Aging Actors

There are a select few actors lately that have drawn my attention for two reasons. One is that they’re very good actors. I never really had a sense for good acting but within the past couple years I’ve gotten better at being able to tell bad actors from good actors. Some just don’t make it very believable. Katie and I watched this joke zombie movie once and it became so apparent to me that the actors sucked. I never appreciated good acting before. The second and more important reason I’ve noticed them is that their roles as actors are changing. The big names from my childhood have gotten older and although they’re still very much in the spotlight, they aren’t the young stud they once were. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, when I was growing up actors like Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, etc. were in the later stages of their acting careers. While still brilliant actors, their roles of Good Fellas, The Shining, and Scarface had been replaced by movies like Meet the Parents, The Departed, and Any Given Sunday. These aren’t necessarily bad movies they’re just very different. Here’s my list of actors who I feel have made this transition in my recent time of watching movies.

Brad Pitt

The picture on the left is from the movie Snatch which was made in 2000. This is Brad Pitt in his physical prime. He looks like a complete beast and girls would do anything to bang him. The Brad Pitt I grew up with was this guy. Tyler Durden who was a rugged badass willing to fight anyone. He’s not only very good looking but he’s a great actor. He’s just really believable and always plays his part as well as anyone. The picture on the right is of Pitt in his newest movie Moneyball. Obviously he’s no slouch but he’s certainly aged a bit and at the age of 47, he’s taking on the role of the older wiser guy as opposed to the young impulsive rockstar.

Jim Carrey

The picture on the left is Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber. This movie was and still is one of my favorite comedies. While Jeff Daniels does a good job, Carrey is the glue that holds the movie together. His early hits with Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Liar Liar launched him into stardom. He was the iconic funny man. He kept things going pretty well into the 2000’s with movies like Me, Myself, and Irene which I love. The picture on the right shows that things have gotten a little hairy with movies like Bruce Almighty, Yes Man, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. He’s currently 49 years old and his usual gig has gotten a little stale in my opinion. He was headed in the right direction with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but has yet to completely stray away from his usual goofy self. Also, his recent video where he talks about Emma Stone is pretty creepy. I can only hope it was a joke or else he has really gone off the deep end.

Johnny Depp

The picture on the left is Johnny Depp in the movie Blow. I hadn’t seen blow until the past year or two but have seen it multiple times since and I really like it. Depp keeps the movie interesting and drives the plot forward very well. I think it would have been a good movie without him but he definitely enhances it. Roles like this and Sleepy Hollow were both oldies but goodies. The picture on the right is him as the Mad Hatter in Alice and Wonderland. This guy was a little out there but he was easily my favorite character in the movie. Clearly he’s always played unique characters but within the past 5 years or so he’s had some wacky ones. Sweeney Todd, Willy Wonka, Mad Hatter, Jack Sparrow, Rango, he’s always playing some odd character but he always does it to perfection. I suppose earlier in his career his characters were a little less odd and less supernatural but recently he’s taking on these crazy roles like it’s his job. He’s gone from kind of weird to super weird but At 48 it seems he has only gotten better with age.

Leonardo Dicarpio

Young Jack Dawson there on the left was one of Leonardo Dicaprio’s biggest roles. He was a young romantic heart breaker in Romeo & Juliet, a drugged up teen in Basketball Diaries, and a playful retard in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. He was young but full of potential. Since then he was matured into quite the actor. He’s clearly grown up in terms of appearance as shown in the picture from Inception on the right. No longer does he have the soft, clean shaven, baby face that he used to. He’s a real man now playing real man parts. With roles in Inception, Shutter Island, and The Departed, he has clearly grown up into a very successful actor who can play many different parts. He was only 22 when Titanic came out and now at the age of 37 he’s one of Hollywood’s biggest actors. His roles have progress impressively over the past 15 years and he shows no signs of stopping.

The Roast of Charlie Sheen

I didn’t have much work to do last night and I found myself bored out of my mind by 10 o’clock. With most other suite-mates occupying themselves with drinking or work, I found the Roast of Charlie Sheen to entertain me.

Airing something on public television that pretty much puts 10 people all against each other and all 10 also against one specific person is a pretty good idea. It opens the door for jokes and reactions and it’s very interesting to see how far some of the people will push it.

I watched this last night and I was pretty entertained but there are definitely some flaws. The positives are obviously that you have a diverse group of people such as Steve-o, Mike Tyson, random female and male actresses,  and the rest comedians, to make fun of each other in creative ways that one of those people wouldn’t normally think of. The jokes were plentiful and for the most part clever and well drawn out.

The general set up is that Seth Macfarlane introduces the next “roaster” while simultaneously making fun of them. Seth is usually pretty funny. The roaster comes up, makes fun of Seth, then picks 2-4 other roasters to make fun of, and then they make fun of Charlie Sheen for a bit. The problem with this set up is that all of the roasters, for the most part, have a previously set up idea of who they’re going to make fun of. When the first 5 people came up and made fun of Mike Tyson for his lisp and face tattoo, the 6th person generally sticks to their plan and also makes fun of Mike Tyson. It gets old to see everyone make fun of one person and no one make fun of John Lovitz.

The next interesting part is how far the roasters will take their jokes. Almost all of them will break the rules in terms of racism, drug use, diseases, and other touchy subject and it’s pretty funny. Patrice O’neal has diabetes and every ripped on him for that anyway. There was one joke by Amy Schumer that I thought was taken too far and I think most everyone in the audience thought it was taken too far too, here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6M6dI7V-f4

All in all I found the whole thing to be pretty entertaining. I think Macfarlane did a great job as the host, everyone was pretty funny unlike The Situation at the Roast of Donald Trump, and it kept me entertained for an hour+. I also thought Charlie Sheen’s speech at the end was very good. He was a very good sport and he seems way smarter than the public gives him credit for. It’s a good change from normal T.V. for sure.

Not so Great

Last night wasn’t very successful. I was pretty excited about it but it didn’t really live up to expectations. We started drinking after dinner at about 6:00. I bought a case of Genesee Ice for 14 bucks which was a pleasant change from Classic Ice. The night started normally. Wacker and Pane played Mark and I in beer pong for a bit and Mark and I were on fire. For the first time I was consistently good at beer pong. After that we had us 4 play 3 man. Jatin and James came over so we played thumper for a while and then headed to Gofus’ house.

It was only 8 but I knew I was in trouble. I lost a bet to Jatin and had to shotgun 2 beers. After almost vomiting after the first one I said I would do the other one later. We went over to Gofus’ and no one was there. Wacker and I snuck out the back door to go back to the suite but before we could leave we had to finish our beers. We said we would chug them since ours were both about full. Wacker decided to pour half of his out and then chug it while I attempted to chug the whole thing. I got about half way and then started throwing up everywhere. Wacker thought it was hilarious.

We went back to the suite and a couple more people had come over. We hung out and listened to music for a while. I was incapable of drinking anymore. Soon after we went back to Gofus’. The sprinters had shown up so the party was actually going this time. I still couldn’t drink. I filled up a beer, held on to it for 30 minutes, spilled it everywhere, refilled it, then put it down and didn’t take a sip. I don’t know what was wrong with me but I couldn’t drink anything. Adam semi-forced me to take a shot and right after I ran outside to the back and threw up again in the exact same spot as I had 2 hours prior. Not my finest moment. Fortunately Wacker threw up too a little later so I wasn’t alone.

The night ended with a girl getting sick and we had to watch over her. Pane and I volunteered to sleep at Gofus’ to make sure she was okay. We fell asleep and I woke up at 4:30 because my eyeballs were killing me. I had my contacts in for 22 hours and I needed to take them out. I walked back to the suite alone and went to bed. I woke up at 9:30 this morning for practice. Wacker, Mark, Amos, and I went on a solid 12 mile run and then our lazy Sunday began. It was just a bad night because I couldn’t drink anything. I never felt good enough to try and sip on a beer because I knew I’d throw up. Taking a weekend off threw me off my game. Next weekend is home coming so I need to have my act together. This week is going to be a bitch in terms of work/tests but once I get through it I’ll be home free. It’s time to study now.

Celebrate

It’s time to celebrate. There are two reasons for this. One is that we are allowed to drink now. Now we only had to go one weekend sober but still, it feels like a long time has passed since the last time we drank. We still don’t have our party privileges so we can’t go crazy in the suite tonight but we can go elsewhere and have a good time. I’m very excited.

The second reason to celebrate was the meet we had today. I woke up at 6:30 this morning to make the 2 hour drive to Misericordia for the race. We got there at 9, the girls ran at 10:30 and the guys ran at 11:15. We hung out, did our normal deal, and then the race was under way. Now I wrote a post or two ago that I think I could win this race and thought that Del Val was a bad race so I was ready to redeem myself. The course was in pretty bad condition so I wasn’t too concerned with time. If I ran fast, yay, but if I ran slow I didn’t care that much because there were so many parts throughout that threw you off rhythm due to the flooding.

The race went out pretty slow actually. I was in the back of the lead pack in 10th place or so at the mile and we hit 5:35. Dels started yelling from far away something like “What are you doing Sam?!” I snapped out of it a bit and thought that the pace was slow and there’s no reason I shouldn’t be right up front. Next thing I knew Jatin, a Misericordia kid, and I were leading the race. I put in a little surge and then we hit this down hill that I ran hard and then I was in the lead. At 2 miles I hit 11:01-11:02 so I had run a 5:26 or so 2nd mile. I opened up a small gap on Jatin and the other kid and that was pretty much it. I kept pushing the pace. From the corner of my eye a few times I could see the kid behind me but I couldn’t tell if he was gaining on me or not. At about 3 miles I heard his coach say that he was gaining on me so I just kept going faster.

I hit the 4 mile split in 22:12 and immediately after that I went the wrong way. Dels and some other coach were standing at this one part and I was supposed to turn right but with the way they were positioned I thought I was going straight. I went straight, they started yelling, I stopped then slipped and fell, then got up and started going the right way. I only lost probably 5 seconds from it but I let the 2nd place kid back in it. I was opening up a gap on him and now he was only a few steps behind me. I was not going to let that ruin my race. I just kept it up and didn’t even want to let him think he could win. With probably 600 left I took a sharp turn and saw behind me that he was falling off. I kicked it in alright and finished in 27:29 with a 5:17 last mile including the fall. It was my first cross country race victory ever and it was pretty cool I must say. I’d say the course was 20-30 seconds slower than Del Val and I didn’t have anyone to run with for the last 3 miles and I fell so I’d say it was worth a 27:00 at Del Val which is pretty good.

I don’t think this was the breakthrough. I felt a lot better than Del Val but I think that’s mainly because of what I ate beforehand. I didn’t feel great but I didn’t feel bad. This was just a normal “good” race. Nothing awesome but nothing bad. I think this does set me up for a very good/fast race at Paul Short. I didn’t have too much pop in my step today but I had more than 2 weeks ago. If I get a little extra umph by Paul Short and then have a very good race, I could be sub 26 I think. Slowly but surely it’s all starting to come together. One step at a time.

Blog Visits

I haven’t  been following blog traffic as much recently because I knew I wouldn’t like what I saw. After the Phoenix dust storm and a record breaking 953 views in one day things just went down hill. Any month long span that included the Phoenix dust storm days had around 4000 views per 30 day period. Any month long span not including it had about 1000. I’m looking at the report now and in the past 2 weeks things have actually picked up. I’m getting between 55 and 60 visits a day which is higher than the usual 30-40. It seems as though Tom’s blog traffic is directly related to mine. He’s been sending me more traffic than normal so what’s good for him is good for me I suppose.

I honestly can’t figure this out at all. I have no idea what people want to read. I can go on CNN.com and steal some videos or pictures that will probably get a couple hundred views but what’s the point of that? At this point I’d guess that half of it has to do with how frequently I update/quality of each post and the other half is whether the people I know are bored or not. Since I’m not going global or national anytime soon I won’t really worry about it. Knowing that my suite mates and family read this thing is enough for me to keep doing it.

Just as an experiment, I’m going to post a video that could maybe generate views, we’ll see what happens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhRf2mYrZmg

 

 

Real Student

Tonight was the first night that I felt like a real college student. I met up with my partner for my managerial class to do a problem set. We started at 7:20 and worked straight through until we finished at 10:30. Obviously I wasn’t hoping it would take that long but we were actually working together and figuring stuff out so it went by a little faster than normal. The only problem is that I didn’t do anything else and I missed the first episode of Always Sunny and Jersey Shore. I’ll go back and rewatch Always Sunny because I really enjoy that show but I’m falling off the Jersey Shore train. The entire show is the producers twisting events so that it looks like something cool will happen but it never actually does. Example, they show Mike getting taken out on a stretcher after a fight with Ronnie. Ronnie is a total beast and could break Mike’s neck if they got in a fight and that’s exactly what they wanted you to think. Mike really just ran into the wall and hurt his head. I literally watched 3 weeks in a row just to see that one anticlimactic moment.

Tonight is sleep night for our meet on Saturday. Like always I have high expectations. I want to break 27 and if that happens then I’ll likely be in position to win the race (just like last race had I run 27:00) because the winning time last year was 27:30. I’m honestly just waiting for one week where I totally break out. I start hitting awesome times in workouts and feeling great on normal runs. Having a race when I just feel strong the whole way, go out faster and close faster. I don’t know if it’s going to happen like that but I sure hope it is. I’ve put in the work and I know my mileage is still relatively high but sooner or later it’s all going to pay off and the results will show (hopefully).

Happy Friday everybody.

Cheers to the Blog

Apparently two years ago today I posted a link to my last blog, the one I had on Live Journal. I went back and read some of those posts today and it’s funny to see how you change in the course of two years. Obviously as a blogger I have improved dramatically. I found numerous spelling/grammatical errors in each post and the wording was noticeably inferior. I’m not saying that I’m a fantastic blogger now but I’ve definitely improved over my 2+ years.

It’s also clear though that I had a lot more material to work with back then. In the beginning of my career I had 18 years worth of stories and experiences to write about. I talked about my cats and about getting beat up and all sorts of good things. Now I’ve totally exhausted those resources and am having to come up with original ideas for blog posts. Too often do I find myself writing about how my day went or something like that when I know that nobody, including myself, really cares. I’ll write about running because that’s something I want to be able to come back to and read about, but in a couple of months I’m not going to care about the test I took or the paper I have to write.

It’s also funny to see who were prominent people in your life at the time. I’m not sure if they still read this, but Tristan and Allie Minning were mentioned multiple times. Two years ago Tristan was arguably my best friend and Allie Minning was one of my best friends of the opposite sex. I haven’t seen Tristan in almost exactly a year (homecoming last year). I talk to him sparingly but we’ve certainly lost best friend status. I didn’t talk to Allie very much last year and now she’s in China this semester so I haven’t talked to her at all. I go months without talking to those two when two years ago I’d talk to them every day. Mark and I were always friends but he was involved with Adam and Bogdan a lot and I was kind of on the other end. Now we’re roommates. I didn’t even know who Wacker was two years ago. I probably saw him at a race in high school and laughed at him for his stupid haircut and how slow he was. Now I spend 8 hours a day with him.

I suppose that is the point of keeping this blog, to look back at how your life was and how much it has changed. Sure I get shit for keeping my “diary” but I could go back and read old blog posts for hours and I’m happy that I do it.

Freshman?

Two very recent and similar experiences inspired this post. At brunch last weekend a group of 4 or 5 of us sat down to eat. A guy I’d never seen before came up to the table and said “Is anyone sitting here?” I thought he just wanted to use the chair because they ran out at his table. Instead he puts his cups down at our table and eats a meal with us for 20 minutes. The next event happened today. Mark and I went to breakfast together and right as we sat down a girl I’d never seen before said “Hey, can I sit here?” I held a long “uhhhhh” before replying “sure.”

The first guy was relatively talkative. He knew he was putting himself in a strange situation so he tried to make it not awkward by initiating questions and taking an interest in what sports we did etc. He also explained that he just didn’t want to sit alone. As a freshman, I can understand if you haven’t made that many friends yet and are trying something new. You’re in college now and in most cases, every other freshman is just looking to make friends. The situation was a little out of the ordinary but it wasn’t too weird or anything. I remember that we were talking about how a doctor goes about performing a sex change surgery. He wasn’t too freaked out and thought it was comical along with the rest of us.

The girl today was the opposite. It was breakfast so it was early in the morning, I wasn’t fully awake or ready to be chatting it up, clearly she wasn’t either. I was at the table while Mark was getting his food. She sat down with her plate and there was just silence. After 30 seconds or so I finally broke the ice and asked if she was a freshman. She said yes and that was it. Another 15 seconds goes by and I asked where she lived. Fortunately Mark came back and small talk continued for a minute or so. The next 10 minutes held very limited communication. She clearly wasn’t trying to become friends with us. She wanted to eat as fast as possible and get out. I don’t really get this thought process. Wanting to sit with people and make friends I understand but she didn’t try to make friends at all. It felt like she didn’t want to be there but she chose to be anyway. Also, breakfast is the one meal where it’s okay to eat alone. Why force a really awkward situation if you don’t have to?

I wasn’t the coolest freshman around but I was smart enough to know two things. 1) Don’t go to meals alone and 2) If you’re eating breakfast alone, pull out a book and make it seem like you’re doing work for your next class. It’s not that complicated. Being at school now as an upperclassman and just looking around you can tell who are freshman and who aren’t by their mannerisms. It’s hard to put a finger on sometimes but you just have the gut feeling that the person is a freshman. Looking back at it, I feel like I probably stuck out like a sore thumb as a freshman. When you walk around trying to look like you’re not a freshman, you stand out 10 times more. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with being a freshman because everyone’s been there but when you see a guy wearing a lanyard around his neck with his ID, you just know.

10 Years Ago Today

10 years ago today was obviously a very significant day. Every year on 9/11 we look back at what happened on this date in 2001 and remember. It was one of those things that you will never forget. 30 years from now my kids will be asking me where I was on 9/11 so I figured I’d recall my little tidbit.

I was in Mrs. Ranck’s 5th grade class and an announcement came over the loud speakers that called all of the teachers down to the main office. Us kids didn’t really know what was going on so we were all just happy that we didn’t have class. The teachers returned 15 or 20 minutes later and the day went on like nothing happened. I got home and just remember watching the news with my mom. They were replaying the same clips of the towers being hit and then the towers falling. One thing I specifically remember was a clip of people from Afghanistan or Iraq burning the American flag and cheering for what happened.

It didn’t really make sense to me. The idea that those people would rather see me, a 5th grade little kid, dead than alive didn’t really hit home for me at all. It just seemed like adult things were going on and that it was THAT relevant to me. Ben Landau and I were supposed to hang out later that day and I had couldn’t go over until I finished this one writing assignment. I was more concerned with that than I was with that than what was actually happening.

I’ve grown up a lot since then and I’ve realized the significance of what happened. If something that extreme happened today I’m sure I’d react differently. The footage we have of it is incredible. If you turned on the History Channel for 2 minutes today I’m sure you’d see. I’ve seen tons of footage over the past 10 years but it never fails to send chills down my spine when I see people waving from 90 floors up and then bodies just free falling out of the windows and then the extremely loud sound of them hitting the ground. It kind of strikes a nerve in me. I obviously don’t have a personal connection with the event aside from the fact that I’m American. I don’t know anyone from New York who was affected or anything like that but it’s still really intense. It’s definitely worth it to sit down and watch one of those things.

*I meant to post this initially. I actually read through this whole poem and thought it was a little cheesy but pretty good. If you’re interested.

Double Round 2

Clearly I’m struggling with my music add-on. Every time I try to upload a song it stops between 2-10% and then my whole web browser freezes and I have to restart it. I don’t know what to do about this so if someone could help me that would be great. Otherwise Ocean by John Butler Trio is going to get very old very fast.

My first sober weekend here at school was actually a success. We got a decent group of people together and we played bingo (school sponsored), walked to Wawa, and then played more games afterward. It was a better time than I expected and tonight is round two. It was kind of sad. Earlier today we looked up “fun activities to do sober” and every website that came up was for recovering alcoholics. I don’t think I’m an alcoholic. I don’t drink alone or on the weekdays really, I just do it on the weekends because it’s way more fun. I also woke up this morning hang-over free and busted out 16 miles with the first 7 at 7:15’s, the next 5-6 or so at 7:00’s, then the last 3-4 at about 6:45’s. I felt really good and that was probably the best long run I’ve ever had.

An experiment as also conducted yesterday. Mark changed my birthday on my facebook a week or so ago without me knowing and yesterday was the day he changed it to. I would have changed it back but after I saw that I had 7 wall posts before 8:30AM, I figured I’d let it ride and see how many people I could get to write on my wall. It was around 40 with about 10 of them acknowledging that it wasn’t my birthday. The 30 that actually did say happy birthday consisted of a pretty wide range, from next door neighbors that I’ve known  for 15 years to people I haven’t talked to since 6th grade. It’s amazing that people can say “it’s not your birthday” and the very next post will be “happy birthday”. I just don’t understand why someone like Mary Harbison, who I had class with in 7th grade and walked with for graduation by chance would wish me a happy birthday. We’ve never had a real conversation ever. Why does she feel inclined to wish me happy birthday when she sees my name in the top right corner of her facebook?

It’s not all bad though. Someone like Jay wrote on my wall. I see Jay probably once or twice a week and there’s absolutely no reason for him to know it’s not my birthday. I understand him being nice and wishing me happy birthday but the large majority of people, well I just definitely wouldn’t write on their wall for their birthday.