Jason's Blog

Archive for March, 2004

Jersey Girl review (WARNING – some spoilers)

by on Mar.31, 2004, under Reviews

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

I managed to see Jersey Girl tonight, and have to say, I disagree with a lot of the bad press it got. There’s multiple reasons, and I’ll get into all of that, but I’ll just say this – it had a few major messages to deliver, it delivered it well, and was well done, overall. I’m impressed with the subtlety of the messages, the way things were said and done, the humor, just in general, I found it to be a very good movie. I think almost every artist has something to say with their creation, even if it’s only to the artist him or herself. There’s definitely a lot of messsages in a lot of Kevin Smith’s movies, but this is one of the most prominently positioned set of messages I’ve seen yet from him. Yet, even that prominence belies a subtlty that was distinctly lacking in some of his earlier films, in that a lot of the humor and messages could be found through references or hints that if you blinked, you missed. Anyways, on to a few direct notes on the movie.

First, the whole Ben-Lo thing. Lopez’s character dies within the first 15 minutes of the movie. And I’m VERY glad this happens, as she was really starting to get on my nerves with her whining. Seriously, she needs to stop talking or something, or stop being annoying. I haven’t seen too many other movies with her in it, but this one was enough to sour my stomach. On the other hand, she did have a few lines that I think too many people don’t listen to. One of the biggest is this, for all the working people out there. Ben Afleck’s character is a work-aholic. He works late into the evenings, is busy as all hell, etc. The scene that really came into play on this, and was the one really redeeming part for Lopez (and only part that was decent, in my opinion), was a lamazze class. Ben Afleck shows up really late, after the class is letting out, and Lopez is like, you realize – you’ve got a family now, no working till 9pm at night, no missing out on classes, etc. Ben Afleck stops, and says OK. The thing is, so many American’s are like Ben Afleck – we work like crazy, but don’t stop to look at what’s important. We keep working on what we think will make us happy, on our careers, our individual lives, but then ignore stuff that’s really important – our families, our friends, life outside of work. That one message kinda comes in at several places in the movie.

Second, and this really applies to the whole movie, is the level of humor. People were commenting on the lack of typical Kevin Smith humor, but it really is there. It’s a lot more subtle, but it’s definitely there. The thing is, it’s not blatant in your face. It’s a line, or an action that represents his humor, and it’s through-out the whole movie. That humor keeps the movie going in a lot of places, getting past some of the serious stuff that he focus’s on more heavily in comparison to his other movies. And keep in mind, this movie in many ways is much more serious than Chasing Amy – perhaps one of the bigger “message” movies of Kevin Smiths.

Third, after some most amusing sequences of seeing how nuts guys can be while dealing with childbirth, and example of that humor, (and we can be nuts – I know I’m nuts enough normally to not want to imagine me in that situation!), there’s some interesting look at loss. I’ve not been married before, but I’ve definitely been in love, and I know what it means to lose love. I’m not sure if I’d handle it like Ben Afleck did, but I see aspects of myself in how he responded, as I would think most guys would, or most anyone would. There are of course some things he really screws up on, that I would like to think I wouldn’t screw up on, but it’s still a powerful message to send. Loss is a hard thing to deal with, and you never really get over certain losses. Lisa Hanewinkel I believe said it best one time – whenever someone leaves you, they take a piece of you with them. Usually, it’s your favorite piece. That’s really what loss is about – when you care for someone so much, that you make them a part of you in some indescribable way, and when they’re gone, it’s like you feel empty, lost, like losing a hand or a limb or one of your senses. You keep looking for it, but it’s not there, keep trying to use it, but it’s not there, and not having it there hurts. It’s a pain that never really goes away, but just fades over time. This theme of loss we see through most of the movie, and it’s a message that’s described really well, and shown in many different aspects.

The last major aspect I’ll touch on tonight, that hit me hard, was the concept of looking at your life, and what you’re going for. This is a poor representation of what was really said in the movie, and really expressed so eloquently and well by Kevin Smith. But, here’s my best attempt to explain it. Ben Afleck was so focused on his career, his life, that when all of a sudden it got railroaded, he got put off track. For the next seven years of his life, and we see this in multiple examples throughout the movie, he tries to get his old life back. He keeps trying and trying, but he doesn’t realize that things have changed. He’s looking in the past, seeing his past life, and thinking that’s what he wants. He never stops to look at what he has, what he has become, and his present life. He’s so wrapped up in what he thinks he wants, he doesn’t look at what he has, and how wonderful it is. It made an impression on me, because I think a lot of us are like that. We all have these goals set out for ourselves, college, a good paying job, families, etc. that we never stop, look at maybe where our life is at, value what is in our life. Yes, we should work towards a better future in a lot of ways, but trying to change everything in your life for some mystical happiness may not really get you happiness. Living your life, not trying to live a dream is more important, and really is what life is about. Yes, plan for the future, have a goal, but don’t stop living your life, to try and live another. LIVE. That’s the biggest message. There’s no real words to describe how powerful that message for me was, or how it was expressed so well by the movie and the direction and the script, but the message is there, and I HIGHLY recommend seeing it, to see if you get the same message, or perhaps something slightly different. As said, I don’t have the proper words to describe, other than to say it’s a powerful message I think we should take to heart, and it’s one that I haven’t seen too often.

So, as a closing note, GO SEE IT. It is worth it, in my opinion. There’s a lot of good scenes, a lot of things well done. It does have the tradiitonal Kevin Smith humor, but just in a different way than his previous direct in your face style. It’s a refreshing change, and one that has a lot of advantages, particularly when you consider he’s really in many ways trying to tell us something. I think he’s always had a message in all of his movies, but before the humor was the most important, the message secondary. Now, it’s the message that’s more important and the humor which is subtle. It’s an interesting shift, and I’m curious to see future movies of his, to see how he balances things out. Enough of me babbling, and taking up huge amounts of space. Go see the movie, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

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Oh shit….

by on Mar.28, 2004, under General

Was about to head to bed last night, when all of a sudden my whole body went nuts. Nose clogged up, throat got sore, etc. etc. etc. Went to bed, woke up this morning, still very sick, and as a result, I checked my temperature.

101.1<?p>

Um, damn. Wondering if maybe this is the point where I should hit urgent care or something, but it’s kinda hard to focus my eyes at this point. What’s worse, is that even with that fever, I’m still feeling really really cold. *sigh* Ok, back to laying down. I’ve got IM’s and email up though, so if anyone has any comments, leave a message, IM me, whatever, drop me a line. I’m not sure how coherent this blog post is, so please pardon if my grammar is off, I can’t spell or make coherent sentances. Also, as a last note, I hate being sick & alone, that’s even worse than just being sick, so don’t be afraid to IM me or something.

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This comes up in parties, but here’s the offical notice

by on Mar.25, 2004, under General

Was looking at a new movie coming out Friday called Jersey Girl. It’s a new Kevin Smith movie, and looks very good. Of course, it’s got one of my favorite actresses – Liv Tyler – in it, which will make it rock above and beyond being a Kevin Smith movie. Well, while I was browsing around on the news askew site, I found some very interesting games

We all have had parties (well, most of us), and usually there’s drinking games of some sort. Circle of Death, I Never, Spoons, etc. And usually for any movie, there’s a few drinking games you can play. Drink whenever someone swears (that’d be a LOT of drinks in some movies), or something along those lines. Well, just saw the “official” drinking games for the Kevin Smith movies. They don’t have one for Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, probably because they could be sued for alcohol poisoning their viewers. However, they have one for the other Kevin Smith movies like Dogma and Clerks. Course, I’ll have to warn you, if you ever try these, be prepared to be VERY drunk, if not physically harmed, sick, etc. You’ll be drinking through-out the entire movie. In other words, keep it at boones or something else VERY light. But, go check em out, see what you think.

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Updated the about page

by on Mar.24, 2004, under Site Updates

I’ve updated my about page. It’s got a few pictures, my GPG keys, and some other information. I finally got around to updating my resume, changing some of the information on there, fixing it up, etc. It’s still not perfect, but take a look try it out. There’s also a form where you can email me, my IM information, etc. So, take a look, let me know what you think. And, if you hear of a job in St. Louis for a computer programmer, feel free to send them the resume smile Thanks!

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Prayers for a friend…

by on Mar.23, 2004, under General

BTW, thought I’d issue a thanks to all the friends who’ve been doing a prayer request for me. A friend of mine, Anna, who lives in Arizona has been battling cancer. Most of you I’ve IM’d or sent emails to asking for prayer. And I’ve had a few prior blog entries related to that request. Well, here recently, Anna told me that the cancer has left her liver, but is still in her lungs. SO, the prayer requests are helping, but keep em up!!!!

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It was a good weekend :)

by on Mar.22, 2004, under General

Other than the really annoying drive in, that is. I got to hang out with some friends, saw the Passion (which is another whole topic I’m not going into right now), slept a fair bit, and got to test out my new-to-me truck.

There were really two big events – Saturday evening, I went to Rue 13, a club over in St. Louis. I hung out with Doug Heagler, Joey Cavenaugh, Gina Cosas, and Lisa Hanewinkel. It was a lot of fun, having sushi, hanging out, relaxing, playing pool, having a few drinks, and just taking it easy. It did bring back some memories, and I ended up thinking too much, but it was still a good time, and a good evening. Good company can make a lot of things good smile

The other big event was Sunday (and I count it as the MUCH bigger “event”) – visiting my grandmother. My dad drove down, dropped of the van which I had been borrowing for a while until I found a vehicle. It’s kinda sad – it was the last trip for the van, the end of it’s travels, travels of which I was a part of for a LONG time. The transmission or something else in it is kinda of dying, and it doesn’t handle long trips very well at all.

Anyways, it was a very good visit, in that not only did I get to return the van, I got to visit my grandmother for the first time in wayyy too long, and a chance to look around, and take pictures of a place I love, and have a lot of memories of. Only one other person, other than family has ever seen the place, other than friends of my grandmother’s or my dad’s. It’s always been hard to describe the place, so this time, I have a few pictures to show. They can’t show the depth of what the place means to me, or so many other things, but here they are for you to look at: pictures of grandmothers – just the general area. This trip was both very wonderful, in that spring is starting to show down there, but also hard in a way, as it’s seeing how things change over time, how things progress and move on, and how sometimes time leaves things alone, but how time also seems to destroy things, and yet also create them. There’s just a lot of thoughts currently unformed, a lot of memories, thinking, etc. to do.

One thing I do know though, I do someday want to take my kids down there, to show them where a part of me is, where a part of my family is, to involve them in my family history. Patrick, who is very much my mom’s son rather than my dad’s, doesn’t have much interest right now in the place, and I find it sad. It’s just so much a part of me, the place means so much to me, in a way I can’t describe, that it’s something I always want to be part of my life.

Aside from all the thinking (which is still going on), my new truck worked well this trip, allowing me to load a ton of wood, and VERY easily get in and out. It brings back a lot of memories, of when my dad used to take us kids down in the old F-150. Of course, that F-150 is gone, sold a long time ago, but it was my first truck, and this is reminiscent of that. What was also weird with the whole situation, was that my dad was a complete passenger, he didn’t drive the truck at all, and it’s odd for me, as I used to always be the passenger, and he the driver. It’s just kinda odd how some things come full circle, how things turn out in the world. I wonder someday if/when I’ll be driving my kids down to visit, and if someday they’ll be driving ME. Just a lot of thoughts there, lots of looking at the future.

The only down side of the day, was a major allergy attack from loading the wood into the truck. It’s left me pretty messed up, head wise, lung wise, etc. I should have taken allegra or other stuff before I started loading wood, but I wasn’t thinking at the time. SO, I’m still dealing with that mess. And as I’m still feeling sick, and it’s almost 11pm, I think I’m going to call it a night. Good night to you readers, God bless, and God keep and take care of you all!

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I wish Missouri knew how to build roads…

by on Mar.20, 2004, under General

I was on my way to St. Louis to visit some friends and hopefully Sunday, my grandmother. Anyways, traffic was dead stopped just on the west side of Warrenton on I-70 heading East into St. Louis. For those of you unfamiliar with Missouri, that’s about exit marker 197 or so. May have even been a bit sooner – I wasn’t keeping track too well. Anyways, I figured oh, major accident ahead or something like that. No big deal, it’ll clear out here eventually.

Now, jump forward in time to about an hour later, and 15 miles or so down the road. I-70 was down to ONE lane, on a Friday night, at one of the busiest interchanges. The area RIGHT before the I-61 exit. This is a major intersection, and traffic was being backed up for hours, due to these morons having no idea how to do road work without shutting down all but one lane. *ARRGGGHHH*. Hear my roar of frustration and irritation. *sigh* Stupid Missouri road construction stuff. I really really wish they’d get half a clue.

Oh yeah, hello from St. Louis, and to all St. Louis folk smile (and to everyone else out there too)

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Three new additions to the household…

by on Mar.18, 2004, under General

This is near a first for me. The other day, when I wasn’t sick, I’d done some shopping for groceries. Three items included in that shopping trip happened to be plants. An Ivy, a Spathyphyllum, and an African Violet. This is probably the first time I’ve actually bought a plant for myself. I’m not sure yet how it will all work, as I’m not sure how to keep these plants alive, but we’ll just see how it goes.

Of course, there’s another issue to face – the African Violet is HUGE. It’s near filled it’s little plant thing, and I’m going to need to get a bigger pot for it soon. That also means I gotta figure out how to do all the repotting, the soil stuff, etc. Going to be a bit of a learning experience.

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Fever time!

by on Mar.17, 2004, under General

Just took my temperature. A lovely 99.6. *sigh* I feel like total crap. Lots of orange juice going in, feel like tossing it all out. Figures.me sick, sitting here all alone. At least I have internet, can chat. Course, there’s only one or two people online. And it would also figure that I get sick on beer day…, er, St. Patrick’s day. Sometimes life just stinks. Oh well. Time for more orange juice….. Hmm, maybe I should add some vodka.

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*sigh* Yes, I’m sick…

by on Mar.17, 2004, under General

I hate being sick. I’m stiting here at work too which is worse. Course, I don’t know if I’m going to make a full day here at work. I’m already spacing so bad it’s insane. Trying to finish up one task here at work so I can go home, crash heavily, etc.

For those curious, here are the symptops. Slight to major disorientation (which may just be leftover small n, big fucking Q! – nyQuil). I’ve got a sore throat, head hurts, nauseated, very blah, tired, etc. Lots of sicky type things.

There are probably lots of other things I could say right now. I like swords and sharp pointy sticks for example. Or that the voices are coming to take me away smile. But, I’ll refrain from the majority of other comments. *sigh* I just hope I’m better here in a few days for the weekend. I HATE being sick.

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