Up all night..

So, yeah. Up way too late, again. I'm listening to Kings of Convenience, which usually makes me sleepy, but no such luck tonight. I guess I'm just not going to sleep.

I closed last night, which meant I got home a little before midnight, but then I decided to watch Smackdown and SNL, with my friend and yours Jables hosting. It was a darn good episode, too. The Samberg/Parnell rap about Narnia was classic. I gotta download that.

I open today, and there's a huge PV pull, so I'll probably go in at 8 to work on that. Will ended up crossing the 4K threshold yesterday, so now I get to go to Vegas with Jim, and hopefully other managers. Sweet either way, especially since I found out that the studios come out and do presentations and give us free stuff. I'm all for that. Greenfield, Glendale and Tosa are all in the running, so here's hoping.

I've seen Chronicles of Narnia twice now, once with Kelsey on the UltraScreen and once with the HV crew at the Rosebud. I have yet to compile my year-end rankings, but it's definitely in the top 5 of 2005. It's, in my opinion, a perfect adaptation of the book. Director Andrew Adamson shows great reverence to the source, but also fleshes out parts of the story that may have been underdeveloped in the book, such as the climactic battle. All the acting was top-notch, and I actually noticed the "growth" of the children that Lewis refers to. The longer they're in Narnia, the more confident, brave and noble the children become, and this is portrayed quite well in this adaptation.

Since I couldn't find anyone from another store to work for us, HV 050600 Holiday Jamboree '05 was held at the Midnight UltraScreen showing of King Kong. I'm sure we were suitably annoying to our fellow moviegoers, since we had our Secret Santa exchange right in the middle of the theater. I had Maxx, so I got him Karaoke Revolution Party for the XBOX, since he (and Collette) always kick our asses at my version. So now he can rock LA hardcore karaoke style. Jet had me, and barring the obvious temptation to make me a "PLACE-BO" shirt of my very own, she got me my new best friends: Darth Vader cookie jar and Emperor Palpatine Giant Pez dispenser. They only add to my growing love of the Dark Side, so if my eyes start going yellow, and I randomly begin killing padawans left and right, you can blame her.

The movie itself was quite the fun time. It's not everything I expected it to be, but there were moments of pure excitement, the likes of which I haven't felt since Episode III. Yes, I know that was only 7 months ago, but I see a LOT of movies, so it is actually a meaningful statement. The Kong-V-Rex battle in the middle is one of the best action sequences I've seen. I guess Kong's downfall is that it relies too much on the "wow" factor of the animation, and not enough on making sense. There are plot threads left hanging, three (3) deus ex machina moments featuring the same character (wtf?), and too many slow-motion-blurry-this-is-creating-uneasiness shots. But overall, it's a very entertaining movie, and one I would recommend to one and all. But not as much as Narnia.. :)

I've got a list of 10 movies to see now that are either out or will be very soon. Busy times at the theaters for Brent. I've also managed to maintain my boycott of Ridge, although it's harder than I thought it would be. Screw them.

I've got way too much Christmas shopping to do, and not nearly enough time to do it. Tuesday will probably be spent doing that and laundry. I'm planning on driving to Joliet Christmas Eve after work, and then coming back up here the morning of the 26th. Duty calls. It is nice to be the boss, though, since I can make the schedule to fit my needs. Weirdness, though, since movies are being released on Monday, the 26th, so I'll have to shift the wall on Christmas Eve. Then more movies come out on the 27th. Very strange. Stupid, stupid studios.

Does that sound like the Phil Collins hit "S-S-Sussudio"?

Going back and talking about J-Town, due to recent random googling, fate and/or acts of God, I stumbled across the blogs of two hotties from my high school past, Kaylee and Amee. Pay them a visit, and enjoy their identical "What Broadway Musical are You?" quiz results. You'll be glad you did. And just for the record, Kaylee, yes, I still watch wrestling. With pride.

And yeah, I'm "Rent" too.

I suppose I should get some breakfast before I head to work, or at least Starbucks. Mmm, peppermint latte.. mmm...

Yes, on the moon nerds get their pants pulled down and they are spanked with moon rocks.


You're the pride and joy of Illinois...

…Chicago Bears, bear down!

What is up? I know it’s been a while since I rapped at ya, but things have been pretty hectic around the ol’ B-rent residence.

Honestly, not a whole lot has been going on of note until recently. Some little things here and there, so here’s an update:

I went to the Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field on Sunday, which totally great, as well as fricking freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth. Pictures HERE. Yeah, the Pack got their asses kicked. The Chicago fans, however, seem to forget that Green Bay has been the kicker, not the kickee, for the last 11 years. I was rooting for the Bears, anyway, since this season is basically over. We had another Packers fan in our row, and he just kept chanting “REGGIE BUSH! REGGIE BUSH!” every time we screwed up.

At this point, though, a Bears win is better than a Packers win. With every loss, Green Bay creeps closer to that #1 draft pick, be it Bush, Leinert or Young, if he comes out. At this point, it’s time for Mike Sherman to think about the future, even if he won’t be a part of it. I know we can’t just forfeit our last four games, but at this point, what are we playing for? Respect? Pride? The best record we can finish with is 6-10. No one will respect that, and we shouldn’t by any means be proud of it. I think more likely we’ll finish 4-12, with wins against Baltimore and Detroit, and losses to Chicago and Seattle. Does that put us in the USC sweepstakes? Probably. Baltimore, Houston, San Francisco, Tennessee and the NY Jets are all down there too.

So what do we do? Keep playing, but don’t pretend like you’re fighting for honor. Let Favre play the first half of the games, and put in Rodgers in for the second. We have to know if he can be the quarterback he’s expected to be, or if we have a Joey Harrington on our hands. Also, Favre should start thinking about next year now. Let the management know what you’re going to do, so they can start planning accordingly. If Sherman’s going to get fired, and Brett’s gonna retire, so be it. Just let us know. If Sherman’s going to stay, or we’re going to hire Mariucci, fine. Just let us know. We all know this season is over, so don’t pretend like you’re not thinking about next year. You are. Play every rookie you have. Sit any veteran with a nagging injury. Look towards 2006, because 2005 is over.

Memo to the Bears: get an offense. I know you’re on an 8-game winning streak, and Thomas Jones just crossed 1,000 yards rushing, but you’re not fooling anyone. The Bears are the Ravens of the NFC: All defense, little offense, and an anemic quarterback situation. The difference is that the Ravens won a Super Bowl. The Bears will not.

So anyway, Jet and I had a good time. She froze more than I did, since I was wearing at least two of every article of clothing. I learned my lesson the hard way, so I was well insulated. Jet’s shoes were not up to the task, so she ending up wrapping her feet in her scarf, and putting all four hand warmer packets in the bundle. Hilarious. Driving wasn’t too bad, since it was Sunday morning. Traffic was actually pretty light going in, and we found a $10 garage on 8th & State, about 1 ½ to 2 miles from Soldier Field. We weren’t going to get any closer without paying $35 to park in the stadium lots, so I think we did okay. The only problem was getting out. Oh, and also finding the garage we parked in. I led us in a giant circle for about a half hour before we finally found it. Tee hee. A good time was had by all, except for the Packers. They probably didn’t have fun.

Work is in full Christmas swing, what with the decorations and lights and stockings and all. Business has definitely picked up, to paraphrase good ol’ JR, and we are kicking the crap out of our district in the Gift card contest. Our goal is to sell $4,000 by Christmas Eve, and if we do, I get a trip to Las Vegas. The rest of the team gets… to bask in the glow of my trip to Vegas. I suppose there is a chance for us to win some portable DVD players, but it’s just a chance. It’d be nice if there was a more tangible reward out there for the GSRs and Shift Leaders. I’ll have to come up with something. We need about $1600 more to meet that goal, and I think we’ll get there. I’ve already got the voicemail planned out for Jim when we beat it, so I can let him know I drink SoCo/cranberry, since he said he’s buy the drinks on the plane. I just hope some other stores do well, or else I’ll be going with just Jim. Wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I’d like some other SDs to go, to put forth a good showing for Milwaukee. Except you-know-who, who I hope enjoys losing, since I’ve made it my personal goal to beat that particular store in every contest ever. Suck on that.

I’ll really try to update more often, as well as post some stories/goings-on from the last month.

BTW, Dracula called, and he’s coming tonight.

News from the Past!

Editor's Note: I usually type up blog entries in Wordpad, both to avoid blogger issues, and to use spellcheck. So I typed up the following back on October 31st, then promptly forgot about it. Enjoy!

Ben Folds was in Madison back on Wednesday, and what a coincidence, so was I. Brian had the hookup from his friend Katherine (or is it Catherine? Or Kathryn?) so not only did we have tickets for a sold out show, but she also saved us seats. Sweet.

Ben kicked out the jams, for sure, including a new version of “Jesusland”, and awesome sing-along version of “Underground”. Still no “Missing the War”, though. I guess that will just remain a dream, just out of reach. He did bust out a Carvey-style monologue, because, ladies and gentlemen, a long time ago there were a lot of people… but that was a long time ago.

Opening act The Fray was wholly unremarkable. Forgettable. Plus, their lead singer had a fauxhawk, and went for the cheap pop by mentioning the Mexican restaurant down the street. Am I supposed to be amazed that international pop superstars The Fray ate at a restaurant near here? Holy cow! I am pretty convinced that they didn’t eat anywhere near there, they just tell that story to seem like down-to-earth kinda guys. Screw that. Pop some Cristal and wallow in your opulence. If a fan asks for an autograph, sign it with their blood. Contempt for your audience is pretty awesome.

Thursday was my day off, but interestingly enough, I had to work about 5 hours. Jim had scheduled meetings with all the Store Directors to discuss Q3 results and plan for Q4, and I was first. So I had to be at the store at 8 am for that, and I was there until 10:30 or so. I spent the rest of the day checking movie theaters off my list, and I saw A History of Violence at Showtime, and North Country at Marcus South Shore. Then, I had to jet back to my ol’ stomping grounds at the Tosa store, and do their POS 2.0 conversion. Luckily, that went very smoothly.

I was going to go see Eef do an acoustic set at the Onopa, but I was very tired on Friday, and I would have had to go by myself, since everyone else was working at the haunted house. So I slept. That was fun.

The Packers. Wow, in a bad way.

White Sox. Wow, in a good way.

I guess I always figured the Cubbies would win a ring first, but good for the southsiders. They deserve it. I think the time has come, now, to fire Dusty freaking Baker, spend some money, and get the Cubs fans a World Series. Don’t sign Nomah!

Today is Halloween, and I’m wearing my Blockbuster uniform to work. (Picture here, with Mindy as Belle, and Dave as a "hobo.") I’ve been open for 6 hours now, and not one customer has said anything about it. It’s an interesting psychological experiment. People really don’t pay attention to the little things, I guess, or they don’t question change. I know if I walked into McDonald’s, and the person taking my order was wearing a Burger King uniform, I’d notice, and I’d ask what was going on. That’s just me, though.

No trick-or-treaters this year, again. When do I get to put some razor blades in apples? When’s my turn? But seriously, Wisconsin is messed up. They trick-or-treat on the closest Sunday to Halloween, during daylight hours. What’s wrong with these people? What has happened since I used to trick-or-treat to drive people to do this? It’s not right…

We’re starting to get into prime movie season again. The list of movies I need to see includes Capote, Mirrormask, Jarhead, Chicken Little, Domino, etc. Maxx got us tickets for the Harry Potter midnight show, so bonus points for him. I want to catch Chicken Little 3-D, but I’m not sure anywhere in Milwaukee will have it. Plus, Potter’s in IMAX, so it’s back to Lincolnshire either way.

-end transmission-