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Goodbye Childhood: Toy Story 3 Reactions June 22, 2010

Posted by Zack in Movies, Pop-Culture.
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This is not a review for Toy Story 3.  This is merely my reaction to seeing it and how much it seemed to (oddly enough) affect me. Having said that there are spoilers in the article about the film.  If you haven’t seen it yet and intend to then I urge you not to read this until then.  Otherwise, please enjoy. (more…)

The Double Down May 25, 2010

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Pop-Culture.
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Like most children below the age of 12, I hated eating vegetables.

It wasn’t until around the age of 18 that I began to eat just about anything.  This began to open up a whole new world (cue the music playing through your head) of food possibilities.  Ironically enough when I began to eat vegetables I began to gain weight.  I’m sure those two aren’t attached at all but it seems that way in my head.  Long story short, I’ll try just about anything… and I mean anything.

Last summer KFC introduced the Double Down.  While sitting at a picnic table at Tecumseh, i was sent a link from The A.V. Club about this travesty of a sandwich.  I was appalled.  I immediately went online to watch the commercial that was airing in two test regions and showed it to everyone I knew in my immediate vicinity (since I lived on a mountain with the same 60 people for 3.5 months, it ended up being just about everyone).  No one knew exactly what to say but I felt the same emotion I had when David Carradine died.  Things were never going to be the same…

Luckily though it wasn’t all over the nation and I was really hoping it would just fail miserably in the test markets.  But, like most things that should have never happened (I’m looking at you 3D craze), everyone embraced it and now it’s fucking everywhere.  I vowed never to eat it, but I knew that deep down inside of me I would eventually have to try it out of pure curiosity.  I had no idea that that day would arrive on April 27th, 2010.  Which finally brings me to my point…

Today I ate the double down.

I sat on the couch and opened the tiny box that sat in front of me.  My eyes locked onto the “meal” as it sat, flaccid and unwelcoming, waiting to be eaten.  The first thing I noticed is that I didn’t, at all, look like the ones in the commercials.  This is what it was supposed to look like.

Intended "Sandwich"

But sadly, this is what I was served from the fine people at KFC…

Actual "Sandwich"

Now, You might not notice the difference because of the terrible picture quality that an iPhone has but the chicken was very light and seemingly soft.  Not crunchy at all like fried chicken is supposed to be.  The cheese was hanging off the side, still unmelted from when they placed it in the middle of the two under fried pieces of breast meat and the bacon was so little it might as well had not been in the “sandwich” at all.

Since this was probably one of the most unappealing things I’d ever seen I decided to just turn on the TV and watch something else as I take my first bite.  My teeth impaled the chicken as I ripped off the first mouthful.  No bacon in the first bite but I could say without the shadow of a doubt that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined.  That doesn’t mean it’s good by any means, just not terrible.  The chicken was lukewarm as I chewed it, sending the initial taste down the drain as I struggled to finish the first bite.

This wasn’t going to be easy by any means.

I began to eat quicker, trying to finish it without thinking about it.  After all, I did buy it.  I wasn’t about to just throw it away.  More mouthfuls and i finally reached the soft and stringy bacon.  Now, I love crunchy bacon but I only love crunchy bacon.  Any other way to cook bacon can go fuck itself as far as I’m concerned.  At this point I think I was halfway done when I decided to look at the “sandwich” in front of me.  This is what I saw.

Failure

My stomach turned for a moment and my throat got shallow.  What in the fuck am I eating? I thought in disbelief.  This is a new low for me.  I officially feel bad for myself.

I decided to try dipping it in the mashed potatoes in an attempt to drown out the taste of depression that lingered on my tongue.  Surely this would help me get it down without any problems… right?  Well it was going well until the cheese on the “sandwich”, which had already cooled, was considerably colder than the gravy that was dripping off the “sandwich”.  This made for an interesting array of temperatures in my mouth resulting in a gagging reflex.

Now, this was about ten minutes into me trying to eat the Sodom and Gomorrah of sandwiches and i was about to throw in the towel.  The Double Down had officialy beat me.  I couldn’t finish it.  I sat it down onto it’s grease-soaked (it actually was soggy) packaging and called it a day.

Then I remembered what I’d paid for it… $6.99!!!

I wasn’t about to let this “sandwich” go to waste, not when I paid that much for it.  So… I sucked it up and decided to choke the rest of it down.  After about another 5 minutes.  It was gone… All that was left was the greasy remains that I held in my hand during the meal.

Stuck in my colon

I felt awful… I thought about mkaing myself vomit just to get it out of my system but the thought was moot (mainly due to the fact that I didn’t want to move and wasn’t about to vomit on myself while sitting on the couch… that’s just pathetic).  I reached over to my phone and snapped one last picture to sum up exactly the way I felt at that moment.  Luckily enough I was able to capture it before having to lay down.  The “sandwich” wasn’t even okay.  I guess if I had to call it anything, it would be “good”.  Never again Double Down… Never again…

Sadness

Twilight’s Bite Doesn’t Break The Skin November 21, 2008

Posted by Zack in Movies, Pop-Culture.
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First and foremost, I will not make any excuses for why I went to see Twilight at the midnight showing.  I’m a huge pop-culture guy and an even bigger film buff so I need to see everything, regardless of the project itself.  The way I see things is how can I have an opinion about films if I don’t see them?  For instance, I personally hate Paul WS Anderson films with a passion but I try to see everyone one because I can’t say he;s one of the worst writers/directors in the business without seeing all he’s done.  Well shit… looks like I’m making an excuse… fuck it, who cares.

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The Batman VS Batman November 12, 2008

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Movies, Pop-Culture.
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Alright, this really isn’t what I usually talk about on here but I find it ridiculous, so naturally, it’s going on the damn blog (also, I find it equally ridiculous that in spell check, the word “blog” is apparently misspelled… in my blog.  This is the same logic that enables one to download an illegal version of Limewire Pro from Limewire basic.  I’ll never understand technology).  So, I was checking my geek websites this morning when this headline caught my eye.

Batman sues Batman.
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The Lack of Looney TV October 17, 2008

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When I was a small child, I had two loves, movies and television.  I could go on for an hour about every TV show I watched growing up but I won’t, due to my not particularly caring.  But I will mention one.  You may have heard of it, it’s a little known television show about a rabbit that keeps getting into predicaments, then get’s out of them in the wackiest fashion possible.  I think it’s called Looney Tunes.

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Really? That’s a computer? January 7, 2008

Posted by Zack in Pop-Culture.
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Alright, I agree with most of the world that technology is a good thing.  I’ve got a MAC, I video edit, I listen to my iPod more than I hear other people speak, I just purchased a Blu-Ray Player and I’m currently trying to look into new ways of conserving energy.  That’s all right and all but I hate it when people try to make it more fashionable to appeal to a wider audience.  Case in Point.

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What the fuck is this?  I know it’s a computer but do I really need something that’s so attractive it takes away from it’s abilities to work efficiantly?  It has a fucking handle for god’s sakes.  I don’t need an easier reason to drop my laptop because I have a false sense of security due to a fashion statement.  I don’t even know what to think about that.

That’s about it for right now.

2008 Resolution: Spider-Man No More January 5, 2008

Posted by Zack in Pop-Culture.
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Fuck Marvel comics.  Fuck ’em.  Seriously.  I’m sick of this shit, I’m so fucking sick of this pathetic shit.  I’m sick of the drama, I’m sick of the shitty endings and I’m sick of them drastically changing the characters that I have read, watched, and loved for over 22 years.

Fuck Marvel Comics.

“Why exactly the huge change of heart, Zack?” some of you may say (none of you will) and I’m gonna tell you… as soon as some quick history is over and done with.

I’m a huge comic book geek.  Huge.  I love comics with a passion.  Some of them are better than novels (Don’t believe me?  Go pick up “Watchmen” written by Alan Moore and tell me you’ve read something better).  I can read comics literally all day long, never looking at the sunlight, stopping to urinate and maybe eat… not at the same time… and I’d be completely content.  I have boxes and boxes of trade paperbacks streaming my closet.  I have single issues I’ve collected over the years being kept in a very safe place.  I love comics.  I was the first in line to see Spider-Man back in 2002.  I saw Spider-Man 2 five times in theaters in 2004 (to this day, I still say that it is the best superhero movie ever made, with Batman Begins in a VERY close second).  I saw the midnight of Spider-Man 3 and was disappointed like every other fan, but it was still Spider-Man.  Through all the crying, swinging, fighting, unnecessarycharacters (Hang you head in shame Haden Church, you can’t hide behind the large shadow of ‘Sideways’ forever.  Eventually even ‘George Of The Jungle’ will see the light of day), plot holes, overbearing score and god forbid… dancing, it was still Spider-Man and I still liked Peter Parker.

But not now.

My love affair has officially ended with Spidey.  Marvel has been fucking with their flagship for some time now.  First, they hit a GIANT misstep with the Clone saga, then they have him reveal with identity during the Civil War shit.  That was a MASSIVE wrap up of Spider-Man, seriously, if I had time and it wasn’t 2:30 in the damn morning I wouldn’t care about typing all this out but I’m angry as a mother fucker and I have to get this off my chest.

B y revealing Spider-Man’s identity to New York, you’re changing his character.  A big part of Spider-Man is the fact that he tries so hard to keep his secret under wraps (Not in the movies apparently, a whole train full of people knows his secret).  Why would he randomly decide to reveal he’s Peter Parker?  He wouldn’t, they changed his character to create drama.  I’m sick of it, but no, it gets worse.  Aunt May was recently shot by an enemy of Spider-Man’s seeking revenge.  Aunt May was going to die so Spidey AKA “Fuck Face” made a deal with Mephisto AKA “The Devil” to save Aunt May’s life but Mary Jane and Peter will no longer be together and would have never been.  So what does he do?  Well, actually, I’m being too harsh on a fictional character who can’t defend himself.  Instead, I blame the writers and editors of Marvel Comics who are pictured below.

hellraiser-4.jpg

Not only did Spider-Man give up his life with Mary Jane, but he gave up the daughter he was going to have.  That’s not even the enraging part.  When it’s all said and done, Flash is there, Harry is still alive and Peter is single… and young.  That’s right, Marvel comics decided to do a giant “fuck off” to the fans and literally erased 25 YEARS OF CONTINUITY!  Nothing I’ve read in the past 25 years matters now because none of it happened.  It’s all just a giant fucking clusterfuck of fucking shit.  I’m done with Spider-Man.  Way to go Joe Quesada, you’ve officially turned me off to Spider-Man comics forever.

2007: The Best Year Of My Life December 23, 2007

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Pop-Culture.
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It’s been a while since I last decided that I should blog so, BAM, here it is in all of it’s glory. Whatever the hell that means.

What’s up first?..
Ahh yes, my return to the workforce. I have a job now. I’m currently a deli worker at Kroger, which is good because Sears wasn’t paying me jack shit. Plus, I get benifits after a while and the union I’m apart of will keep me paid well. They also can’t fire me for no reason. Which, that in itself is an amazing perk, seeing how I lose most of my jobs that way.
The bad news? I’m in the same workforce as this guy…

mylanta-deli.jpg

What’s next on the list?

2007 is almost up and I’m feeling very retrospective right now. I’ve learned very valuable lessons this year that I will most certainly pass onto my children some day.
1. Any Job Is Better Than No Job– Though theater is great and wonderful, I have went through many a jobs this year trying to find one flexible enough for my busy scheduale. Let’s all take a moment and relive these wonderful moments.
The Ketch- a seafood resturant with great food, people, and work atmosphere. To this day I still consider it one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had. Too bad I “quit” because I was bad at my job. Seriously, I was really bad at it.
My Favorite Moment At The Ketch- There are often (everyday) special sides that the customers can order. One day I was working day shift, poorly, and completely fucking up in any which way. One of the special sides was the peas, which, no one was ordering. Finally, three hours into my shift, a lady looked at me and told me she wanted to order the peas. I responded with, “Well, I’m glad somebody finally gave peas a chance!” She did not laugh, and I was not tipped.
Downtown Arts Center- This is the easiest job I ever had. I did nothing and got paid for it daily, it was great. Problem was the pay was shit and I had less than 10 hours a week. Can you say poverty? I sure could!
Favorite Moment At The DAC- Reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows all through my shift and ignoring every customer who trotted up to the window. Granted, I did wait on them… eventually.
Sears- I worked here for two weeks until the managers literally forgot who I was and I was told to go home everyday I went into work, due to them not knowing I worked there.
Favorite Moment At Sears-
MANAGER: Are you here to apply for a job?
ME: No, I’m here to train. I talked to someone who told me I could come in this morning.
MANAGER: We don’t have you on record. Have you been hired?
ME: I went through the orientation and met my co-workers.
MANAGER: But you haven’t trained. That’s wierd.
ME: You hired me. You ran my interview.
MANAGER: Are you sure it was me?
ME: Is your name Ronda?
MANAGER: Yes.
ME: You hired me.
MANAGER: Are you sure you were actually hired?!
(PAUSE)
ME: I’M WEARING MY BADGE!
At this point it began to resemble the worst episode of Twilight Zone ever so they told me to go home and they would call me when they find my paperwork. It’s been 2 months, I’m not holding my breathe.
Kroger- I’ve already talked about this.

2. I Like Acting In Theater and Movies– This year was the year I came back to theater. It had been since the summer of 2004 since I even set foot on a stage, then I decided to go back to school. I was pulled in after being coaxed to come to an audition. Not personally, but my instructor at the time, Tim X. Davis, told the class he would like to see us all audition. So I went and that started a non-stop theater run for me, the most I’ve ever actually done in a year. Here’s what I did.

“Blessed Assurance”- I was a racist twenty-something who really didn’t like change. It got me started here in Lexington. Directed By: Tim X. Davis

“”Working” The Musical”- This was second show BCTC had done and the first I had done at Studio Players, it was a blast. Directed By: Tim X. Davis

“Shakespeare In Hollywood”- I played Jimmy Cagney, which was fun as hell. I had to cut my hair and I’m still trying to grow it out. It’s frustrating. Directed By: Ross Carter

“Surprise Theater: Nouveau Americana”- This was fun. This was really, really fun. I played the Pillsbury Doughboy. Plus, I got a pie in the face everynight. Directed By: Eric Seale

“The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail”- I played Deacon Ball, I existed to throw off Thoreau. Also, I shot some people. Directed By: Tim X. Davis

I was also in a film class, where I was in four of the 7 movies we did. That was a blast in itself.

3. I Don’t Understand Women– It’s been a weird year for Zack’s love life. This year I heard all the classics from all of my ex’s/almost ex’s. Here are a list of the best things girls have said to me all year (mostly all of them coming from ex-girlfriends).
“I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
“I’m around you because I’m comfortable and I like to cuddle.”
“Zack, why would you go and do a thing like that?”
“I can’t spend the night, my boyfriend and I are going to the movies.”
“Don’t try to change me, people don’t change.”
“Zack, this won’t work out, I’m seeing two other people right now.”
“No.”
“That was the worst line I’ve ever heard.”
“I made a mistake and chose the wrong guy, too late to change it now.”
And last but not least, my favorite quote from anyone I dated this year…
She put in a mix CD and I got excited when a familiar song came on.
“Sweet, Appetite For Destruction,” I said. She corrected me with this…
“No it’s not. It’s Guns N Roses, Sweet Child Of Mine.” After that, I knew it wasn’t going to work out.

4. Sci-Fi Really Kicks Ass– After some of my facorite shows, Lost, Heroes and Veronica Mars went off the air for the summer (or indefinetly) I decided to catch up on some shows that I always wanted to watch. So, what did I do? Caught up with three seasons and a two hour prequel to Battlestar Galactica. Needless to say, I’m a fan, in fact I’m a huge fan. I really enjoy it (how many other ways can I say the same damn thing over and over again?). Also, I started getting into the new Doctor Who series that comes on BBC. It’s damn good, I mean really damn good. I can’t wait for Torchwood though, something tells me I might enjoy it more.

Besides a couple of stupid little rules about Karaoke conduct and the fact that I can’t hold my liquor past 12 drinks, I think that about wraps it up for the year. I, under any circumstances, wouldn’t change a damn thing. I’ve made friendships through school (Eric & Lori, Jeremy, Micah, Kevin, Erica, Ben & Rachael, Tim, Natalie & Ryan, Dearing, Mosley, Courtney, Katie, Norm, Brad and Bekah) that honestly, i can’t remember what life was like without them. So, I dedicate 2007 to all my new friends, after all, their the reason I’ve had the best year of my life.

Well, I’m Twenty-Two Years Old… November 6, 2007

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Movies, Pop-Culture, Television.
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I’m twenty-two years old and it doesn’t feel any different. At all… it’s nice, to an extent, except the only one I have to look forward to is the 25th birthday (I can then rent a car, in which I promptly will). All together, I had a wonderful birthday, I got drunk, had a wonderful dinner, got good presents, and finally finished my James Bond collection. That’s right, it doesn’t sound like much but it took me 6 1/2 years to find them all, individually and not in a huge box set. I’m stoked, now I own all 21 James Bond movies, even the “Sir James Bond” movie ‘Never Say Never Again’. It’s a crapfest but hell, I’m a completists. What are you gonna do, right?

Heroes this season blows something fierce. Gone in the wonderful character development, gone is the kick ass villains, gone in the wonderful battles that jump started the show when it was in a downward spiral. Gone, gone, gone. The latest episode that aired tonight is promising, but it’s too much drama for me. More action, less drama. I tune in to watch superheroes fight and save the world, if I wanted drama, I’ll rewatch Dawson’s Creek.

The writer’s strike is killing me. The office is officially shut down, 30 Rock is shut down, Heroes filmed a new ending for the December 3rd episode that will double as a season finale if the strike isn’t resolved in time. Battlestar Galactica is puched back from December to April, which pisses me off because dammit, I’ve waited long enough, I want more cylons! The Daily Show is officially shut down and so is Colbert. The thing I’m most worried about is my two favorite shows of the new season, Chuck and Reaper, might go on hiatus, leaving me with literally nothing to watch. Dammit, just when Chuck was getting good… All I have now is fucking reality shows and I hate that shit with a passion. Frack reality TV.

I’m really, REALLY, excited about fall movies coming out this year (They will be followed by the trailers). First and foremost, the one I’m most looking forward to…

1. No Country For Old Men: The Coen Brothers have, for the most part, not disappointed me. And what is making a huge comeback? Westerns! Yes! I love westerns so much, 3:10 To Yuma kicked major ass and I’ve got huge hopes for ‘No Country’.

2. There Will Be Blood: When I first heard of this, i thought it was a cheap Saw rip-off. It’s anything but though and written by my favorite screenwriter Paul Thomas Anderson, the amazing writer/director of Magnolia and Boogie Nights… I’m so excited, plus, who doesn’t like Daniel Day Lewis….

3. American Gangster: I love Russell Crowe as an actor. He’s my go-to guy for wonderful movies (except for that shitty movie where he got drunk and drank wine for two hours). Plus, Denzel Washington is also a strong actor, how can this movie not be good? Seriously?

4. Beowulf: Who deosn’t love Beowulf? Out of all the books and tales we read in high school, this one stood out above the rest, leaving me wishing I could fight monsters and be bad-ass. I can’t wait for this movies, besides, Robert Zemeckis has a wonderful eye and I want him to make a comeback.

5. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford: I saw Casey Affleck in ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and was blown away by his performance. He’s a wonderful actor who can steal scenes like no other and it’s nice seeing him in something thats not n ‘Ocean’s’ movie. Plus, Brad Pitt seems like an obvious choice for Jesse James and apparently is amazing. I know, it’s already showing, so is American Gangster, these are the movies I haven’t seen but want to so incredibly bad.

Well, that’s all for me tonight, it’s late.. well, not really but my body thinks it is due to the time change… Goodnight.

The Many Rants Of Zack Hightower October 6, 2007

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It’s been entirely too long since I’ve blogged. Why you ask? Well for starters…

I’m doing a film program at school right now. It’s fun as a mother fucker, I mean really really fun. They take you through pre-production until you reach the finished product. It’s really fun, mostly because you write a script and we film it. Maybe you already guessed that. Oh well, oh bla di, oh bla da.

I’ve been playing Halo 3 religiously at night. Mostly because between like 11 and 1 is my free time (at night) and since I still, to this day, for some unknown fucking reason, haven’t found a damn job yet, it’s free and fun. I’ve just gotten into the online multiplayer stuff and are utterly addicted. It’s almost pathetic how much I’ve played over the past week or so. Like I said though, only at night.

I finally got a new phone. It’s a Samsung Upstage and mine is identical to the one that is shown down below.

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It has two sides. One is the regular phone, the other side is my media player and everything else. And it’s all touch sensitive. I love it so much. It’s my tiny little technology baby now.

I just got the ‘Across The Universe’ soundtrack because I’m a HUGE Beatles fan. I was a little “ehh” at first but the more I listen to it, the more I love it. Here is one of my favorite songs of the album.

I really can’t wait to see this. It’s opens in Kentucky next Friday so I’ll be tapping my feet in the theaters along with the other Beatles freaks. I’ts gonna be awesome.

Alright, this brings us to my favorite part of my blog. Television shows.

Here is a list of all the shows I’m watching this season and what I rate each one.

1. Reaper: So far so good. I really hope they stop following a formula though. B+

2. Heroes: Okay, fisrt season was awesome with a shitty ending. This is beginning to pick up. B+

3. Bionic Woman: Shitty… really shitty… I’m giving a four episode chance. D-

4. Smallville: Special effects are better, but Lana has clones? Bullshit. C-

5. The Office: A

6. Chuck: Well, it’s entertaining but dammit, it isn’t that good. C+

7. Beauty And The Geek: I’m a fucking sucker for this show and it’s really good this year. B+

8. Mad Men: This show is almost flawless. But on pure entertainment, it’s awesome. A+

9. Damages: I hope it goes somewhere quick but the acting is great. A

10. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Fucking Hilarious. A

Well, that’s the breakdown of all the shows I currently watching that I can think of right off the top of my head. Thank god for DVR, right?