I don’t even know what to say

I watched another critically acclaimed movie tonight; Being John Malkovich. This got a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and 85% of normal people liked it as well so Slade, Vince, Rudy, and I got together and watched the movie.

I don’t even know what to say about it. I can’t tell if it was good or not. The longer I wait the better I think it was but it was so weird and bizarre that I just don’t know what to think. The idea is cool, that you can enter someones head and potentially control their actions and whatnot. What really intrigued me was when Malkovich entered the portal himself. Even now, sitting here a few hours later I have no idea what I would expect that he would see. John Malkovich is entering a portal to see through John Malkovich. So if he’s actually in the portal, then he would see himself in the portal looking through the portal at himself? What happened in the movie was the weirdest part of the entire thing but I won’t even get into that. I didn’t know what to make of Maxine and Lotte being in love either or why Maxine would love Craig while he was in Malkovich too.

The whole thing was just weird and I don’t really know what to make of it. The sci-fi aspect of using them as vessels as a way to live forever was interesting too and I didn’t entirely understand it. The ending where Maxine has the kid who is the next vessel was weird too. Craig entered a portal to be in her head so he could get closer to Maxine because he still loved her? But Maxine wouldn’t bang her own kid, that would just be weird, then again the whole movie was weird so who knows. I don’t even know what to say. If anyone can give any input go right ahead because I’m kind of flabbergasted. It wasn’t a bad movie, it was just really weird and confusing, I guess movie raters would say those are synonymous with original and unique.

***After reading a bit more about the movie I sort of understand the ending. Craig entered the portal again hoping to become Malkovich but instead he gets stuck in the little girls body for the next 40 years until her 44th birthday when Lester changes vessels. The whole thing is fucked.

The Big Lebowski

I watched The Big Lewbowski for the first time yesterday. I had heard good things about it for years but never got around to watching it so I decided to knock that one off the list yesterday.

All in all I will say I was pretty disappointed and would say that movie is overrated. Now I wouldn’t say it was a bad movie but I wouldn’t say it was very good and definitely wouldn’t say it was great. Maybe a 5-6/10. I liked the Dude and Walter, I think they pretty much carried the movie the whole way in terms of comedy, especially Walter. However in my eyes the funniness of the movie wasn’t the problem. I just didn’t understand what was going on most of the time with the kidnapping of the girl. It seemed like a really weird way to push the movie along and they made it way more complex than it should have been. I just didn’t get what that really had to do with it.

I also thought bowling was going to be a bigger part of the movie. They were always talking about bowling and shooting the shit at the bowling alley but bowling actually had nothing to do with it. I get the idea of “fuck it, let’s go bowling” and the fact that it’s bowling isn’t significant, it could have been any leisure activity, but it was just strange to me. Also, I thought the third part of the trio, Donny, would have more impact on the movie. He just asked stupid slightly funny questions and Walter always tells him to fuck off. The part in the beginning did have me cracking up when Walter kept saying “Donny, you’re out of your element!”. Then he dies out of nowhere but that doesn’t really matter because he didn’t do anything anyway. Even Walter and the Dude didn’t care that much.

I guess I understand the overarching point of the movie. The Dude’s lifestyle is very laid back and he doesn’t really care too much about anything. He smokes a lot of pot and bowls all the time and that’s completely okay with him. I liked the line “The Dude abides” at the very end. I think that whole message is fine and good but I think the way it was delivered was poor. The movie certainly had it’s funny points but overall I was kind of lost as to what was going on with the kidnapping and I was thinking things were important when they really weren’t.

I don’t know about everyone else but that’s what I took from the movie. If anyone wants to comment on if they agree or disagree please do. I’m interested to hear other people’s interpretation.

Dove Evolution Commercial

This is a Dove commercial that shows the process of taking a model and putting her on a billboard. This is ridiculous. The make-up is one thing but the end is out of control. The people you are seeing in every day ads literally do not exist. What you’re seeing on the ad is based off a human being and modified in 1000 different ways to become what marketers deem attractive. I don’t really think that girls are always striving to become the images they see in magazines and whatnot but this is just incredible.

http://youtu.be/hibyAJOSW8U

 

Guts to Glory – Epic Performances Of World Class Runners

Title Courtesy of Tom Stortz. Running is my favorite activity. I like the idea of inspiring (corny) people to go out and run. I doubt I ever really do this but that is the feeling that I want to give to people. The reason I want to do this is because certain races have inspired me to the point where I am just steps away from putting my shoes on and hammering a run. Now, a lot of races are inspiring, in fact almost every race is inspiring, but there are a few that stick out to me that literally give me chills when I watch them. Here’s just a few of them, it was very difficult picking which ones I was going to put on here.

Dave Wottle 1972 Olympics 800m
This is a kick that everyone knew was possible but very few actually expected it and when it came it was amazing. The way he sits back the way he does shows one of two things; 1) he’s an idiot who thought he had no shot of winning the race or 2) he’s an absolutely genius and played it as perfectly as he could have.

El G/Bekele/Kipchoge 2003 WC 5k
El G was in his prime but he was more a 1500 guy. Bekele (the future 5k and 10k WR holder) was making his bid as a world beater. Kipchoge was a no-name 18 year old Kenyan who made the team. This race is incredible. Two of the all-time greats and a random Kenyan duke it out the entire way. This video has the whole race but I’ll start it when the race really begins. Championship races are never run like this anymore. The winning time in this race is faster than the American Record in the 5k for a reference. If you want to see El G and Bekele in one of the most epic 5ks in Olympic history click here.

http://youtu.be/CBIkIIC7CQU?t=11m57s
Solinsky’s 10k AR
This is my favorite video on the blog. This 10k here started one of the best years in recent history for an American distance runner. Galen Rupp was the talk of the night and was making a run on the American Record in the 10k while Solinsky was just making his 10k debut. I could and have watched the whole thing straight through but this video is just the last 1000. The last lap is awesome. The announcing adds a great element too. This was a huge step for American distance running.


Steve Cram 1977 World Cup 1500
This race is not very popular or well known or anything but this is the definition of someone being two levels ahead of his competition and thinking he was three ahead. At no point during that race did he Steve Ovett think he was going to lose and there was no reason he should have. He was going to win this race and everyone knew it. This is just the last 300. To have this type of confidence (and cockiness) and be able to back it up is pretty rare. If you’re interested in watching his cockiness/arrogance backfire watch this.


Paul Ereng’s indoor 800m WR
I know absolutely nothing about Paul Ereng other than that he won the Olympics in the 800. This is the only other race I have watched him and it is a sight to be seen. I don’t know if it’s the small track or what but that last 200 doesn’t even look real.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvquB8wfueY

Modern Tech

There have been two modern technology creations that highlight some of the values of us as people. First, the incognito window. This browsing window does not save any history no matter what site you visit. I can think of two reasons to do this. One could be if you’re trying to surprise someone. Perhaps you’re booking a vacation or buying a present and you don’t want to leave any trail. Using this window would allow you to do exactly that without worrying about going back and clearing all the history and maybe slipping up.

The second reason, and 99% more popular reason, is for looking up as much porn as possible and not worrying about getting caught. Why risk forgetting to clear your history when this thing does it for you? For me this doesn’t really matter because I’ll openly admit I look at porn and I don’t really care if anyone finds out. But maybe there’s a husband out there who is dissatisfied with his wife so he watches porn when she’s not around. This window makes him invulnerable. I honestly have no problem with this, I think it’s great. But to argue that it’s primary purpose is not looking up porn is just stupid. Porn is pretty much the biggest internet industry so if I’m Firefox and I see that Chrome comes out with this window to hit that target market of people who watch porn, I’m following them as soon as possible and coming up with our own, otherwise we’re going to lose a LOT of users.

The second creation, and I think this is a fairly recent phenomenon, is Snapchat. The way this bad boy works if you can take a picture, send it to someone, and decide the amount of time they have to look at it before it disappears forever. Now I can honestly think of no good use for this OTHER THAN sending naked pictures, maybe perhaps a picture of a giant shit you just took, but other than that there’s no reason for this. With that said, tons of people will be sending naked pics harmlessly now because there’s way less risk. Why not shoot a dick pic to everyone on my contacts list? Maybe some girl will see it and actually reply with a naked pic of her own and before I know it I have a girlfriend. This is extremely unlikely but I’m just saying this app is highlighting the fact that people send naked pics and now it’s even encouraging it. I guarantee the number of people who sent naked pictures before this invention paled in comparison to the number of people who have now. The app even tells you if someone screen-shotted the picture so you know that they now have a naked picture of you. Give me a break, no one is just sending pictures for fun (other than DGrimes’ selfies) that they wouldn’t want people to have permanently. Maybe it’s slightly quicker or something like that (I haven’t actually used the app yet) but to say that this not primarily used for naked pics is just stupid.

Both of these things just show that we’re perverted but no one wants to admit it. Why not just call it the Porn Browser or the Naked Pic App since that’s essentially what they are. They sugar coat their use and try to play it off as innocent. I’m going to try to think of an app or invention like this, that exposes some perverted or embarrassing thing that a ton of people would go for and just make millions. It clearly works.

 

What’d you call me?

I have gone by mainly one name my whole life, Sam. On very very few occasions someone will call me Stortz and for a short period of time in high school people called me Champ, although two people (Mariotz and Wads) still call me Champ. Sam has remained pretty consistent over my life and that’s fine by me.

The other day I was hanging out with Josh Mastromatto who I have always called Josh. From 6-8th grade we were really good friends and hung out a lot. He was always Josh. In high school we separated a bit and stopped hanging out. Somewhere along the line his name changed to “Stro”. I know him as Josh but no one else calls him Josh so this Wednesday I really didn’t know what to call him because everyone was calling him Stro. I stayed true to middle school and called him Josh which he seemed completely fine with but I wonder if he prefers Stro over Josh. Should I try to make the transition or is it a waste of time?

That is one situation that has at least one out (calling him Josh) but this situation has zero outs. My elementary school best friend was Mark Jones. I always comes him Jonesy (pronounced Jones-e). Somewhere along the line, in probably 3rd grade, that switched to Jonsey (pronounced Jons-e). If I ever slipped up and called him Mark it was just weird and we would both acknowledge it. We remained good friends in middle school but in high school we rarely ever hung out. Every time I saw/see him I don’t know what to call him. We both think it’s weird if I call him Mark because it was always weird if I called him Mark; but at the same time, we’re 21 years old and calling him Jonsey seems ridiculous. If I see him it’s a 100% chance that no matter what I call him, we will say it’s weird. So what do I say? Avoid name calling entirely?

These aren’t huge deals because I don’t see these people that frequently but when the situation arises I seem to be caught off guard.

 

Wild Night

Yesterday was an extremely long day/night. I’ll begin with bowling. Tom and I decided to go bowling at Thunderbird around 3:30. We absolutely crushed the first game for no good reason, me throwing up a 213 and Tom hitting a 210. After a few games Gourlay showed up to join the fun. We got 7 games total in and it was by far my best session of bowling. I averaged a 154 over 7 games and set a PR so it was a good time. Afterward Tom and I got dinner at Madmex. We bought some nice beers and the food was good so overall it was a good time. We headed back to 1716 and had some interesting conversations with JC and GS. Alex called and suggested that we go to Manayunk for a night on the town and I happily agreed.

The plan was to get to Mahony’s, meet up with everyone, pregame a bit, and then go to the bars. I started off a bit drunker than everyone else which was trouble. Things begin to get hazy around this part. I remember being at one of the bars and talking to some 30-35 year old girl who was absolutely flattered that I said she looked 25. She said that I had to be at least 21 because I was in the bar but definitely no older than that. We went to another bar and I very vaguely remember seeing Chuck there. He texted me saying “At Mad River you came up to me and stood next to me for about 5 minutes unable to speak with just a grin on your face. You then tried to walk up the stairs to leave and were falling backwards at which poin the bouncer grabbed you and assisted you out the door.” I left my jacket there too which is gone.

This is where I start to remember again but this is also where things went terribly wrong. I tried to walk back to Mahony’s from Mad River by myself and got completely lost. I was roaming around the back streets of Manayunk looking for anything I could recognize. This went on for well over an hour. I left the bars probably around 1:00-1:30 and didn’t get picked up until 3. I was calling any resources I could find but nothing worked. I was trying to find Valley Green but it’s probably better that I didn’t make it there. Jared and Alex were trying hard to rescue me but no one was in any condition to drive. Jared sent a cab to pick me up at the corner of Henry and Livetez which appears to be ~2.75 miles away from Mad River which isn’t that far but with the way I went it took for-freaking-ever.

$20 later I was back at Mahony’s to reunite with everyone. There was a group of us sitting in the living room talking about the night. Todd Channick was playing guitar (he’s very good) and we were singing along. He also specifically requested a blog mention. He was saying that my blog is really insightful and full of great writing. I couldn’t tell if he was kidding or not but I was not going to turn down a compliment. I was in no mood for sleeping but others didn’t feel the same way. Eventually it boiled down to just Todd, Josh Mastromatto, and I in the living room talking about nonsense. It was a great time.

I don’t know what sparked it but pretty much Ben and I decided we needed to get back to Upper Dublin. It was a little after 4 and we were really trying to think of ways we could get back. It came down to us either getting a cab or sucking it up and sleeping there. The mission was to get back and we were going to accomplish our mission. We tried to find other people to go with us and eventually Jared and Stolz agreed. The cab ended up being $55 which sucked but it was worth it (thank you Ben). At 6am I stumbled into 1716 absolutely exhausted and ready for bed. It had been a wild night and I was done. I’m still figuring out the bar scene, I’m definitely not good at it yet but I’m trying.

Jonny and I are going to the Sixers game tonight and then it’s back to Ursinus tomorrow.

A Tribute to Tom Hanks

There are actors I like more than Tom Hanks but the list has been getting smaller and smaller over time. The guy is just incredible. The number of awesome movies he’s been in is unparalleled. Now, are the movies awesome and he just happens to be in them or does he make them awesome? He makes them awesome in my opinion. He’s just an awesome actor who can play a huge number of roles and do so extremely convincingly. Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, Big, The Terminal (not great but he played a tricky role), A League of their Own, I mean the list goes on and on and these are just the movies I’ve seen with him. I don’t know whether to include Toy Story or not because those are animated but he plays the biggest role in one of the most successful animated movie series of all time so that has to count for something.

After writing this I decided to look up a few all-time best actors lists and he’s ranked #1, #3, #4, and #14 so clearly this isn’t something totally new but the guy is great and has been doing it for 30+ years now. I can only wish that I will as good at anything as Tom Hanks is at acting.

Also, I’m watching Big right now and the one line is just genius.
Paul: “What is so special about Baskin?”
Susan: “He’s a grown up.”

Thanksgiving at the Stortz’s

This years Thanksgiving was a success. It was very low-key but it got the job done. I woke up with a slight hangover but nothing major. After dickin’ around for about 2 hours I decided to go on a run. It was an awesome day for running and I cruised through 8 miles at 7 minute pace feeling as good as I ever have in the past year. Some relatives showed up for a few hours and it was nice seeing them because we don’t see each other very often. I get the feeling that I am not as close with my aunts, uncles, and cousins as most other families are but that’s neither here nor there. After stuffing my face with appetizers for two hours we decided to have dinner. There were only seven of us but that was completely fine by me. I suppose I’m thankful for my family and friends just like everyone else. It seems extremely cliche but I’m aware that other people are not nearly as fortunate as me to be able to sit down in a nice house with nice people eating nice food.

After Brookes and Laura dispersed we were left with not much to do. Tom, Jeff, and I decided to watch 21 Jump Street which received an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie was hilarious for the first half but it went really downhill after that in my opinion. It got a little too outrageous and there were long streaks where I did not laugh at all. I am currently watching some movie about a zoo with Scarlett Johansson in it and I must say she is extremely attractive. I am way more likely to watch a movie if she’s in it compared to a moderate looking woman. It’s not necessarily a good thing but it’s the truth.

The rest of my break promises to have its ups and downs. Jonny and I will be going to the Sixers game on Saturday which will be a really good time but up until then I have nothing. Tomorrow will be filled with Guitar Hero, movies, a 9 mile run, and not much else. I may go out to the bar or something if people want to but who the hell knows. I actually went to a bar last night and it was a good time. I got pretty drunk and the place was packed. It was my first real bar experience outside of the Trappe which doesn’t totally count. I don’t know if the bar is exactly my scene but I suppose no one gets it right on their first try. I’m going to have to adjust eventually because I won’t be in college much longer.