Lanny's Blog

Archive for the category “My Ramblings”

Back In Action

This blog feels like such a distant memory to me now. But I’m not here to get sentimental with you. I’m here to say, that I’m back and will be updating the blog.

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. And honestly, I still have no clue. I have ideas of what I would like to do, but nothing has grabbed me. Nothing has been worthy of pursuing. Except writing. Writing is the one passion that I would gladly do without getting paid. That and making music. I do them both and don’t get paid and I’m okay with that.

So, here we go. In this blog, I will be writing about music, music videos, news stories that interest me and random topics that I want to explore. Will anyone read this blog? Probably not. But I’m okay with that too.

So to start things off, here’s a music video from a band I’ve been listening to a lot lately. They are called The Sidekicks and the song is titled, “Everything in Twos.” Enjoy. And I hope you’ll be back.

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Music Video of the Week- Bright Eyes

When an artist is compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, they must be doing something right. That’s what first drew me to the band, Bright Eyes.

Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes

After listening to multiple songs over and over, I really began to respect and admire this band. At the helm, is Conor Oberst, who plays guitar and handles lead vocals. His shaky, folk style and heartfelt lyrics are really quite a combination.

The songs that drew me to this band the most were Lua, At The Bottom of Everything and Landlocked Blues. If you haven’t heard these tunes, then I highly recommend you check them out after you check out this week’s video.

The video I chose to share is from their record, Casadega, and the song is called Four Winds.

I love this video because it shows the band slowly getting booed of stage while still delivering an amazing performance. I thought it was pretty comical.

So here’s the video, Four Winds, by Bright Eyes.

If you know any other bands similar to Bright Eyes, please let me know about them in the comments section.

3 Things I Learned From Sports

I haven’t played a team sport in a few years. However, I can still remember the “good ole days” playing basketball and tennis in high school. Looking back on those experiences, I’ve discovered that there are 3 things that sports taught me.

3. If you play a sport that doesn’t matter, you don’t matter– I think some people deny that student athletes get special treatment, but it does happen. If you’re not getting special treatment, then you’re playing the wrong sport.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I switched schools and the only sport I played was tennis. Needless to say, no one cares about tennis.

Basically, unless you played basketball or football, you were still considered a nobody in the eyes of your peers. For instance, every time we had a pep rally, the only two sports that were celebrated were basketball and football. However, one time, the tennis team was recognized because we had made it into a big tournament. We were welcomed with little to no applause and you could subtlety hear the question, “We have a tennis team?” being mumbled.

confused student

Tennis…is that like water polo or something?

So basically, here is my advice. If you’re looking to be popular, have tons of friends and have the admiration of your peers and teachers, I recommend you play a well-loved sport and get really good at it. And no, golf doesn’t count.

2. It’s not about winning, it’s about having fun- This is the biggest lie that I have ever heard. For years, I heard this over and over and over. But yet for some reason, I never really believed any coach that said this.

When I played basketball in middle and high school, I had numerous coaches tell me this before a game. But guess what? Once half time came around and we were down by 20 points, the coach was yelling and telling us how if we didn’t win, we were going to be running our asses off at the next practice.

But what if we were having fun playing the game? Sure, we were losing, but what if we were okay with that because we just loved the game? All of sudden that “having fun” part went out the window.

“It’s not about winning, it’s about having fun. But winning is the only way to have fun! So get out there and win!” I feel that’s the better expression.

angry coach

“Now you get out there and start having fun!” Yelled no coach ever.

So the next time you’re playing a sport and having a good time with some friends, look up at the scoreboard. If you’re down by a few points, it’s time to step up and start having more fun. And if you’re a coach, then you scream and yell at those little punks until they start crying tears of fun! Because that’s what all the great coaches do, right?

1. It’s okay to cheat to get to the top, just don’t get caught– This wasn’t a lesson I really learned by playing sports. This was a lesson I learned by watching sports. In the world we live, sports are so important that people are willing to lie, cheat, steal, murder and take all kinds of drugs to reach their full potential and get on top.

These same athletes are considered role models and tell our kids that if you work hard, say your prayers and eat your vegetables, you can be successful too.

One scandal we can look at in recent news is Lance Armstrong. This is a story of a man willing to do anything to be number one and reach the top. So was he sorry that he cheated, or was he sorry that he got caught cheating?

It’s baffling to me that some athletes are willing to cheat to obtain their goals and be number one. But what happens when all of your hard work adds up to nothing because you cheated and cut corners to get there?

And if a majority of pro athletes are taking performance enhancing drugs to get there, what kind of message is that sending to the youth? It’s telling them that it’s okay to cheat, just don’t get caught.

But I also think sports drive people to cheat. Think about it. Let’s say you really loved football and you were a pretty good player. You did well in high school and even had a few colleges look at you. Then, all of a sudden, some coaches tell you that you need to work on building mass and strength. Sure you could hit the gym and work hard, but when every pro athlete and their mother is taking steroids, perhaps it would be tempting and easier to give yourself a little boost.

And if everyone else is doing it, it must be okay right? And let’s say you don’t have enough time to get bigger. Are you willing to kiss those scholarships goodbye? Man, life has some tough decisions.

But that’s what sports are there for right? To separate the strong from the weak. If you can’t get bigger, maybe little Timmy down the street can.

kid flexing

Good Lord, Timmy got swole!

Hell, even Buggs Bunny and the rest of the gang took performance enhancing drugs in Space Jam!

Makes me sick!

Don’t get me wrong though, I really enjoyed playing sports. Why? Because I had fun. I was just there to hang out with friends and have a good time. And I think we’ve lost sight of that. Sports are suppose to be fun. So ignore all the people who take it too seriously and let your coaches get upset if they want. Just don’t take anything they say personally and remember that it’s a game and games are suppose to be fun! So get out there and enjoy yourself! Unless it’s dodgeball. That’s war, not a game.

Space Jam

And yes, Space Jam is the greatest sports movie of all time.

Rednecks: The New TV Trend

The world of entertainment has followed some odd trends over the years. I remember when reality TV was just starting out and it grew very popular. The first reality show that I can recall was Cops. Which is ironic because most “reality celebrities” end up in prison.

But in the last few years or so, we’ve seen an even more bizarre phenomenon taking place. Our homes are now filled with redneck stars that have somehow gained fame.

The wonderful world of reality TV has brought us gems such as Duck Dynasty, Moonshiners, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and the newest addition, Buckwild.

I personally thought once we all got past Jersey Shore, it would be really difficult to replace their interesting and almost disturbing lifestyle. But once again, I was wrong.

Jersey Shore cast

We scraped the bottom of the barrel for these clowns and discovered that the barrel was deeper than we thought.

Now the world of reality TV has produced a new trend that has created conversations and clever status updates on Facebook and Twitter. A lot of them have been from yours truly. We have stumbled into the world of the redneck.

The first show that began to display this lifestyle was Duck Dynasty. I have no problem with this show and I know a lot of people who enjoy it. I think it’s hilarious that these guys started a business of making duck callers and ended up turning it into a million dollar empire.

But then, there are shows like Honey Boo Boo and Buckwild. And these people are just idiots.

First of all, Honey Boo Boo really bothers me. This girl has been raised in the world of beauty pageants where everything is fake and the girls are shallower that the kiddie pool in my front yard.

kiddie pool

Ladies, the water is fine.

And what’s even worse about this show is that it is on The Learning Channel. You know where you are suppose to learn stuff? If Honey Boo Boo is on The Learning Channel that technically makes her a teacher. And technically, that makes us stupid.

Now, let’s talk about Buckwild. Sweet Lord.

First of all, if you are speaking the English language, and you need subtitles so the viewers can understand you, then there is a problem.

Second, why in the world was this show even made? We are glorifying people who do stupid things, get in fights, drink all the time, and have no decency. But guess what? I’m just as guilty because I watch every episode and I will continue because it makes me laugh. I’m part of the problem.

Somehow, MTV looked into my mind and the majority of people my age and found that we all have one thing in common; we love to watch stupid people do stupid things.

I’m not sure what’s so addicting about these programs. Maybe after I see a few episodes, it helps me to feel better about myself and my life. Sure I got a flat tire, my dog peed on the carpet and I got stuck in traffic, but at least no one recorded me eating boogers or drinking so much beer that I ran around the town in my underwear. So it’s still a good day.

What do you think of these reality TV shows? Tell me your opinion in the comments.

New Posts Starting On January 7th

I’ve taken a bit of break over the holidays from writing. However, I made a New Year’s resolution to be more dedicated to this site and actually produce more content. But as we all know, New Year’s resolutions are mostly lies that last about a week.

Hopefully, I won’t fall behind and will be able to produce at least one new post each week. Keep your fingers crossed. If you have any ideas for content or music videos, please feel free to share them so I can use them and not give you any credit.

Just kidding. I’ll link back to your blog so people can check out your work as well. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Cheers.

 

 

A Letter To Jason Statham

Mr. Statham,

First of of all, let me say that I have enjoyed a few of the movies that you have been in. Of course, most of the movies I enjoyed were because of the other actors, but nevertheless, you were in them.

I thought Snatchwas an absolutely brilliant film. Sure you were in Brad Pitt’s shadow the whole time, however you did an excellent job.

It just seems like when you star in a movie, you keep playing the same character and you keep repeating the same plot. We get it…you’re a badass, you’re really good at karate and you enjoy shooting people.

I’m ashamed to say this, but I started referring to your movies as Transporter sequels. For instance, you have a new movie coming out called Parker, but I refer to it as, The Transporter 7.

I understand that you’re an action movie kind of guy, but I also believe that you can spread your wings and do something different. Now I’m not telling you to go down the same path as Gerard Butler and start making chick-flicks or movies about surfing and soccer. I’m just asking you to take a break from action movies.

Playing For Keeps poster

How do you go from 300 to this?

Look, it’d be different if there was some difference or new flavor to your movies. But you pretty much play the same character over and over again. You’re always some guy who has to face impossible odds in order to save someone or kill someone. And along the way you fight a group of bad guys (with your shirt off) and show off your karate moves and you sleep with the female lead. Also, on most posters you are pointing or holding a gun.

Also, you always seem to pick movies with horrible titles that any 10 year old could have made up. The Transporter, Death Race, Safe, Crank and Parker are all pretty unoriginal movie titles.

And yes, I know you tried to branch out with the kid’s movie Gnomeo & Juliet, but let’s face it, no one really knew you were in that movie. I only know because I stumbled across it on IMDB.  And you only gave your voice to it, so technically it doesn’t really count.

I understand that action movies are your bread and butter. The only problem is that the bread is moldy and the butter is dog feces. And you just keep spreading it and spreading it thinking that no one will notice.

Don’t get me wrong here, Mr. Statham, I have enjoyed some moments from your movies. I really enjoyed the original Transporter and your movies do have some pretty good action scenes. With the exception of the time you flipped your car and a crane pulled a bomb off the bottom.

That was just plain ridiculous and you know it.

I guess the point I’m trying to make it that I think you can do better and you’re selling yourself short, man. But then again, what do I know? Stay on the same path if you want, and I’ll keep my eyes open for more sequels to The Transporter, or even worse, The Expendables 3.

Expendables 2 poster

Yikes.

Yours truly, madly and deeply,

Some random guy.

What’s your favorite or least favorite Jason Statham movie? Tell me about it in the comments.

Paranormal Activity 4- Scary Or Stupid?

It seems like yesterday when I first walked into the theatre to see the original Paranormal Activity. I had to go to a theatre in Atlanta to see it, because none of the ones close to me were showing it. I still remember having to sleep with the lights on for a few nights because of the psychological terror that it put me through.

a scared man

Yeah I was scared. And yeah, my blanket has flowers on it.

Should the Paranormal movies have stopped after the first one? Probably. I find that sequels are a tricky thing. I believe you should always leave your audience wanting more, and the first movie did that. However, with each sequel, I find myself a little less frightened and a little more immune to what these movies have to offer.

I liked the first one for its originality, and the concept seemed like a cool idea. Yeah, the “found footage” genre has been run into the ground ever since the Blair Witch Project, but Paranormal stood out to me.

With the fourth film, I read a few reviews that said the movie would only be enjoyed by fans of the series. If you didn’t like the others, you most likely weren’t going to like this one.

In my opinion, I thought this movie was good if you’re into scary movies. I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but I do enjoy the occasional scare.

In all honesty, I was hoping this was going to be the last of the series. I wanted them to wrap it up, answer all the questions and just let it be over. Unfortunately, the movie raised more questions and left you with an ending where you have no idea what to think. Most likely though, there will be a sequel headed your way next year.

Paranormal Activity has become the new Saw series. A sequel comes out every Halloween, the plot gets more complicated, and eventually most fans are going to jump ship before the conclusion. I’m actually one of those people who sat through every Saw movie because I wanted to know how it ended. I loved the plot twists and I also needed to know that my theories were correct. And yes, at the end of final movie, I was correct. And no, no one cared.

What I’m trying to say it that Paranormal will eventually run its course. I personally have enjoyed all four films, but I find that with each sequel, I’m starting to lose interest.

So is it scary or stupid? For now, it’s still scary but it’s approaching the line of stupidity rather quickly. But knowing me, I’ll still go to see the sequels because I have invested too much time and I need to know how it all ends. If it ever ends.

a skeleton watching tv

Paranormal Activity 105.

I think most people will get some good screams out of this film. It’s a fun and creepy ride at least. However, if you’re looking for some real terror, you should check out Tyler Perry’s acting in Alex Cross.

What did you think of the movie? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

Music Video of the Week- Further Seems Forever

Back in May, I posted a music video from one of my favorite bands, Dashboard Confessional. I talked about how much I enjoyed the acousitc guitar and the heartfelt lyrics from Mr. Chris Carrabba.

Further Seems Forever

Further Seems Forever

However, a few weeks ago I learned that Carrabba was getting back together with one of his earlier bands called Further Seems Forever. Unfortunately, the band only recorded one album with Carrabba at the helm and it was called The Moon Is Down. If you’re into Dashboard’s work, I think you’ll really enjoy this album. I’ve been playing it non-stop lately.

Further Seems Forever will be releasing a new album with Carrabba back on lead vocals on October 22. The new release is called Penny Black and will hopefully have some good tracks on it. I’ve got high hopes and expectations.

This week, I’ve chosen the first single off the new record called, So Cold. Hope you like it.

Do you know of any other great bands that are similar to Further Seems Forever? If so, please share them in the comments section so I can check them out.

Cheers.

Who’s Ready for a Batman Reboot?

To the surprise of no one, The Dark Knight Rises has become one of the biggest movies in the world. The highly-anticipated final chapter to the Nolan trilogy lets the fans see how the legend ends.

Let’s face fact here; The Dark Knight trilogy is the best batch of superhero movies that have been made so far. They are the standard, that movies in the genre, strive to be like. I can’t think of another movie that even comes close to the success and impact of these films except maybe The Avengers.

Daredevil poster

And of course, Daredevil. But that goes without saying.

So what comes next for the caped crusader? Will Warner Brothers be satisfied with the millions of dollars they made and let the Batman rest in peace after a brilliant interpretation by Christopher Nolan? Of course not!

In fact, rumors of the reboot are already running rampant on the internet. I’m guessing they are going to reboot it in order to keep the rights and eventually bring the DC universe together to make a Justice League movie. And, if they go the same route as Marvel, that means we have to endure a bunch of backstory films that introduces all of the characters.

Aquaman

Which means we get to watch Aquaman be completely useless for at least an hour and a half.

So how will they reboot Batman? They can’t really make the stories darker, because Nolan pretty much took care of that. Will they resort back to the days of George Clooney running around in a rubber suit with nipples? Let’s pray we never have to see that again.

Now I don’t have any thoughts on what storyline the new movie should portray, but I have started thinking about what actors they should get.

Please don’t judge me for these selections because it’s just a thought process. If you have better suggestions, let me know about them so I can completely ignore them and bask in the superiority of my choices over yours.

That being said, here is my list of actors I would like to see in the next Batman film.

For Bruce Wayne/Batman, I would choose:

Jon Hamm

I think this guy really resembles the character of Bruce Wayne especially from the Animated Series and the more recent video games, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Anyone who watches Mad Men, also knows that this guy can act. So would he be worthy of donning the cape and cowl of the Batman? My vote is yes!

Alfred Pennyworth would be played by:

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins

I would pick Mr. Hopkins not only because he is a great actor, but because everyone knows him for Silence of the Lambs. He deserves a chance to be known as a good guy for once.

The role for Alfred will be a difficult one to fill because I felt Michael Caine fit the part perfectly. Whoever takes over this role will really have some big shoes to fill.

For the bad guy, I decided to go with The Penguin and he would be played by:

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

If you were like me and checked out the casting rumors for The Dark Knight Rises before it started shooting, you probably heard Mr. Hoffman’s named dropped a few times. I was very excited when I heard the rumor that he was being considered for the Penguin role. This guy is a phenomenal actor. He’s been in some great films as long as you don’t count, Along Came Polly. To me, he really proved he could portray a villain in the movie, Mission Impossible:3.

Comissionar Jim Gordon would be played by:

Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston

If you watch the show Breaking Bad, which I highly recommend you do, then you know the amazing abilities of Cranston. From mild-mannered to merciless and bad-ass, this guy can do it all. As much as I would love to see him play a villain, I think he’d be really good for the Jim Gordon role.

These would be my first choices for the major roles in the Batman reboot. Sure, they may not be perfect and I may change my mind as time goes on, but for now I’m pretty satisfied with my picks.

Who would you like to see portray these characters? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section.

Music Video of the Week- Weezer

The band, Weezer, knows how to make music fun. I think the perfect example of that is a song from The Blue Album called Buddy Holly. This catchy and rhythmic song is a rip on the lead singer’s very similar appearance to the late musician, Buddy Holly. The lyrical content shows that they can make a joke and take a joke.

the band, Weezer.

What’s your favorite Weezer album or song?

However, even though the song is awesome enough on it’s on, Weezer released a music video that is arguably one of the best from the 90s and possibly of all time. In the video, the band performs in an episode of the popular television show, Happy Days. All of the characters such as Richie Cunningham and The Fonz are hanging out and enjoying the show.

Check it out for yourself.

Some other great tunes to check from Weezer include, Undone- The Sweater Song, Say It Ain’t So, El Scorcho, and Hash Pipe. Also, if you ever get a chance to see these guys live, you won’t be disappointed. They definitely know how to entertain a crowd.

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