Monday, August 31, 2009

FixFlix 1

So, not long ago, my cousin got one of those CleanFlix DVD editor machines, where you put in a disc of, say, Disney's HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, and it cuts out the "Hellfire" song. Or you put in TITANIC and there's no painting scene.* Or you put in SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and the cursing and buggery is removed. Or you put in BASIC INSTINCT, and it's suddenly twenty-three minutes long.

I don't know how many hours of fun he had playing his movies and seeing what edits were made by some faceless Mormon board of censors, but he'd heard that if you played TERMINATOR in it, then John Connor was created through immaculate conception, so he wanted to borrow my T1 and T2.

I told him no, told his wife no, and then, when I was in the bathroom, he opened my DVD cabinet and took them himself.

He later returned the DVDs, and I believe he returned the player, and that was the end of it. I never asked him how his experience was because, well, I don't give a rodent's posterior, but I've always been curious as to what gets taken out and what gets left in in movies if you stick 'em in one of those players. Then, due to a conversation I was having with Jeff yesterday, I thought I would give it a try myself.

Oh, I didn't buy one of those censor machines, no sir. I just drew up a little cartoon to let my imagination go to work. So, enjoy!
Rish DaVinci Outfield

*I nearly said, "Or you put in E.T. and it takes out all the weapons," but then I realized that all DVDs do that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New cartoon alert

I had an interesting conversation with Jeff today . . .

Okay, it was mostly me screaming and cursing and him playing with that little I-Phone thing of his, but it inspired a new cartoon series I'm going to post on here for the month of September.*

I'm going to finish it up and scan it into the computer (where I've found that my drawings always look much crappier than they did on paper, much less in my head), and get the first one posted tomorrow.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Rish "Peyo" Outfield

*Or until I lose interest and forget to put any more up here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Soccer? I barely know her.

My buddy Jeff took me to a soccer game tonight, and I really enjoyed myself. My friends Jeff and Merrill both really love soccer and the local MLS team, and while I think the game is fun to watch, I'm not exactly the aficionado of futbol I am of, say, cockfighting or wangbaiting.

But it was great tonight, since the weather was perfect, we had really good seats, I saw a couple of pretty girls, and most importantly, the game was really exciting. And the team we were rooting for won.

The only cloud over the night was that my pal Merrill, who didn't make it to the game tonight, had his picture on the tickets. That meant that every attractive teenage girl in the stadium, had Merrill's face pressed to their bosom at least once tonight.

Some things never change.

Rish "Lonely Guy" Outfield

Monday, August 24, 2009

Driving Buddy

We were going to podcast tonight, but due to an abnormal work schedule (not mine, of course), I found myself with nothing to do this evening. My sister had brought by her one year old, who hasn't yet outgrown me, and we get along pretty well. The boy loves to run and play and throw things scream in the sort of unbridled happiness I never see outside of movies with lots of X's in the titles, so I asked him if he wanted to go to the park.

It's difficult to know what the child understands and what he doesn't. I wouldn't have guessed that a one year old could have any comprehension of language, but then, my mom's dog somehow knows that "I need to pick up some envelopes at Wal-mart" translates to "I'm going to get in the car soon and if you bark enough you can go for a ride," so that shows how much I know.

But it seemed like he wanted to go, so I pretty much kidnapped him. So I loaded him up in the car* and took him to the park.We ran around on the grass, let him look at the flowers, then swung on the swings. After a while, the most muscular dude I've ever seen came up with his little blonde daughter and swung her too.** Then the child and I hung out at the pond, watching the ducks that swim in its waters and hang around its bank. We hadn't brought any bread, but a woman with a couple of kids gave us part of a tortilla to feed to them. The boy chased a white female duck quite a while and I was pretty sure she was going to bite him, though she ultimately didn't.

I carried him around after that, then let him play on the slide. He's at that age where he has no fear, and it's caused him to fall down innumerable times, but he had no problems climbing up the stairs and sliding down on his own. I sometimes find it difficult to remember a time when all I had to do was climb up someplace high and slide down to feel completely happy, but I get a glimpse at that time watching him whoop into my arms.

It was a good time. Sure, he bawled a bit when I said it was time to go home (his new favorite word is "No," which he says approximately two thousand times a day, including to every question you ask him), but as we were almost back, Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah" started on the radio, and to my surprise, the kid loved it, singing along. We both knew the words about the same, but it was just astounding to look into the back seat and see him smiling there, enjoying the late summer breeze on his face and delighting in something about this song which surely had to be new to him.

And I thought, when I'm far away, surrounded by hateful strangers, this is how I'm going to remember the boy.

And I'll either feel warm inside, or weep all the more.Rish Obediah Outfield

*Boy, I know these car seat mechanisms probably save lives, but why does it have to be such a Sisyphean task to insert the seats into the car and insert children into the seats? If he's ever going to learn the f-word, it'll be from listening to me trying to get him all strapped into that overdesigned mechanism.

**I'm not kidding, this guy was so bodybuilder-esqe that he couldn't even move right, almost the way an enormously fat person can't move right. It was weird to see this hulk out with his kid, and it made me feel ridiculously out of shape. But no worries, my kid was cuter.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Top Five John Hughes Movies

After losing John Hughes and thinking about it while camping, I decided I'd go back to the old Top Five lists I enjoyed so much before they petered out a year ago. I asked my friends to send me their Top Five John Hughes Films, deciding to include the films he wrote as well as directed, since my cousin was sure to have seen none of them.

So, here was my list:
1. PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES (1987) (writer/director)
2. FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF (1986) (writer/director)
3. THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985) (writer/director)
4. SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984) (writer/director)
5. HOME ALONE (1990) (writer) First person to respond was Prison Guard Johnny. He told me that, of all the celebrity deaths in past month and a half, this one is the one he was the most sad about. His list:
1.Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2.National Lampoon's Vacation
3.Home alone
4.Planes Trains and Automobiles
5.The Breakfast Club
Then my friend Saur sent me his list. This guy knows more about movies than Quentin Taranfriggintino. He has forgotten more about them than I will ever know. His list:
Tyranist was next to respond. He only listed four, since he despises a couple of the movies Hughes was involved with, and wasn't about to list those. His list:
1. Nate & Hayes
2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
3. Weird Science
4. Vacation
Jeff the Chemist sent me this list:
1 Planes Trains & Automobiles
2 Mr. Mom
3 16 candles
4 Breakfast Club
5 Vacation

My Evil Cousin Ryan, who seldom shares movie tastes with me (this guy actually owns MORTAL KOMBAT ANNIHILATION), actually had five John Hughes movies to list. I was a little proud of him, until five minutes later he gave me reason not to be anymore. His list was:
Christmas Vacation
Home Alone
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Home Alone 2
National Lampoon's Vacation
Merrill sent me his list, with a warning that compiling it was hard, since "this guy's movies kicked ass." That list went like:
1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2. Some Kind Of Wonderful
3. Vacation
4. Weird Science
5. Home Alone

Last to participate was Ian, my friend who, back in college, at least, totally idolized John Hughes. I'll make sure to lift a glass to the man who gave us Long Duck Dong and Wally World and Abe Frohman the next time I see him. Ian's picks:
1. Some Kind Of Wonderful
2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
3. Home Alone
4. Planes Trains and Automobiles
5. Vacation
Well, that makes our winners:
1. FERRIS BUELLER (still the hardest name to spell in ages)

But you know, John Hughes's writing and insights into the minds and hearts of young people (and old people too) made us all winners. Even the losers like me an Anthony Michael Hall. Thanks, John.

Rish Shermer Outfield

"I always figured life would be like the movies."
"It is, man. It's just not a John Hughes movie. More like one by George A. Romero."


Thursday, August 06, 2009

John Hughes, gone already?

Looks like awesome Eighties iconic film director John Hughes has passed away today. That really sucks.I was five minutes away from leaving for a camping trip when the news came through, and I thought I might have had enough time to write a few words.

If you were a teenager in the 1980's, you were aware of John Hughes, whether it was from the films, or the people he made stars through his films, or the music on the soundtrack (and the radio). He spoke to that generation in a way no one else did. People felt he understood the children of the Eighties, respected them, even liked them.

And his films were fun. Fun, intelligent, romantic, clever, relevant, and funny.

The news says he went out for a walk and had a heart attack in the middle of it. He was fifty-nine. And fifty-nine does not seem that old. My parents are both older than that, and by the time Sting puts out another album (of actual music), I will probably be that old as well.

My friend Ian and I had several conversations about John Hughes, and felt his absence in teen entertainment of the Nineties and Ohs. We even made a short film our Senior year that was a tribute to John Hughes and our own bad luck with romance. We won a couple awards for it too.

It saddened me to hear of Hughes's untimely death, one of my all-time favorite* filmmakers. Why "untimely?" you may ask. Because I always hoped the man would write and direct again, and maybe bring more laughs and heart to the cinema, which often provides one, and just as often fails to provide the second.I was a teenager in the 1980's. He will be missed.

Rish Shermer Outfield

P.S. Let's not remember the man for BABY'S DAY OUT, okay?

*Yeah, I spelled it without a "u." As of today, I'm done with all that.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Impressive, most impressive

So, at the last day of Comic-Con, as it is every year, the hucksters at the various dealer booths are too tired and/or lazy to want to pack up everything and take it home, so they start trying to make deals, drop their prices, or get really loud, so people will take it all off their hands. I was surprised to see that one of the booths--

Oh, I forgot to say first that I got lost in Oceanside (which is about thirty miles north of San Diego, infuriatingly enough) on Friday night, and while stuck at a red light, I saw a little four or five year old Mexican kid waving a lightsaber around. I thought, Wow, a lightsaber would be a cool present for my one year old nephew, Merrill's kid, maybe even my niece.

So, I was surprised to see that one of the booths was trying to get rid of their lightsabers, and had them marked down to half price. They had red, green, and blue, so I bought one of each, plus an extra red one in case . . . well, I can't remember why I bought that one, except that I was going to get five for a minute there.

I did have a pseudo-lightsaber when I was a lad, pretty much just a flashlight with a piece of white plastic glued to it and a cellophane over the bulb to make it look pretty. It was the cheaper knock-off of the official one Kenner made, but I had bought it with my own allowance, and I preferred it. Even though it was pretty lame in retrospect.

Well, not this one. No sir. Holy cow, for two-thirds of what I paid in 1984, I was able to get this child-sized lightsaber that may not be sturdy or long-bladed or official . . . but looks awesome.

How awesome?

I have not touched up this photo in any way.

Rish "Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys" Outfield