Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hanna Rewrite

mike: im pretty positive you'll like the movie HANNA
gllen: was ok
gllen: 7.5
gllen: could of had more lasers
mike: and an earthquake right
mike: an earthquake on an asteroid hurtling towards earth
gllen: yes. exactly.
mike: with vin diesel shooting lazers out of his eyeballs at it
gllen: that sounds amazing
gllen: 9.9
mike: ill start writing
gllen: SCENE 1: Closeup of alarm clock going off, DJ saying something about "mysterious power outages", cut to vin diesel waking up with some hot babe that he just met last night, then there's some knocking at the door, it's his landlord, his rent is late!
gllen: SCENE 2: Same as first part of old Hanna, but all the BS removed, just the fighting scene
mike: EXTREME CLOSE UP: vin diesel slams his eyes open. he declares to the fatigued slut, "i aint got time for rules today." he leaps from his eagle-shaped bed and kicks the door open. the landlord falls backwards down the stairs. diesel snaps his fingers, which creates a flame that lights his cigar, and sneers "that first step is a doozy, AAAHAHAHA." out of the corner of his eye, he sees an asteroid hurtling past the moon.
gllen: lol
gllen: "i aint got time for rules today."
gllen: lololol
mike: SCENE 2: EXTREME CLOSE UP: vin diesel slams his living room window open. he slides up the side of his apartment building to the roof. he pounds his chest in the direction of the asteroid, and before he can say something awesome, the president's helicopter lands on his super ripped shoulder.
gllen: lolol
mike: SCENE 3: screen is black for 5 minutes while a badass chemical brothers song plays.
gllen: this movie is OMGBBQAWESOME
mike: im going to take a shower and think up scene 4. unless you vision board it first.
gllen: i can't think of anything, but I'm getting super pumped just imagining a chemical brothers song there
gllen: a real fucking awesome start to a movie and then no credits, just a black screen and 5 minutes of chemical brothers, would seriously be like OMG. FUCK. YES.
mike: lol
mike: SCENE 4: the president jumps out of the helicopter, does a somersault in the air, and sticks the landing. it's harrison ford. he stands up and rips his mask off and it's really morgan freeman. vin diesel spin kicks the president in the face and knocks the black off him. the president is really paul walker. he grabs vin diesel's cigar, takes a puff, and says "let's kick some asteroid, bra."
gllen: so many twists
gllen: that was like 3 sixth senses in a row and it's not even over
mike: i cant even count to how many oscars this movie is going to win
gllen: IMDB is going to have to add a whole new digit to their ratings
mike: eleventeen.
gllen: Scene 5: Slow mo of pres, vin and hanna in swat gear walking towards space shuttle, hot chick crying in background
mike: like 10 hot chicks crying
mike: TURBO EXTREME CLOSE UP: the token tramp in vin diesel's eagle bed slams her eyes open. she stands up and walks across the room while an awesome song starts playing. she rips off her mask and it's really steven seagal. he picks up a dossier on hanna, sits naked in a chair and reads it on screen for 20 minutes, and then punches it until it explodes.
mike: SCENE 6: steven seagal stalks the president and vin diesel and hanna down the rickety pier to the space shuttle. right after they strap in he backflips over to the side of the craft and sticks to it. no one sees him. EXTREME CLOSE UP: on the horizon, the chemical brothers are performing a another really badass song on the back of a great white shark that has a tribal barbed wire tattoo all the way around it.
mike: SCENE 7: scene seven is a commercial for a new flavor of mountain dew that has bullets in it.
mike: SCENE 8: cut to the surface of the asteroid hurtling toward earth. there are a couple billion predator monsters with lasers on their shoulders running around. laser beams are flying all over the place. over by some rocks a bunch of predators are eating a deer. one of them stands up, takes off his mask, and it's gary busey.
gllen: i'm still stuck at the chemical brothers song, in my mind that is one of the best songs I've ever heard, how do you top that?
mike: ok imagine that like 5 scenes from now, we end up in a spot where the chemical brothers have their turntables set up on the surface of the sun, and they start playing a super awesome neck breaking jam that starts an earthqhake, on the sun.
mike: if that doesnt inspire you then i think we hold off til you drink next, i cant do all the heavy lifting alone
gllen: ok
mike: we finish this script and then sell it to michael bay for a billion dollars

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No Sentry For Old Men


I had a crazy dream at 5am.

I was at the Sentry Foods at Hilldale Mall, back in Madison.

Where I worked when I was 13.

I had a broken leg but no crutches or walker, I was hoppin around.

It wasn’t going well.

And I also had Marlo with me on the leash, pulling me all over.

For some reason all I wanted was donuts.

They weren't by the bakery.

They weren't in the bread aisle.

They weren't by the cookies.

Marlo was causing a lot of problems for me, making me slip a lot.

I kept grabbing onto people’s shopping carts to balance myself.

Some would give me dirty looks, like they didn’t care my leg was broken, or they somehow didn't notice what Marlo was doing.

Finally I saw the donuts over by the flowers.

I started hoppin.

Marlo darted and I fell into this old man’s shopping cart, knocking it out of his hands and almost sending him toppling.

We both regained our balance and I looked at him.

He was really old. White, wiry hair. A funny little hat. Light blue corduroys from at least the 60’s. A tattered plaid sport coat.

“Sir, I'm really sorry, I'm having some trouble this morning. Are you OK?”

He took a breath and motioned toward Marlo.

“Young man, you can shove a can of soup up my ass if it means I can look at this beautiful dog some more.”

Then I started laughing really hard in the grocery store and woke up.

Best dream ever.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dave's Habanero Delight


My friend Dave and I have a standing bet every time the Packers and Vikings play. If Minnesota wins, I eat a habanero pepper, if Green Bay wins, Dave eats a habanero pepper. I hadn't seen Dave since last fall, so when he came to town this weekend I was excited to watch him enjoy the snacks I picked out for him at Whole Foods.

Dave chose to eat the peppers right before we all headed out to breakfast. When we got seated at The Lyndale Tap House, he had disappeared. I had noticed him grunting and panting during the walk to the restaurant, and figured he must have headed straight downstairs to the men's room. We then had the text message conversation below.

ME: You OK?
DAVE: Go ahead & order, this could be a bit. Get me a pancake.
ME: Talk to me about what is happening.
DAVE: The fever just broke, must have been 105. Im soaked in sweat. Pooping.

After about 20 minutes I decided to go downstairs and try to interview Dave while on his journey through discomfort. It really was like winning the Super Bowl all over again.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Parenting Through America's Fiscal Crisis

From: Chris R
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 2:18 PM
To: Michael R

Ripley just texted me on her friend's phone asking if she could sleepover at a friend's house. The kid's parents are splitting up, the kids in the family are staying with different relatives, and the last time Ripley slept over there for a party, the girls played spin the bottle and were kissing each other and stuff (Ripley says she didn't participate). I figure she'll be even less supervised than last time with all the family turmoil.

Anyways, I texted back "not tonight, some other time." I get a text back saying "why." Apparently she's at the age where she figures she deserves a reason. Instead of saying something like "don't question me" or "because I said so" (which would anger her), I said "It's because of the mortgage-backed derivatives market. We can talk more at home, my phone is about to die." She responded "ok".

I think that was kind of clever of me.

From: Chris R
Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2011 11:10 AM
To: Michael R
Subject: Re:

When I got home, Ripley asked me "so, what is that mortgage, market thing." I spoke with a bunch of enthusiasm about the Lehman Bros collapse, but how Paulson pressured BofA to prop up Merrill-Lynch.

Ripley, who never wants to appear to not know anything, nodded as she fed the dog. Then she asked "So, were you, like, part of that bank thing? Is that why I couldn't go to Nikki's?" I talked about how all of the US population was affected by it, talked about the resulting credit crisis, and how it has impacted global markets. I also discussed the $600 trillion in mortgage-backed derivatives in a shadowy, unregulated market that Brooksley Born fought Greenspan, Rubin, and Summers (the same Summers that was head of Harvard in "The Social Network") to shed light on, but their word held more weight with Congress than Born's, and she was silenced. I seriously talked for like 10 minutes as she unloaded the dishwasher.

I fully expected her to call bullshit, press the issue, and ask me why any of this had anything to do with why she couldn't sleep over at her friend's house, and I was going to explain how I wasn't comfortable with the level of supervision that might happen at Nikki's house. However, Ripley was comfortable accepting what I'd said as a legitimate reason rather than admit she didn't understand, so we got a pizza, made milkshakes, and watched "Lean on Me."


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Living Near Gllen: Entry 001


This is sort of two or three Living Near Gllen stories. Bear with me.

Last Saturday Gllen and I went on a little afternoon delight movie date and saw True Grit. I dropped him off afterward, went home, and figured out what to do for dinner. I got back in the car and headed up Penn Avenue to Lund’s when I noticed Gllen’s minivan right next to me at the stop light. Gllen sat rigid and cold, hunched over the wheel, motionless. I waved. I honked. I threw a penny at his window. Nothing.

I knew there was around a one hundred percent chance he was headed to Lund’s, and I followed him there. I saw him circle around to an open spot and I timed it so that our cars would pull in nose to nose across from each other at the same time. Gllen still didn’t notice me. We stepped out of our cars and I went “CHHHCHCHKHCHKZZZZZZZZZZZZTK” about as loud as I could, which succeeded in making Gllen jump. He giggled a little bit and we walked into the grocery store. If that doesn’t make any sense, please review this blog.

On Sunday morning I ran some errands in preparation for that afternoon’s NFC North smackdown wherein the Packers gave the Bears a taste of what’s to come. As I pulled out of the BP station on 66th I noticed Gllen’s minivan lurking in my rear view. I circled around the parking lot, rolled down my window, and did a drive-by “CHKZZZZZZZZZZTKTKCHK” just as Janelle stepped out of the van. I saw Gllen’s head spin around from the driver’s side. Janelle started laughing, which never happens when we make The Noise. She explained that in the moments before she got out of the van, Gllen had been explaining how when he got out at Lund’s the night before he was sniped by a surprise “CCHCKHKZZZZZTKTKZHKZHK.”

I told Gllen and Janelle that some of our friends were coming to my house to watch the game that afternoon, and that I was making a crock pot of loose meat cheeseburgers. Since Gllen will tolerate sports to enjoy decent food I wasn’t surprised when he showed up during the game. He asked if anyone would help him move his new recliner from his van to his basement, and the boys headed across the street at halftime. I aided Gllen in finagling the chair down the stairs. It wasn’t easy but I was wearing a Clay Matthews jersey.

Outside, Janelle had explained that Gllen was pretty pleased to purchase the recliner that morning, as they have little furniture in the house yet and Gllen was hard-pressed for comfortable situations to watch movies. I surveyed the basement and saw a ragged futon mattress crumpled against one corner, lonely save for the remote and cup next to it. We headed back to my house for cheeseburgers and some high fives.

A couple nights later, Gllen and Janelle invited us over for dinner. It was a scrumpcious menu that included a salad of roasted asparagus, fresh prosciutto, poached egg and homemade croutons, as well as garlic mashed potatoes and a roquefort-stuffed pork chop that was too big for me to finish, which is saying something. Aside from getting to hear The Noise more, getting in on Gllen’s culinary meddlings should be the biggest perk of having him as a neighbor.

After dinner Janelle lamented their lack of furniture, and the plight she felt wandering through the Twin Cities’ many furniture warehouses. I asked her what her plan for the basement was.

“What do you mean?”

“Well right now it’s just one recliner down there, directly across from an entertainment center. What are you gonna do about that?”

Gllen interjects, “What do you mean? She doesn’t have to do anything about it, it’s perfect right now.”

We all went down there to take a look at the space.

“So where are you gonna sit when you two watch a movie?”

Janelle pointed at some crumpled jeans and socks next to the recliner, “As you can see, Gllen likes to get comfortable down here.”

“I probably won’t watch movies down here," she added.

Gllen smiled.