration on my cell phone. At 1:30, I went up to Cardiology, took of my shirt and had this weird goo smeared on my chest. The doctor or whoever administers these things ran this roller thing all over me, and every once in a while, I'd hear my heartbeat, which sounded more like when you shake thin sheets of metal then a heart. When she was finished, I wiped the goo off, put my shirt back on, and went back to the main hallway for another hour. Having not eaten since the night before, and losing a bit of blood in my arm, I was feeling a bit woozy. But I got back to Imaging, filled out some paperwork, and waited for the final test of the day, which was actually supposed to be the first.

two women called me into a room, I took of my shirt, one of them rubbed more weird goo on me, but it was different goo then the kind they used in Cardiology. I had to lay on my side for a while, and one of the women rolled a thing all over my chest and stomach, at some points mentioning how she was trying to push the intestines out of the way. It's totally non-evasive, obviously, but that's still kinda gross if you think about it too much. Anyway, she finished up, but asked if it was okay if the other one tried. I'm assuming she was a medical student. Or that was a really weird Make-A-Wish request. I'm not about to turn away a young person in the pursuit of knowledge and/or the guilt-free opportunity to have some anonymous chick rub a roller thing all over me when I'm covered in gross translucent goo, so she did her thing I wiped the goo off, put my shirt back on, and had lunch.

I don't know why I can remember all that to the most insane detail, but I couldn't remember the simplest thing like the time and order of the appointments. I blame Marfans.