Jan 272016

I’ve noticed now for the last few months and years that I am getting and feeling older.  And I am not even talking about the fact that my little baby is more than a year old now, as that in itself makes it feel like you’ve aged instantly.

I sprained a finger playing basketball a couple months ago, and it still hurts today.  My left knee has been hurting for a year or so whenever I do squats with anything more than moderate weight, but feels fine doing anything else.  Actually, that actually sounds like I have something up with my knee not related to aging.  My right shoulder has been sore when I make certain movements or lift certain objects.  When I play basketball at the gym, pretty much every one there is faster and jumps higher than I do, not that I was ever particularly fast or jump high.  But, at least I used to be able to drive by people or keep people from driving by me.  Now?  Anyone I defend can zoom right past me as if I wasn’t there.  I just can’t keep up with these young’ens.  Although, it’s not too bad because everyone at the gym thinks they are freaking Stephen Curry now and all they do is just shoot 3’s and don’t even try to drive.

But, it wasn’t until tonight that I have officially crossed the old barrier.  I arrived tonight into Las Vegas for a work conference which starts tomorrow.  I got into my hotel at a little past 9.  I checked in.  Got into my room.  Poker room is pretty much right outside the elevator.  But the thought of leaving this room and going down to play for an hour or two?  I’m just too tired.  I can’t even count the number of times I’ve come to Vegas and gambled all night long.  Granted I am here for work, but in years past I’d still find time to at least play some poker at night.  Instead, I just showered, got into bed, turned the TV on and busted the laptop out.  As soon as I finish typing this, I am turning in.  I miss my little baby, as this is the first night I am away from her.  However, this is probably going to be the first night in a little more than a year that I get to sleep through the night.  Plus, the conference doesn’t start until 8, so I get to sleep in until 7:30!  Life’s little pleasures.  Gonna turn in now and enjoy the hopefully full night of sleep.

Mar 102015

I don’t know what is harder to believe, that I am actually a dad, or that baby is already 3 months.  Both just seem so crazy to me.  But, 3 months in, here are random little things that I’ve noticed during this time.

The lack of sleep at the beginning is not an exaggeration.  During the first few weeks, you literally wake up every 2-3 hours.  It is just so tiring.  It is a lot better now, where more often than not we put her to sleep at around 11 pm after a final feeding, and she wakes up around 5 or 6.  Let’s see if that can keep up.  We will eventually have to move that bedtime much earlier.

I read a ton of things here and there about not relying on gimmicks to get your baby to sleep.  How you need to train her to sleep, not having to carry her then put her down, not putting her in a car seat to sleep, blah blah blah.  I think that is great and all, but it takes an incredible amount of discipline that I do not have.  When it is 3 am and the baby is crying and it is not the first time you have woken up that night, or even the 2nd time, you will do anything you can to get the baby to sleep.  Maybe when baby gets older we can be more disciplined, but at the beginning, sorry, I will use any and every trick to get her to sleep so that I can sleep.

Its funny the things we do for the baby that we find she likes.  After trying so many different things, I now know the position she likes to be in to prevent crying.  I can sway and rock on my legs to calm her.  I even hum/sing silly things with my off key and ugly voice.  I never remember entire songs, so I usually just repeat the same ten notes of a song over and over and over again.

Being one of the last people in your family or group of friends to have a baby has its advantages.  I would say that almost 90% of all the stuff we have was given to us.

I went to school for Public Health, so have always been a pro-vaccine person.  It just seems like common sense for the public’s health to me.  But, I never really gave it much thought and didn’t really care if others did not think the same.  If they didn’t want to vaccinate, good for them.  But, now with a baby, I can’t help but find those people to be stupid now.  Because they don’t want to vaccinate their kids, it puts my baby at risk since she is too young to get certain vaccinations?  I agree with the doctor that called these parents selfish.  Also, I do not buy the argument that vaccines exist to help the pharmaceutical companies make money.  Everyone knows that these companies make tons more money treating diseases than they do preventing them.  Why the heck do you think your insurance provides you a free physical and flu vaccine every year?  To prevent disease rather than treat them saves them money.

Speaking of vaccines, its scary watching your baby get poked in the legs multiple times for a vaccine.  I’ve gotten tons of shots and never really cared.  But, when you see your baby get poked and start crying, you just cringe.

What is with all these moms and all these sites that are so pro-breast feeding, to the point that they look down on those that do not do so?  What happens if the mom can’t breastfeed?  And what if she just doesn’t want to?  We feed breastmilk, but also use formula too.  The next time anyone ever makes a comment to us, I so want to just tell them we can’t have kids and so adopted thus have to use formula.  STFU and mind your own business.

Ummm, it is not just little boys that squirt pee out.  Oh, and poop can totally squirt out too, as I have unfortunately learned.  And she goes through like at least a dozen diapers every day!

I think reviews for things like diapers or bottles are great, but in the end they don’t really matter.  You can have the best reviewed bottle in the world, but if your baby doesn’t like it, you are not using it.  After experimenting here and there found a bottle she likes and found some diapers that, I guess for her body, leak out the least amount of time.

We have two dogs at home, a little lhasa apso and a larger labrador retriever.  From the beginning, the little one is always curious about the baby and trying to lick her and see what is going on.  When the baby starts crying, she always runs to the room to see what is going on.  The big dog?  She will smell the baby here and there, but for the most part will ignore her.  I think that when the baby gets older and able to play with her, then the big dog will be more interested.

Buy bibs.

Funny how whenever we visit anyone with baby in tow, the first thing people do is pick up the baby.  It’s like the only time I can relax now.  🙂

I’ve always said that there is no such thing as not enough time, just how you choose to spend the time that you do have.  I hear so much things like, “oh, I don’t read, I don’t have enough time” yet they had enough time to watch this movie or that tv show or play that game, etc.  Well, I still stand by what I say, but I’ve found that oh so much more of my time is devoted to baby, and I’d just rather do that than play my Wii U or Xbox One, which I’ve not really touched since baby came.  I’ve still made time to read, though now I only do so during my lunch breaks at work.

Not that I didn’t already know, but freaking infant care is expensive.  We went to a handful of places around our home and finally chose a place that we just felt most comfortable with.  It wasn’t the cheapest place we visited, nor the most expensive, but it will still set us back a good amount each month.  Se starts there the end of this month and mom is going back to work next month.  Hopefully everything works out there and we don’t need to scramble to find another place before she starts work again.

Day to day, it’s  crazy watching her grow.  All of a sudden the diapers are not as loose as they used to be and you need to get the next size.  Or the clothes that used to be too long are now too tight.  Happens so quickly.  Can’t believe she has grown so much in 3 months.  Let’s see what happens the next 3 months!

Oct 192014

Gone Girl

The wife and I watched Gone Girl this weekend.  I read and quite enjoyed the book a year or so ago, as did the wife.  I was interested in how they would do the movie since the book has the audience thinking one thing throughout, and then half-way through the book, there is a huge plot twist that just changes everything around.

For the most part, the movie is pretty much the same as the book.  There are small differences here and there, but the main plot points are the same.  Some characters got bigger play in the book than the movie, some characters were in the book, but did not exist in the movie.  But, for the most part, you are getting the same story, just played out in front of your eyes.  That is, Ben Affleck playing a husband in an otherwise unhappy marriage to “Amazing Amy”, played by Rosamund Pike.  Affleck gets a call that his cat is out and the front door is open.  He returns home and finds his wife is not there and the house has had a struggle.  Finding it odd, he calls the police.  But, because he acts so strange and aloof, and small clues point to him, the police soon think that he is the one responsible for his wife’s disappearance, or more likely, murder.

I won’t really mention more for those who have not read or seen the movie, since so many people are so shocked when they discuss that aforementioned twist.  All I’ll say is that the movie does stay true to the book and I think they did a good job overall with it.  Ben Affleck continues his streak of good movie acting roles here, something Warner Brothers hopes will continue when he plays the next Batman.

I think that if you have not read or seen the movie, you should do one or the other.  It’s a good book/movie and I think if you do one of them you will enjoy it.  If you have already read the book, I’m not sure you have to watch the movie, unless you are interested in watching how they put the words to film.  Although, this is not an action movie with tons of fighting and special effects, so it’s not quite as interesting watching how your imagined words play out on film.

Jun 092014

Edge of Tomorrow

Continuing on with my summer blockbuster movie fare, we took in Edge of Tomorrow this past weekend.  Tom Cruise plays an officer in the media relations department in one of the branches of the US military.  His goal?  To get recruit people to fight in the war against the Mimics, an invading alien species intent on taking over the Earth.  He is in this department mostly to avoid any actual fighting.  That all changes though when he is reassigned to shoot his PR films on the actual battlefront.  He goes into battle soon thereafter and he dies….but wait.  Immediately after dying, he wakes up at the exact same time, on the previous day.  A confused Cruise soon finds out that for whatever reason, whenever he dies, he always immediately goes back in time and wakes up at that exact moment.  He gets better and better each time, eventually meeting Emily Blunt and saving her from dying since he knew what was going to happen to her.

After saving her, Emily Blunt lets him know what she used to have this exact same power and so she trains him each newly restarting day so that the two of them can come up with a plan to finally defeat the Mimics.  Throughout the movie, it appears that Cruise relives the same day maybe a couple dozen times, but as you listen to the dialog, it’s apparent that he has done so many more times than that.  I think Emily Blunt’s character said that she went through the same day 300+ times before she lost her power.

I know that Tom Cruise’s box office draw is not what it used to be, but I have to say that this film was very fun and entertaining.  Cruise is great in this, playing the coward that becomes a hero because of this power he has inherited.  The fighting was fun, the story interesting, and the jokes quite funny.  The movie was like playing an old school video game.  Remember when games used to be really hard and you could not get past a certain point?  Every single time you died, you then had to restart from the same spot, either trying something different or just getting better with your previous strategy?  That’s exactly what it felt like watching this movie as Tom Cruise (uses a life) wakes up again and again at the same spot because what he tried previously failed to work. He eventually gets past one point, only to be met with another difficult spot thereafter.   It was a very fun movie, and a different from the many comic book superhero movies I’ve been watching of late.  Go watch the movie if you like sci-fi action flicks or Tom Cruise or if you just like a good, entertaining movie.

Jun 032014


Angelina Jolie made her triumphant return to the big screen in Disney’s Maleficent.  Similar to what Wicked did for the Wicked Witch and Wizard of Oz, this movie tells the story of the evil villain Maleficent from the classic Sleeping Beauty.  Why was she so evil?  Was she always evil?  Let’s hear things from her side of the story.

No, she was not always evil.  Otherwise there would be no compelling story would there be?  No, the real “bad guy” in this film isn’t Maleficent, but rather Aurora’s own dad the King.  Born a commoner, he will do whatever it takes to move on up in the world.  And when given the opportunity to become the king of the realm, well, how higher up can you go?  Of course you seize it, no matter who you hurt in the process.  And of course who he hurts is our titular hero.  And that is why she casts the curse on his daughter, the very own Sleeping Beauty Aurora.  The rest of the movie goes on about what happens after the curse is cast and takes place during the same time period as the Sleeping Beauty movie, only from Maleficent’s side of things.

I’m not sure how I feel about these movies/stories that tell the story from the “bad guy’s” point of view.  I didn’t read Wicked but saw the musical and thought it was entertaining.  And after seeing this movie, I will say that I did find it fun.  Angelina Jolie is excellent as Maleficent.  She makes the movie, as no one really else (outside of maybe her crow) was all that interesting to me in the movie.  But, why do we have to tell these stories?  Wasn’t it so much better when everyone thought Maleficent was the most evil villain in Disney lore?  Now we have to rethink our positions on that?

Do not get me wrong though.  I did like this movie, as I am a sucker for many fairy tale stories.  I often watch the television show Once Upon a Time for that very reason (a show in which Maleficent is evil, by the way).  The special effects of the movie were fun too.  It was cool seeing the dragon on the big screen at the end of the movie.  But, let’s leave our bad guys alone, and leave them as bad guys going forward.  What next?  Are we going to see the story of the Evil Queen from Snow White as just someone who was misunderstood (actually this has already happened quite a bit in Once Upon a Time)?  Ursula from the Little Mermaid was only the way she was because King Triton did something to her when she was younger?  Let’s just tell new stories going forward, create new bad guys in those stories, and not humanize and make us sympathize for classic villains we’ve grown up with.  Based on how much money this film made though, that is not likely to happen.  So, if they do make a movie on the Evil Queen, you heard it here first.  I wouldn’t be surprised either if Angelina Jolie reprises her role as the “evil” one once again.  And despite me complaining so much above, I’d probably still watch that too.

May 272014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the latest in the X-Men movie franchise and tells one of the most popular stories in the comic books.  The world is now a terrible place to live as giant robots called Sentinels have been created to kill all mutants and mutant supporting humans.  It has created a war in which there is no longer any place safe to live, whether you want to have anything to do with mutants or not.  These robots are so sophisticated that they can instantly adjust to any mutant power used against them and so for all intents and purposes, cannot be defeated.  The X-Men realize that the world as they know it is over.  So, the only way to fix everything is to go back in time and make sure Sentinels were never created in the first place.  So, they send Wolverine back in time to convince the younger Professor X and Magneto to work together and stop all of this from happening.  And so this is how they are able to make a movie that uses the original cast of X-Men with that of the cast of X-Men:First Class.

The movie, for the most part, is a sequel to X-Men: First Class, with small roles for the original cast, outside of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.  I actually really liked First Class, and I have to say that I enjoyed this one as well.  Michael Fassbender makes and excellent Magneto.  You can just imagine him being so, not necessarily evil, but rather focused and intense on doing things his way with his beliefs.  He is just great.  Nothing against Ian McKellen, but I hope any future X-Men movies have Fassbender playing Magneto.  Actually, in fact, I hope any future X-Men movie has the First Class cast rather than the original, as I’ve really liked these last 2 movies.

As with all movies and stories with time travel, it raises a lot of questions, which I think is fine.  What it does, however, is pretty much make all the previous X-Men and Wolverine movies moot as they now have never happened and are on a new timeline.  Yes, sorry, I might have spoiled you there, but you all knew the good guys were going to win, they always do in these types of movies.  They’ve already announced that Apocalypse will be the next bad guy/storyline in the movie franchise.  I’m just wondering which cast they will use.  I already stated that I hope it’s the newer one, but if that is the case, then is the next movie also going to take place in the 70’s, or maybe 80’s?  Anyway, I liked this movie and if you like the X-Men or comic book movies in general, I think you’d like it as well.  I do really like the fact that this movie just tells a good story and is fun in the process.  It doesn’t use this movie for the sole purpose of launching another movie or franchise, as the Amazing Spider-Man 2 disappointingly did.  Or what the upcoming Batman v Superman appears to be doing, based on its new title Dawn of Justice.  Just freaking tell a good, self-contained story and the franchise will come after.  How hard is that to understand?

May 192014

GodzillaThe gang wanted to watch Godzilla over this past weekend and, as I am for most summer movies, I was game.  Seeing as how studios can no longer come up with an original idea for a movie if their lives depended on it, or if they weren’t so chicken, we have another reimagining/reboot of the classic Japanese monster.  I am probably going to get into spoilers below, but honestly, there really isn’t that much to spoil.  But, you’ve been warned.

In this latest Godzilla movie, the famous monster is not a creature hell bent on destruction.  On the contrary, he is actually a type of “god” that brings balance to the planet.  Two monsters are born and are determined to breed, regardless of who gets in their way.  They are so huge and destructive that the puny humans can do nothing to stop them.  What’s worse, they feed on nuclear energy, so nuclear weapons can do them no harm.  And that is where Godzilla comes in.  No, he is not a monster that just destroys buildings.  He is the King of Monsters, the one who must stop the others from wreaking havoc on the world.  And that is about the entire plot of the movie.

It was not a bad movie, but in no way did I think it was any good.  It was way too long for what it is.  I mean, the movie is titled Godzilla, so you would think that Godzilla would have more screen time.  And if you thought that the movie would be entirely filled with monster fighting monster, you would be wrong.  The first couple “fight” scenes were not even shown on screen.  Just the beginning and the aftermath.  Seriously?  Was there not enough budget to show the entire fight scenes, or was it just a way to try to tease the audience into sticking around for the end?  Trust me, the movie could have been cut down.  And the made up human drama in the film?  Not necessary and a complete time filler in this movie.  Elizabeth Olsen is cute and all, but she served absolutely no purpose in this film.  For whatever reason, no matter where she ran to hide, the monsters showed up there and you could hear her once again screaming in fear.

Apparently I am just becoming an old, cranky guy that hates everything because this movie made a crapload of money.  Like I said, it was not a bad movie, but I don’t think it was as good as the box office demonstrated it to be.  The movie was definitely better than that piece of crap film that Matthew Broderick in which just about the only thing I remember of that movie was him giving Godzilla a pregnancy test.  Really?  Whoever wrote that film, upon reading it over for review, still felt that was a good idea to put in?  But regardless, this latest movie did have some entertaining fight and destruction scenes in the end.  It just needed more of them, seeing as how the title of the film is Godzilla.  When that sequel does eventually come out, here’s hoping there is less made up Elizabeth Olsen screaming for her life scenes and more Godzilla fighting other huge monster ones.

May 052014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

As Spider-Man is my favorite comic book character, you knew I had to watch this film even though I thought rebooting it so quickly was kind of lame.  Yes, people like me are why studios can keep getting away with this crap.  Regardless, took this movie in last weekend.

This time around, the webslinger continues his relationship with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, who I think everyone has to admit have great chemistry on screen together.  Spidey continues his quest to discover what happened to his parents.  Electro is created and faces off against our web crawler.  Peter Parker once again meets up with Harry Osborn again after many years apart.  Harry Osborn becomes the goblin and also faces off against Spider-Man.  The Rhino is introduced.  If you think that’s a lot, well it is.  Too much stuff happening in one movie.  Way too much.

Did I enjoy the movie?  Yes, but I think that I am slightly biased because I have always loved Spider-Man, and unless this movie was just complete trash, I probably would have enjoyed it.  But, even that being said, I have to admit that they just crammed way too much stuff into this movie.  From what I understand, Andrew Garfield is signed on to be in two more Spider-Man movies after this.  That’s two more whole films!  Why did you have to cram so much into this one film when there are still two more to go?  As expected, the movie seemed a bit on the long side with all of these different plots put into one movie.

But, that really isn’t the only thing wrong with the movie.  I don’t know if the director was a fan of Batman and Robin or what, but Jamie Foxx’s Electro was terrible.  He reminded me of Mr. Freeze.  And his lines were just as bad.  I don’t want to say that Foxx mailed it in, but he definitely did not have a lot to work with here.  His character and how he began hating Spider-Man was pretty lame.

The biggest beef I had with this film is that it seemed more like it wanted to set the franchise up for further movies and spinoffs in the future, rather than tell a good, succinct story.  Yes, the fight scenes were good and yes the scenes that Peter and Gwen have together are great.  But, trying to use this movie for the sole purpose of setting up future films sucks.

There actually is something else I want to talk about, but it is a major spoiler to the ending of the film.  So be warned, if you don’t want to know, stop reading.

Seriously, it’s a major spoiler.

Anybody who is a fan of the Spider-Man comics knows that one of the most famous moments in comic book history was the death of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s first (and some same only true) love.  She died while Spidey was fighting the Green Goblin.  Well, that comic book moment happened at the end of this film, with Gwen falling to her death in much the same way in happened in the comics.  And as expected, it was a very sad scene.  Even though I knew this happened in the comics, I didn’t really think it would happen in this movie.  But, when I saw the Goblin grab her and then drop her, I knew it was coming.  As I said earlier, Garfield still has two more Spider-Man films to go.  I think that just about everyone would agree that the best moments of the film involved Gwen and Peter together as they are great on screen.  So, my question is why kill her off so soon?  Why not just have Electro in this movie, and then Green Goblin in the 3rd movie and kill her off in that one?  Then he can spend the 4th film moping or meeting up with Mary Jane, or whatever.  By killing her off so soon, especially since it just wasn’t necessary since as I’ve said numerous times above they just crammed so much into this movie, you no longer can look forward to any more scenes of her with Peter.  Being the sucker that I am, I will still watch those future films, but how about the average Joe?  With no more Gwen, what are they going to look forward to in the future?  Because if its more bad guys like Mr. Freeze, I mean Electro, then I can’t say that I’d be too excited.  Everyone knows that what makes Spider-Man great is not just the bad guys he fights, but the regular person he is in real life as well.  Here’s hoping that whoever they cast as Mary Jane will have as good connection on screen with Garfield as Emma Stone did.

Apr 142014

Captain America

I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier last week, and as evidenced by the fact that it was the #1 movie for the 2nd weekend in a row, I was not alone.  Unlike the first Captain America movie, this one takes place in the present time.  Despite having just woken up into this new modern world, Captain America seems to have adapted pretty nicely.  I guess that super serum did more than just make him super strong.

This time around, our hero is up against S.H.I.E.L.D.  Wait, what?  Why is S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to capture Captain America?  And if they are trying to capture him, who can Steve Rogers trust?  Or is he on his own?  He’s got to be able to trust fellow Avenger Black Widow, can’t he?  Or the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Director Fury right?  And who is this powerful new bad guy named the Winter Soldier?  Lots to juggle here, though it can’t be as much to juggle as what I’m seeing the new Spider-Man trailers.  Here’s hoping that this newest Spidey movie is nothing like Spider-Man 3.

Anyway, getting back to Captain America, I thought the movie was pretty good.  I found it more fun than the first one, which wasn’t too bad either, although I prefer that superhero movies take place in the present or the future, rather than in the past.  So, that might have had something to do with it.  I did like this movie better than the first Thor movie too.  I did not watch the Thor sequel so cannot comment on that.  The first Iron Man movie was better though, in my opinion.  Although, that might have something to do with what Robert Downey, Jr. brings to that character.  He is just great playing Tony Stark.

I never really read the comic books, but what exactly did the super serum do to Captain America?  Is he bullet proof, because it sure looks like he is.  And what is up with him always being able to get his shield back after throwing or dropping it.  Did the serum create some type of magnetic force between him and the shield?

But, in the end, this was an entertaining movie, and another success in the Disney/Marvel blockbuster machine.  It seems like they just keep churning these out, and the public cannot get enough of it.  I believe that the Avengers 2 is next, so that’s gotta be another notch in the belt.  That can’t fail, right?  I did see the trailer for Gardians of the Galaxy, and it just looks weird to me.  Not sure I really want to watch it, and I’m wondering if that is the movie that ends the winning streak.  Unless my friends want to watch it, I don’t really plan on doing so.   We shall see though.  I did not really want to see the first Iron Man movie when it came out, and I was proved wrong there.  Then again, some talking cartoon characters are not the same as Robert Downey, Jr.

Mar 182014

300: Rise of an Empire

I went and saw 300: Rise of an Empire with some friends this past weekend.  As the title implies, it is a sequel to the movie 300, which came out something like 7 years ago I think.  I saw 300 only one time, at the movie theater so unlike the friends I saw this with I totally forgot the small details of what happened in that movie.  Just the big stuff, like how 300 Spartans defend against what seem like thousands of enemies, only to finally all die at the end.  I remember it being a good movie and enjoying it, but it was one of those movies in which I never thought there would be a sequel, nor did I think one was really needed.

And so we come to this latest movie.  I wouldn’t so much as call it a sequel, but rather a story which takes place at the same time as the events that occurred in 300.  It starts a little before the events of the first movie and ends a little after it.  But, for the most part, it is rather similar in that the good guys are vastly outnumbered by the bad guys, but against all odds, they keep winning their battles against the evil, invading bad guys.  The main difference between the movies is that this one takes place on boats on the Aegean Sea with mostly farm hands fighting to defend democracy in Greece, while the original was on land, with the mightiest of warriors in the Spartans fighting.  Yet, despite the protagonists only being farm hands and not mighty Spartans, they keep winning their battles.

After watching the movie, I will still stand by my first thought in that a sequel really was not needed.  I suppose the CG is better (or at least much cheaper) today than it was 7 years ago since there is a lot more fake, splattering blood after each vicious kill and with all of the battle scenes involving boats ramming other boats on the sea.  But, like most Star Wars fans think, more CG does not a better film make.  The movie was not bad in any way.  It was entertaining.  The fight scenes were good.  Eva Green is hot as always.  Overall though, it just was not as good a movie as the original.  I believe the movie made decent money, so even though I believe a 3rd movie is not really needed, I would not be surprised if there is one made, as this one ended in a way that you can plausibly see one being made.  Guess it just depends on how greedy the movie executives are in a few years.