Sunday, December 30, 2007

December Moments

December promise you have unto me... December whispers of treachery... December clouds are now covering me... December songs no longer I sing... "December" by Collective Soul

No reason for the song lyrics, just thought it would fit being December and all. Don't know of any tunes for January, or that have January in them... since I havent blogged for real in a while, I thought I would just throw out some randomness to end the year.

Sitting here at the Campbell's home, the parents of the lovely Steph Leann, having eaten all weekend, whether it be ham or turkey, or strawberry pretzel casserole, or green bean casserole, or sweet potato cassorole or whatever, probably gaining about four pounds... such is Christmas.

Currently, Alabama is barely holding on against Colorado in the Indepen... excuse me, the Petro Sun Independence Bowl. You have to think that the announcers get so irritated now that they can't just say "Independence Bowl", because I'm sure its in the contract that Petro Sun gets a mention everytime the bowl is said aloud.

Of course, I guess its better than being a commentator of The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. I wish I could make that up.

Its important to remember, though, that we can never have a college playoff in Division I... um, the Football Bowl Subdivision... because we must protect the integrity of the bowl system, like the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, or the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl or the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl... or my favorite, the Brut Sun Bowl. I will now go punch myself in the face.


I just heard the announcer say "You know, you hear people clamoring for a playoff in the college game, but today in the NFL, they dealt with 'do we sit starters?' and 'do we play hard or rest our guys?', plus there were several games today that were throwaway games... do we really want this in college football?"

The answer? Absolutely. There is no reason why you can't have a playoff bracket in college, and that guy should be kicked in the nads just for saying such a stupid argument. We know its about money, and honestly, the only reason that the playoff isn't being considered is the PAC 10 thinks their Rose Bowl is so special, they don't want to disrupt the tradition. And thats stupid too. Absolutely stupid. I'll stop before I get angry.


My nephew Benjamin got Transformers for Christmas. I remember when I was younger, 6 or 7 or 8, and I got a few Transformers for Christmas, and they had like, maybe four or five motions. You can roll the car, and as you're in motion, do the quick five movements and you can keep going with the Transformer, your war against those pesky Decepticons continues.

You think its easy going from an ambulance to this? As I was doing it, four pieces fell off. No, I'm not kidding.

Now? It has an instruction sheet that looks like a floor plan, and it plays out like an algebriac formula. I've tried to transform three of these things this weekend, and was successful only once. I imagine you keep rolling with your ambulance, and suddenly, the action stops for twenty minutes while you figure out how to make him a robot. You need more than better instructions, you need a sedative and a room.

Some of my favorite Christmas specials include "The Grinch that Stole Christmas", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", and of course, the "A Charlie Brown Christmas", which truly is not only the best Christmas special, but by far the best Charlie Brown special.

Not only did CBS hate it originally, one of the execs actually said "You can't read the Bible on network TV!" For some fun reading material, here's the full story.


Here's a list of Fifty Nerdy Things to Do Before You Die. Let's see... 48, 42 and 7 is all I got. Though I could have done #31 while at Downtown Disney. I'm serious. Next time, I'm doing it.


My Christmas haul this year? I got the latest in the Complete Peanuts series, which I am excited about. I have probably mentioned this before, but its a book series which is printing, in chronological order, every Peanuts strip Charles Schulz ever drew. Each book contains 2 years, starting with 1955-56. I think there is supposed to be around 27 or 28 books in the series, with one coming out in the spring and the fall of every year. I've managed to get them from the beginning, and I'll pick up the new one in April when it comes out.

Also obtained, Transformers on dvd, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix on dvd, some iTunes money, a great A Christmas Story ornament from Steph, a series that I think I'd like to start collecting every year, and Stephen King's "It", in hardcover. They don't make it in trade paperback, so I got the big monster book.


In the last week, I've been able to see "National Treasure: Book of Secrets", "I Am Legend" and "No Country for Old Men"

"I Am Legend" is good. Its not great, but its good. Will Smith does a great job of carrying the film, a la Tom Hanks in "Castaway", and its in a film that not many could carry. What gets me is the zombie things. I don't know what else could have been done, but when it goes from a creepy, isolation film to a zombie film, it loses something. The book, written by Richard Matheson, is supposed to be far superior, and reading the plot line on Wikipedia, it sounds like it. But still, it is a good film.

"National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets" was also not great, but just good. However, I wanted this movie to be better. It is, at its heart, a re-hash of the first film, and suffers from the Jurassic Park complex. Let me explain... Jurassic Park, like the first National Treasure, was original, with lots of "wow" and "that was awesome!" moments. The concept was original, the plot was entertaining, and its one you really could just jump into at any time. When Jurassic Park 2 came out, it wasn't as good. It was like, "Okay, you've shown me dinosaurs, so give me something else", only to be given more dinosaurs.

Anytime your movie is just "eh", you can throw in a hot chick and make it better. Of course, she's no Amy Adams, my nominee for the Hottest Chick of 2007 Not Named Stephanie or Ashley Judd.

With "National Treasure: Book of Secrets", you think "okay, you've shown me innovative clues and historical plotlines, now give me something else", only to be given more clues and historical plotlines. Diane Kruger does add to it, mostly because she's smokin' hot, and the appearance of Ed Harris is kind of cool too. (For a really good Nic Cage/Ed Harris duo, check out "The Rock") However, the more I think about NT:BoS, the more I don't know that I'll like it if I watch it again. Unlike...

"No Country for Old Men", which was absolutely amazing. Featuring Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem, it is, on the surface, a drug-deal-gone-wrong chase movie. But at its heart, its interesting, its fascinating, and its rough. Javier Bardem is a creep on the level of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, not just killing, but killing based on principal. Truly, the star of the movie is Tommy Lee Jones. He's an old school sheriff, and the entire movie, you can tell it just pains him to know what the world is coming to, even though the movie is set in the early 80s. I'd like to see it again, just to catch anything I missed. Is it great? I think so, but you need to call it. I can't call it for you. It wouldn't be fair.


So, remember KITT? Because the owner was murdered, you can now buy the original car to help satisfy his debts. That's almost creepy.


Starbucks tends to get busy around this time of year. Our store's manager, Meredith, left two weeks ago for 12 weeks of maternity leave, leaving me the keys and the reins to the whole shebang. Right during Christmas... but hey, bring it on. I can handle it.

Of course, it would help if our customers were smarter sometimes. I mean, if its Sunday, and Christmas Day is Tuesday, please don't get upset if you come in and we don't have gift card holders. This year, the little holder that you put the card in is a cute, red little mitten. But when you load up almost $18,000 in gift cards in a week, like we did, you tend to run out. Its really not my fault if you wait until the last minute to get one, so please don't get mad at me. Be creative. It doesn't destroy the pleasure of the gift card if you don't put it in a little red mitten.


Had a lady come to the drive thru, one that comes through a lot. She's a little odd. Okay, a lot odd, but still...

Anyway, she pulls up to the window, parks her car, gets out and rambles on about how her window is broken. She then pulls out almost her whole purse onto the drive thru plane to find the $3.48 to pay for her drink, not to mention during a rush.

She gets her beverage, she rolls away, we roll our eyes, and the next lady pulls up. I hand her her drink, and say "Sorry about that wait. The customer before you was taking her time", and the lady looks at me and says "Oh my gosh... I was watching her from behind here in the line, and that lady is freakin' crazy!!"


Of course, I'll take crazy people over customers who... order an iced green tea, and ask for it to be blended. In the blender. Have you ever blended ice water? The same thing. You have to dip it out with a frakkin' spoon. And typically, the lady orders it during our busiest times.

Another lady likes to order a venti iced latte... and have it blended. We just make the drink, then toss it in the blender. Not as annoying as the green iced tea blended, but still... its annoying.

Then again, I really can't stand people who work the system to save 20 cents. Like, ordering a grande americano, in a venti cup, and please just fill the rest up with milk. Um... thats not a grande americano. That's a 3 shot venti americano with 1/4 milk. But, to save 20 cents, you're going to order incorrectly. Cheapo.

The worst are what we call ghetto lattes. That's when you order three or four shots over ice, but ask for the cup to be filled up with ice. Then you take your drink to the condiment bar, and use our milk we set out for coffee, empty the container to fill up your cup with milk, and get a venti iced americano for the price of a triple espresso. This is wrong, people. Don't do it. This is called cheating. I'm going to get fired one day for calling people on it. Kinda irritates me.

Speaking of "breaking out of prison", if it worked for Andy Dufresne....


For some light reading, here's an analysis of what went wrong with Howard the Duck. I know you were wondering, and for Mikey Nipp, it has lots of pictures.


It's the end of the year, and of course, there are tons of lists out there... the best of 2007, and the worst of 2007, covering books, movies, music, theater, websites, people, sports, teams, whatever, so on and so forth. Coming up in January of 2007... the THIRD annual Coolest Things About the Year list. That's right, I've been doing it for three years now. Amongst contenders to make this 2007 list include: Paula Maddox, The Purple Onion, PhilharMagic, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix movie, Rush Limbaugh's smackdown on Sen. Harry Reid, Colbie Caillat, Grey's Anatomy, Nikki Brown and even more.

Working on it now.


  1. You ought to be fired if you tell a customer that he or she has used too much milk at the condiment counter. It makes me uncomfortable to know that the smiling person behind the counter at Starbucks is faking the smile that I mistook for gladnesss to see me. I hope that I never order my coffee from you. Read what you wrote about the people who keep your job secure. You should be ashamed. Without those "crazy" people, you would be out looking for a job. Why is it so difficult to serve others? I own my own business and I can assure you that I don't complain about my customers. As long as I have people who want to use my service, I'll overlook "craziness" and they will receive service with a smile. Janie Wigley

  2. The "anonymous" post of 11/12/08 regarding your disdain for your customers wasn't anonymous. I signed my name at the end of the comment. I used to visit the Starbucks where you worked. Janie Wigley


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