Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blowing Everything Up With Mikey

Some links before getting started. Norma wrote about delivery issues. Krisztina had a pic of the week. Maria had a book recommendation. And Lynn wrote about new pets in the family.

Now then, to today's mischief....

Overblown Director Announces Unlikely Sequel; Reporters Wonder What His Point Is

Los Angeles (AP). Reporters were summoned once again to the offices of Digital Domain for a press conference. This included a mix of real reporters, such as this reporter, and entertainment reporters, who are by and large the dumbest human beings on the planet, and even more obnoxious than cranky editors who have no sense of humour (editor: I swear to God, I will see you suffer for the rest of your professional life, you insufferable prat! Nobody laughs at my mother-in-law’s funeral and gets away with it!)

Well, in the opinion of this reporter, who really can’t stand his editor or the editor’s family, why is this reporter always expected to show up for such pointless things? It’s not as if this reporter was personally buddy-buddy with the old battleaxe, right? (editor: my wife is going to have you drawn and quartered the next time she sees you) This reporter sighed, condemned to the purgatory of assignments like this instead of actual news for who was to know how long.

The assembled real reporters and the airheaded entertainment reporters all assembled in the usual auditorium where a podium and a full length mirror were set up on stage. The latter were all buzzing about the latest project to be announced by the man we were here to see- some of us by force of editorial edict (editor: rot in hell, you snarky bastard...). A staffer came out on staging, calling for the attention of the press, announcing the presence of her boss. 

Michael Bay came out on stage, waving to the crowd, smiling in that usual dazed way, looking the same as always: the three days of stubble, the dishevelled hair, the jeans and denim shirt. He waved, pointed at someone, laughing to himself as if at a private joke, and walked up to the podium. Bay looked at himself in the mirror, smiled again, delighted, and then turned to the press, waving. “Hello!” he called out in that gratingly annoying tone of his. “How wonderful to see you all here today!”

This reporter started a tally of how many times this reporter would roll his eyes today. Bay carried on with speaking. “You know, I’m a very busy man. I’ve got so many projects on the go or on the to-do list that I barely have time to admire myself in the mirror my usual forty nine times a day.” With that, he looked at himself in the mirror once again and grinned. “Well, enough of that, you came to see what I’m up to next, didn’t you? Because everyone wants to know what I’m up to and what films I have in mind to do. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got a sequel in mind.”

A collective groan rose up from the real reporters, one that Bay seemed oblivious to. This reporter could just see it now: Transformers: Rampage of the Clanging Metal Idiots With Ear Splitting Noise And Explosions. Not that Michael Bay would ever title such a sequel that way, but those films could be summed up in those words.

Bay was still speaking. “You know, one of my favourite films thus far of every film I’ve made got a lot of notice at the box office back in the day. People really responded to it. They loved the action, the stakes of the story, the soundtrack, the explosions, more explosions, and even more explosions. Did I mention the explosions? It was the film Armageddon. And I’m making a sequel to the film. Isn’t that great?”

The real reporters collectively sighed again. The entertainment reporters gushed with glee. This reporter shook his head in dismay. What need was there for a sequel to Armageddon, after all? The first film, which made a whole lot of money at the box office, sent Bruce Willis and a team of misfit oil drillers to a threatening asteroid with the fate of the whole world at risk back in 1998. This reporter mused on the idea of sending a cranky editor on a one way trip to an asteroid... (editor: I hate you with every bit of my being, and when you bite the dust, I’ll laugh at your funeral)

In which case, death would be preferable to covering Michael Bay press conferences. “What the hell are you talking about?” a Reuters correspondent objected. “There’s absolutely no need for a sequel to that movie!”

Bay laughed. “I don’t know if they teach this in journalism school, but hey, there are a lot of asteroids out there, and any one of them could be coming to kill every single one of us right now. Because that’s the way asteroids are. Big and bad and threatening and not having so much as any manners. And just because one’s blown up one asteroid doesn’t mean that’s the end of the story. So what if there’s an even bigger asteroid coming our way, years after the first one? How do people respond to that?”

This reporter spoke up. “You do realize your interpretation of facts is skewed towards making films with lots of explosions and very little to do with reality?”

Bay shrugged. “Explosions are reality. Anyone who says different should never be trusted.”

This reporter glanced at other reporters, each of us silently wondering if Bay was drunk, and this reporter spoke again. “You do realize many people called many things about the first film into question for accuracy.”

“Jealous! All of them!” Bay exclaimed. “Look, I’m a filmmaker, so I tell stories. With a bit of creative glossing over the truth.  And lots of explosions and hot girls waxing cars and explosions. Now here’s my idea. Like I said, second asteroid, bigger than the first, on a collision course with the world. Maybe it’s there because it’s out for revenge after its little brother got blown sky high...”

“Do you understand asteroids don’t have feelings?” the Reuters correspondent asked.

“How do you know?” Bay said in a petulant way. “Where was I? Oh, yes, big threat, world at risk, and the only thing that can save the day will be sending up a crew of oil drillers to drop a nuke in the asteroid, all of whom are slightly nuts and eccentric and off the wall.”

“In other words you’re just remaking the film,” this reporter pointed out.

“No!” Bay insisted. “I mean, I’ve got some of the cast from the first one. Well, not Michael Clarke Duncan, because hey, he’s dead, but I’ve got Steve Buscemi and Will Patton and Peter Stormare back. I’ve also got Billy Bob Thornton back as the big NASA chief Truman, though I’m going to have to figure out a way to explain why he looks so different. I don’t know about you, but if you haven’t noticed, Billy’s had a lot of plastic surgery done over the last few years. I’ve been trying to get Bruce Willis to come back...”

“His character died at the end of that film,” this reporter informed the narcissistic fool.

“Yes, and that doesn’t mean he can’t come back as a ghost. A ghost in space,” Bay reasoned. “Anyway, let me bring out the first member of the cast. One of my favourite actors, the go-to guy, playing Harry Stamper’s roughneck oil drilling brother Barry Stamper... Nicolas Cage!”

Cage came out on stage, waving and lighting up a cigar with a hundred dollar bill. “Hey there!” he called out, and stumbled over to join Bay by the podium.

The Reuters correspondent spoke up. “You’re expecting anyone to buy them as brothers? Nicolas Cage and Bruce Willis don’t look anything alike!”

“Details!” Cage said with a laugh. "He shaves his head and I've got a glorious head of hair!"

Bay carried on. “Now I wanted to bring back A.J. and Grace from the original film, but Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler both told me to go to hell. Liv even said I should douse myself in barbecue sauce and jump into a pit full of fire ants. She must have been kidding. Anyway, I decided I’d bring in all new characters. Namely A.J. Frost’s kid brother R.J. and Barry’s daughter Hope Stamper.” This reporter sighed. Despite what he’d already said, Bay was essentially just remaking the first film.  “Let’s bring out our two young stars right now! Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox!”

LaBeouf and Fox came out on stage, waving. “Hello!” Megan called, as always in an outfit that looked too tight.

“Shia thinks it’s wonderful that all of you have come to see Shia!” LaBeouf added, his expression as dim as always. “Shia knows the world revolves around Shia!” This reporter sighed in dismay; wishing Shia would drop into the deepest darkest hole on the planet.

“Are you certifiably insane?” another reporter asked as LaBeouf and Fox joined Bay and Cage.

Bay laughed. “Why do people keep saying that about me?” He shrugged. “You must be joking. Because I’m the most emotionally stable explosion loving director around. Now then, when we get around to making this film- because I’ve got a lot of other projects going- it’s going to be huge. It’s going to break every single box office record. It’s going to get us all Oscars. Ladies and gentlemen, Armageddon 2: Extinction is going to exceed all expectations. With plenty of explosions! Yeah!!!!”

With that, Bay left the stage with his cast. The entertainment reporters, being the dimwitted buffoons that they are, were gushing endlessly about how much they adored Michael Bay. Real reporters were rolling their eyes and sighing with exasperation. This reporter found himself wishing Michael Bay could be dropped on an asteroid, without the benefit of a space suit, because surely he deser... (editor: hey! I’m a fan of Michael Bay! He’s really a good director, so stop insulting him.)

Among other things, the editor’s an idiot. Not that it’s really that much of a surprise. (editor: you’re dead to me, you hear me? Dead!)

The editor needs some therapy. Maybe yoga. Or a big bag of weed.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Day In The Life Of A Cat

And now it is time for the cat's point of view. Your Imperial Grace, the floor is yours.

7:25 AM. Waking up to the sound of footsteps upstairs. The staff is up and about. Who gave her permission to wake me up before I was ready?

7:31 AM. The staff comes downstairs and bids me good morning. It’ll be all the better with a proper breakfast. Bacon and milk would be quite welcome, perhaps with a side dish of lightly sautéed diced lamb...

7:35 AM. The staff disappoints me yet again by giving me field rations. 

7:48 AM. Out on the deck to soak in some sun. Off in the distance I can hear the barking of that annoying mutt from down the road. Obviously he’s never heard of having a morning lie-in.

7:53 AM. Out in the yard sniffing at the grass. The staff heads out the door and waves as she goes to her car.... wait a minute. Is this a workday? Hey! You can’t leave me outside while you’re at work all day!

Come back here!

7:54 AM. And there she goes. I grumble, growl, and use a few choice curse words to express my annoyance with my staff at the present moment in time.

7:56 AM. ....I mean, honestly, she sees me right there, and she knows I don’t like being stranded outside all day. Is it that hard for her to just leave the door wide open so I can come in and go out at my leisure? What if it rains?

8:23 AM. Sitting on one of the deck chairs, stewing, plotting revenge. It may involve the shredding of cashmere.

11:32 AM. Waking up from long nap. Unfortunately the staff will still be gone for hours on end. 

12:15 PM. Staring up at the clouds. I think that one there looks like a big ball of yarn.

12:21 PM. Well, since the staff won’t be home anytime soon, I think a good walk through the woods and fields would be in order right about now. Some country air, exercise, and perhaps the chance to catch some flying lunch would be ideal.

1:39 PM. Walking through a farm. Not that far off from the barn. Hey, wait a minute... this is what I get for not really paying attention to where I was. This is where that dog lives.

1:41 PM. And sure enough, there he is out by the barn with his human. And lo and behold.... the stupid mutt has noticed me.

1:42 PM. I hiss at the dog to warn him to leave me alone.

1:43 PM. The dog’s human has come over and is giving me a pat and scratch behind the ears. I like that... but on the other hand, lady, you’ve got yourself a foul hound living with you, which is a mark against you. Please do us all a favour and don’t ever bring a cat into your household. That would be far too cruel to the cat.

1:44 PM. I take my leave, turning and giving the annoying mutt a stern glare.

2:08 PM. Back home. Still no sign of the staff. How long does it take to do this work thing anyway?

2:17 PM. Well, if she’s going to be gone awhile longer, I might as well take a nap. Just as long as it doesn’t start raining while I’m asleep. One can never quite tell this time of year...

5:25 PM. Waking up suddenly to the sound of a car engine and wheels on the driveway. I hear the engine stop and a door open. Staff? Is that you?

5:26 PM. Coming around the house. Sure enough, there she is. Well, it’s about time! I’ve been out here all day, staff, and that has left me quite annoyed with you. I am expecting something in compensation for this, you know. A proper dinner, for instance.

6:03 PM. Supervising the staff while she makes dinner. She’s busy cutting up some beef. That has promise. I like the taste of beef, after all. 

6:47 PM. Having dinner. The staff has given me a plate of beef with a side of milk. She insists on eating cauliflower with her meat for some reason. I really don’t understand why she’d eat that, though she does smother it with a white sauce.

7:17 PM. Supervising the staff while she does dishes. Being a human, the staff does require careful supervision.

7:26 PM. The staff is done with the dishes. Okay, staff, cuddle time. I'm demanding at least a half hour.

8:40 PM. Dozing while the staff reads. For some reason her reading choice tonight is a Stephen King novel. Well, it’s her fault then if she has nightmares tonight. Well, her, and Stephen King.

11:35 PM. The staff is off to bed. Very well, staff, have a good night. Again, if you have nightmares, don’t be running around looking to me for comfort. I told you not to read that book.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Day In The Life Of A Dog

Some links before getting started today. Norma had her review of Ant-Man. Parsnip had a Square Dog Friday. Eve had puns at her blog. Krisztina had a garden tour. And Cheryl had some sad cat news.

It is time once again to turn to my regular dog and cat blogs, featuring as always the dog's point of view first.

 7:29 AM. Waking up. Slept exceedingly well. Dreamed of gnawing on a nice steak bone. 

7:33 AM. The human is coming downstairs. I wag my tail in greetings. Hello, human! A fine day, isn’t it? It looks nice and sunny outside. Say, how about we get ourselves some breakfast? I’m feeling a bit peckish.

7:35 AM. Wolfing down a bowl full of kibbles. Yum yum yum!!!

7:42 AM. Out the door for my morning run. Lots of running to do, so little time....

7:57 AM. Running through the fields, barking my head off, feeling carefree. Of course, my being a dog means that I’m carefree all the time.

8:25 AM. A visit to see Spike the Magnificent, Tormentor of Squirrels. After a brief greeting in the customary dog way, we begin to confer on numerous serious matters- the benefits of rolling in dead things, the consistency of dog kibble, and the enigmatic purpose of cats existing on this planet. Neither of us can really determine a good reason for that third one.

8:29 AM. Spike and I discuss sightings of the despised enemy. We find ourselves speculating that squirrels might well be escaping via neighbouring trees while we’re barking at the base of one tree.

8:31 AM. Spike and I ponder which must be more annoying- the vet or the squirrels. We must concede that vets are a rarity in our lives, while squirrels are a regular occurrence.

8:36 AM. Parting ways with Spike. I’m no doubt expected by the human at home.

8:51 AM. Back home after my meandering wanderings. Hello, human! Say, how about firing up the grill with a hamburger before my nap? It’s good grilling weather.

8:53 AM. Despite my suggestion, she’s not starting up the barbecue.

8:57 AM. Well, all things being as they are, I might as well take a nap. Nice and sunny out here on the deck as it is, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy a good doze in a sun puddle.

11:39 AM. Waking up from my nap. Ah, good, I didn’t sleep through lunch.

12:05 PM. I have successfully mooched a couple of dinner rolls from the human. Yum yum yum!

1:23 PM. The human’s down at the barn. I’m busy supervising. Humans regularly do need strict supervision, after all.

1:41 PM. Continuing my duties of supervising the human out at the barn. Motion out of the proverbial corner of my eye. Note to myself: who coined that phrase? I wonder for a moment if it’s that annoying squirrel. I turn and look. Hey, it’s that cranky cat from down the road. Hey, cat! Woof woof!

1:42 PM. The cat hisses at me. The human notices her.

1:43 PM. The human gives the cat a scratch behind the ear and talks to her in a soft way. Says something  about getting a cat around here. Hey, now human, I don’t know about you, but subjecting me to the constant presence of a cat might not be a good idea.

1:44 PM. The cat takes her departure of the property and glares at me. I decide discretion is the better part of valour and it’s not that good an idea to follow her. Besides, I have to talk my human out of this silly notion of getting a cat.

2:04 PM. Back into the house for some tea. Human, be honest with me, you were just humouring that cat, right? Because between you and me, cats are cranky and have a god complex.

2:15 PM. I have mooched a scone from the human while she’s having her tea. Yum yum yum!

4:57 PM. Waking up from nap. Too early for supper, right? 

5:57 PM. The human's talking about dinner. I love dinner. It's tied for my favourite meal of the day with breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

6:35 PM. Having dinner with the human. She must have read my mind earlier today, because she’s barbecued some burgers. While she’s having hers with bread and mustard and relish and ketchup and onions- note to self: who actually likes onions?- I’m having just the meat. Yum yum yum!

8:38 PM. Lying on my back, watching a table fan turn round and round and round and round and.... you know, I’d better stop. This is a good way to get sick.

11:36 PM. The human is off to bed. Good night, human! Do keep the door open in case I decide to come up later on.

With my luck, I’ll be dreaming of that fan going round and round all night.