Saturday, May 30, 2009

Step Back, Your Breath Stinks!

Imagine you're out hanging with a group of friends discussing political strategy. No burgers are served with chunky purple rings of onions and there's no garlic stew either. Just bottled water. Tim leans over to make a direct comment and instantly you feel your liver and other vital organs incinerate inside you. What toxic breath! Did he eat a dead skunk really? We've all been victims of Tim or perhaps we've had our own Tim moments for sure. I know I've had mine. I remember sophomore year in college. I had just finished a tasty bowl of Ramen noodles and I went about thinking my breath smelled of roses. But a good friend was "nice" enough to let me know my breath was on fire. Her exact words were "your breath is on fire." Although she gave me some gum and I was glad she was the only person who got remotely burned, nonetheless, the revelation that my breath wasn't immaculate hurt for a while. I accepted the gum and if I could blush I would have been red in both hands.

One time, a lady sat in front of me at church, wearing pants that were several sizes too small that the strings and other lacy accesories from her thongs were quite visible and unpleasantly so. I sat through the torture for a while and then I eventually passed her a note to take care of her visible undergarments. There are even more uncomfortable situations. Like having to tell an Asian lady that there was a big red blotch on her skirt. She gave me the look of horror! I didn't know if she appreciated me telling her or if I had crossed some cultural barrier I should not have. She walked away quickly and I was left alone in a bare hallway. Talk about keeping my mouth shut.

So, how do you tactfully handle those life's situations that are quite uncomfortable. If you've ever wondered, on Monday, the Oprah Winfrey Show will air a special episode that will discuss handling these situations. I'm sure we all want to know what to do besides playfully or seriously offering someone a stick of gum. Personally, I don't accept offers of gum from people. And please don't hold open a box of Altoids in my face. I have and will stare you dead in the face like the Asian lady did to me. And then I might run for cover, cup my hand over my mouth and breathe in and out. When I'm satisfied I don't smell like Pepé Le Pew then I will confidently stroll away. Oh and let's not talk about unsightly ball sized gunk in people's noses. These situations are quite difficult to handle, but maybe on Monday between four and five in the afternoon the skills will finally be learned. However, if you find someone not wearing undergarments don't approach them. It might be intentional.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Life is What Happens...

I sincerely do apologize to all my readers for my prolonged absence. I have been occupied with planning the next phase of my life. Truth is, life doesn't stop while we make plans and then resume when we think we have it all figured out. Life goes on. Hence, I was reminded by a dear young man that I haven't blogged in a while and so this post is dedicated to him for encouraging me.

I just saw a picture of Liam Neeson's late wife, Natasha Richardson who passed away as a result of a fall while on a ski trip. I remember how engrossed the media was with the actress and the nature of her death. At least for two weeks. Now, Natasha Richardson may be all but a memory to those who only knew of her after her accident and from roles on the silver screen.

Life doesn't take breaks and the wheels of time never stop turning. Even those who will be greatly celebrated will all be but a memory someday. An oft quoted verse in the Bible reads, "He that observeth the winds shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." So, live your life. Carpe diem. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

God Bless the Child...

Them that's got shall have
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

Yes the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don't ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

Money you've got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you're gone, spending ends
They don't come no more
Rich relations give
Crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don't take too much
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
He just worry 'bout nothin'
Cause he got his own

~Billie Holliday

Friday, May 1, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

It's Hugh Jackman on the big screen in the much awaited movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. For some, a cheap thrill on a P.C. could have been gotten weeks ago when the movie leaked widely, but genuine fans chose to wait out and enjoy the theatre experience. The movie is a glimpse into the early years of the X-Men character, Wolverine taking movie goers to the early days of the character and the finally telling the tale of infamous signature claws. In the opening scenes of the movie, Wolverine's military experience in the Conferderate War, the Second World War, and a stint in perhaps the Vietnam War are shown. Typically, a good movie is one that can hold your attention and draw you in within the first five minutes. Opening with two vicious murders and children on the run from the law, the movie obeyed the first rule of good behavior for all movies.

The ensuing scenes were a foray into globe-trotting. From Lagos, to Canada and then Ohio. In the scene in Lagos, the sitting government in the Unites States goes after a special elixir in form of a supposed precious metal that was supposed to confer immortality. The scene in Lagos is sort of a gaffe because it is historically inacurate. The language that was spoken is not one that is local to the western part of the country. Further, the road signs and the geography were anywhere but Lagos.

As the movie progresses, Wolverine (Lucas), has his fair share of wars and settles into life in Canada as a logger with a brunette love interest. His occupation is an attempt to distance himself from his past. Nonetheless, despite burning the bridge to this past, it still comes back to haunt him when his brother begins a murderous adventure aimed at the other superheroes. The murderous spree would include the death of Wolverine's lover. However, it's all a ploy to get Wolverine back into his superhero lifestyle. The scheme works like a charm, Wolverine is forced back into his old life to avenge the death of his brunette lover and that's where the scenes heat up.

But, the adventure really begins when Lucas undergoes an experimental operation that confers immortality. His claws also are upgraded from their bony structure to a sleek metal that cuts through steel. Armed with his new claws he goes in search of his detractors and his brother. The fight scenes that ensue are breathtaking. From his boxing match to other fight scenes, the action keeps coming but does not climax unfortunately.

Hugh Jackman delivers but the movie does not do him justice considering the amount of training he put into it. Jackman's physique is astounding and takes sexy to a new high. He leaps, and claws and snarls like only he can.

However, there seems to be a great disconnect in the movie. In the famous scene where he runs down a passage between cages on either side, the director fails dismally. When Wolverine reaches the last of the cages he just stops abruptly and stares. After such a feat, that scene should have ended with Lucas screaming in thirst for vengeance and the scream should have transitioned into the next shot. However, he just stopped short, a huge failure in the movie. That was a great scene and the director failed to capitalize on that moment.

Also, the fight between Lucas and the new mutant also fails to deliver. The suspense it should have delivered was absent. There is that sense of a foreboding of bloodshed, but the scene missed the bull's eye. I wanted more intensity, more suspense and a whole lot more drama. However, the scene was disappointing and the action was weak. Despite being a quality movie, there were several misses that could have made for an even greater action flick.

In the end, Wolverine loses his memory after the ultimate fight which unfortunately did not not have the intensity it should have packed. Nonetheless, Jackman is at his best physically and is possilby the best Wolverine he can be. In all, X-Men Origins: Wolverine deserves a B.