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Monday
Apr072014

Captain America: Winter Sooo Close

Saturday night I had plans with my sister to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Our plans fell through so I had to go see it on my own. I planned my Monday movie plans on Sunday and decided that I was going to see the first showing at 9:30am.

I get to the theatre at 9:15 and all the doors are locked. This didn't make any sense to me. I double checked my Fandango App and realized that I was looking at Sundays schedule when I made my Monday plans. I rummaged through The Christmas Tree store before returning home with intentions of returning for the 12:30pm showing.

When I get back to the theatre I buy my ticket at the machine and buy some goodies. I check my wallet for coupons which I sometimes hoard only to find that I have a coupon for a free popcorn. I don't want popcorn though, so I figure if I get the opportunity I'll pay it forward. Online to buy my candy, someone offers me a coupon for candy and I say no thanks since I have one for candy as well, but I offer her my popcorn coupon. She was more than pleased. She said that her family likes popcorn not candy and I was more than happy to help.

After getting my sweets I go to get my IMAX 3D glasses when I realize no one is collecting tickets nor relegating the glasses. I go to the line at the box office window which I tried avoiding in the first place to get my glasses.

The movie starts and after 20 minutes the fire alarm goes off. Crap. Sometimes it's only a moment of alarm, but this wasn't a test. Every theatre was evacuated and about a hundred people stood outside baffled by the situation. Some over-reacted. I can't believe this. How can this be worse. Hmmm, we could be on fire. There was a lot of construction being done at the theatre so if I had to assume, the fire alarm going off was related to that.

With no manager to calm the sea of disgruntled patrons crew members were telling people to wait a moment until the fire department would arrive and the movies would resume. Others were collecting IMAX glasses and giving out coupons for another showing.

With my coupon in my hand I decided I was going to see this movie and be at school on time for my 6pm radio show. I was going to see it in IMAX like I intended and there was a showing at 2pm not too far away. "Perfect!"I thought.

I get to the theatre only to realize that it's a different chain and I'd have to lay out the cash again. I can still use the voucher another time at another Regal Cinema, but it was just the icing on a somewhat awkward cake of a day.

Let's see if the rest of the movie is as good as the first 20 minutes.

Monday
Feb242014

Going Live

Just when I thought I didn't have any free time between working full time and finishing my degree, I was able to carve out two hours a week to host a live radio show for my college's internet radio station.

Look for me Mondays 6pm-8pm. It's entertainment news and will reflect the tone of this site.

Here's the link: http://tunein.com/station/?StationId=218137

Thursday
Feb132014

Cromagnum Fam (The Croods)

Want to hear something amazing from Netflix? They started streaming 3D movies for those with equipped TVs. This is amazing, but only if you have a 3D TV.

Luckily for me, I do, and as the snow buries Long Island, NY, I looked to Netflix for entertainment. I don't know if I would have watched The Croods if it wasn't streaming from Netflix in 3D. I wanted to see how well it worked and it works great.

But let's talk about this silly movie. Ever wonder what it would be like if the Flintstones had Pokemon? Ever wonder what it would be like if the Flintstones then ate the Pokemon? That's this movie, kinda.

The 3D is great in this movie along with the animation. The Croods takes place in a lush and colorful wonderland. It's not anywhere you've seen before, so it's able to create beautiful scenery out of nothing.

The voice acting is pretty good. Nicholas Cage plays the father of this caveman clan with a star studded cast that include Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.

It's touching at parts and I guess that's how it's supposed to strike a cord with all crowds. It's not a shallow money grab alla Planes.

Definitely see this flick and if you can, see it in 3D.

Friday
Feb072014

U R A 10

 U R A 10

You are the best. Not better than anyone else, but you are the best you.

My father was a fan of fun vanity plates. He had a few over the years and "U R A 10" was one of them.  This message serves as a self affirmation, saying, I woke up, feeling not the best. I still don't have the job I want, I don't live in the apartment I've always dreamt of, and I'm not driving a Ferrari. I feel like a 2. But I'm driving down the road in my jalopy and I see this vanity plate. U R A 10.

I am a ten out of ten. No matter what is affecting me at the moment, at my core, I am a ten. If I truly believe that, I can make my way through anything this day can throw at me. I am not defined by my job, apartment or car. I am who I am, and I am a ten.

Emotion floods my mind and heart and flows through my fingers to put words on the screen. My father passed away 7 years ago. I'm always thinking of my father, thinking of the places we've been, the sights we've seen and the obstacles we've climbed. This reminds me of another one of his vanity plates.

CL1MBER

When one thinks of a climber, it may fire off different signals in your mind and you might think of a mountain climber. You might think of someone who is climbing a corporate ladder. Perhaps you think of someone climbing out of a hole they've dug for themselves, whether it be debt or putting ones foot in their mouth.

In the literal sense, my father was a mountain climber. My father made me a mountain climber. To give you a little perspective, I have memories of myself walking back and forth in my living room as a child, practicing walking on my heels instead of my toes. This was because it hurt my knee less to walk on my toes, but I had to learn to walk properly. I remember as a child being carried to the bathroom in the morning because my joints were so stiff that I could not walk. When the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis passed at puberty as it usually does, my father took me mountain climbing. The years of not being able to walk to the bathroom weren't that far behind me, but I was now ready, willing and able.

Over the years, my father would take me on hikes that were challenging, but if I was not challenged, I wouldn't have enjoy it as much. I loved seeing new places, places that no one else I knew had ever seen. We hiked up many smaller mountains in the Catskills and in Harriman State Park. My father would eventually take me down to Virginia to climb Mount Rogers, the highest point in that state. It was this first High Point as it's called that diverted our journey home. We stopped at three other states on the way home and found their high points. None were as difficult to get to as Mount Rogers, in fact two of them were able to be reached by car. Another was probably about an hour hike.

SOLOIST

It was Mount Washington that would prove to be the hardest mountain to climb. Mount Washington is the highest point in New Hampshire as well as the highest point east of the Mississippi River. My father and I took a trip to Mount Washington and our first attempt to make it to the top was not successful. We were not prepared to make the entire trip to the top and reaching that summit would be the one that got away. Years later we made the trip back.

On the way up the trail to the top of Mount Washington, you'll come across the Appalachian Trail and a hut called The Lake in the Clouds Hut. This hut is a great place to stop whether you're traversing the AT or making your way up and down Mount Washington.

The second time my father and I attempted to hike up Mount Washington we made it to the Hut at record speed or at least we believed we did. From there we continued up the mountain even though it felt like forever. We made it to the top of the mountain. The summit, which was previously known as the one that got away. We made it. From there we had some options to get back to the car. We could go back the way we came. See all the sights we've already seen. Or we could go back down the other side of the mountain. Both trails led to the same place, so we decided to take a new route back down.

After a few hours hiking down, we came to a split in the trail. One went to the car, and the other took us far from the car. With the spirit of adventure filling our beings, we blindly chose one fork over the other and continued down the mountain. We chose wrong. We ended up at a parking lot that did not have our car in it. However, we were lucky enough to meet some gracious hikers who took us back to our car.

We sat in the car and unwound. Once ready we started driving back to the campground where we were staying for the night. One the way back to the campground we came across two hikers on the side of the road. Paying it forward, my father stopped and offered them a ride. They were on their way to a hostel and we made sure they got there safe and easily, just as the other person had done for us. 

Out of nowhere, one of the hikers says to my father, "What instrument do you play?" This question confused us. "What do you mean?" we asked. The hiker went on to explain that she noticed the vanity plate. It read "SOLOIST." My father told the hikers that the term soloist has dual meaning. It's a piece of rock climbing equipment which lets to climb a rock face while self belay-ing. By yourself. At the same time, my father took it on as a moniker of sorts. He was a Soloist. While no man is an island, he was. He embraced his individuality and had no desire to hide his self-reliance.

As seven years have passed, and even more since these memories, they are are so fresh in my mind and though I shed a few tears as I filled this page, I'm certainly stronger for being to get this off my chest and mind.

 

 

 

Thursday
Jan232014

How To Not Just Sit There

I have a full-time job, but I'm on vacation and enjoying my time. The weather had been poor the last few days, so I have been stuck at home while my car was buried in snow. Today I finally traversed Long Island where I live in search for a new Gluten-Free Bagel place. I was told there was one in Syosset, and googled before I went. I found that there was one by the same company in Woodbury, which was closer to the main highway. I wait on line and when it was time to order, the guy had no idea what I was talking about. He looks over to the other person working with him and says, "Do we have gluten-free bagels?" She brings him over to a fridge and  he then says to me, "We have frozen gluten-free bagels." The other worker quickly corrects him and says that they are thawed, to which I reply, thanks, but I could have one of those at home and I left. This upset me and I went to somewhere I know would serve me a gluten-free bagel. 

I drove to Bellmore, which is the town I graduated from in 2002. It's the home of WC Mepham High School and the former home of Tatyana Ali of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as well as the home of the band Glassjaw. This is also where you'll find the Bare Naked Bakery. While the name might be a little confusing, it's a bakery that has stripped its products of any wheat and even produces baked goods without eggs and dairy. It's a good place to go to fit your specific dietary needs. 

While I was sitting there, these two people were having a business meeting a few tables away from me. I was trying to decide if it was regarding the bakery where I was sitting, or were they two people having a business meeting and thought that this bakery was the perfect setting for their conversation. I tried to stay occupied while half listening to what they were saying. I heard them mention the name of a famous chef who they are trying to court. I haven't heard of this chef, but as they continue their conversation, I quickly google this persons name and discover something they've not mentioned about this person. Sitting on this information is hard for me. I had wanted to join in their conversation since I sat down, but didn't think I could contribute and all I would have been doing is intruding. Once I had discovered this piece of information, I said to myself, this is my way into their conversation. 

I dispose of my trash and as I make my way back to my table, I turn around and say, "Hi, sorry to interupt, but I couldn't help but hear your conversation." I introduce myself as a business major who had interned at a digital marketing firm. I asked the man if he worked in marketing and he told me that he worked for himself as a graphic designer. He asked where I was currently interning and told him that I wasn't. I told him that I was working full time and would be graduating in May. I offered my business card and thanked them for their time. 

This experience energized me. It's rare that I get the nerve to put myself into a situation where I do not belong, especially with two people I do not know, in a place I've only been to twice now. But I had a few things going for me that helped me succeed in this situation. I knew something that neither of them did. Listening to their conversation, there was one fact that they had not mentioned that I had to share. 

The other thing that made my interaction easier was that I had nothing to lose. If they had stopped my in my first sentence and asked for their privacy, I would have understood and let them be. Instead they were welcoming of the information I had brought to them. The soaked in every word.  This prompted me to offer my business card. Having a business card in my pocket was an invaluable tool. It was a good button on the end of the interaction. If I never hear from him, I won't feel bad, however if I do, it just shows you that just sitting there doesn't pay off.