Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Think I Love My Wife - a late night movie review.

Pre warning: This is a 5am movie review. Read accordingly...

Every Saturday night, HBO airs it's 'movie of the week'. It's typically a new release - something that's been out of theaters about a month or two. I typically just set my DVR to record the new movie every week, regardless of what it is.

This week's offering was Chris Rock's "I Think I Love My Wife." I remember when this movie came out about 6 months ago - and I can recall thinking that this was another in a long line of 'black' comedies - i.e. 'Who's Your Caddy', 'Norbit', etc. The kind of movie that you expect to see in an uproarious theater of African Americans....laughing at jokes and colloquialisms that you don't quite get.

Fast forward to late Saturday night, and I was in a foul mood - for reasons I can't quite explain. This happens about once every 3 months or so - I call it Male PMS. But, I digress. Anywho, I decided to throw on I Think I Love My Wife, and found it really good. Maybe it was the 5 or 6 Captain Morgans...or maybe just good-hearted soul food.

I find the most intriguing social and psychological dynamics are those having to do with choice, infidelity, consequence, and fate. Not for any personal feelings of guilt or remorse, but these choices are so hightened and piqued - it just brings about really interesting raw emotions. I frequently site 'Vanilla Sky' as one of my favorite movies of the last decade. I think I liked 'Wife' because it plays in many of the same themes....the consequences of your choices.

One of the most empowering emotions a man can conquer is overcoming his own desires. When two people admit they're attracted to each other - they're no longer in control. The relationship has to play itself out. We're all faced with temptation every day...not just with good looking women (or men), but with career choices, breaking the speed limit, pepperoni or sausage. How do these seemingly small decisions in life impact the greater symphony? Stuff like that fascinates me.

Long story short - this was a movie I'd mock people at Blockbuster for renting, and never would have picked up for myself. But after a late-night viewing, I gotta say it's pretty solid. Chris Rock for the first time plays a serious role that really highlights his talents beyond just dick and pussy jokes. And anytime a movie makes me really think - or drives me to write a 9 paragraph blog can't be all that bad. Maybe check it out.

The quote of the movie:
"You know, some people say life is short and that you could get hit by a bus at any moment and that you have to live each day like it's your last. Bullshit. Life is long. You're probably not gonna get hit by a bus. And you're gonna have to live with the choices you make for the next fifty years. "

I used to review movies for fun; maybe I should dabble again. Maybe I should just go to bed and shutup.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Hijinks - The Hawaii Chair

I saw this infomercial the other day, and now Ellen has taken the lead and given us a first hand review of the new Hawaii Chair.

Typically we don't link to Ellen here on east coast mark, but a person can only take so much Hillary/Obama nonsense.

Have a good weekend kids.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


OMG! This just hit all the news sites. Unbelievable!

Click here to watch the video before it gets yanked!!

This is really gonna spice things up.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Adventures in the Midwest

east coast mark took off for Minnesota for a few days. The day I arrived, Mother Nature dropped 6 inches of heavy, thick snow. I guess I like to announce my presence with authority.

One of my Jersey friends recently asked me, "So, do you live on a farm?" I suppose it's not a completely out-of-line question; because before I moved to the east coast - I would have asked people in New York, "So, have you ever seen grass?"

This weekend I've been systematically hitting up my favorite restaurants, bars, and old drinking buddies. Also, whenever I come home - I suddenly become Mr. Home Improvement. My mother has a list waiting for me of little odd jobs they can't quite figure out. So far, I've replaced a light switch, fixed the doorbell, and re-wired the Internet. It's like fantasy camp for aspiring handymen.

Tomorrow I'll be going to church for Easter - and I am already dreading it. I'll have to see 200-some people that haven't seen me in 6 or 9 months. This invariably leads to me recounting my 'story' 50+ times. "So Mark, where do you live now?" "Do you still like your job?" "Do people talk faster?" "Do you know Elliot Spitzer?" "Do they have grass in New York City?" It goes on and on....and not that I'm not happy to catch up with people, but after you've recounted your life story 50 kind of get sick of talking about yourself.

Who am I kidding. I love talking about myself. I created a blog for God's sake.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Irregaaaadless, it's fackin' St. Paddy's day, and east coast maaark loves tawlkin' in a Bawston accent. I get a longin' in my haahhht for all my Irish kin! Get 13 or 14 Sammy Aadams' in me and I feel strawng as a fackin' awx!! I've got on mah Irish kilt, and just picked up a bran' new foam shamwrack fingahh.

Just gonna finish waatchin' Tha Depaated - then me and Tawmmy Braydee ahr gonna go uht and round up some hawties. Gonna be the best St. Paddy's day evah!! ALL THE MILLER LITE YOU CAN DRINK FOR JUST $200! BEAT THAT, SHITBAWXES!

Oh, and this is what happens when Muppets get bombed on Guinness.

Now lets get hopped up and make some bad decisions.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Legend of The Hoff

I tried out a few different names for this blog post:
- "I Am Legend"
- "OH MY GOD! YES! YES! HOW?!!?!! YES!!"
- "Turn The Lights Hoff When You Leave"
- "The Miracle Worker"
- "The Events of 3-14-08"

Last night, the Gophers of my Alma mater, The University of Minnesota, were playing #20 Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers had already lost twice to Indiana this season, and really had no realistic chance of winning the third time around.

However, the upstart Gophers came out strong - and even built a 16 point lead at one point. Still, any true Minnesota sports fan knows that disappointment is lurking around every corner - so you mentally tell yourself, 'they'll blow it'. We've become a generation of sports pessimists. We expect Gary Anderson to miss field goals in the NFC Championship Game. We expect our best players to choke in big games and then be traded away in the off season.

And true to form, Indiana took a 1 point lead over the Gophers with 1.5 seconds left; on a preposterous series of events that doesn't ever happen outside of Hollywood movies or 2nd graders playing make-believe on the playground.

With all hope ripped from our chests, the only chance the Gophers had was to make a full-court pass, hope to catch it, and a prayer...all this mind you with only 1.5 seconds on the clock. Enter Blake Hoffarber...

Hoffarber caught a long pass with 1.5 seconds left Friday night, spun away from a defender and hit a 14-foot left-handed shot at the buzzer to upset No. 20 Indiana 59-58 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

I was so unbelievably shocked, I jumped about 5 feet out of my recliner, let out a war cry, and jumped around my apartment looking for someone to hug. In the process I spilled a beer, nearly sprained an ankle when I stepped on a shoe, and probably led my neighbors to believe there was a murder in progress.

As they say at the end of the Maltese Falcon, "The stuff dreams are made of."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Revenge of the Geek

Tonight marked the return of my favorite trashy reality program - Beauty and the Geek. If you've not seen it, they put 9 of the geekiest-geeks in a house with 9 smokin-hot beauties. It's a bit of a social experiment to see how the geeks come out of their shell, and how the beauties learn to take some compassion and be less vain.

Picture 'The Bachelor' meets 'Miss America' meets 'Revenge of the Nerds'.

The show invites us to celebrate ourselves while marvelling at the social ineptitude of its geeks, mocking the vacuity of its beauties, and, of course, criticising or ogling their always available bodies, according to preference.

The Beauty and the Geek Theorem of Inverse Social Dynamics has it that if you take an air-headed party girl out of her environment, she might become desperate enough for attention to accept a different measure of attraction. There may be some truth in this (it's how law school students have been getting action for decades). I wish someone had explained this to me in junior high....

I think maybe I relate to this show because I have a shady past as a nerd-bomber. My favorite class in high school was chemistry. I used to wear turtlenecks. I've been to a 'halo party'. So now that I'm cut straight out of GQ, I like to reminisce by watching the young nerdlings make a run at glory, and root for them to climb Mount Boobalicious - and raise the trophy over their pale stickly shoulders.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Ahead to Annoyance

Is it just me, or is daylight saving time every 6 weeks now? Every time I turn around I'm resetting my clocks.

Maybe I've got some sort of complex about time - but I bet I have no less than 8 clocks in my apartment, plus the clocks on the VCR, DVD, and TV. I also have 6 watches. Yes 6 - I also have a thing about watches.

I've gotta block off 2 hours on my calendar to just go around the house setting clocks. And have you ever tried to reset the clock on your DVD player? It's like cracking a Russian nuclear missile code. McGuyver is coming over to help.

Then in my car, there are 2 clocks. One of them involves me cracking into the navigation system and scrolling through 40 options before I finally get to the magic screen where I lose an hour. Joy.

And on top of all this - let's not ignore the fact that I'm straight-up robbed of a solid hour of time that I could have spent watching reruns of The Office or watching reruns of Brett Favre crying like a baby at his retirement press conference. What a wuss*.

*As a Minnesota Vikings fan (who has been at the receiving end of numerous Favre embarrassments) - every post for the next week will include reference to Favre crying like a little girl.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fingers of Fury

You may have seen in the news recently how New Jersey has just enacted a law that bans text messaging while driving. I can't say I disagree with the law - because just about every day you see 'that guy' driving way too slow in the center lane, and swerving like he's just had 9 Jack Daniels. As you drive by him (cursing like a sailor) - invariably he's got his nose down and both hands on his phone, composing another witty one-liner. If I ever get sideswiped by an 18 year old girl texting her bff, 'lol - omg, i luv avril lavigne' .......someone's going to get slapped. Just a warning.

east coast mark has long been undecided on text messaging - but it's just not going away people, so everyone is going to have to jump on board at some point. Remember how you had that one friend who was holding out on getting a cell phone...because he wasn't sure it was going to catch on? And it was cool for awhile...but then eventually, he was just the last sad person that didn't have a cell phone. I'm not advocating any lifestyle changes (don't turn yourself into a 14 year old texting freak show) - but at least familiarize yourself with the technology. Editor's Note: Not you mom, we're still working on mastering e-mail and the cell phone. One new technology per decade.

I actually find text messaging to be a fairly simple and easy way to communicate, and frankly I've found myself using it in professional situations more and more - typically dropping notes to customers or quickly conversing with colleagues. "Can we meet at 3:30 instead of 3:00?" is much easier and quicker to type out than getting sucked into a 10 minute phone call and voicemail trap.

However, with the new ban on texting while driving - I got to thinking about what other texting laws and etiquette should be enacted. Here's a few that spring to mind.

1.) You can't dump anyone by text message. Flirting is fine. Asking someone out is marginal. But dropping the 'it's not you - it's me' on them still has to be done in person.
2.) Common courtesy still reigns. Composing a text message while in a one-on-one conversation with someone is no different than taking a phone call mid-conversation.
3.) Drunk texting is the new drunk dialing. There's a term I've heard called 'text shame'; for when you wake up the next day and cringe at the text messages you sent in your overnight stooper. Drunk text in moderation, for all our sake.
4.) Be aware of tone. It's pretty tough to interpret tone from a one line message - so be aware that your innocent comment might be perceived that you're proposing marriage or looking to start a fight.
5.) Stay away from abbreviations - leave that to the kiddies. Remember that Cingular commercial? "OMG - INBD. IDK, My BFF Jill." Use your big boy words.
6.) Be conscientious of others' schedules. Don't assume that because you are awake, working, not busy, or sober that the person you're texting is as well.
7.) If it's immediate - just call me.
8.) When you're at a party, sitting in the corner and texting frantically is a sure-fire way to look like Gollum. We all know you're having a text-war with your boyfriend or whatever - but how about shaking off the anti-social creepy vibe for a few minutes and playing some beer pong?