Forgetting That Things are Supposed to Be Fun

6 06 2010

I have a bad habit of giving myself assignments that I know I won’t be able to keep up with.

When I originally started this blog, I did it with the intention of posting a new post for every calendar day of 2010. I would miss a post here or there, making up for in within hours.

That was, at least, until I started to get busy. Coming home from work and crashing onto my bed led to me missing days at a time. These days turned into a month.

I made an effort to catch up, posting things that I’ve written on other sites and making sad excuses. I didn’t really catch up.

What happened after reminded my of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Let me explain.

I managed to make it to the end of Uncharted 2, right to the fight with the final boss. The lighting engine in my TV broke and I used it as an excuse to take an Uncharted hiatus.

Every time I would put in a different game, I could feel the ghost of Nathan Drake haunting me. His stay in purgatory I imposed on him caused me to feel an unnecessary guilt every time I played anything other than Uncharted 2.

That’s what happened to this blog. I knew that the amount of posts I needed to write in order to catch the “post a day” quota was becoming insurmountable. Not to mention, in order to keep with a stylistic theme, I also needed to find a picture to go with the story.

Well, no more. If I make my quota of 365 posts by the end of the year – then so be it. If not, we’ll all live and go on with our lives. The deadline has been counter-productive. If ignoring it can lead to some productivity, I’ll embrace it.

What can you expect on here now is posts about whatever happens to be on my mind – whenever they happen to come up. It’ll probably still be quite often though. No worries about word counts. No worries about the date of the posting. Just uninhibited me.

Hope you like it.

(I did beat Uncharted 2, by the way.)

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Day Sixty-Nine – A Night at the Joe

10 03 2010

Here’s me playing catch-up on these posts. I could come up with a hundred excuses why I’m writing these posts so late, but instead I’ll just get to it.

I tend to go to a lot of different arenas for hockey games or wrestling shows, and though the purpose is generally the same, each building has a very different feel to it. One of my favorite buildings is Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. I might be a little biased, being a Red Wings fan, but the energy in the arena is like no where else. I felt the need to share this information with a social networking site I’m becoming pretty active within: Yelp.

Here’s what I posted:

The home of my Detroit Red Wings - Joe Louis Arena.

Joe Louis Arena

There are two reasons to go to Joe Louis Arena – the atmosphere and the product on the ice. The Detroit Red Wings are one of the most successful teams in hockey and it shows when you see them live and in person. You’re sure to see an exciting game as they tend to shoot the puck as often as possible, forcing the opposition to follow suit.

Given the smaller size of the arena, there really isn’t a bad seat in the place. You can even see Yzerman watching on from the press box, which is pretty close to the rest of the seats in the arena.

Ticket prices are pretty cheap. You can get tickets to some games for as low as $8. The Joe is also one of the last arenas to have standing room tickets.

Joe Louis Arena definitely isn’t a building that you visit for the architecture. It looks like a construction site on the outside, with its endless rows of porta-johns, and an old warehouse on the inside with the complete lack of decor or quality lighting. Outside of a bronze statue of Howe when you first walk in, there isn’t much to see off the ice.

Even when the team isn’t performing as well as they could, the crowd is the best reason to see a game in person – especially during the Playoffs. The crowd is always into the game. Patrons are nice and courteous. My brother was brave enough to wear an Anaheim Ducks jersey to Game 7 of the Playoffs and he left without much more than some teasing. Try doing something like that in Buffalo.

If you’re a hockey fan at all, whether you’re a Red Wings fan or not, you definitely have to go to a game at the Joe.

It’s hard to review an arena when the usage can change, therefore attracting a different crowd, but the Joe is pretty consistent. It’s a hockey arena first. It’s the center of HockeyTown and proud of it.





Day Twenty-Five – Movies I’ve Seen Recently and Why Criticker Makes Them Fun

25 01 2010

I’m a huge fan of movies. I went to the Toronto Film School for my college education. I spent over $1000 on movies in 2009 alone. I make it my mission to see as many movies as possible.

That’s why a website like Criticker is one of my favourite time-wasters. As of this post, I’ve seen and rated 798 films. From those 798 films, Criticker comes up with suggestions for 799, 800 and onward. The more you put into it, the better it gets at picking films you’d enjoy and how much you’ll enjoy them. I find it’s pretty accurate.

The website is suited for the Twitter generation. The reviews are limited to 500 characters, forcing you to be clear and concise with your opinions. One thing I hate about reading multiple reviews is that most of the reviews are summaries; Criticker solves that problem.

Not everyone is able to say something with substance in so few characters, but those that do are rewarded with a gold star from appreciative users. I have a few myself. Though you can just rate films and leave the reviews blank. It all goes towards your score.

If you’re interested, click on the link below to set up your account. If you like movies at all, I suggest you check it out.

Here are some of my most recent reviews:

Brothers (2009)

‘Brothers’ isn’t the movie the trailer sells you. You expect it to be about a relationship blooming in the absence of another, but it’s really a movie about grief and expectations in all relationships. Nearly every character is attempting to impose their will on the next, with some relenting and others collapsing under the pressure. You get invested in these relationships and as the stakes change, so do your allegiances. Every situation feels real and organic, though the father is a cliche.

Rating: 85 (4 Stars)

Dead Snow (2009)

‘Dead Snow’ follows the rule that if you mention that you’re ripping something off, it’s not a rip-off, it’s an homage. ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Friday the 13th’ are mentioned and ‘Dead Snow’ faithfully follows their conventions, as well as others. The beginning does take a little while to establish the back story, but once that’s done, the film gets brutal and exhilarating. The kills are comically over-the-top and the banter, however sparse, keeps things chipper in even the most tense situations.

Rating: 75 (3.5 Stars)

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ is at its best in the silent moments. Almost every emotion can be conveyed with a simple look or action. Roger Ebert claims that ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ was only successful because it didn’t take sides. In my opinion, that’s what makes it successful. One character feels trapped in a life they don’t want and the other accepts the life they’re given. It’s clear throughout which side is more nobel. Not just a comment on the custody laws, but a comment on the value of selflessness.

Rating: 80 (4 Stars)

I’ll be sure to add more in the near future. There are still movies I’ve seen that need to be reviewed. I’ll post them as soon as possible.