Thursday, July 31, 2008

Opening Credits

OK, I finally did it. I made the mp3 playlist I wanted to make with all the ending credits to movies. I have the ending credits to all 6 Star Wars movies, 2 Indiana Jones movies, Superman, and Tron. Wow, just those 10 pieces, and you get like an hour and a half. Great themes. I even played it a little for Deonn tonight. She was thrilled.

While I was listening to this new playlist of mine, I reflected back to when movies had opening credits. I mean, really, do any recent movies take their time to blow you away at the beginning with opening credits? No, they expect you to wait until the end, and then everyone walks out anyway. Remember the opening credits to Superman: The Movie? Is there any better way to possibly open a movie? I don't think so. They're so good, that's all I need to watch of that movie. The first 5 and a half minutes. Yep, that's excellence right there. Or, how about when you watch Star Wars? Don't you get goosebumps when you hear the 20th Century Fox fanfare and then see the "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." I'm telling you, movies are missing that critical element now. There's no buildup; no excitement. Movies just start now. I think they could build up that excitement from the start.

Anyway, I'm going to go to work and drive home tomorrow to my new ultimate playlist. You should think about making one of your own.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ariel or Belle?

Well, this has been an argument I've had for a long time with my friends. Yes, I know it's a lame argument, but when you used to have a Disney animated film infatuation, this used to be an important topic.

Why do I bring it up? I dunno. Perhaps it's because I still like Disney. Sure, I don't have the passion for the movies like I used to, but I still like most of their animation and I love Disneyland. Anyway, I'm in the Ariel camp. To those who know me, that's a ridiculously obvious statement. Ariel or Belle? Ariel, duh! Why? Well, she's prettier, she sings better songs, and she's a mermaid. Also, the Little Mermaid was the movie that started my Disney fetish. So, how can it not be Ariel? Perfection would be Ariel with Belle's personality. Ariel is too stubborn for my tastes, but we all have some faults. Nonetheless, Belle would be #2 in my book.

Funny thing, though... Deonn recently joined Facebook. You can take weird quizzes on that site. She took 2 Disney princess ones. Who did she end up being? In one quiz, she was Belle. The other, she was Ariel. If that's not proof that she's the perfect one for me, then I don't know what is.

Side note: I have still yet to see Dark Knight. It's still kicking butt at the box office and the crowds are still crazy. However, we did get around to seeing WALL-E on Sunday. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and go. My son loved it, so he wanted to see it again and wanted us to see it, so we went. I'll just say, never has a movie made me want to hold hands as much as that one, and we did so through much of it. Such a cute and sweet story.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Biggest Geek News of the Year!!!

First off, my apologies for not blogging yesterday. Comcast was giving me grief with my internet connection and I could not log in to blog.

OK, on to the biggest geek news of the year. This was just announced at the San Diego Comic Convention, and this is a bootleg video of it:

Yes, it's true my friends. There is a sequel to Tron, at this point called Tr2n. Anyone know where I can get my ticket for this?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Day at the Highland Games

If there's ever an excuse to go to Enumclaw (if you're not into horses), this is it. I've been looking forward to the Highland Games for months now. You must understand, I don't have any Celtic blood, but I've always loved the Celtic traditions. Heck, even the wedding ring I chose has a Celtic Trinity Knot engraved in it. So, what's better than watching ultra-buff men wearing kilts and tossing cabers? Nothing.

Caber Tossing

First off, let me say that I had NO idea how big this event was. We're all driving down the road, and when you get close to the games, BAM! Cars and people and RVs and tents are everywhere! Oh, BTW, if you're planning on going and are reading this, make sure you have cash. They don't take cards for entry, and the ATM line is always 30 minutes long.

The Highland Games themselves consist of several events: caber toss, some weight throwing thing, the hammer toss, some other weight throwing over a goal post thing, and shoving a 20 pound sheaf with a pitchfork. Come on! Are these the best kinds of games you could ever have? I think so! When are these going to be in the Olympics? That was good stuff. Harrison Bailey was THE MAN in the sheaf throwing. Dude, he hucked the sheaf over 33 feet. Amazing.

Harrison Bailey Prepping for the Sheaf Toss

Afterwards, we wandered through some shops and found a spot to watch the closing of day 1 with the Massing of the Pipes and Drums. That was quite a spectacle to see a dozen or so pipe bands march in unison. Then, they all played Amazing Grace. Wow.

A couple of interesting notes from the games. Most of the men in traditional Scottish attire carry daggers in their socks. There were a lot of leather shops. I did not know that they wore so much leather in 80 degree weather. I've never seen so many weapons for sale in such close proximity.

There were some parties at the end of the day, but we had Luke and Deonn's pregnant, so what's the point? Next year, we totally plan on going back and drinking and celebrating Celtic style!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Box Office for The Dark Knight

So, the 7-day tally for The Dark Knight ended up being a mere $238M. It couldn't even get to $250M in seven days. Is this the blockbuster that everyone thought it would be? And, more importantly, am I the only one who hasn't seen this movie yet? OK, so, The Dark Knight has the biggest 7-day tally ever. The second biggest seven day gross was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at a paltry $196M.

OK, truthfully, I just don't like crowds. No matter how great this movie supposedly is, and no matter how gripping Heath Ledger's legacy is, I will probably wait another 2 or 3 weeks to see this. It gives me that much time to convince Deonn she wants to see it.

Maybe we'll see Mamma Mia! soon, or maybe Wall-E since I have my son this weekend. I'll let you know how those are if I end up seeing them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Musical Dreams

Most of us wish we had a talent that we pursued when we were younger. Some of us were lucky enough to do that as kids. Me? Well, I wasn't really pushed to do anything except get good grades. It made me learn how to get good grades by understanding what my teachers expected from me. I never really studied all that hard. Nonetheless, my grades were good so I could avoid a beating. But, I wish that my parents had pushed me to do sports, or music, or acting, or something. Maybe I'd be talented and famous by now. Maybe "Hamster Eater" would be a literary phenomenon.

I'm thinking about pursuing a new talent. Recently (well, for the past year or so), I've really wanted to learn to play the didgeridoo. It's not easy to play a didgeridoo. I once had the breathing technique down, but I've not been able to replicate it recently. I used to be able to breathe out constantly through my mouth, yet breathe in and out through the nose. I don't know how I did it, and I don't know how I forgot it. Thus, I'm led to believe that was not my true calling. Oh well, there must be some hidden talent I have. Maybe I should just publish "Hamster Eater" and just consider that my high point. I'm sure that it will end up published on this blog someday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Mean, Who Doesn't Like Movie Soundtracks?


So, I have what I consider a phenomenally good idea. I'm going to make a playlist with the Ending Credits to some of my favorite movies. You know, movie themes from Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Superman (which also has the best OPENING credits EVAR!!!), and the like. I'm proud of the idea, and figure Deonn would know good music when she heard it. Alas, I was mistaken. "I don't like movie underscoring", she states. Really, who in their right mind wouldn't think that the Star Wars theme is awesome? You know what's the best thing about ending credits in a movie? They give you brief glimpses of all the major themes played in the movie. Sort of a nice medley. It's not like I was making her listen to the entire instrumental soundtrack to Star Wars, although she probably felt that way. Granted, I might play this in the car when she's not around, and Luke will regularly request it. Well, I guess he is my son.

You know what else? She doesn't think it's a talent to differentiate the difference in the ending credits of the different Star Wars movies. I mean, come on, if you hear the Imperial March, you know that's from the Empire Strikes Back. Ewok Theme? That's Return of the Jedi. Aw hell, this is pointless. Everyone else reading this thinks I'm lame too, but you know what? I don't care! This mp3 playlist is better than yours!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't Walk Away

As I lay in bed listening to "Don't Walk Away" from Xanadu, I realize, I'm not blogging tonight. Still, Xanadu was the best show we saw on Broadway during our honeymoon, and our own baby "Xanadu" is enjoying it as well. And on that note, I bid everyone goodnight.

And to my sweet girl out there, who might be reading this (now even), "...and now your Joe, has to go!"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fatburger = Fat Mark

My quest to find the perfect cheeseburger has slowed down somewhat, ever since I had to put myself on the "restricted burger" diet. I only allow myself one cheeseburger a week, so I have to make sure I'm having a burger worthy of the weekly honor. Today, I was starving. Given that I had only had a red velvet cupcake from Cupcake Royale, a diet Rock Star, and a measly serving of yakisoba, I was starving for a manly meal. I wanted beef on a bun, and so we ventured to the local Issaquah Fatburger. Well, for those of you who don't know, Fatburger is themed like a 50s diner and lets you choose the size of the burger and the toppings. I ordered a "kingburger" with cheese, bacon, and eggs. A kingburger is a half pound of beef. Not nearly enough in my book. Deonn, on the other hand, had a "baby fat". I think that is the only one ounce burger in existence. I've never seen anything so small.

On the overall burger scale, I would rank Fatburger "burger-rific". Not sure what that translates on a scale of 1-10 or anything, but it was pretty darn good. I dare say that I think it was even better than the famed XXX Drive-In, even though Fatburger is a chain. Fatburger's burgers go down so easily, like a smooth Patron tequila shot. Hence, the name. Fatburger will make you FAT. But, eaten in moderation, it's well worth it. They have this contest at Fatburger about who can eat a triple king the fastest. I think I'll try that sometime soon. Although, that is a pound and a half of beef, and the record in Issaquah is an astounding 3 minutes and 29 seconds. A far cry from the overall record of 1 minute and 59 seconds. I've got some training to do and some weight to gain (not to mention my cholesterol). Perhaps this wasn't the best place to eat with a cholesterol test coming up Wednesday morning... Oh well.

Check them out at:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday In the Park with Mark

Today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday, except that we didn't go to the Bite of Seattle. I had such a fun time on the paddle boat yesterday, that Deonn and I decided to head back to Green Lake park. The weather was perfect, and this time, we rented a rowboat. Deonn and baby got to kick back and relax while I rowed us to the middle of Green Lake. We then chilled out and enjoyed the view. The boat rental rates at Green Lake are very reasonable. $14/hour for your choice of paddle boat, row boat, kayak, or canoe. We re-lived the classic scene of "Kiss the Girl" from the Little Mermaid. It was really nice.

I did a lap around the Green Lake loop on my hockey roller blades beforehand. It was a nice, flat trail. Nice views. After the boat ride, we put on our swimsuits and went swimming in the lake. It was so nice and warm in the water, and I went to the swim dock and jumped off the diving boards.

How did we cap off the day? We drove back to Ballard and enjoyed some great burgers at Zak's Burger Joint. I'm learning how to have a great time in Seattle without spending a lot of money. There's just so much to do that's so inexpensive.

Glorious Saturday in Seattle

Funnel Cake at the Bite
Originally uploaded by gatchamark
Today was the second day of the Bite of Seattle. Needless to say, I ate way too much... in 30 minutes. Seriously. Within the first 30 minutes, I had Alligator on a Stick, Red Beans and Rice, 6 "mini" meatballs, and a mint chocolate chip ice cream sundae. Obviously, that wasn't enough, so 30 minutes later, I had to have some funnel cake covered in powdered sugar and then I washed it down with a Wired Cola with 144mg of caffeine. You ask me, it was a completely successful afternoon of gluttony. If you had kicked my stomach afterwards, I would have ended up like that guy in Seven.

After the Bite, my friends left to see the Dark Knight with that dead Heath Ledger. Being that I haven't been taken in by the hype yet, Deonn and I spent the rest of the day/night in Seattle. I took some great shots from Queen Anne hill and Green Lake and Alki. Here are some favorites.

Late Sunset at Alki
Space Needle with Ferris Wheel at Fun Forest

By the way, we tried to see Mamma Mia! at the Majestic Bay Theatres in Ballard. I was SO looking forward to seeing this movie at this theatre that Deonn has raved about. But, since it only holds 5 people, it was sold out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Princesses and Frogs

So, Disney has apparently thrown themselves into hot water again. Finally, Disney is trying to broaden their horizons, and they can't avoid a controversy. Check out this article:

Funny how that happens on the day after Disneyland's birthday, eh? They just like being in the news all the time!

There is news from the Magic Kingdom, however. On Disneyland's birthday, it was announced that the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough would be reopening to the public. They're working frantically to refurbish it and make it look sparkling new. This particular attraction has been closed since the 9/11 attacks for security reasons, and many feared that this attraction would become a part of Disneyland history. So, this is indeed good news. Here is a link to the press release:

And, for anyone interested in Disneyland history and the rides of the past:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Heath Ledger and the Dark Knight

Hey, everyone! Did you hear that Heath Ledger died? Look, I admit, aside from The Patriot, I haven't seen a Heath Ledger movie, and that was an underwhelming film at best. And, despite my picture with Mario Lopez in a previous post, I have NOT seen Brokeback Mountain. I'm puzzled by the eerie fascination with his death. Why is it that people are ready to hand him an Oscar when "Oscar season" hasn't even started? Am I missing the point here? From what I understand, Heath was a great actor, and his life was sadly taken too soon, but where does this fascination come from? Other actors die. Who remembers Brad Renfro? He was a young actor that passed away around the same time. No one wants to hand him an Oscar. They even forgot him in the Oscar tribute! Someone, PLEASE tell me what it is about Heath Ledger... PLEASE!

Anyway, I am excited to see his final movie. I understand that he brings creepy to a new level. And Katie Holmes isn't in it anymore. That's gotta be a plus. I mean, does anyone remember Denise Richards playing a rocket scientist in The World Is Not Enough? Talk about poor casting! However, I am one of those people who shudders at the thought of seeing a major blockbuster on the opening weekend. I'll see this on the big screen, but I'll bide my time. Perhaps I'll see Mamma Mia! this weekend. That probably won't be as crowded. Oh, and by the way, have I mentioned that I have NOT seen Brokeback Mountain?

If you see the Dark Knight this weekend, I'd be interested in what you thought. If you're interested in Mamma Mia!, let me know and we can swap reviews! I have mentioned that I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain... not that there's anything wrong with that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Originally uploaded by gatchamark

Tomorrow (July 17, 2008) will be Disneyland's 53rd birthday. Yes, on this date in 1955, Disneyland was born. I have such fond memories of the place. Disneyland is really is one of my true loves. I've had a passion for the place as long as I can remember. My family used to make an annual pilgrimage to the Disney mecca on my birthday, and even though I live in the Seattle area, I am still an annual passport holder. I always stop by when I visit my parents, and every time is truly magical. I've even convinced Deonn to love the place. And yes, I've even convinced Ariel to drop her restraining order against me. It's like we're back in the good ol' days.

If anyone reading this has a special memory of Disneyland they'd like to share, please do so with a comment. I have attached some pictures in honor of this annual event.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sleepless in Seattle, or how to be a tourist in your own city

Have you ever noticed when you travel somewhere that there are all kinds of things to do? We just got back from our honeymoon in New York City, and I can't tell you how many times I must have said, "Boy, would it be great to live here!" But, then you think about it, and if you lived there, would you really do all the things you do as a tourist? Would you visit the statue of liberty, take a carriage ride through Central Park, or see Xanadu? OK, I'm sure I would have seen Xanadu regardless, but other "touristy" things? Probably not.

On a side note, did you know that Mario Lopez is the "star" of A Chorus Line on Broadway? If not, check this pic out...

On yet another side note, I'm really not gay. I just got married, went on a honeymoon, and have a knocked up wife. Besides, as Deonn herself points out, no gay man would ever be caught in white socks like that!

Back to the topic at hand. The first picture is the house they used in Sleepless in Seattle. I never knew where that was in Seattle, other than somewhere on Lake Union. I guess the movie takes place in the winter, but I found out that they filmed the fireworks on the 4th of July in intense heat. How do I know this? I took a tour in my own city. I highly recommend the Argosy Locks Cruise if you're ever in Seattle (or live here and haven't explored the city). You'll get all kinds of trivial useless information like that. Deonn and I plan to do more touristy stuff in the near future to learn more about the Emerald City.

Why did we decide to do this? Well, I personally have never been to Green Lake, done the Underground Tour, or seen the Statue of Liberty at Alki. I have, however, been to the Sci-Fi Museum at the EMP. Luckily I went for free, and I still felt ripped off.

So, enough of this long post. I had no point to make.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Picnic at Lake Sammamish State Park

American Gladiators
Originally uploaded by gatchamark
Well, it was an absolutely beautiful day in the pacific northwest, so Deonn and I decided it would be fun to have a picnic at our local park. We invited some friends to come join us and made a mini-party out of it.

So, what happens when you let Mark have some fun at a picnic at a park? Well, you play a game of American Gladiators, of course. You know me, I love taking down 13 year old girls. I must admit, my shoulders are a bit sore... Aging sucks. I'll probably blog something about that later, when I really hurt myself doing something stupid.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

First Post: Creating a Blog!

Creating a Blog!
Originally uploaded by gatchamark
I was told by my physical therapists to never ever sit like this after I tore my MCLs. But, it's so comfy that I do it anyway. What do they know? Not comfort.

This is a pic of me setting up my blog! w00t! I put a shirt on just for the occassion. I GUARANTEE that there will never be naked pictures of me. EVER (unless Deonn finds out my password). No one should see that.