Thursday, November 13, 2008

Faulty Expectations

A song I wrote about a former relationship. I changed who I was to make someone else happy. I was miserable in turn. I wrote music for it too. Call me sometime I'll sing it for y'all.


Verse 1:
I'm not a puppet, but with you it's like I have no choice
I might as well be a mute cuz when I speak it's not my fucking voice oh, oh
Every moment we're together it's a chore to coddle petty needs
My every want and desire is suspended second to your greed oh, oh
Your greed for attention, your greed to be right, your greed to have your way and my desire not to fight.
I act the way you want me to not out of love, I act like I do cuz when push comes to shove:

I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww
Maybe if I killed myself then you'd finally fucking see
oooh owww
That your expectations are fuckin pitiful to me
oooh owww
And I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww

Verse 2:
I could end it, but I'm too attached to leave
Years of working with you has left me hollow as an empty sleeve oh, oh
I was a very happy person til I met you then I was fooled
and I lost all my friends due to all your fucking stupid rules oh, oh
Your rules to be your servant, your rules to submit, your rules to control and make me feel like shit.
I act the way I do not because I want you near, I act the way you want me to because my only fear:

I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww
Maybe if I killed myself then you'd finally fucking see
oooh owww
That your expectations are fuckin pitiful to me
oooh owww
And I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww

I'm not ready to die, no I'm not ready by far
I'm not ready to die, I can't wish on my scars
I'm in a prison I want out, but where do I go
I'm in this cage behind locked doors as my hatred grows
I don't want to hate you but you're leaving few windows
I'm beginning to play my hate against you like a Nintendo
This mask that I wear for you just cracked under pressure
I feel alive and found myself, my inner treasure...

I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww
Maybe if I killed myself then you'd finally fucking see
oooh owww
That your expectations are fuckin pitiful to me
oooh owww
And I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww

(Bridge change, more intense drums, louder vocals)
But I'd rather be alive free of chains and live my life for me
oooh owww
I'd rather keep on living and have you just fucking leave me be
oooh owww
We will both be more happy when you open up your eyes and see
oooh owww
That we'd both rather die than live our lives as a fuckin' "we"
oooh owww
WE, OHHH WE, Ohhh Owww WE, OHHH WE!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Crow Just Sits

I love metal music. I decided to take a break from poetry and try my hand at writing a truly dark and brooding metal song.


Verse 1:
Can you feel the cold?
The crow stares down with malice
Are you what you are told?
The crow invades my palace

Verse 2:
All that I aspire to be
I need to don latex masks
To be the man of your dreams
The crow of nightmares stares and asks

Needing and feeding on your soul I’m breeding
Painful distrust and the façade is bleeding
I have to be told that I will soon die
To avoid this true yet rhetorical lie
Lying for life as I lie for my death
Vengeance rings out through my ice-laden breath
I'm forcing what's not, to hinder my knowing
The crow just sits as my insanity's growing

Verse 3
The crow stares with content
As I squirm and claw my skin
But why should I conform and repent?
The human soul must embrace its sins

Needing and feeding on your soul I’m breeding
Painful distrust and the façade is bleeding
I have to be told that I will soon die
To avoid this true yet rhetorical lie
Lying for life as I lie for my death
Vengeance rings out through my ice-laden breath
I'm forcing what's not, to hinder my knowing
The crow just sits as my insanity's growing

Fuck you! I never asked for your help,now accustomed, I need it more than life itself
So True!! I became a shell of me, and now my pity is a demon in the hell of me.
Why did I subject myself to you? How do you act so warm with skin so blue?
The crow will never get my forgiveness, it’s not like she wants it, so I’ll have to eat it!!…EAT IT!!!

Needing and feeding on your soul I’m breeding
Painful distrust and the façade is bleeding
I have to be told that I will soon die
To avoid this true yet rhetorical lie
Lying for life as I lie for my death
Vengeance rings out through my ice-laden breath
Tearing apart primal visions of hate
The crow must be killed to acheive my fate

Needing and feeding my heart is still bleeding
Needing and seething my mind is still screaming
Outscheming the crow as she dies, now I'm leaving
Acheiving my fate as the shattered come pleading…Pleading!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Election 2008

2008 Election results!! Congrats Michigan!! During this election I voted strictly based on a degree of moderate politics. I choose not to vote for a single republican or democrat. I voted strictly independant and although my votes may have been "wasted" on the politicians I pursued, I gotta say I was proud that my votes on both proposals passed.

Prop 1 was the bill to legalize medical marijuana. Many people say this bill will lead them to legalize marijuana outright, then open up a pandora's box that will allow other drugs to be legalized. I say, "so fuckin' what?" The decriminalization of street drugs would reduce violent crime by nearly 60%. I don't necessarily condone selling heroin and crack in your neighborhood supermarkets but I think by decriminalizing them you're giving the police an option to turn a blindeye and focus on the "Protect and Serve" slogan that they claim to uphold. Mandatory minimum sentences for drug possessions are purely a means to violate human rights.
By keeping drugs illegal we are giving criminals more power. Is little Johnny gonna drop out of school in the 10th grade to sell weed if he's not turning a ridiculously high profit? Probably not. If Marijuana was available at stores then he might as well be going to Sam's club and stocking up on Bubble Yum, because he's gonna have the same margin of profit. Right wingers try to make the point that legalizing drugs will create more addicts. I believe this to be false as well. I have studied countless hours on addiction, I myself am addicted to alcohol. I've spent a month in in-patient rehab, 2 years going to AA meetings, group therapy with alcohol counselors. The same fact remains within all of these circles. There is no higher percentage of people with chemical dependancy now than there was 10, 20, 50, or 100 years ago. 1 out of every 9 people are predisposed to addictive behavior whether it be to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc. And that's way it will remain. Legalization of drugs is safer for our communities, it's better for our economy, and it takes the power away from crime lords and and violent smugglers.
During the prohibition era, Al Capone was the richest and most powerful man on the planet and organized crime was at an all time high. After prohibition was relenquished, Capone was just another thug. Did our country go to hell in a handbasket during this period? No, in fact it's probably looked at as the golden age of our countries' history. We'll be just fine with legal pot and decriminalized hard drugs. If the government was really corcerned with people's safety on the issue of drugs, cigarettes would have been made illegal long ago.
Now as far as proposal 2 goes...I have been a staunch supporter of stem cell research for years. I voted yes on this proposal to further expand the research to find cures for many ailments. Mainly diabetes, because my dad has diabetes and I know it's something that will affect me years down the road. I will say however, if I was on the fence about this issue, I probably would have voted "No". They simply had a much better ad campaign on tv. I felt that the "Yes" supporters merely preyed on people's sympathies and did little to describe the facts of their proposal. Whereas the "No" crew did a very good job illustrating the higher taxes that could be enforced on Michigan's citizens, and went on to also describe the other avenues to stem cells that would exclude the usage of human embryos. They also avoided the hellfire and brimstone approach that I was almost positive would be the primary deterant of their ad campaign. One of the ads that did have me laughing was the one that showed all these huge corporations that would use this bill to begin human cloning, even though there is a stipultion within the ammendmant that denies any action of cloning.
Personally, I have nothing against cloning. Ask yourselves this, would the world really be any worse off if there were 2000 more Scarlett Johansson's walking the earth? Probably not. Boom!! Case closed. It would also help us answer the nature vs. nurture debate once and for all. But that is for another blog I will write in the near future.
Overall I have to say I was much more optimistic about this country, and our states' future after this election than I was in 2000 or 2004. I think Obama will do well for our economy and right now that's the main thing. I know that people get bent out of shape about all the small issues but if you look at the history of any country, after the economy is back on the rise, all those little things seem to fall into place.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Return of the Nightmare Deer

September 2nd I posted a blog about a nightmare I had about a twisted and disfigured deer that I tried killing multiple times to no avail. It ended by just laying on the floor screaming and growling at me. This seemed to be the aftermath of an all-out drinkfest the previous weekend that resulted in me blacking out, drunk dialing people I respect, spending too much money, and just falling into the abyss that my life was in 3 years ago. I felt guilty and this was apparantley something in my subconscious. It used to be rather normal for me to drink until blackout status 3 or 4 times a week. However, I haven't been drinking liquor lately and by switching exclusively to beer and only drinking once a week during college football I was happy to be blackout free for the past 2 months. But last Saturday I regret to inform you that I found my limit in beer and suffered similar guilt-ridden feelings that resulted in the return of the deer on Sunday night. This blog also involves 4 dogs from my past that represented different parts of my life and I'm sure there is some symbolism there too.

Here's how the dream played out this time around. I was at my parents house in Williamston right behind the Middle School. I had 4 dogs with me. Cinder and Tiber who belonged to my parents, and Woody and Sammy who belonged to the neighbors I grew up next to in Byron when I was a child.
Sammy was the strangest dog within the dream. He was actually a dog I feared from the age of 3 to 6 or so in real life. He only stood about 18 inches off the ground and he was a mangy white and black mutt. However he made up for his small stature by being extremely mean. Everytime I needed to go down to the lake I had to walk past Sammy's house and everyday he'd growl and come at me full tilt nipping. I was too young at the age of 3 to 6 to just stand up to him so I'd always run away and sneak past him later. He was actually the only thing in the world I was afraid of at a young age. However, when I was 7 or so I began standing up to him and just ignoring him and he'd stop dead in his tracks if I didn't run away. It even got to the point were I could bend down, scratch his throat and he stopped barking at me soon after. I was probably about 12 when Sammy finally died, He was about 17 years old I would guess.
Woody was also a dog that belonged to those same neighbors. He was a purebred Golden Retreiver. He was my favorite wrestling buddy when I was growing up at the age of 8 to 11. He was much more rambunctious and active than the dog my parents had at the time. We would wrestle for hours in my backyard and during the emmergence of Street Fighter II he was great to have a around for pulling off karate moves while I was pretending. Woody had a screw loose in his brain though. For some reason everytime he got out when my other neighbors had their dogs outside he would run right at them and attack them. He gave one of them severe nerve damage, and almost killed the other. After being threatened by lawsuits my neighbors had no choice but to give Woody away to some people on a farm and he was never seen again. Sometimes I wonder if was given to a farm or euthanized. It may have just been a story to keep me from crying because I loved that dog more than the owners did.
Tiber was my favorite dog we ever owned. We got her in the summer of 1992, I was 12 at the time. She was a yellow lab with a dark reddish-gold coat. She had the coolest personality of any dog I've known. She didn't care what you thought of her and she knew she was superior to everyone. She was smart, cunning, and extremely agile. She was also a klepto and she made a habit of stealing all the neighborhood children's hats, shoes, food, etc. Tiber was recently put down this past February at the age of 15. It was a pretty hard pill for me to swallow because she had been the dog that always slept in my room and favored me to anyone else throughout my middle school and high school years.
Cinder is the only dog listed that is still alive, I was 21 when my parents got her but I'm still very close with her because I still lived with them when she was a puppy and I moved back into their house for 3 years between '04-'07. She is a black lab that is very loving toward her family but she is shy around strangers and won't hesitate to growl at other dogs that come up to her. She's about 8 now and she has been recently diagnosed with cancer this past Spring.
There, that's the backstory on the cast of characters. So anyway...I was taking them all for a walk behind the middle school in Williamston. None of them were on their leashes, I was letting them run free as I usually do with dogs. Tiber, Cinder, and Woody were all running up ahead sniffing the ground, being dogs, and peeing on stuff. But Sammy was hanging behind with me. Everytime I looked at Sammy he looked different. Sometimes he looked like the mangy little bastard I remember, other times he looked much more beutiful. His coat would turn different colors, his facial features would change and strangest of all, he was talking to me with the voice of David Letterman. We weren't talking about anything in particular just making small talk. Then after trotting up to the treeline of the woods that bordered the middle school soccer field, all the dogs returned to me and just sat there staring into my eyes. I asked them what was wrong but they just sat there and stared at me.
Then I heard a sound coming from the woods, it was the sound of a little girl crying and begging for help deep into the forrest. I tried to see into it, but "I couldn't see anything for the trees" which may have been a metaphor. Because I realized that is one of my personality traits earlier that night via a phonecall. I was terrified. I thought that some violent criminal may have been in there raping a girl at gunpoint or that maybe a girl was trapped by a bear. Either way, I was petrified with fear for a long time. Whatever it was I knew wasn't good. The dogs continued to stare at me, and I continued to debate whether I should go into the woods and face my fear or walk the other way back to the house and to safety. After a few minutes passed I knew that if a girl was found dead in the woods later in the week, I'd never forgive myself for turning a blindeye when I could have saved her. The dogs I had with me gave me the strength and confidence to finally make up my mind to enter the woods.
The trees and vegatation were thicker in the woods than they usually are in there, in fact it wasn't even the same woods at all. It felt more like a jungle with the prospect of unknown danger around every tree and twisitng trail. I had the dogs walk ahead of me for safety reasons I also wanted them to find where the location of the girl screaming . Sammy was in the lead, followed by Woody. Tiber and Cinder hung back a little with me. I saw a long sharp stick that I picked up to use as a weapon on the rapist I was confident I'd find.
We came to a large downward slope, looking down, there was a large patch of shubbery, trees, and vines surrounded by nothing but fallen leaves and it seemed there was a trail that went around in a circle around the patch of shubbery. There I saw what was making the terrible screams. It was huge grey deer the size of a moose trapped in the shubbery and vines and fighting to get out. I approached the deer to help it, and Sammy and Woody began running towards it barking Cinder and Tiber followed soon after. The deer became even more startled and broke through the vines and took off and ran out of sight. At this point I turned around and looked back on top of the hill that we walked down and there stood another deer just as massive with twisted antlers that came to menacing points. The deer charged toward me grunting and screaming, I had no mobility, I couldn't move my feet and I just leaned slightly to the left as it ran right past me and down to the right side of the looping trail were Tiber and Cinder were. The deer put its head down to gore my dogs as it ran the circle. I screamed out and cried for my poor dogs. Somehow the deer didn't make contact with them, or it went right through them. Either way my dogs were unharmed. The deer then circled around the loop and ran at me again, once more missing contact with me. Then it stood atop the hill and bellowed through the woods before turning around and running the other direction.
I was so happy that the deer hadn't hurt my dogs, I felt a such a feeling of relief it made me cry. I realized I didn't care what the deer did to me as long as it didn't hurt the dogs. I rounded the dogs up and we began to walk through a clearing in the woods to get get to the road that would take us home. Woody and Cinder wanted to go back the way we had come. Tiber wanted to go the way I was going. Sammy stood in one place as we walked. Soon Cinder and Woody came with me and Tiber. But Sammy just stood there. By the time we got to the road I called for him. He said "I can't believe we just saw the Grandfather Deer." I let the other dogs walk ahead and waited for Sammy to catch up to see what he meant by "Grandfather Deer". When he finally caught up with me his coat was a beautiful multi-colored fleece and he had the head of a purebred pitbull with a huge smile on his face. Before he could explain anything to me about the Grandfather Deer I woke up. I was pissed that I didn't hear what he had to say.
Why did the deer threaten me and my dogs with violence then let us be? Why would the deer charge us when we were trying to help his trapped brother? Why would my earliest memory of fear (Sammy) be a voice of reason in my dream, and why the shape- shifting? Why did the deer have the voice of a human child? Did the dogs represent loyalty or friends perhaps? I'll leave that stuff up to interpretation. I guess I'm just baffled as to why the last two times I've felt guilt-stricken about overdrinking I dream about deer.


Monday, November 3, 2008

The Day After...

Unseen is that which goes bump in the night
Intangible thoughts on this untamable fright
I sniff till I smell the odor of my failure
My mind in the grasp of this livid torn jailer
I look to the numbness that I need to cope
Put a smile on my face as if there is hope
But reality tells me that I'm wasting away
By the day I just stray from the reasons to stay
Still there it sits with an ominous presence
Taunting and mocking my pleads for some pleasance
I'm walking on eggshells trying to rest on my laurels
But it remains on my thoughts and it's bending my morals
I must stay in place like my feet have been planted
And wait for selfish needs to be disenchanted
There are moments of clarity in this tightrope act
And fact is, this act has no measure for tact
I am playing chess with my life thinking 5 steps ahead
Only if I don't win I'll most likely be dead
Or I'll be wishing for death and release from my pity
I never knew this would be both so great and so shitty


Friday, October 31, 2008

Mr. Neevers the Beaver Slayer

Hey here he comes, it's Mel Greevin Neevers
He owns 13 pelts made from 500 beavers
The most bloodthirsty trapper in the lower southwest
Killed his one and only son in a pie eating contest
He keeps mangling the skins with his bowie knife
Can't turn a profit to save his own damn life
He's always really wasteful, and he's covered with blood
Can't afford soap, so he washes in mud
This fucking guy without a pot to piss in
Was offered 3000 dollars to sit and listen
But he had no time to hear the sales pitch
Cuz he was wrasslin beavers in a drainage ditch
He killed 5 of em bastards with his sharp brown insisors
Severing corrodded arties and making blood geysers
The beavers fought back, he was getting ate like cake
The beavers were treating Ol' Mel like a Salisbury steak
He had to flee then bail on back to his village
To load up some supplies that he'd have to pillage
Held the shopkeep at gunpoint as he stole all the dyno
Stabbed the man with a horn like a albino rhino
Went back to the ditch and packed it with boom boom
Then lit the match and blew the beaves into a flamed mushroom
But he was blown to fuck too because he had to witness
His hatred of them beavers gave him lack of mental fitness
Legend says he was reborn as some blocks of wood
And beaver's continue to gnaw him, as they rightly should

"That's a story about Karma folks" Did I just blow your mind?


Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Lost Red Sock

Rip tip tibbles, top shelf kibbles
Eating on lunch like Skip von Dribbles
Waxin that shoe like Ogenslarsh Larry
Munching on people that are overly hairy
Cannibals, Hannibals, creatures of fear
Are much less scary after 17 beers
Flyin through space is like sliding on trash
Both are really fun until the bonejarring crash
Lets skip town then set it on fire
Lets put some flames to the Discount Tire
Roast some marshmallows on Paul Bunyans' beard
Then fondle his cattle till it makes him feel weird
Babe the Blue Ox was a mythical beast
So lets all eat her in a mythical feast
Pass the chittlins and fetus gravy
Sailing in a gravyboat like the meat-soaked Navy
Shootin peas and beans and green-type biz
Avoiding them vegtables like a virgin avoids jizz
Especially on the floor because it stains
Tug the shit off with rope and chains
Graham cracker shennatigans and a dog's red cock
This has been a story about my lost red sock
What is the metaphor? Where is the keyword?
It's all right there in the acoustic "Freebird"
But that song sucks, it's not even metal's
But sometimes we settles for less distortion pedals
Some Tiger's have down syndrome, look at that pic
I bet he eats fruit snacks and publically plays with his dick
Sometimes I hate myself more than Hitler hates Jews
When I don't think things through and see what it do's.
But that's just life, we live and we learn
It's like blending oil and water in a butter churn


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alienated and Unforgiving, Last becomes First when the Dogs come Living

Alienated and unforgiving
Last becomes first when the dogs come living
Wanting satchel searching starve for the hunger of redemption
But looking at those reptile ashes is just too real to mention
Where was that man when wanted you to ride those trains of gravy
Not to be found was him in which green demons made him crazy
The eye is found in not the face but rather in the mind
Mountain slopes fuel shattered dreams cushioned by buds of kind
Channeling the Kurt Cobain is freeing at the time
But he is lost, and rock is dead, and I don't even have a "Dime"
Rivers flow on vodka proofs to further make us dumbing
Filthy bricks on raped landscapes is cause for greater numbing
Ripped and tattered human waste, hard hats and shit adornings
A rabbit howls into the night a consensus brutal warning
My realm is gone for now and ever, never to be redeemed
Dreams are dreams and hopes are dreams so I dream the real thing
Sewing closed the mouths to silence is no longer a pressing issue
I'm in your mouth, I'm puppeteering, no one will ever miss you
Ugly sounds and morbid visions haunting our housing mess
When last comes first and first comes last, the dogs will tear our flesh

--Tabor, October '08


Friday, October 10, 2008

Same Old Pacman

Some people just won't change. After multiple arrests due to drunken fights in strip clubs, possession of firearms, and other typical thuggish behavior. Pacman Jones was reluctantly reinstated into the NFL after having to miss the entire 2007 NFL season.

Even though Pacman has loads of talent as one of the finest CB's in the NFL, no teams were willing to take the risk of his distractions and teams but one. Enter the wily redneck bastard Jerry Jones and his stable of criminals and malcontent thugs otherwise known as the Dallas Cowboys.
Yeeee Hawwww!!

Other than the Oakland Raiders and their senile owner, Al Davis. The Cowboys and Jones seem to thrive on flash more than substance. Get the guys with big names, big stats, and a long history of screaming at coaches, teammates and long arrest records. Is it no wonder why the Dallas Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game in 12 years? Big statistics pale in comparison to team chemistry. This is FOOTBALL we are talking about. Otherwise known as the ultimate team sport. This isn’t a sport like basketball where one guy can dominate the entire game by himself. 22 players on on the field per snap in football, everyone has a specific job, and if you aren’t adhering to that system you should be benched. Because talent doesn’t make a bit of difference if you are out of your position and can’t do your job.

The New England Patriots haven’t been the best team in the NFL for the past decade because they spend big money to grab the headlining free agents. They never draft the high profile picks even if they have the opportunity to do so. In fact, they make a habit of trading down in the draft and scoring multiple less known players that will fit into their system. Usually these are guys with good heads on their shoulders that may lack breakaway speed or national hype. But it works. Dallas and Oakland on the other hand only view the short term. I respect their passion and “win right now!!” attitude but someone needs to step in and help these aging starfuckers.

Back to the Pacman situation, Jerry took at least some measures to prevent Pacman from falling back into his old habits. He employed 4 bodyguards (Babysitters) to keep an eye on Pacman at all times and make sure he didn’t do anything stupid. However old habits die hard and less than 7 weeks into the NFL season, Pacman already snapped yesterday and physically assaulted one of the bodyguards (babysitters) hired to help him. Of course, to hear it from Pacman’s interview with the media today, he says he’s a “victim” of racial profiling. Really? Is that honestly the excuse you’re going with? We are a month away from having a black president, and you live in a city that treats the Dallas Cowboys players like God’s amongst mortals and you’re gonna use the “racial profiling” excuse? Dude, you aren’t Arabic, you’re also surrounded by many other African-americans in the city of Dallas. Take some personal responsibility.

Another thing that has me laughing to myself is that all the Pacman supporters out there always said, “He’s worth the trouble because of his talent” All those supporters seem to be falling by the wayside now because through 6 weeks of football, Pacman hasn’t done anything. He has looked slow on the field, he has mishandled punt returns resulting in turnovers, he has been burnt by just about every wide receiver that has lined up across from him. He has even lost his jobs to 2 rookies. Felix Jones has replaced him on punt returns and Mike Jenkins has replaced him at CB. The only upside for him is that top CB, Terrance Newman will be out for a month or so with a sports hernia so they will need Pacman for Nickel and Dime packages. The best part of this whole mess is that the guy who replaced Pacman in Tennessee named Courtland Finnegan is looking like the best Cornerback in the NFL this year.
Through 4 seasons Pacman has 4 Interceptions total!! Courtland Finnegan had 4 inerceptions this year by week 3!! Score one for the Titans!!
Also history seems to be on Pacman’s side because Jerry Jones loves criminals. Since he’s been the team owner Jones has embraced dregs of the NFL and bad character guys like Michael Irvin, “Bullet” Bob Hayes, Deion Sanders, “Hollywood” Henderson, Keyshawn Johnson, Lance Rentzel, Leon Lett, Terrell Owens, and who can forget Nate Newton being arrested for 213 lbs. Of marijuana in his van. The following week when he was out on bail he got pulled over on interstate 45 with 125 lbs. of pot this time.
The landscape of football is changing Mr. Jones. Coaches are smarter, the talent pool is deeper, and team chemistry has proven to beat your flash and dash every year in the postseason. Get with the times, shed your tunnel vision, and for the love of god get rid of your lockerroom cancers... Or don’t, I could give a shit less if the Cowboys suck.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

That Tabor Guy's Top 50 Films of All-Time

(Above Picture: Donnie and Frank take Gretchen to the movies)

I have always intensely enjoyed movies. I think my earliest memory was going to see Return of the Jedi in the theatre when I was 3 years old. A great film can always touch a spiritual cord in me that I can't get from day-to-day life or even football for that matter. I usually avoid blockbusters. (Movies that are created for making money rather than being genuine or creative.) I tend to lean towards movies that hinge on symbolism, tragedy, and the human condition. Most of the great movies that fit into this group for me have been created within the last 15 years or so. So that means you aren't gonna see many classics, musicals, or dumbass comedies from the 80's. I hope my readers will give this list a chance and perhaps give you some rental ideas for a rainy day. I recently had to expand this list to 52 in order to make room for the new additions from 2008 (Gran Torino and Revolutionary Road)

Mulholland Dr. (2001)
starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Haring, Justin Theroux

Darker than any horror movie even though it's a drama. Every scene is so tense we always know that something wicked is brewing even though it can't be seen. Naomi Watts owes her carreer to this film. This movie is part dream, part nightmare, but the events that take place in the real life section of the story are the darkest of all. Metaphors and symbolism are strewn throughout so multiple viewings are nesscessary to truly grasp its genius.

No Country for Old Men (2007)
starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

A perfect blend of dialoge, violence, and symbolism. There is no question why this film cleaned up at the 2007 Oscar's. Anton Chigurgh is easily the greatest villain in film history, and his cat and mouse chase with Josh Brolin is phenominal. Many are turned off by its abrupt ending but I applaud it for being so bold and true to the novel. The Coen Brothers have made it impossible to top themselves after this masterpiece.

Munich (2005)
starring: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig

The true story of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team that was kidnapped and eventually executed at the hands of a terrorist group named Black September. The story follows the aftermath of a 5 man Israeli assassination squad to hunt and kill the Palestinean leaders responsible. We never really know whether the main characters are doing good deeds or bad...and neither do they. The duality of man is the focus. Speilbergs best work, and definately his most controversial.

Donnie Darko (2001)
starring: Jake Gylenhal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gylenhal, Patrick Swayze

Hard to explain, but that's what makes it work. I still find new twists with every viewing. Is it about time travel? Maybe it's about death and what happens after we die. Either way, Jake Gylenhal's troubled teen Donnie keeps us intrigued, entertained, and guessing way after the credits are done rolling. Gotta love the cheesy 80's soundtrack too.

Magnolia (1999)
starring: Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Maybe the best ensemble cast ever assembled. The kaliedescope of characters and their insecurites power this movie. Trenmendous performances by John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, William H. Macy and basically everybody else involved. Paul Thomas Anderson first earned his noteriety for "Boogie Nights" and "There will be Blood" but "Magnolia" is the film that puts him in my highest regard.

Pulp Fiction (1994)
starring: Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel

Stylish, gripping, sensual. An innovative masterwork from Quentin Tarantino. Filmakers still steal from this movie to this day. Perhaps the most influential movie of the last 20 years. A plot summary wouldn't do justice due to the fact that there are about 7 separate plots throughout the film.

Bug (2007)
starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon

Beautifully tragic. Desperation never felt more haunting. Odds are, if you didn't like this movie, then you didn't understand what it was really about. Meth addiction, codependant psychosis, and the clouded judgement that can occur when tragedy and lonliness are all that a person has left.

American Beauty (1999)
starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari

"You're never too old to get it back" --Lester Burman. It's a great movie for people that find themselves in the rut of the daily grind. Also has a great sense of dark humor. I truly hope that director Sam Mendes is able to duplicate that type of suburban magic again. Winner of the Oscar for best picture in 1999 as well as many others.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)
starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayons

What would have been just another drug movie was directed flawlessly by Darren Aronofsky to bump it up to masterpiece status. Also shows the parrellels of illegal drugs and perscription meds in the fact they are equally dangerous if not moderated properly. I still think it's a crime that Gladiator beat this movie in the Oscar's for best picture in 2000.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
starring: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen

The original 1974 version is the greatest and most terrifying horror movie in american film history. Insane, brutal, and disturbing. Anyone that thinks the remake was better should have their movie viewing privledges revoked. The sequels all sucked ass, it's better to remember the original 3 crazies from this first installment before Tobe Hooper shit all over his legacy.

Blood Diamond (2006)
starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Dimjon Honsou

Leonardo Dicaprio's character Danny Archer has to be one of my favorite characters in any film. There is enough action to keep the plot moving at a breakneck pace. Dont let the film's title mislead you, although blood diamond's are shown as being corrupt on a certain level. Even more unsettling is the use of Africa's children stolen from their homes at a young age and being forced to kill entire villages of innocents.

12. Gran Torino (2008)
starring: Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood stars and directed this ghetto masterpiece. So often movies that take place in ghettos focus on the gangsters but this film takes that idea and flips it. Showing instead a man that has lived in Detroit since the 1940's in a predominantly white neighborhood but over the years has been transformed into a mostly Asian neighborhood. Eastwood's Walt Kowalski is rascist and onery and he doesn't care who knows it. However he finds friendship and peace in his life from some very unlikely people and his transformation isn't over the top with sentiment but subtle and realistic.

The Godfather (1972)
starring: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Best mafia movie ever. Michael Corleone as the reluctant son and his eventual rise to power. One of the most complex and layered characters to ever be put onto film. Out of Francis F. Copolla's many masterpieces, this one stands out at the best. Other great performances by the always great Robert Duval, Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton, and James Caan.

21 Grams (2003)
starring: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro

Before Babel and after Amores Perros, Alejandro Innaritu peaked out with this out of sequence downer complete with a bravura performance by Naomi Watts who loses her husband and 2 little girls in one tragic accident.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Sonny Chiba

Most critics seem to like vol. 2 more, but vol. 1 had so much more to offer. Better cinematography, anime sequences, more fighting, and great original songs by the RZA. Everything about this film is first rate. Quentin Tarantino proves he can do more than the typical american crime flicks with guns and switches gears seemlessly to swordplay with a great sense of Japanese feel.

Casino (1995)
starring: Robert Deniro, Joe Peschi, Sharon Stone, Don Rickles, Frank Vincent

Not quite as critically acclaimed as the Scorcese film that came before it, "Goodfellas". Perhaps because Joe Pesci's character seems nearly identical in both films. But I promise if this movie came out before Goodfellas this is the one that would go down as a better acheivement in film. My personal favorite of Martin Scorcese, perhaps the greatest American director in history.

The Big Lebowski (1998)
starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buschemi

Jeff Bridges slacker protagonist "The Dude" is one of the more memorable characters to ever grace the movie screen, not because he's a hero, more because of his loser qualities and indifference to everything. My favorite comedy by far!! Long live the Coen Brothers who consistantly prove they are more than a one trick pony and can do drama, action, comedy, or even the occasional arthouse flick.

Juno (2007)
starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Olivia Thirlby

A unique and bubbly 16 year old girl played by Ellen Page has found out she's pregnant. All the baggage that comes with the pregnancy is explored through a modern viewpoint rather than the usual hellfire and brimstone approach. However, this films true power comes from the dialog and interaction between characters due to Diablo Cody's amazing screenplay. The soundtrack also creates a great atmosphere for the film.

House of Sand and Fog (2003)
starring: Ben Kingsley, Jennifer Connelly

Depressing? Sure. But no movie better illustrates the price that can be paid when petty squabbles spiral out of control. Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly have an unparalleled chemistry on screen as neither one will back down. They argue over who is the true owner of a small house in Pennsylvania. Tragedy insues, and it stays with you for a while especially because of Ben Kingsley's greatest performance to date, even better than his Oscar winning role in Ghandi.

There Will Be Blood (2007)
starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Dano

The most recent film from director Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) is unlike any of his other films. It's dark and brooding both from the soundtrack and the ominous cinematography. The story focuses on an oil mogul that gets his start in the late 1800's named Daniel Plainview played flawlessly by the always spectacular Daniel Day Lewis. He draws the audience in with his underhanded politicking and desire to accumulate money no matter who he hurts or kills.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
starring: Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Dennis Hopper

To me this was always more of a horror movie than a war movie. I think Copolla's point was to make war seem like horror. I've always thought Brando was ovverrated in this movie and Martin Sheen was overlooked. But the eery symbolism and madness captured by Francis Ford Copolla is what makes it a triumph.

Se7en (1995)
starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gweneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey

Best ending ever? Maybe. Plus ya gotta love the chemistry between hothead Brad Pitt and even-minded Morgan Freeman. The characters dominate the story so much that the plot seems secondary, and it's a hell of a plot. "What's in the box?"

Grindhouse (2007)
starring: Rose McGowan, Kurt Russell, Freddy Rodriguez, Bruce Willis

A throwback to the exploitation double features from the 1970's that played in drive-thru movie theatres. Although it may not be fair to count this as one film considering it's actually 2 films with 5 trailers for false movies, I saw it at the theatre as one feature and I admit it was the most unique experience I've ever had at the cinema. I wasn't alive in the 70's but this feature made me feel like I had found a genuine time capsule.

The Constant Gardener (2005)
starring: Rachel Weisz,
Politcally driven story with great characters. Rachel Weisz proves she's a force in Hollywood, picking up a best supporting actress trophy in the process. Perscription drug companies finally get exposed for some of their attrocities. Basically a pharmaseautical company is intentionaly infecting africans with strains of AIDS, Tuberculosus, as well as others and trying out their cures on them like lab rats so they can be FDA approved. The pace is slow, but effective.

Raging Bull (1980)
starring: Robert Deniro, Joe Peschi, Frank Vincent

More than a boxing movie. Scorcese and Deniro team up once again to floor audiences with such a visceral portrait of Jake Lamotta that it leaves us breathless. A great fighter with more than his share of personal demons, Jake's life is a roller coaster ride that once it reaches its peak, begins to decline rapidly. One of the eeriest scenes in film history is when a 250+ pound Robert Deniro is reciting Marlon Brando's "contender" speech in front of a mirror, obviously punchdrunk.

Halloween (2007)
starring: Sherri Moon Zombie, Danny Trejo, Daeg Faerch

This is the more recent Rob Zombie version. It pains me to put a remake onto this list because usually I'm anti-remake 100%, especially because I have such high regard for the original. But because Rob Zombie is a director that truly understands and loves horror films he doesn't disappoint. It sticks with the qualities that made the first so great but adding a back story of Michael as a child and his sessions in the asylum with a passion for making masks are magnificent.

American History X (1998)
starring: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Charles S. Dutton

Few films have explored rascism in this depth. We have a chance to get inside the characters and see the perspective from every possible angle. Edward Norton shows us why he is a skinhead and speaks with such conviction that you start to feel for his cause. But in the 2nd half of the movie he moves us with equal passion back to tolerance and loving your neighbor. The ironic ending is tragic, however not necessary to get the point across.

Lucky # Slevin (2006)
starring: Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Stanley Tucci
Josh Hartnett plays Slevin Kelevra, a sharp tongued fella that seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is being pulled in 2 seperate directions by the citiy's 2 biggest crime lords, one played by Morgan Freeman the other Ben Kingsley. Complete with a brutal and brilliant twist ending. Josh Hartnett proves he's more than a pretty boy and the depth of his character's smart-ass nature is contrasted toward the end with perfect malice.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Rupert Grint

Saw this movie before I read any of the books...I've been a "Pott-head ever since" Goblet of Fire is my favorite of the books, but the first movie installment is the most loyal. So far this is the only film on my list not rated R...weird? A great leadoff movie for one of the highest grossing franchises in history, by the time the 7th film comes out, my guess is that only the Star Wars 2 trilogies combined will have grossed more.

Traffic (2000)
starring: Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Don Cheadle, Erika Christensen

The line of politics and family life are blurred in this dismal portrayal of the drug war. We are left feeling hopeless and more confused about what needs to be done about drugs in America, as well as the corrupt Mexican Drug Cartel but still eyeopening nonetheless. Traffic has an amazing ensemble cast featuring Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and a breakout role for the young and talented Erica Christensen...who seems to have dropped off the map as of late

The Departed (2006)
starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga.

Finally Scorcese gets his long deserved Best Picture and Best Director academy awards after being nominated what seems like every film he's done in the last 40 years. This movie is great, but it's not higher on my list strictly because it's a remake of a Japanese film called "Infernal Affairs". Therefore the creativity is second hand. But the plot is cool. A cop posing as a mobster vs. a mobster posing as a cop. The pace never relents.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
starring: Steve Buschemi, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

Quentin Tarantino's first and grittiest film. It's currently ranked the #1 Indie film of all time by most lists. Doesn't offer the same humor filled violence of his other films. This one is realistic, brutal, sadistic, and doesn't seem to stop being so until everyone is dead. Steve Buschemi and Harvey Keitel both provide their best roles to date.

Revolutionary Road (2008)
Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates

Fans of marriage should steer clear of this one. The story centers on a young couple in the 1950's trying to be the perfect American family. They buy a house in a nice neighborhood with a picket fence and everything. They have two children but it doesn't take the audience too long to discover that their lives are merely a facade. Tremendous performances by Winslet, Dicaprio, and Shannon fuel this heart wrenching tale of people who get trapped in the rut of 50's culture when things like divorce, abortion, and mental disorders are judged with extreme predjudice. The director of this film, Sam Mendes (American Beauty) was criticized for this film for reasons I don't understand. Apparantly it wasn't subtle enough, but I thought the ferocious and passionate hatred the characters had for one another was the best part about it.

Halloween (1978)
starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence
Probably the best slasher film of all time. A definate "cut" above the Friday the 13th series. Most people are still creeped out when they hear the soundtrack some 20+ years later. Not to mention the Captain Kirk mask spay painted white of the expressionless Michael Myers. Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis is the type of protagonist that every horror movie could use.

Braveheart (1995)
starring: Mel Gibson, Brendan Gleeson
Yeah, it's official Mel Gibson is friggin' crazy! Has anyone ever noticed how every single movie he's directed has included some extremely depraved torture sequences? Nonetheless he's pretty good at his craft and the Oscar he won for Best Picture on this film is well deserved. Who cares how historically accurate it is? It keeps you enthralled for every second of the 3 hour feature.

The Godfather Part II (1974)
starring: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Abe Vagoda
Considered by many better than the original. Possibly the greatest sequel ever made but still not better than the original in my opinion. Jumps from the 1930's with Al Pacino as the top dog in the criminal underground as well as flashbacks of his father making a name for himself in Sicily and his eventual trek to America. Michael having no choice but to kill his dim-witted brother Fredo is one of the most tragic events in film history.

A History of Violence (2005)
Starring: Viggo Mortenson, Ed Harris, Maria Bello

Viggo Mortenson landed a great role for displaying he has range by literally changing his persona right before our eyes. In the beginning, his character is a mild mannered owner of a diner but as his past catches up with him and he accidently tastes blood again by saving a woman from killers we see him morph back into his former self leaving his family terrified of the man they thought they knew.

Taxi Driver (1976)
starring: Robert Deniro, Harvey Keitel, Cybal Sheppard, Jodie Foster

Not too many films can influence a presidential assassination but this Scorcese movie was the the catalyst for John Hinkley's bullet into Ronald Reagan. Robert Deniro gives such a great performance of a guy that has been shit on by life, one too many times finally culminating in a bloody rampage across New York leaving pimps dead, politicians dead, and Deniro just plain crazy, covered in blood, and with a shaved head.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
starring: Mark Hammill, Harrison Ford, Frank Oz, Carrie Fisher

The diamond of the 6 Star Wars films. We meet Yoda, We find out Luke is Vader's son, The Hoth battle is phenominal and best of all NO FUCKING EWOKS. Apparantley I went to the theatre to see this when it first came out, unfortunatley I couldn't see it because I was inside my mom's womb.

Thirteen (2003)
starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed, Holly Hunter

Evan Rachel Wood breaks out in a big way in this unsettling tale of teen angst and the price of popularity. The range of her character is so wide. She starts off as a loving daughter and good student. But quickly descends into a monster that her mother and brother dont even recognize. She shoplifts, picks pockets, does drugs, sells drugs, has unprotected sex, and when she gets really depressed, she cuts herself .The fact that it's the true to life tale of co-star Nikki Reed adds to it's power

In the Bedroom (2001)
starring: Tom Wilkenson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei

Nick Stahl plays a high school senior that falls in love with a divorcee played by Marisa Tomei. She has a child and an unstable ex-husband. When tragedy strikes and Stahl is killed, his parents are left coping with the loss of their only child. Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson are so believeable in their roles you can't help but shed some tears. The ending is rather shocking for a slower movie like this, but it feels completely natural. It's the only way the audience wouldn't have felt jipped.

Any Given Sunday (1999)
starring: Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Lawrence Taylor, Dennis Quaid

I'm a huge fan of football, but normally I hate sports movies because they focus more on personal life than the sport itself. However this film focuses almost entirley on football. Even when we see the personal lives of the football players the story still seems to linger about the game itself. Al Pacino as the head coach is great, plus this was the breakout role for the future Best Actor winner, Jamie Foxx as the talented yet disillusioned starting QB that goes from 3rd string to starter.

Being John Malkovich (1999)
starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Joan Cusack, John Malkovich, Catherine Keener

Charlie Kaufman is known for his overly strange screenplays and this one probably stands out as his strangest. John Cusack finds a portal in his office that lets him see life through the eyes of John Malkovich. It's like a drug and the more people he tells about it the more they want to stay inside Malkovich to escape their own boring lives. John Cusack's character is a puppeteer and after he realizes his only chance with the woman he loves is through Malkovich, he takes his body over with mixed results.

Boogie Nights (1997)
starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Paul Thomas Anderson's first film. Mark Walberg gets his breakout role as a shy teenage kid that is recruited by the ultimate porn producer of the 70's played by Burt Reynolds. It's fun and fresh and never loses its true message of how empty and shallow the life of the pornstar truly is.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
starring: Nick Cage, Elizebeth Shue

Nicolas Cage is a goofball, and usually he just picks any piece of shit script that comes to his house. But this particular role had me actually believing in him as an actor. He plays a man who is a hardcore alcoholic that decides to empty his saving account, move into a hotel in Vegas and proceed to drink himself to death. While there he befriends a prostitute played by Elizebeth Shue and continues to break our hearts with his own self destruction. Very Powerful film.

Schindler's List (1993)
starring Liam Neeson,

Speilberg's holocaust epic that won him an Oscar. A man who is so unnerved by the Nazi's genocide that he risks his life and huge sums of money to get Jews out of the death camps and into a factory where they can be treated as humans again. Liam Neeson's performance is a tour de force, especially toward the end of the movie.

Psycho (1960)
starring: Anthony Perkins

Considered by nearly every critic over 55 years old this is the greatest horror movie of all time. This film set the bar in the psychological horror rather than the saturarted market of monster films at the time. Thank you Alfred Hitchcock, every great horror movie of my lifetime has borrowed something from this film.

Apocalypto (2006)
starring: a bunch of tribesman

Another Mel Gibson work. This film didn't get seen by many people because it came out less than a few months after Mel Gibson's anti-semetic drunken ramblings. But make no mistake, this was one of the top 5 films of 2006. Nevermind the subtitles and unfamiliar subject matter. A great history lesson of the Mayan culture and its downfall.

Lord of War (2005)
starring: Nick Cage, Jared Leto

Nicolas Cage might not have been my first choice for the role of Yuri, but it seems to work for the most part. Arms dealers are exposed as well as the US government and their role of helping 3rd world countries continue their genocides. Once again Africa seems to be the main victim.

Clerks (1994)
starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith

Renegade filmaker Kevin Smith threw together this indie circuit gem for next to no money at all. Black and White cameras, no name actors, and absolutely no special effects made this a marvel in profit margin. In the process of making money, it also is one of the greatest cult classics of the 90's. The acting isn't that great but the conversations between Dante and Randall are some of the most shockingly funny conversations that true nerds as well as well as cool kids could all find the brilliance in.

My Life Without Me (2002)
starring: Sarah Polley, Scott Speedman

Sarah Polley shines in this touching portrail of a woman who has never really lived her life for herself. Living in a trailer with 2 kids and a husband that spends more time unemployed than working, she gets a drastic change in the form of tragedy. After being diagnosed with a terminal illness she is told that she only has 2 months to live.She decides not to tell anyone, but rather make a list of things she wants to do before dying finally discovering a lust for life that she has never known. It's the best role for an actress I've ever seen.

Memento (2001)
starring: Guy Pierce, Joe Pantaliano
Quentin Tarantino perfected the "out-of-sequence" storytelling with movies like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, but even he had to be in awe of Christopher Nolan's genius of filming the entire story backwards (the first scene of the film is actually the last event chronologically) The only way he is able to keep the audience guessing is to give the main character a rare type of amnesia that prevents him from remembering anything more than the last 5 minutes.


Derf Nosferatu

A poem I wrote about a handicapped vampire.

You thought you knew vampires, well look again
Derf Nosferatu always trips,and lands on his chin
Got punched in the ear, and blew out his drum
Equilibrium lost, and his feet went numb.
Since he's already dead, there's no chance of it healing
So he breaks into Red Cross and resorts to some stealing.
But more times than not, he stumbles and crashes
And gets beat the fuck down by anti-vampire fascists.
No one takes him serious enough for a stake through the heart
Just a few facial kicks and some jabs with a dart.
He used to be the "Alpha" in Transylvania
But he now gets less respect than the 2nd Wrestlemania.
He has avoided mild pains by dressing in Nerf
This stumbling has-been that all know as Derf.
To "derf" means to fall and land on your face
Just run away from him he wont try to chase
He fears humiliation more than he fears death
And if he were to run he'd look like a retard on meth.
He opts to sit in his castle to keep people from knowin'
Jacking off to pictures of the "goth queen" Rose Mcgowan.
He eats rats and bats and whatever he can trap.
Compared to human blood it all tastes like crap.
He keeps holding out for scientific advances.
So he can flirt with some jailbait at middle school dances.
But he'll never be badass, he'll never be scary
Just a dumbshit vampire, who acts like a fairy.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The state of Michigan: Marijuana and Stem Cell showdown

Ok so I've established that I'm neither voting for McCain nor Obama. I'll probably write Ron Paul in and hope that many other people do the same. The larger the percentage for a non republican or democrat, the better off we'll be. So if people like Paul, Nader, and Leiberman can successfully steal 15% or more votes from the 2 main parties I think we may finally have a shot to get some moderation and rational thought in Washington.
But enough of the presidential election. This blog is dedicated to the 2 proposals we are currently being told to vote on in the state of Michigan. I would like to shed some light on what voting yes or no on these proposals would mean for us and they are probably the two issues I feel the most strongly about.

Proposal 1 is referred to as the "Michigan Medical Marijuana Act" It would allow patients suffering from debilitating ailments such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS to be granted the legal right to use and grow marijuana after being approved through the department of community health.
I am always amazed whenever I look at the death toll in the world from cigarrette related deaths in the millions and the marijuana death toll sitting strong at "0". Then realizing that marijuana is the one that we have deemed illegal. Scientists have been forced to run biased studies by the American government since the 60's to find proof that it is as dangerous as they say but the results have been so diluded that the arguments tend to fall flat. Marijuana is less deadly than most Americans diets. (and that's excluding fast food)
The real reason Marijuana is illegal in America has a great deal to do with the Mexican Drug Cartel and having a reason to pull over trucks full of Mexicans and send them back to Mexico. I guess this is a double edged sword for me considering I want America to take a harder stance against illegals but I also think Marijuana being criminalized is a travesty. I'm going to vote "Yes" on this proposal, not because I'm a pothead, but more because of common sense and less government control.

Prop 2 if voted yes upon, it would add an amendment to the constitution to expand the research endeavors for stem cells in Michigan. Stem cell usase has always been a passion of mine ever since I heard about them. I feel that they are the key to curing AIDS, Diabetes, Infertility, bad organs, etc. However the right to life crowd is against them mainly because of their old testament witch doctor mindset. They'd rather have human beings die painful deaths or live less than satisfactory lives than use human embryos that would be thrown in the trash regardless to help people. I mean the people who are opposed to this proposal call themselves the "Right to Lifers" but they are taking the right to life away from people that are dying.
I want to take this opportunity to reassure you that I'm not in favor of skinning babies alive, I simply think that if that little puddle of sperm and eggs can be a miracle for someone else, then it's better that we put that little puddle to use. If scientific advances find a way to turn that puddle of sperm and eggs into a living and breathing human being then I'd say that the Pro-lifers might actually have an argument. But if they are just going to be flushed down a toilet, then who's the pro-lifer now bitches?
The folks against this bill have also used bold-faced lies in their ads; saying that the Stem cell research would cost the state oodles of cash which is proposturus. If anything, this research will actually bring jobs to Michigan. The pro-life group publically admitted that they were full of shit and pulled the ad off the airwaves. This type of underhanded jibberish just shows how much they are lacking a logical leg to stand on. Once again illogical religious views are trying to trump cold hard facts.
Of course there is always the natural paranoia for some people in regards to human cloning and genetically altered mutant men, also the black market selling of human embryos for profit. Here's the ammendment in it's true form to hopefully put your worries to rest.
(1) Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.

(2) To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements:

(a) No stem cells may be taken from a human embryo more than fourteen days after cell division begins; provided, however, that time during which an embryo is frozen does not count against this fourteen day limit.

(b) The human embryos were created for the purpose of fertility treatment and, with voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing, the person seeking fertility treatment chose to donate the embryos for research; and

i. the embryos were in excess of the clinical need of the person seeking the fertility treatment and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research; or

ii. the embryos were not suitable for implantation and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research.

So there ya have it, a little bit of info on the proposals. It's a no-brainer for me to vote "YES" on both props. I'm not saying that you have no brain if you vote "NO" on either one of them...but it does make you stupid. Face!!!


So sick of politics.

Am I the only one that doesn't give a shit about this election? What's the point of democracy anyway? As long as we still have the electoral college, democracy doesn't fucking exsist!! The most votes don't win automatically. Look it up bitches.

Secondly, we never have a candidate worth voting for. Obama or McCain? Who gives a cock? They both have less integrity than the turkey sandwich I just ate. These two cheese-dicks kiss so much corporate ass and special interest groups asses it's sickening. By the time they are elected, they are already millions of dollars in the hole to all the corporations that helped get them elected. Therefore the needs of the people, or "mob" as we are referred to in the constitution get thrown on the backburner and forgotten. That's just politics I suppose. The most qualified people never get into office, because it's a money game. People like McCain, Obama, Hil-dog Clinton, and Mit Romney get all the money for their pandering and cock stroking of the money makers. "Big Oil, pharmeceutical drugs, NRA, pro-life, pro-choice groups." Corporations unfortunately come first in politics. People with integrity like Ron Paul and Ralph Nader tell the corporations to go fuck themselves. Therefore, even though they would be better for our country, they don't have the cash machine backing them.

We need to trash the 2 party system if we want America to be great again. Republicans and Democrats will continue to run this country into the ground with their back room dealings with the companies that are keeping americans from the life that their ancestors fought for. Stop sending me mail for Obama or McCain. Voting for a republican or a democrat is the same as saying that you hate your country. Lets get some balance and logical thought back in the American political landscape.

Vote independant, or vote with your heart, vote for your needs and your families needs. Don't simply vote for the same party you've been voting for your entire life without even hearing the issues first.


Friday, September 5, 2008

That Tabor Guy's 2008 NFL Predictions

Just like last Thursday was opening day of college football, this Thursday is opening day of the NFL regular season. Giants vs. Redskins play tonight and it should be a good one. But rather than talk about 1 game, That Tabor Guy is here to lay down his opinions as well as some facts on the entire NFL. This is my favorite time of the year and I'd be happy to debate my opinions with anyone. First, we’ll start with playoff predictions....

AFC Division winners:
East- New England Patriots
North- Pittsburgh Steelers
South- Jacksonville Jaguars
West- San Diego Chargers

Wild Cards- Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills

NFC Division Winners
East- Dallas Cowboys
North- Green Bay Packers
South- New Orleans Saints
West- Seattle Seahawks

Wild Cards: New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals

1. New England is still the class of the AFC East. However the gap is closing and New England’s roster is in their 30’s for the most part. It was starting to show in the secondary and LB corps in the playoffs last year. Luckily for them they've signed some young talent in the offseason so there's still gas in the tank come the 4th quarter.

2. Bills and Jets have massively improved their rosters to help close that gap. Yes, the Jets signed Favre…but honestly he might not even be their biggest acquisition. They also signed Pro-bowlers Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, and Kris Jenkins in free agency as well as landing 2 first round draft picks that will be immediate starters Vernon Gholston and Dustin Keller. The only problem with the Jets is that their Coach Eric Man”gina” is a giant pussy and also a little cry baby bitch. This will filter down causing girlish behavior in all of his players. (It’s true, look it up!!) The Bills however are a tough, hardnosed team that only gets tougher every year. They have had the best drafts of any team in the NFL if you combine the last 3 years together. (Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards, Paul Pozluzny, Leodis McKelvin, James Hardy, and Donte Whitner) As well as signing defensive monsters Marcus Stroud and Kawika Mitchell in the offseason. The Dolphins are in rebuild mode and due to their lack of experience on both sides of the ball, I wouldn't expect much more than a 3-13 season out of them this year. However they are making the right moves and expect them to be a legit team in 2 years time.

3. AFC North is a tough pick. Because every team has glaring weaknesses as well as glaring strengths. Pittsburgh has a horrible offensive line but they seem to be the most well rounded everywhere else. Ravens have issues all over the offense (McGahee’s knee, the QB situation, the departure of Ogden, lack of play makers at WR) I love my Ravens, but I’m not holding my breath. Cincinati is in disarray and have been for a while. No defense, egos, and lack of running game will all play roles in leading them to a 4-12 season or lower. Carson Palmer is no longer a premiere QB and Chad Ocho Cinco is no longer a premiere WR. If RB Chris Perry can stay healthy look for him to have a long awaited breakout season. But outside of that, the Bungles are doomed.

And the final team, the Brownies!!
4. DON’T BUY INTO THE BROWNS HYPE!! They have the worst secondary in the entire NFL. There isn’t a single QB in the NFL that couldn’t rattle off a 400 yard passing game on those chumps. The 10-6 record last year was a fluke, expect them to take a back slide this season. Jamal Lewis won’t run like last year, Derek Anderson won’t pass like last year, Kellen Winslow Jr. isn’t as good as people give him credit for. Donte Stallworth isn’t really that big of an acquisition. They didn’t get anyone in the draft. Shaun Rogers is fat, slow, and couldn’t even make the cut in Detroit. Braylan Edwards is amazing!! But he’s about it.

5. Yeah that’s right I picked the Jags over the Colts in the South. Colts top 4 players (Manning, Sanders, Freeney, and Harrison) are all coming off offseason serius surgeries. Their age is beginning to show on both sides of the roster and they are getting cocky drafting 3 centers in their first 4 draft picks. Whereas the jags are young and hungry. Every year they pick up steam and I look for them to have the most devastating pass rush in the entire AFC this year. As well as the most effective ground attack with MJD and F. Taylor pounding the rock. Garrard doesn’t make the critical mistakes and he has matured a lot over the last couple seasons. Expect the Texans and Titans to have brilliant performances on defense but there are way too many question marks on their respective offenses to warrant much of a threat. Most noteably the Texans RB’s and the Titan’s WRs. However the Titans have made the playoffs with worse rosters and I can't count out Jeff Fisher's ability to maximize his talent.

6. San Diego is the obvious pick in a lackluster division. They are solid in all facets of the roster. They seem to have the Colts number, thumping them twice last season and making it to the AFC Championship game. Much depends on the health of Shawne Merriman’s knee and Ladanian Tomlinson’s vagina. I think the Raiders are probably the second best team in this division although it’s a distant second. They have improved everywhere except for O-line (which will once again be their downfall) But their secondary is amazing. With Asomugha and Deangelo Hall at CB they easily have the most dominant secondary in the NFL. Look for them to make the playoffs not this year, but the next year. Broncos have too many issues on defense. Last place in the NFL last year against the run and they didn’t do anything to improve it. Their once great secondary is also lagging. They lost Foxworth and John Lynch and the once feared duo of Champ Bailey and Dre Bly started to show their 30+ age last year.
Cheifs are the other team in here but they aren’t worth mentioning because they are easily the worst team in the AFC

7. The NFC East looks like it belongs to the Cowboys on paper. In fact the Cowboys look more like a pro bowl team than a legit NFL team. However that’s on paper. Will the chemistry be there? Will Romo choke in the clutch as usual? Will TO be as forgiving? Will PacMan stay out of trouble? I think they’ll be fine in the reg. Season but the playoffs are a different story. The Giants looked to be poised to make a run at a repeat championship. But in my opinion their best player is Osi Umenyiura, and he’s out for the season with a knee injury. This is devastating but their roster is deep enough to still make a playoff run. Plus they made some excellent moves in the draft. Adressing all of their key losses. The Redskins are a team in transition. Look for one of the most run-heavy offenses of the past 3 years to take a completely new approach and pass the ball close to 70% of the time. The whole success of the squad rests squarely on the shoulders of QB Jason Campbell who has improved in the past 3 seasons and needs to take that final step under Jim Zorn. They provided him with a plethora of passing targets in the draft, taking 2 WR’s and a TE with their top 3 picks. Defensively they are solid, but not great. Especially if Jason Taylor can’t get healthy. Philly will be the odd men out in this division once again. Injuries plague this team every season and I’m doubtful if this year will be any different. Signing Asante Samuel might have been smart. But we’ll soon see if he truly was a top CB in the NFL or if he was just a polished turd that flourished in New England like so many other mediocre talents. Desean Jackson is the wild card on this team. Selected in the second round at WR and KR this kid has speed on speed. He had a stellar preseason and if he can stay healthy with his tiny 170 lb frame, he could be the game breaker that the Eagles have lacked ever since TO left.

8. NFC North has changed. For the first time in 16 years Brett Favre wont be QB of the Packers. But they are solid everywhere else. Even if Aaron Rogers only averages a 80.0 passer rating (158.3 being perfect) the Pack has enough talent that they could skate through the division. The only competiton will be from the Vikings, and their QB situation right now is shaky at best. Their defense is scary but I’m not sure if it’s enough to make up for 4 INT’s per game. Expect the Lions to start with a 5-3 record but to finish the season around 6-10 because the first half is cream puffs on their schedule but the 2nd half is brutal. They lack defensive consistency however they have improved a bit from last season as far as personal is concerened adding Leigh Bodden and Brian Kelly to their weak-ass secondary. Look for the same solid passing ame on offense and a much improved running attack punctuated by rookie Kevin Smith and verteran arrival Rudi Johnson. The Bears are just the opposite. The very definition of stability on defense but perhaps the most sorry offense I’ve ever seen. It was considered a terrible offense when they went to the superbowl 2 years ago, and since then they've lost their top 2 runningbacks and top 3 wide receivers. Hopefully the defense and special teams whiz kid Devin Hester can provide some great moment for the Bears faithful, but I wouldn't hold my breath for a playoff birth.

9. NFC South is a relatively easy pick for me. Saints are definately gonna be the team to beat regardless of what the Panthers and Bucs fans will tell you. Saints have added so much defense to finally compliment that fantastic offense led by Brees. The Saints moved up in the draft to snag Sedrick Ellis, one of the top DT prespects in recent memory as well as CB Tracy Porter early in the second round.. They also added folks like Jonathan Vilma and Randall Gay to give a boost to all 3 facets of their defense. The Panthers could be a scary team if it weren't for Jake Delhomme's constant injuries. Also the once most feared defensive front 4 in the NFL has been completely disbanded. Kris Jenkins, Mike Rucker, and that other guy are all gone. Now only Julius Peppers remains, and he's coming off the most piss poor season of his carreer. But luckily for them they have a new leader on defense in second year MLB Jonathan Beason. Beason is just the latest in the long line of dominant Middle Linebackers from the university of Miami. If it weren't for Patrick Willis' unreal rookie season last year, Beason would have snatched defensive rookie of the year honors hands down. Also look out for Rookie RB Jonathan Stewart. The Bucs were lucky to get into the playoffs last year, and they'll be even luckier if they sneak in this year. Good defense, but once again no balance on offense. Falcons don't warrant much mention. They are in full on rebuild mode, new coach, new qb, new dirty birds Expect them to finish near the bottom of the NFL. Matt Ryan may turn out to be good in the long run, but this team has let go of probowlers left and right over the last few years leaving them with no names on defense or offense.

10.NFC West: Seahawks have owned this pitiful piece of NFL real estate ever since they moved from the AFC West. The Rams, 49ers, and Cards seem to be in a permanant slumber with no aspirations to ever reach the playoffs. Hawks are also playing for their coach Mike Holmgren who has already announced he is retiring at the end of this season. Cards could however be a surprise team to many. Most folks don't realize that they were 8-8 last year and that Kurt Warner threw 27 TD's in the 13 games that he started in. With that WR core it would be pretty easy, it's the best in the NFL. What has surprised me is how they've quietly built that defense into something great. The secondary holds 3 first rounders and their defensive line is a rock. Combine that with the fact that they are in the weakest conference in the league, and you've got the recipe for a surprise playoff run. The 49ers and Rams are both in disarray, may god have mercy on their souls. I expect the coaches of these two teams on the hot seat. If Mike Nolan or Scott Linehan can't build upon their pitiful past seasons expect them to get the boot.

It's time for OFFENSIVE ROOKIES OF THE YEAR!! (prospectively)
1. Jonathan Stewart: RB- Carolina Panthers. Size, Speed, Vision and a coach 100% dedicated to the run make Stewart a sure fire factor.

2.Desean Jackson- WR- Philly Eags- Blistering speed, tremendous preseason, returns kicks and punts. Also the Eagles lack of any playmaking WR's already puts Jackson #1 on their depth chart and guarantees plenty of touches.

3.Chris Johnson- RB- Tennessee Titans. Johnson ran the fastest 40 time in the history of the NFL combine (4.22) He doesn't have to be very good to take the starting role away from Lendale White. He also will get extra votes due to returning kicks. Titans have a solid O-line and like to pound the rock. Great vision for a scat back.

4. Darren McFadden-RB-Oakland Raiders- I didn't even really want to put him on this list but his physical attributes force me to. The guy is a physical marvel running one of the fastest 40 times at the combine as well as throwing up quite a few reps on the bench press. But god given abilty isn't enough in football. I'm not sure if he has the head for this game. He doesn't have the best vision, he seems to always run into the backs of his blockers. He's also had the most fumbles in the nation over the past 4 years in the NCAA. He's also going to be splitting carries with Justin Fargas and Michael Bush which will make him seem less valuable to his team in the eyes of voters. Couple that with his poor Offensive line and we might have a "Bust" on our hands. I hope he can be successful, I've always loved him in college. I just don't know if it's gonna be 1st year success.

1. Jerod Mayo- MLB/OLB- New England Patriots- Stud MLB has won rookie of the year past 2 seasons. Will be playing on a great defense, amazing instincts, will be extremely well coached. Great defensive line will take on blockers allowing Mayo to come clean at the ball carrier.

2. Leodis McKelvin- CB- Buffalo Bills- Instant starter, best CB prospect in the deepest CB class in the history of the draft. Also returns kicks and punts. Phenomenal preseason.

3.Derrick Harvey-DE-Jacksonville Jaguars. Great motor, speed in droves, singlehandedly won the national championship for the gators two years ago. Pro-style body already, look for immedite sack increase for Jacksonville.

4. Vernon Gholston- OLB/DE New York Jets-- Gholston is a freak of nature. Stronger than an offensive tackle with the speed of a safety. Absolutely dominated Jake Long the 1st overall pick from Michigan when they lined up across from each other last season. Intimidates anyone when he's in the zone but only downfall is that he sometimes takes plays off. If he isn't a pro bowler at the end of the year it will be due to mental reasons rather than physical.

AFC Championship game
Patriots 23 Jaguars 16

NFC Chamionship game
Saints 31 Cowboys 28

Patriots 40 Saints 14

So there ya go folks feel free to comment right on the bulletin I'll respond.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Deer of my Nightmares

Normally I don't pay much attention to dreams. Sometimes I have a terrible dream about hurting someone I love, but then I wake up and I'm just thankful that it was merely a dream. On the flipside of that coin sometimes I'm having a dream that I won the lottery or that I'm married to Keira Knightley, then waking up is met with disappointment when I look around at my mediocre bedroom, in my mediocre apartment. However last night was an exception. I've never had a dream that felt more real, symbolic, and relevant to me. However there are a few aspects that had me scratching my head until I really got critical with myself.

Here's the dream:
I'm hanging out with my friend Weston, he and I are former friends from work and we don't see each other all that often but he and I are driving down a dirt road near where i grew up. (Bird rd. for all my buddies from Byron) I'm in the passenger seat looking out to the left of the car. I see a open corn field that has already been harvested along with hundreds of deer just standing there looking at us. The day is cloudy and cold. There are also about 5 hunters pointing guns toward the deer with their backs to us. I see one of the hunters shoot a deer right through the heart. The blood is instantly spreading over it's entire chest. As it goes down, myself and Weston walk over to the animal along with the hunter, who I figure out is my friend Scott (who actually grew up on Bird Rd.). As we approach the downed deer it jumps up and starts attacking Gibbs with its hooves and gnashing it's teeth at him. Myself and Weston think it's funny for a while but after Scott gets hit in the head a couple times with the hooves it's obvious that he's in trouble. I run up to the deer and kick it in the side to distract it long enough for Scott to get away. But the Deer now turns on me and begins charging with the same type of attacks. I go into a defensive stance covering my face and head to avoid a skull splitting hoof attack. After I realize nobody is going to come to my aid I lash out blindly and catch the animal with with a right hook to the chops putting the animal down on the ground then I jump on its back and snap the animals neck hard to the right until I feel the bones in its neck crack. I collapse afterward. (I'm not a hunter and I don't hurt animals so I was pretty depressed about having to provide the mercy kill.) Right when I think it's time to leave the deer begins to rise up again groaning all the while and staring into my eyes. I jump on it once more, this time twisting the animals head hard in the opposite direction until I hear the same sickening sound. Myself and Weston get back in the car and decide we're going to the bar....Then I black out within my own dream. I have no recollection of the bar but I wake up in a house. (I think it's supposed to be my parents house, even though it looks nothing like their house) Myself and Weston are asleep in a room in a basement. We are in two seperate beds and when I wake I ask him what happened. He recalls in detail the whole situation with the deer. I'm pretty sad at this point because i was hoping that it was only a dream but unfortunately I still have blood all over me. My dad comes into the room and he says something in a very mean tone, I forget what it was exactly but my mom is also extremely mad at me. (If you know my parents, you realize how uncharacteristic this would be for them) I walk out of the room and into another area of the basement, I'm a little taken aback when I see my parents, aunts and uncles, friends and cousins all sitting in this closed-in room with one window and no doors. It's an intervention and they want me to stop drinking. People cry and tell me how much they love me and whatnot. A few of my friends can't even make it through the inervention because it's too painful for them. Right before my Grandma begins to talk, I hear a scratching at the window behind me. I turn around and it's the deer from the previous day. It's still bloody and mad. It's back legs no longer work and it drags its body through the window and lands on the carpeting it moves in grotesque jerking motions it's face is angry and it's making noises too horrible for words. I look down with pity at this broken animal as it's dead legs trail behind it. I look around for some kind of support but everyone that was in the room is gone. The room has no doors so I am stranded with this animal. I fall to my knees and just begin crying my eyes out. Then my alarm goes off and I wake up for real this time. My pillow is covered with tears and my nose is running.
The End. Pretty weird eh?

For the past 9 months I've done a lot to control my drinking. I rarely get sloshed anymore. It's more of a casual thing to pound some beers while playing Madden online or watching some football. I don't mess with liquor anymore at all!! But after this dream I must still must be harboring alot of guilt over the fact that I still drink at all. It has cost me so much already, friends, jobs, respect, girlfriends. Alcoholism is a "progressive disease" that only grows stronger over time. Maybe I've convinced myself that the worst is over but subconsciously I know it's not true as long as I continue to drink. Just because I haven't had any legal troubles or lost any jobs in the last 3 years I think I have my disease beat. Obviously this dream suggests otherwise. Here's why...

The details that I haven't released yet further prove my thesis.

1. Although Weston and I are far from "best friends" he is a guy that I've always had alot of respect for. The last time I saw him was 2 years ago at a bar in Williamston the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Apparantley he offered me ride back to my parents house that night so I wouldn't have to walk through town hammered. When I tried to get into the car the door was locked but I pulled so hard with my drunken "retard" strength on the door handle that I ripped it off. I had no recollection of this for the last 2 years until he showed up at my mom's bank. He ask her how I was doing and then told the story about his door handle. My mom relayed the message to me later that day. She said he was laughing about it, but it still made me sick to my stomach to do something like that to a friend trying to do me a favor.

2.Scott was always a great friend growing up in Byron. We went to elementary and middle school together and we also met back up in our college years and worked at the same OfficeMax for 3 years or so. However in 2005 the year the shit hit the fan and I went on constant benders and other fun such self-destructive excursions. All my former friends from OfficeMax took notice and started treating me as a distant friend that they might respond to over phone or e-mail but never really wanted alot to do with me in person. Maybe the Deer attacking him was a way of showing my addiction causing harm to a friend. And when I kicked the deer to distract it, was a metaphor for taking the brunt of my addiction on my own shoulders and giving up on the notion that me and Scott were ever gonna be friends again. Letting my addiction hurt me to protect my friends from destructive behavior. That's when I started flying solo on drinking outings and avoiding other people for a few months in that span of time.

3.Bird Road was where Gibbs lived but also another childhood friend named Travis Bogart. Travis died our senior year in a car accident on that very road. I still haven't gotten a 100% true account of whether drinking was involved. Some people say yes, some people say no. Either way I think drinking was once again the central reason that the dream took place here.

4. I've done research online today about what a deer represents in a dream. The "experts" say it has something to do with feminine aspects of ones personality, a representation of grace and beauty, and also that killing a deer in a dream is a way of supressing the feminine aspects of your personality. Well I do alot to put on a tough front with my death metal and football. So I guess I can see some relevance. However the more i think about the central aspect of the dream (drinking) I think it represents my addition to alcohol. Gibbs shooting the deer was the manifestation of him turning his back on me in a sense to try to help me get help. As I said before then I took on the deer solo for a while and tried to squash it. It got in some good shots on me first a couple hooves to the head (Jail, Court, Loss of friends) So I tried to kill it twisting it's neck. (That was when I went to rehab and AA.) But it lived (relapse) so I tried killing it again. I went back to AA and other forms of alcohol couseling. I thought I had it under control so I went back to the bar. After smooth sailing for a while, I made an idiot out of myself at my friend Bob's birthday party last January I was pulled aside and given a quick intervention in his garage by my buddy Andy, his wife Crystal, and Bob himself. I vowed not to drink again and it lasted for a while until my favorite dog Tiber was put down in March due to old age mainly. I relapsed again and never really looked back. The intervention in the dream represented probably all the interventions that I have been given either formally or unformal in the last 5 years. When I turned my back on my loved ones to see the deer scratching at the window I believe that was a metaphor for turning my back on my loved ones and giving in once again to alcohol. The obvious outcome was that all my friends and family will be gone if I continue to give in to this ugly monster. The deer is crippled, shot, beaten. But unkillable. My addiction is something that will always be with me. Although it may be weak right now with my trying to limit my intake of alcohol, I will never be fully rid of this thing. The deer grows stronger the longer I allow it to live inside my room. I will be left with nothing but an empty room and my addiction...And I don't think that deer likes me too much anymore.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Top 10 greatest Actress Roles

Most of you who know me know that I am a huge fan of film. I've seen just about everything ever made. Even though I usually avoid, romantic comedies, parodies, and remakes at all costs. Myself and some friends were talking about some of our favorite characters in movies of all time. I was able to compile a list of my top 10 favorite roles for actresses in film as well as a top 10 for actors. A common theme for these roles is that none of them take place in the future or are sci-fi films. Every single one of these roles is realistic and could happen in real life. The strength of the characters and their interactions with one another is the fuel that drives these films. Robots, Ghosts, Monsters, and High-speed chases need not apply to movies that are carried on the backs of capable actors.


10. ELLEN PAGE-"JUNO"- Somehow Ellen was able to take a screenplay that was a mish mash of crazy dialogue and make it her own. In the process of conveying the seriousness of teen pregnancy, she also manages to make the audience laugh just about every minute of the movie. Her sarcasm is flawless almost to a fault. The sign of any great character is that your focus remains on them, even when they aren't talking. Ellen definitely has that going for her in this film.

9. ELLEN BURSTYN- "REQUIEM FOR A DREAM"- I love it when older actresses who have been missing for a while finally get another role worth waiting for. In this film Ellen Burstyn plays a widow who is living alone in Queens. Her son Harry is a heroin addict that constantly steals from her. Her only real source of joy is a cheesy game show on tv. When she receives a phone call that she has won the opportunity to be on that game show, she goes through the roof. She wants to wear her favorite dress, but when she tries it on she realizes she's gained a few pounds. She goes on some diet pills that are basically a type of LSD. It starts off fine, but soon she is having to double and triple her dosage in order to keep up with the desired results. Her hopeful outlook coupled with the bleak truth makes for a nice duality to the character. Her downward spiral never really comes back up. And her journey into rambling insanity is played with the grace that only a veteran like Burstyn could pull off.


Scarlett Johannsson is now a household name and she has this film to thank for it. The first film that she carried from start to finish proved that she had the acting chops to hang with the heavyweights of Hollywood as she starred in this film with the likes of Tom Wilkinson and Colin Firth. She plays a peasant girl living in the mansion of the great Dutch painter Johan Vermeer in the 1600's. Her character isn't overly talkative but she does such a good job portraying emotion and thoughts with facial expressions that it should be studied by mimes everywhere!! Her character is thrust into a world so different from the poor life that she grew up in and her fear of the unknown is always evident. She inadvertently becomes the subject of Vermeer's most famous painting. Making Vermeer's wife and bratty children conspire against her. The cinematography is fantastic in this film but Scarlett is the one who powers it from start to finish.

7. JULIANNE MOORE- "MAGNOLIA"- Although she is only on screen for about 25 minutes of this movie. She succeeds in being the most gripping character in this 12 person ensemble cast. She is a money grubbing whore who marries a tv producer 50 years her elder for his money. She cheats on him, treats him like shit, and uses him. However now that he is on his deathbed dying from cancer, she realizes that she has actually grown to love this old man. Her guilt becomes unbearable to the point that she doesn't even want to inherit his fortune anymore. She is so completely erratic due to being on prescription meds as well as seemingly suffering from depression and bi-polar disorder. You can't take your eyes off her for a second. She kept me on the edge of my seat simply because she is so verbally and physically abusive due to her own inner turmoil. But within seconds she is back to acting compassionate towards those she hurts. Kinda scary.


For Marilyn Burns, acting and reality seemed to collide during the filming of the most suspenseful horror movie of all-time. Terror will never look this real again simply because she honestly was scared for her life. She was stuck in a house with 5 guys she barely knew. The hot Texas heat in the house was in the 120's and they had been shooting for days. All of the props within the house were actual animal carcasses and they were turning rancid in the heat. The entire crew began becoming delirious from the smell as well as dehydration. Creating for a bit of the 'ol temporary insanity. In the scene where the hitchhiker cuts the inside of Marilyn's hand with a "prop" knife the heat was so hot that it had melted the protective layer of wax on the knife and he slashed her deep. (Later on she would receive a great deal of stitches.) As she cried for the director to cut and for the actors to stop they just kept poking at her, harassing her, and taunting her to the point that she thought she was in a genuine snuff film and these guys were actually gonna kill her. They ran with that idea for the remainder of the film and Marilyn, although severely traumatized by the experience managed to turn in the best performance in the history of horror.

5.JENNIFER CONNELLY- "HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG" I love Jennifer Connelly. A true actress that usually avoids big payoff roles to pursue more realistic and slow paced drama because she can play off of other great actors so well. This was probably her biggest test as she goes head to head with Ben Kingsley. She plays a woman who has been abandoned by her husband and finds out not too long after, that her house is being repossessed by the bank. She successfully ruins the lives of the family who moves into her old house but we still sympathize with her due to her own misfortune. The scenes between her and Sir Ben Kingsley are so real and powerful that I doubt if any feud over property in film will ever look good again. She also succeeds in ruining the marriage of another man and his family too. Her selfish air of entitlement is a hammer that smashes everyone around her. She never comes across in the film as someone with bad intentions, but that is merely a credit to Jennifer's flawless acting.

4.NAOMI WATTS- "21 GRAMS"- Nobody does sadness like Naomi. In this film she loses her husband and 2 little girls in one tragic hit-and-run accident. She is also a recovering alcoholic and drug addict that adds depth to her character. Her husband is the one that got her sober and she feels empty now without her family. Also an interesting dynamic is the relationship between her and Sean Penn's character. Sean received a heart transplant from her husband before he died. Now Sean loves her apparently because that is the heart that has always beat for her. She is faced with the dilemma of giving in to this man. But her reluctance is evident. Can she honestly love this man who benefited from her decision to pull the plug on her dying husband to save someone else? I guess you'll have to watch it buddy.

3. EVAN RACHEL WOOD- "THIRTEEN"- Another relative unknown at the time this film was made was rocketed to super- stardom after this Indy Festival Film spread like wildfire. Evan plays a straight A student and the ideal daughter who quickly descends into a nightmare for her family when popularity knocks at her door in the 7th grade. She pickpockets her way into the hearts of the "cool kids". Before long an entire world of crime, drugs, sex, and manipulation open before her. It is a story based on the actual life of her costar Nikki Reed. Therefore the source of the material was always readily available for her. It truly made her character as authentic as possible. The true strength of this film comes in the relationship between Evan Rachel and her mother who used to be best friends before "Evie" drove a wedge between them. Her mother tries love and understanding to steer her 13 year old daughter back to reality. Evan Rachel just gives her the cold shoulder, and degrades her in front of people making for some of the most heartbreaking and real interactions ever captured on film. Quite a feat for such a young actress to topple such mature subject matter, it is sheer brilliance.

2.NAOMI WATTS- "MULHOLLAND DR." Naomi is the only actress on the list to have 2 spots and it is rightly deserved. Her character in Mulholland Dr. is played with an almost schizophrenic authenticity. The film is basically 2 segments. Her character is completely opposite in the two. The first half is the way her life was supposed to be. A beautiful young actress that takes Hollywood by storm. She is helpful, warm, and talented. She befriends a scared woman that ends up being the love of her life. Producers stumble over themselves to hire her for their next role. However that segment is merely a dream. The 2nd half is the bleak reality of the situation. She switches gears seamlessly to a broken down actress as ugly on the inside as she is on the outside. She is degraded by producers, made a fool of by friends, and nobody really seems to give a shit about her ultimately culminating in a decision to have the woman she loves killed by a hitman. Her guilt is draped around her, thick as a blanket and she wears her scowl and desperation so well we don't even recognize her as the same actress from the earlier half of the film. This film takes about 7 viewings to grasp its genius but it's well worth it if you have the time. It's actually my favorite movie EVER!!


1. SARAH POLLEY- "MY LIFE WITHOUT ME"- Sarah Polley isn't a household name but the Canadian actress continues to deliver some the best roles of her generation. In this film she plays a 23 year-old mother of 2 little girls. She has a nice husband who is a bit of a loser because he's always unemployed, and they live in a trailer behind her mom's house. It was never the life that she saw for herself but she feels she can't really do much to change it. However after a doctor's appointment she is told that she has uterine cancer and she only has a few weeks to live. Instead of telling her friends and family the bad news she opts to keep it quiet because she doesn't want her remaining days to be filled with people crying and being fake. She instead, writes a list of all the things she wants to do before she dies. In trying to complete this list she finds a passion for life that she never had before. There are so many times in this film that Sarah makes tears come to my eyes by the slightest of gestures or words. Sometimes less is more and all great actors know that. Even though this film is slow paced it's the single finest job of acting I've ever seen from an actor or actress. I challenge everybody to "Google" Sarah Polley and check out some of her films. She is even directing now and her first film won all the awards at the Toronto film festival last year and she also provided her lead actress with an Oscar nomination for best actress. Talent upon talent.
Honorable mentions:
Hilary Swank-"Boys don't Cry"
Annette Benning- "American Beauty"
Judi Dench -"Notes on a Scandal"
Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore- "The Hours"
Sissy Spacek- "In the Bedroom"
Christina Ricci- "Pumpkin"
Jennifer Connelly- "Blood Diamond"


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