Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Creepin' Out Yer Neighbors

You learn something new every day, and late last night, I learned that if you want to freak a girl out, simply shout at her from a distance, "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT?!"

She turned and looked at me, roughly twenty yards away. Staring at her, I shouted it again: "EXCUSE ME! ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT??" She quickly turned and hustled back inside.

Here's what was happening from my perspective: I was outside around midnight, taking in the first cool air I've felt in weeks, taking stock of my life, and occasionally talking on my cell phone. While I'm talking on the phone at the corner of a residential street, a girl rushes out of an apartment building, looks back and forth frantically, gesiculates wildly, and talks quickly into her phone. She then goes back inside. I turn, on the phone with my dad, and see a small cat with a bright blue collar peer skittishly from behind a car tire. The girl comes back outside, still frantic, and thus I tell my dad to hang on a minute, turn to the girl, and shout, "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT!?" It's unclear if she knows I'm talking to her, so I add, "EXCUSE ME! ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT??" I decide she's probably not, and so I conclude, "OK, I GUESS NOT! NEVERMIND!" but it's too late-- she has already run inside.

Here's what was happening from her perspective: While going outside to see if her ride was there, a man with headphones on spots her. She goes back inside, waits, and goes back out to look for her friends. They're not here yet, but that strange guy with headphones on is still there talking to no one, and he's looking at her again. "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT!?" he might be shouting at her, but why the hell would she be looking for a cat? "Is that some kind of pick up line? Is he being lewd? Ew, what a creep," she thinks, and oh christ, he's saying it again. "EXCUSE ME! ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT??" The creepy rapist lunatic with the headphones and bright white shoes takes a few steps towards her. Where the hell are her friends? They said they were outside, but they must have been on the wrong street, because when she came outside, they were nowhere to be found. "Like my body," she thinks as she sees that the psycho's getting closer. Where are her friends? "Fuck it," she thinks. "I'm not dying like this. Not tonight," and she rushes back inside to safety.

I blame what happened on two things: I was in a weird half-depressed, half-wistful mood, and was feeling like being particulary helpful towards strangers. I also must have been feeling an additional community vibe yesterday because earlier, I had been at the bank and while going through the revolving glass doors at the same time as another guy, and thought, "I like the necessary teamwork of revolving doors." Now, that's a weird thought to have, but it's true. We recognized that we were both going around and had to push and walk accordingly. It was like an urban Eagle Scouts test.

So what's the point of the story? Is it that you shouldn't shout at strangers, no matter how helpful you're trying to be? Is it that it's sad how disconnected we've become from our neighbors? How helpful interaction can be miscontrued as attempted violence? No. The point is that even though it wasn't hers, there was still a fucking cat out there and I totally didn't think to check the collar in case someone ELSE was looking for it. I guess I dropped the ball on that one. To be fair though, my creeper level would only have risen exponentially if I was actually holding and petting a cat, while walking towards the next person I saw, shouting, "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT!?"

No, But Seriously, Are You Looking For a Cat?,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Witz Pickz: Cultural Disbelief

There are certain conversations I just assumed I would never have. I never thought I'd actually have "the sex talk" with my mom right up until she shouted, "Just one drop, Witz! ONE DROP!!" at me after I bought my first girlfriend a silver-heart necklace.

I never thought I'd have a discussion about the show Medium (my sister and I did), I never thought I'd speak heatedly about the Project Runway season finale (guilty), and I never thought I'd have a conversation about whether The Game was a good movie or not until last Thursday night. I's THE GAME! It's not Rain Man or Braveheart, but it's a damn good movie. "I'll give you 100 dollars if you find a person who even heard of The Game, let alone likes it," My friend and Witz Pickz supporter, Chris, challenged me.

The conversation started when I said that Michael Douglas was a good actor. I was greeted with shock and was forced to list movies that I thought he was a good actor in: Wall Street, It Runs In the Family, Wonder Boys, Traffic, The American President, Falling Down, Fatal Attraction, and THE GAME. I was also able to simultaneously reveal to everyone present that I had a blog AND have seen Romancing the Stone-- so I have that going for me. Here's a picture of Michael Douglas looking like a squirrel:

Chris was incredulous. We asked around and everyone had either heard of, or liked The Game. Chris was unconvinced. So what do you people think? Am I crazy, here? The Game is sweet, right?? I'm baffled and still hoping I have 100 bucks coming my way. Yep-- that's how I'm making a living.*

I was similarly baffled when I was in Rite Aid the other day and saw that candy was buy one, get one free. That wasn't the baffling part-- the baffling part was that both Clark Bars and Whatchamacallits were in the mix. WHO in the HELLLL is buying either of those candy bars?? Have you ever bought one in your entire life? I'd say think hard, but you don't need to, because you absolutely have not. I'm not even saying they're bad bars (they are), just that given the options at every single candy bar outlet, there is simply never a time when anyone would choose those two bars over all of the other available options.

Do you even know what a Clark bar is? It's a worse Butterfinger bar. It's a Butterfinger bar that someone was able to lay their fingers on, and has since been repackaged with the word "CLARK" across the wrapper like a Wesley Clark campaign sticker. The ingredients aren't listed, but the nutrition facts read like a reverse Staples ad: "Vitamin A: 0%, Vitamin C: 0%." Hell yeah. I don't want to accidentally induce vitamins. I've only seen two kind of people eating a Clark bar-- the really old and the very homeless-- and BOTH need vitamins! Here's a Butterfinger poster that's weird in all the right places:

I have to assume the Whatchamacallit bar was introduced in 1978 by someone who was either really high or borderline illiterate. Here are some scenarios demonstrating why it doesn't make sense:

ANYONE: I made a new candy bar!
ME: Thank God, I'd hate to only have Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, Kit Kat, Skittles, M&M's, Hershey Bars, Crunch Bar, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Reese's Cups or Reese's Pieces as my options.
ANYONE: I told you never to mention Reese around me.
ME: The man is an institution.

ANYONE: What should I name it?
ME: I don't care.
ANYONE: That's what I should name it!
ME: What?
ANYONE: A "WhatshouldInameit!"
ME: Hm.

ANYONE: Dammit, but what will I call it?
ME: I don't care.
ANYONE: That's what I should name it!
ME: Huh?
ANYONE: A "WhatWillICallIt!"

ANYONE: Hand me that, please.
ME: Hand you what?
ANYONE: know...the whatcha-ma-call-it...
ME: The remote?
ME: The phone?
ME: I have no idea what you want.
ANYONE: The candy bar!
ME: You couldn't remember the phrase, "candy bar?" Jesus.

ANYONE: I decided to name it a "Whatchamacallit."
ME: What? Why?
ANYONE: Because, you know, when you want a candy bar, but you can't remember the name, you say, "I'd like a...oh man...a whatcha-ma-call-it!"
ME: Dude, who are you hanging around that can't remember the names of candy bars? You need new friends.
ME: "Oh man, I want the-- the-- one with multiple musketeers..."
ANYONE: No, but--
ME: "Ah shit, just get me the, uh, the circles that are like, parts of a whole, and belong to that dude..."
ME: How high are you right now?
ANYONE: I'm not--
ME: How high are you?
ANYONE:.....Reasonably high.
ME: Reasonably high.
ANYONE: Reasonably high.

The Whatchamacallit bar is basically a shitty granola bar with a little caramel and chocolate-- but did you know the Thingamajig bar existed? In 2009, Hershey's made a concerted effort to stop being so racist and introduced the "Thingamajig" bar, which as you can see in the picture, is the photo-negative version of the Whatchamacallit, and yes, to answer your question, it does seem to be much larger. I'm still anxiously awaiting the buddy flick with the two bars, presented by Tyler Perry and including Martin Lawrence.

Here's something: Have you ever seen a full sized Krackel bar? I sure haven't. If Krackel only comes in fun-size, then it's only logical to assume that a full size Krackel bar must be either wildly unentertaining or incredibly laborious. Keep an eye out and report back.

Who Are the People Watching These Shows: Two and a Half Men, Hung, Royal Pains, Psych, Bones, The Mentalist**, The Big Bang Theory, and Lie to Me?,

*Just don't try this one: "Yo, I bet you 500 dollars that at least one person in this bar liked Houseguest."

**I saw a dude today who I thought was the main guy from The Mentalist, and you have no idea how badly I wanted to ask him, "ARE YOU THE MENTALIST?" in a loud, monotone voice. For the record, the proper response is, "No, but I bet you are."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Witz DOESN'T Pick: So "Hot In Herre" It'll Make You Spell Simple Words Incorrectly

(Never drink a Coor's Light while chewing Winterfresh Gum.)

It's 90 degrees outside. That's only 8.6 degrees cooler than INSIDE OF ME. Dry heat, my ass. When it's 90 degrees, there's nothing dry about me. I don't know who these people are running around in business suits, jackets and ties, without a single ounce of sweat dripping from their brow, but I hate them. They're walking around all stylish, meanwhile, I walk outside in a t-shirt and jeans and within five minutes, I look like I was on the business end of a dunking booth. And ya know what? I'm not alone in this and WE'RE NOT THE WEIRD ONES. I have a friend who says her body, "cools itself off when she starts to get hot-- and not by sweating." THAT'S WEIRD. A teammate on my soccer team told us a few weeks ago that, "Oh, I don't sweat...I just don't sweat." How is that possible?? Our bodies cool themselves off by sweating, that's how it works. Are these people just going to keel over one day, dehydrated beyond comprehension (or I guess "by definition"), lying on the ground while wild animals lick them for their salt? Who's socially unacceptable then? Yeah, that's right.

I'm not the only one going crazy from the heat, and for the sake of the girls I overheard talking the other day (June 21), I hope the weather knocked down their IQ about 80 points:

GIRL 1: Did you know, it's like, the longest day of the year?
GIRL 2: Wait, what?
GIRL 1: Yeah, it's like...the longest day.
GIRL 2: (thinking) Ohh, like, because it's a leap year?
GIRL 1: (pause) Yeah, I think so...

Holy. Shit. The good news, people, is that these girls believe it's a leap year, and therefore, more time is added to the hours in the day; a time when, theoretically, these girls believe they can ask a man to marry them in Ireland. The bad news is that WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. These are the girls that have babies-- not the 38 year old PhD candidates. And you know who they're having babies with? The geniuses behind this sign I saw a few weeks after Easter:

Yyyyup. All "eastern candy" is 50% off, so get psyched.* I wasn't aware Peeps had their origin in buddhism, but I guess it makes sense since I find them both unfathomably disgusting and yet oddly delicious at the same time.** Although, I do like the idea that muslim suicide bombers get to Paradise and are like, "I'd like my 72 virgins now," and Paradise is all, "Uhhh, we've got like...eight...butterfinger crunch eggs." Can Peeps even BE 50% off? Aren't those things like one cent a package anyway? Can't you only buy them with tickets won at a carnival? I thought Peeps were basically just used like wampum in pedophile communities. How the hell can Peeps be any cheaper than they already are? I'm not running around writing on the chalkboards in Harvard hallways or anything, but I'm pretty sure my math is right on this one.

Here's another reason why I won't be making any plans for December 22, 2012:

"Be Alert For Bats and/or Balls." I'm gonna go ahead and put a heavy bet on the "or" for this one. Those are the right field luxury boxes at Yankee Stadium. Unless Al Capone is winding up behind me, I don't need to waste a single bit of alertness on bats. Even a ball is a long shot (aha-ha), and honestly, if I'm biting into my hot dog right at the second a massive foul ball hits me in the head-- well, then it was my time to go. I've seen Final Destination (no, I haven't, but I think I understand the premise), and when it's your time, you might as well just accept it.

In related news, I'm thinking of doing a running commentary on the movie "2012." It was suggested that I watch and write about "He's Just Not That Into You," but, let's be honest, I've already seen that (although I do seem to have blacked it out completely from my memory, except for one moment when I remember thinking, "Didn't Scarlett Johansson used to have a career?" (I'm not complaining)). "2012" seems like a perfect candidate, and at a whopping 2 hours and 40 minutes, I will legitimately be able to say that I put in more hours of hard work than most days that I spent in my cubicle. Let me know what you think. In the meantime, I'll be here, "acclimating" to summer in New York, chewing Winterfresh gum***, and remembering that I'm just not made for this world.

It's a Good Time to Buy Stock In White and Black T-Shirts,

*Do you have any idea how awkward it is taking a picture of a store made sign while the checkout people who made the sign watch you? You're basically saying, "Sorry, I'll be with you in a minute, I just need to take a picture of this because YOU ARE F&#ING RETARDED."

**That's a Unity of Opposites joke, bitches. Now you can stop looking down on me for using the word "retarded."


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Witz Flickz: Leap Year

After a very positive response to my post on The Time Traveler's Wife, and with no other great ideas coming to mind, I decided I'd take another one for the team and watch Leap Year. (Also, this new series of posts gives me an amazing excuse to watch movies that I would otherwise be mocked mercilessly for watching alone).

Aside from some vague hearsay, I know very little about this romantic comedy, except for the incredibly unfathomable fact that in Ireland, women can propose to men on a leap year-- an idea almost as rife with potential as time traveling fetuses. So, let me tell you what the Netflix summary has given me:

"Anna (Amy Adams i.e. Pam 2.0) chooses February 29 to propose marriage to her "perfect" boyfriend (oo, quotational foreshadowing...), Jeremy (Adam Scott i.e. That Dude From Everything), sure he'll accept because of an Irish custom (Really?? Is that how life works? You're gonna mistletoe this dude into marriage?). But after meeting charming innkeeper Declan en route to Dublin (that's all it takes, ladies?), Anna must evaluate her original plans. Anand Tucker directs this charming romantic comedy (yikes) about finding what one really wants in the most unexpected places (way to ruin the ending). John Lithgow (fresh off being creepy as fuck in Dexter) co-stars." reason not to watch this movie, so let's get things started:

1 min: I've never disliked any movie that starts with a shot of feet walking in high heels.

2 min: No, but seriously, do you think Jenna Fischer is pissed that a very slightly more prominent actress is taking every role she would otherwise get? It's the reason why Tobey Maguire isn't in movies now that Jake Gyllenhaal exists (except for that movie, Brothers, where Jake Gyllenhaal steals Tobey's life in the most flagrantly allegorical film since The Wizard of Oz). You know Tobey woulda sent eighty Sea Biscuits to the glue factory to play the Prince of Persia.*

4 min: Ok, let's recap. In a very short amount of time, Amy Adams' character has said: "I transform ordinary spaces into something special. Most people don't know what it is they want until I show it to them," as well as, "There's just a very fine line between elegant and dowdy," and, "You know I don't like surprises." We get it, Leap Year, she's uptight. Please stop.

6 min: I was hoping I could get over John Lithgow's part in Dexter, but Amy Adams needs to start running before she wakes up spooning naked in a bathtub.

8 min: You guys aren't gonna fucking believe who got diamond earrings instead of an engagement ring at dinner! They made this guy so clueless that I'm pretty sure his next move is going to be to open a fridge and start talking about how blue the Coors Light cans are through the cardboard window in the package. Regardless, he's off to Dublin for work.

10 min: "In Ireland, there's a tradition that in a leap year, a woman can propose to a man...once every four years." The other 1459 days, she can cook in the kitchen, care to children, and have sex with her boyfriend, as long as she finds it joyless and routine. Is this really our premise, movie??

11 min: The captain says they might experience some turbulence. They experience turbulence and everyone freaks out. Guys...he JUST said there was going to be turbulence. Keep up. Anyway, the plane is diverted to Wales instead of Dublin. Oh yeah, Anna's going to Dublin by the way...context clues, people, don't make me narrate everything.

14 min: Anna is pissed that the weather is so bad they had to shut down all flights and all ferries to Dublin from Wales. Logically, she hops on a tiny fishing boat to take her, which doesn't work out. I'm guessing this is part of the reason why her boyfriend isn't gonna marry her. The boat drops her off in a place called either Dingle, Tinkle, or Pringles. Are-- are Pringles imported from Ireland?

19 min: Anna is a bitchy city girl who condescends the country and can't deal with not having five star accomodations and treatment...was this originally the script for Sex and the City 2?

23 min: If you've seen Amy Adams in her underwear, does that mean you've seen Jenna Fischer in her's?

25 min: She's driving to Dublin with the local innkeeper, Declan. He's an ass, she's a bitch, and I hate them both. Eeeeeeee, I hope they fall in love!

26 min: People in Ireland don't actually listen to Flogging Molly, do they? That's like wearing the t-shirt of the band you're going to see...

34 min: There are no words for the last eight excruciating minutes. Forced, painful "banter," followed by a scene with cows and cow flop, followed by losing the car in a lake, followed by Amy Adams losing her expensive luggage to a sketchy dude in a rape van (in Ireland, rape vans are blue!). I think it's important to say right now that I legitimately enjoyed The Notebook, Serendipity, Love Actually, and Definitely Maybe. This is just a really bad chick flick.

38 min: Oh christ, they're bonding. It's like watching porcupines mate.

46 min: Now, they have to pretend to be married so that they can stay at the distinctly overly conservative B&B together. Didn't Sandra Bullock make this movie right before she won an oscar? That sounds too fake to be true...

53 min: Montage of the two cooking a meal together. "You surprised me-- you keep doing that," Anna says to Declan who seems a lot more at ease now that Anna's back in the kitchen. I just figured out how this movie ends-- I kill myself.

56 min: Apparently, if you eat dinner at a bed and breakfast in Ireland, you have to make out in front of the hosts. "You're among friends-- you're young, married, in love, anyone can see that!" (Nope) "Dammit man, KISS DE GIRL!" Sebastian the crab is rolling over in his grave with copyright infringement. That's right-- in my head, Sebastian is dead.

65 min: I just went to find an embarassing movie that Amy Adams has been in that I could reference, but it turns out that THIS is the worst movie she's done. She's actually had an incredibly solid career. The most embarassing movie she was in was Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny and she's credited as "Gorgeous Woman" so that's a win. Did you know that Amy Adams and Jenna Fischer were both born in 1974?

70 min: Anna goes in to kiss Declan and promptly throws up instead. So unoriginal. I like to do the opposite: make like I'm gonna throw up and then kiss someone. Instead of the cliche, it creates surprise, confusion, possible enjoyment OR disgust, and there's an element of danger throughout the entire act.

75 min: There's absolutely no reason for these two to be into each other except for a physical attraction. Once she bangs that accent into normality, she's just gonna be with a broke, generically attractive, standoffish, emotionally repressed, innkeeper. There's also NOTHING wrong with her boyfriend EXCEPT that he hasn't proposed to her. Millions of people die every day around the world-- why not these two??

76 min: P.S. Declan loved some girl and she cheated on him. That's why he's a constant arsehole...except when he makes his face go blank and his eyes go wide and shine a little and he says something really know, when he wants to get laid.

81 min: Anna and Jeremy (her boyfriend) finally meet up in Dublin, it's awkward, blah blah blah. Here's the "twist": JEREMY proposes to ANNA! WHAAAAT?? ON LEAP DAY in IRELAND?? Can he even do that?? Can guys ask girls to the Sadie Hawkins Dance if they feel like it? Isn't it kinda sexist of Jeremy to propose to Anna on the ONE DAY every FOUR YEARS that women are "allowed" to propose to men!? AND WHERE THE HELL IS THE "PRETENDING TO BE HAPPILY ENGAGED AND WEDDING PLANNING WHILE SECRETLY, BUT FLAGRANTLY, MISSING DECLAN MONTAGE??"

82 min: Oh, here it is.

85 min: Ohhhhh snap! Jeremy only bought her the ring because the dream condo people (meaning their dream condo-- the condo people are entirely real) made it clear that if they would only get the place if they were married. I love when movies throw a wrench into things by having Guy-Say-One-Piece-of-Information-Guy-Blatantly-Should-Know-Not-to-Say. This probably isn't worth them talking just to fly off to Ireland and marry that random guy. So passive-aggressive.

90 min: There's only so many times you can use the word "proposal" ironically in one speech and Anna has passed that number. She concludes with the line, "Do you want to not make plans with me?" at which point Declan walks straight out of the room without saying a word (which is the proper response to someone who says that).

95 min: Don't worry guys, he just went to go get his grandma's claddagh ring. That lack of communication and his inability to express emotion are only going to be more enjoyable for her as time goes on. He rejects her proposal and WANTS to make plans with her (see what he did there?). They get married, start to drive away, and promptly reference the first 90% of the movie when they didn't like each other. It can't be good to get married when you're only in the "flirtatiously referencing how we met" stage of a relationship. I'm guessing 8-12 months down the road, she's gonna be wishing he time-traveled, and he's going to be freaking out that her fetuses haven't.

Jenna Fischer Dodged A Bullet,

P.S. What the hell happened to John Lithgow? He had maybe 30 seconds of screentime. Why was he in this movie?

*Tobey Maguire actually racked up a quite solid child resume: Wild and Crazy Kids, Blossom, Roseanne, The Wizard (the movie), Tales From the Whoop (!!!), and Eerie, Indiana-- did anyone watch Eerie, Indiana besides me and my sister?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Witz Pickz: The List Method

I woke up rested, motivated, and ready to feel good about myself via the age old List Method. The method? Step 1: Make a list. Doesn't matter what's on there, just make it; pay bills, buy toothpaste, reply to emails, eat lunch, whatever-- doesn't matter. The important thing is to have a list. Step 2: Check stuff off that list. The sheer act of checking stuff off or crossing things out (my personal favorite) at the very least creates the illusion of progress and accomplishment. When you're able to take a look at your list of crossed off items, it's way easier to lie in bed watching an entire season of Friday Night Lights on netflix without feeling like Coach Taylor is going to give you one of his stern looks. Trust me.

So I made my list and began crossing things off as I defeated them. "Cancel membership before they charge me." Check. That one was harder than you'd think-- you actually have to call and talk to a person to cancel, which means they have the opportunity to attempt to keep you from canceling. Plus, guess which people they have on the lines? Yeah, not the Most English Speaking Award winners. So it was a bit of a struggle:

LADY: Why you want cancel membership?
ME: Because my trial is almost over and I don't want to pay.
LADY: Ahhhh...and why you sign up?
ME: Because I wanted to find out my credit score without having to pay to find out my credit score.
LADY: Ahhhh...would you interested half price membership just $7.95 a month? Is good deal.

I looked at my list and "Get good deal on credit report membership" wasn't on it so, "I appreciate it, but that's just not something I need in my life right now." She said thank you, I said thank you, click, click, BOOM-- crossed off the list.

I then sent out a writing sample and resume, crossed that off, called to find better health insurance, crossed that off, and then canceled my gamefly membership, at which point it occurred to me that I'm in a very "free trial" period of my life. Next up: buy sneakers.

I've been looking for sneakers for the last six months and was finally shown a pair I like online yesterday. One store in Brooklyn carries them and that store is fairly close to me, so it was game on with today being List Day and all. Up, done with the gym, list items crossed off, and showered by noon, I had achieved more in a morning than most people, ten minutes, which is about the ratio I'm going for these days. Time to get shoes.

The new B.O.B. album bumping through my headphones, old ratty sneakers on my feet, credit card in my pocket and terrific credit score in my mind, I walked up to the shoe store and froze. The metal grating was shut. The store was closed. They must have gone out of business, I thought, because it's Monday, but no, the hours said otherwise. "Monday - Closed." MONDAY? CLOSED? BUT...IT'S...MONDAY! Nothing should be closed on Monday!

"A lot of retail is closed Monday, actually," my friend C-Murder informed me. Wha...? Why? How come?? Monday is the beginning of the week, a day for achievement, for getting things done, for buying things that need to be bought. If you had a shitty Monday, shouldn't stores be open so you can fill your empty life void and angry work day fury with material purchases? TUESDAY. Now, THERE'S a day stores can be closed. Nobody buys stuff on a Tuesday, they just want to go home and hangout after work. Nobody has ever even done anything of use on a Tuesday. Tuesday is the unobtrusive bridge between the beginning of the week and the middle of the week, when thoughts of the weekend start to sneak into your mind. Nobody has ever taken Tuesday off for a vacation day. People use sick days on Tuesday because they know they won't be missed. Look at God. What'd he do on Tuesday? Oh yeah, he created, "an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." That's the all-powerful equivalent of selecting your desktop background. On Wednesday God made land. What'd God do on Monday again? Oh yeah, he created FUCKING LIGHT.

Doesn't the shoe store know what happens when I'm on a list mission and I get foiled? This is what happens-- I show up back home with these items instead of shoes: a baguette, drunken goat cheese, guacamole, chips, a pint of locally made chocolate ice-cream, and a six pack of vanilla bean brown ale. Yes, I'm awesome, but that doesn't mean I look any less like Kenan Thompson on pay day.*
On an equally awesome, and incredibly dangerous note, last night I learned that they deliver unmelted milkshakes to my apartment, so...I've got about four months to live.

With all the deliciousness I could ask for, I took a look at my list: "Work on screenplay, work on resume, look for jobs." Picking up my pen, I quickly added one more item to the list, "Post on blog." Cross one more off the list.

Lisztomania Is Kinda How Witz Pickz Would Spell Listz and Also the Term Refers to How Crazy Franz Listz Fans Got When They Saw Him Play Piano Which Is Awesome; Also Witzomania Refers to the Frenetic Craziness People Get When They Read Witz Pickz Live,

*I suppressed a "Gabourey Sidibe on pay day" reference, but only because I knew I'd sneak it in here...that's ALMOST personal growth, right? Here she is dressed for her next role as The Town Fair Tire Mascot:

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Witz Flickz: The Time Traveler's Wife

In an effort to both start June off right and to rhyme more words with "Witz," I decided to watch The Time Traveler's Wife while doing a running commentary. For full disclosure, I think it's important to tell you what I know about the movie before I begin.

First of all, the poster for this movie makes me car-sick. What I know about The Time Traveler's Wife is that Eric Bana inexplicably travels through time without any control. His wife, the title character, is my future bride, Rachel McAdams. Eric Bana, unlike Witz, constantly lets Rachel McAdams down because of his time traveling and from what I gather from the previews, it starts to wear on their marriage. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I heard from those who read the book that Rachel McAdams keeps having miscarriages because the babies time travel, too, while in the womb. I can only assume these horrific events mean that by the time she is able to birth a baby alive, the child will inevitably have fetal alcohol syndrome (see: Gracie Bell from Friday Night Lights). Ok, I'm too excited-- TIME to begin...

Obvious and flagrant spoiler warning

3 min: Holy shit. In the immortal words of Ted, "I believe our adventure through time has taken a most serious turn." The main character, Henry, is little and in a car accident with his mom, only he time travels out of the car and then back again to a safe location as he watches his mom get hit by a truck and die. Older Henry shows up and quickly explains what we just saw happen, just in case we didn't catch the title of the movie we were going to see. Mostly, we learn one interesting aspect of time travel that I'm super excited for-- you always show up naked. "The Flasher's Wife."

4 min: Aw, christ, I just realized how much Eric Bana ass I'm gonna see...

5 min: First time travel joke, Friend in Library: "That took you long enough!" Eric Bana: "You have no idea." Zing!

6 min: Henry is a librarian...this is getting dangerously close to impinging on Noah Wyle's film niche.

8 min: 2nd Eric Bana ass shot. (That's 1 every 4 minutes for you statistics majors)

10 min: In the future, Henry's doctor told him that drinking causes him to time travel! The SAME thing happens to my friend Nick of Time aka Nitro! Every time he drinks too much, he wakes up hours in the future without any memory of what happened!

14 min: Claire (Rachel McAdams) shows up psyched to see Henry even though he doesn't know who she is. Apparently, they met a long time ago and he told her this meeting would occur, so now they're going on a date. Future Henry is brilliant. Future Henry goes back in time, tells little girls that they'll meet, and then when they do (and when the girls are legal), Future Henry gets laid. Hm...Future Henry is super creepy. I bet all the sequels are of Henry and his OTHER wives that he set up along the way.

15: Hahahahah, Claire is meeting Henry for the first time when she is little. And now, a scene from the child molestor's handbook:

Henry: Can you just hand me the blanket?
Claire: Maybe I should call my mom.
Henry: No, no, no! DON'T call your mom! Just...hand me the blanket and I'll leave.
Claire: What do you need the blanket for?
Henry: I'm a time traveler. I come from the future. And when I do, I don't get to bring my clothes.
Claire: There's no such thing as time travelers!
Henry: Yes there is. In fact, you and I are friends in the future-- when you're a LADY!
Claire: Am I pretty?
Henry: Yes! Very!

I'll be back in five minutes after I print up some "I'm a time traveler. I come from the future. And when I do, I don't get to bring my clothes," t-shirts at cafepress.

Holy shit, it gets molestier!

Henry: If you hang around long enough, you'll see me disappear.
Claire: But you just got here.
Henry: I'll be back again. LOTS of times. In fact (conspiratorially)...I'll be back next Tuesday, at four. And it'd be great if when you came then, you'd bring me some clothes. Something you're dad won't miss. Nice to meet you (extends hand, they shake, he disappears).

CUT TO: Them post-coital in the future! BOOM! Homeboy works the long con.

20 min: We learn Henry's plight-- he can't change the past. Apparently, he can only hope to get laid in the future. Also, Ron Livingston (Swingers, Office Space) and a couple extra pounds of face weight are here! Nice!

24 min: Henry comes Back From the Future and Ron Livingston (Gomez) finds him boxing some homophobic dude in an alley because Henry's wearing tight denim short shorts and a lacey blouse. They rush off to find Henry some more clothes. But, HERE'S the weird part: Henry puts on the pants he finds ON TOP OF the denim shorts. THEN, he puts a flannel shirt on OVER the blouse! I guess he just likes the support.

25 min: I'm gonna keep laughing every time Henry says, "I've come back to this night from the future. I'm a time traveler." Heheheh

30 min: Henry goes back in time, sees his mom, pretends to be a stranger, and says, "Your son loves you very much." His mom says, "I know," and smiles. What?? The proper response is, "Who are you? How do you know my son? And which closet do you have him chained up in??"

31 min: I don't know when we are, but Henry looks a lot like The Falconer.

34 min: Henry rape-engages Claire. While she's sleeping, he pushes a ring on her finger. I guess when the chick you're dating has waited her entire life for Future You, asking "Will you marry me," is a rhetorical question. When he actually does ask, she replies, "No," and then after a minute says, "I didn't mean that-- I just wanted to assert my free will! Yes, I do!" FUCK. THAT. I'd be like, "Welp, I hope YOU can time travel back to before you thought that was a hilarious prank, because we are DONE! Have a fun life alone, Ashton."

40 min: Wedding scene. Where are Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn?? Present Day Henry disappears and Future Henry shows up to take his place at the alter. "Great Scot! Marty!"

44 min: Henry disappears as he flops onto his wedding bed and shows up back with Little Claire. This means he is now horny and hanging out with his wife as a six year old. That's gotta confuse a dude.

45 min: In an unrelated note, in my head, every time Henry time travels, I like to imagine that Bill and Ted show up and bang his wife. Take THAT Eric Bana.

48 min: Montage of Henry disappearing every time his wife needs him the most. Then:

Henry: Did I miss Christmas?
Claire: And New Year's. You were gone two weeks.
Henry: I couldn't get back. I even tried drinking alcohol to trigger it.

Right. Maybe Henry's not a time traveler, he's just a douchebag. I know some dudes who can "time travel," too. "I didn't miss the dinner party on purpose, babe, I just time traveled! THAT'S WHY I SMELL LIKE ALCOHOL!"

51 min: Henry takes Claire into a store with lots of TV's. Claire: "Henry, you can't be in here, the tv's will set you off!" Um, what? Since when?

52 min: Henry bought a lottery ticket back in time so now they win the five million dollar lottery. "MARTY!!"

54 min: After looking at a bunch of sweet apartments, they buy the only house they visited that looks like The Grudge probably lives there. Moments later, Henry shows up naked in their living room (3rd Eric Bana ass), bleeding from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Present Day Claire and Henry stare at him before he gets dragged to hell and disappears.

56 min: "There's gotta be some drug you can take to stop you from time traveling." Uh, yes. Because time travel is pretty much the same as strep throat. Also, Claire is preggers (Eeeee! Time Fetus!)

58 min: DAAAAAMN! Two minutes later and she lost the baby! I feel pretty bad about it now, but it does lead to Henry saying, "What if the baby's a traveler like me? What if it has the same genetic anomaly? What if it traveled out of the womb?" How do you keep a straight face while delivering (haha) that line?? If this was ANY other movie, NOBODY would be able to take this seriously!

61 min: "Your brain emits a blast of electromagnetic energy akin to an epileptic's right at the moment you travel." LOST STOLE THAT SHIT! FIND YOUR CONSTANT, HENRY!

63 min: Blood under the bedcovers. Second lost baby or healthy monthly letdown? No, no, it's another lost baby. Future Baby sees Present Day Parents on the street. These guys are unwittingly creating an entire army of time traveling Future Babies!

68 min: Eric Bana gets a visectomy. Colin Farrell takes over Most Likely To Raise An Army of Illegitimate Future Children. Claire is pissed.

70 min: Future Henry shows up. Claire says, "It's really good to see you." Future Henry always comes out smelling like roses while present day Henry gets blamed for always disappearing. Present Day Henry might have to kill Future Henry...JUST LIKE STEPHEN HAWKING THEORIZED. Plus, Claire's pregnant again FROM Future Henry who apparently was Past Henry from before the visectory even though we've been led to believe Henry can only travel backwards chronologically. Sort your shit out, Movie.

76 min: Henry travels into the future and sees his daughter who is either named Alba, Elba, or Vulva ("Mulva?"), it's unclear. Henry returns and tells Claire what they name the baby. Time travel seems like a pretty convenient way to get whatever you want. "No, no, I saw this in the future-- you get me a beer while I'm watching the Celtics game." Oh, also, Henry has five years to live from their baby's birth. Yyyikes!

80 min: Future Baby comes back to play with Present Baby. "MAAARTTTTYYYY!!!" Stephen Hawking walks out of the theater. Haha, nah, I'm just kidding-- Stephen Hawking can't walk anywhere.

85 min: Ironically, Eric Bana time travels, gets hypothermia, returns injured, and ends up in a wheelchair.

93 min: Henry knows that it is the night of his death. Really emotional scene between him and Claire. He then travels back in time, gets shot by a Big Buck Hunter, returns to the present, and dies with his whole family around. "Bogus!"

96 min: 4 years later, Henry returns and sees his daughter in a field by their house. His daughter tells the other kids to go run and tell Claire. Claire comes sprinting back to the field and arrives just in time to kiss Henry before he disappears. Touching. Now, I'm no event planner (although I used to be), but logistically, why didn't Henry run home so that he didn't have to wait for the kids to run to the house and for Claire to run BACK to him? Time Traveling Fail. This is why they can't have nice things.

100 minutes: And roll credits. Not the worst movie I've ever seen, considering the fact that the script was originally written to be Black Knight 2. I'm just sorry they missed the opportunity to make it awesome. Here's how: Future Henry keeps coming back and banging Claire and being the good guy, while Present Day Henry, who keeps having to deal with the day to day stuff, ends up getting blamed and resented for everything by Claire. Henry gets furious at this fact, catches Future Henry sleeping with Present Day Claire, lets his jealous rage get the better of him, and kills Future Henry. SO, when Henry showed up on the floor that day when they first owned the house, it would have been Futurer Henry right after he was shot or stabbed by Less Future Henry. When the time came, Present Day Henry would actually have killed himself, turning his life into a horribly tragic mobius loop.

Alright, now let's see some outtakes.

The Time Traveler's Wife Was Originally an Episode of To Catch a Predator,

Quote From Time Cop 2:
"Handlebar: [assumes a boxing pose to fight Walker] I went 10 rounds with John L. Sullivan.
Max Walker: [takes him out easily] I saw Tyson beat Spinks on TV."