Well last night was fun. I get a call shortly after going to sleep…and it’s my brother, saying that my mom is at her hotel in Thailand & can’t pay because her credit card isn’t going through. Okay, awesome. I then find out shortly after…that my phone won’t call international…and the only person that can change that…is in Thailand. Eventually, I get a call…and it’s two of my favorite people on the other line, a weeping mother…and a front desk agent wanting my credit card number over the world’s worst phone connection. Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with all the details…but eventually, an emailed form that they said would be sent in ten minutes (I gave up after over an hour) showed up nine hours later while I was at work, a little exhausted. Basically, there were daily credit card limits on her card to protect from CC & Identity Theft…and the checkout exceeded that…but it’s okay because my mom & stepdad were able to get to the boat on time anyway…and all it cost them was pretty much all of their traveler’s checks…and then I was able to cover the rest on my card. And don’t worry, it shouldn’t put a serious dent in my travel plans starting this weekend…because I have a little bit of emergency savings for occasions such as this (had this happen a few times in the past). So yeah, she’s safe & sound and enjoying the vacation of a lifetime. And she did have fun in Thailand despite all the craziness. She even got to ride on an elephant. What? Earthquakes in China? Sigh… she’ll be fine.
So this morning, I was a little tired because…well, four hours of stressed-out sleep and a few days of bad sleep due to back pain will do that. I got to work…and the parking lot was a little icy. I step out of my car…and I notice a female coworker about to walk…in dress shoes…up a steep portion of the lot that leads to the office…and over an area that’s completely covered in some of the smoothest ice you’ve ever seen. I think you know where this is going. Before anything could be said or done, slip, SMACK!!! She lands face-first on the icy pavement. So I run over, “Are you okay?” I’m thinking that maybe she got her arm in front of her and caught herself, landing gently on her purse…and it only looked bad from the rear view. Nope. She was holding teeth. “Alright, let’s get you to the nurse’s room. Are you okay to move?” She’s looking at her hand full of mouth blood, “I guess. It doesn’t hurt yet.” “Well that’s good. Let’s keep it that way.” I help her up, grab her purse, we hop into Gretchen and fly over to the nurse’s office where I leave her in capable hands. I checked in with her later…and she’s doing okay…but it was just a wonderful way to start an already lackluster morning (still hadn’t settled everything with Thailand at this point) but it’s all good now. The Wingmans are soon approaching, my mom’s on the vacation of her life, my vacation will be starting soon, the sun is out, the birds are chirping, the sky is blue & all the leaves are green. My heart’s as full as a baked potato. Oh yes, it will be a schpedoinkal weekend…and month or so.
Amsterdam Update - Dutch police arrested a woman who locked a utility firm employee in her home after he arrived to disconnect her power supplies over an unpaid bill of 42,000 Euros (over $50,000). The 65-year-old woman denied having such a large bill and rang the police to say she wanted to arrange a repayment scheme with the utility firm Eneco before allowing the man to leave (that’s your only demand for the hostage?). She had tried to phone Eneco, but was unable to do so because her electricity had already been cut off, police said. The utility employee wanted to press charges against the woman. She will appear in court later. An Eneco spokesman said the woman's bill was exceptionally high but could not immediately explain why. Theories? Another typo landing somebody in jail for a while? Are utilities in an Amsterdam home somewhere in the range of 10,000 Euros a month? Has this been accumulated since 1956 and they’re just now getting to checking their records? Who knows? I’m not sure how the kidnapping and hostage negotiation is going to play into all of this…but it’s probably not going to go well. Hope to see how this one turns out.
Lip Synching Arrest - Two singers have become the first people in the People’s Republic of China to fall foul of new rules banning lip-synching nearly two years after widespread criticism of miming at the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony. The two young female singers were spotted lip-synching during a concert in southwestern China's Chengdu city last year, the official Xinhua news agency said on its website (www.xinhuanet.com). "No signals were received from their microphones while the show was on," it quoted an official with the local government's cultural affairs office as saying. The two have been fined 50,000 yuan ($7,329) each. China's feisty internet users frequently blame famous singers of short-selling their fans by lip-synching on stage…but some have also wondered why these first fines were leveled against two almost unknown singers rather than more famous stars. "Why do they choose to keep their eyes closed when it's a famous singer miming?" one commentator wrote on the website of the Beijing Daily. Lip-synching, known as "fake singing" in Chinese, burst into the open during 2008's Beijing Olympics. China's Olympic organizers were lambasted by Internet users and in the media after they admitted a nine-year-old girl lip-synched during the opening ceremony, in place of the real singer who was rejected because of her appearance (Sarah Boyle?). The Culture Ministry then issued an edict formally banning lip-synching and threatened to revoke the performance licenses of repeat offenders. I used to wonder why big acts never went on tour to China…but now I know. The really sad thing is…karaoke’s perfectly legal…which is, in my opinion, much worse. Also, over seven grand for lip-synching? I wonder if Ashlee Simpson would get the same fine. Still might be some pretty good money for her. Somebody’s gotta provide for little Bronx Mowgli. Sigh… you should also be fined for naming your children ridiculous things. I’m also quite surprised that the internet users in China have such pull. I never would’ve guessed with all the censorship…but there you have it. The people spoke…and now there’s no lip-synching. Power to the people!!!
Father of the Year - Police arrested a man for leaving his 1-year-old baby in a car unattended during the early hours while he watched strippers at a nightclub in New Zealand's capital, and have placed the boy in welfare agency care. A passer-by called police after seeing the sleeping baby in a car parked near the Mermaid Strip Club in Wellington about 3 a.m. Tuesday (usually the strippers have bullet wounds & C-scars during that time). Police took the baby to a hospital and arrested the father, 42, after he was located in the club, Inspector Simon Perry said. The man faces a charge of leaving a child under 14 without reasonable supervision. The Child, Youth and Family agency has custody of the baby for five days while it works with the baby's relatives to decide on his future, agency deputy chief executive Ray Smith said. New Zealand's commissioner for children, John Angus, said leaving a child alone in a car at night was an "extreme form of neglect." "I would commend the member of the public who saw this poor child in the car and took some action to make it safe" by alerting police, Angus told National Radio. Authorities declined to confirm details of the baby's family situation, but Angus said he expected relatives to step in and warn the father that "it's not good enough for our child to be looked after this way." What was he supposed to do? Bring the kid into the club with him? He’s a toddler for God’s sake. Would you rather he exposed his child to the stimulations of sexually suggestive dancing by scantily-clad women, high point alcoholic beverages, loud controversial music, various communicative diseases & being surrounded by questionable strangers…or to be sleeping safely & quietly in a locked car? Seriously? And yet the father goes punished for choosing the best option. Disgusting. A complete perversion of Justice. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. That man is a saint. Would it have been better if he just left him home in the shire? (Because I assume all people who live in New Zealand are at least half-hobbit) What’s that? Maybe he could’ve gotten a babysitter? And what? Pay her in dollar bills too? Besides, what babysitter’s going to be able to work until 3 AM on a Tuesday? Now you’re against schooling for our children? What kind of monster are you? Not go? JUST NOT GO? On $5 lap dance night? Are you f**king INSANE??? Where were you when this was going down? Huh? Answer me that. Why weren’t YOU watching over the baby boy? Little Frodo or whatever his name is. By the way, for those of you who don’t know, my favorite game is Devil’s Advocate.
Warning: Multiple Nerdgasms!!! (Please put some goggles on, ladies)
Book of Mormon Musical – Normally, you know I want nothing to do with Broadway…but this is a little different. The creators of "South Park" are taking aim at Broadway (again, please wear goggles). Trey Parker and Matt Stone have written a musical comedy called "The Book of Mormon" that will open on Broadway in March 2011. The two wrote the show's book, music and lyrics, along with Robert Lopez, one of the creators of the Tony-winning "Avenue Q." The musical will be directed by Parker and Jason Moore, who directed "Avenue Q." Producers Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino said Wednesday that a theater, casting and other production details would be announced later. The Emmy-winning "South Park" premiered in 1997 on Comedy Central…but you already knew that. Will it be some kind of bastard offspring of “Orgazmo” & “Cannibal: The Musical”? Something completely new & different? Will it be stories from the Book of Mormon brought to life with foul-mouthed puppets? (Which, by the way, I would probably see) Who knows? We’ve got almost a full year to plan a trip to the Big Apple to see it though.
Nerdy Comic Book Movie Updates - Sources for IESB.Net have been busy beavers today in the comic book-to-film world genre with potential scoops on three adaptations currently in the works.
Spider-Man 4 - Josh Hutcherson ("Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant") has apparently joined the short list of contenders for Sony's upcoming "Spider-Man" reboot. Yes, apparently it’s another reboot now. Why? Because you & your kids will still watch it…and you can’t top Venom…even when Venom’s played by Topher Grace. Seriously. Even a John Malkovich portrayed Vulture wouldn’t top it.
The Green Hornet - The site claims Sony Pictures are apparently "displeased with the results" they've seen so far of Michel Gondry's "The Green Hornet" film adaptation. A source claims the "tone is too campy, they're not happy with the work from director Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen does not look the part. At all. (No sh*t!!!) In fact, the feeling at Sony is the movie is a disaster." Yeesh!!! Strong words for a movie studio. Sigh…maybe when, after decades of trying to get Kevin Smith to do it…but it’s a weak story, you then start over with a French director who does a lot of artsy thinker films like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “The Science of Sleep”, “Be Kind Rewind” and Bjork videos…then cast the star as Seth Rogen…in a non-comedy but as an action hero, you may come out with something that isn’t quite what you’re looking for. Who didn’t see this one coming? (Again, goggles)
Lobo - With Guy Ritchie ditching this project in favor of "Sherlock Holmes 2", the Akiva Goldsman-produced comic adaptation has stalled over at Warner Brothers. The reasoning? "a direct result of their not-so-hot reaction to The Losers and especially Jonah Hex". Sigh…this is really deflating my windsock right now. Guy Ritchie ditched Lobo to do a Sherlock sequel…and the movie has stalled…because they think that The Losers & (the anxiously anticipated) Jonah Hex suck? “Cheese & rice. You start out with the promise of multiple nerdgasms, throw in the mixed emotions of a musical by Trey Parker, then just keep destroying my faith in recent movie magic with comic book adaptations & make me think they’re returning to the days of “Batman & Robin” and “Daredevil” or something. You’d better have something good to make me peak, $teve.” Indeed I do, enough foreplay, let’s bring in the Big Gun (insert AC/DC music).
Joss to Direct Avengers Movie – SPLOOSH!!! "Buffy" creator and "Serenity" director Joss Whedon is reportedly in final negotiations to direct the superhero team-up movie "The Avengers" for Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures says Deadline New York. Thus culminating what can only be seen as a Perfect Storm of Nerddom, bringing many of Marvel’s favorite characters together with the Joss himself. Whedon's name was first mentioned over at IESB.net a few weeks ago. Production would begin sometime next year for release May 4th 2012 (mark your calendars). Oh…and it gets better. Two characters from that future movie may be making earlier appearances than that. According to a trusted source for Bad Taste, a scene about Captain America and Thor will appear after the end credits of "Iron Man 2" - much like the way Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) made a cameo in a post-credits scene at the end of 2008's "Iron Man". Could we see Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in full costume? Unlikely. The crucial wording here is that it's a "scene about" the two characters meaning one or both may not even pop up on screen but rather merely referenced. Then again…maybe they will. I guess we’ll all find out on May 7th when Iron Man 2 is released. (Seriously, they should be giving me a kickback for all the good stuff that I talk about this movie) So yeah…in about two years, there’s going to be a movie coming out…that includes, at the very least, Iron Man (Robert Downey jr), the Incredible Hulk (Edward Norton), Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), War Machine (Don Cheadle?), plus a few others to play guys like Hawkeye and the supporting cast like Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and then…there’s the villains!!! AND Joss, the King of Nerddom, is going to direct it all…making it fantastic (but don’t be surprised if a beloved character of vital importance to the story dies suddenly, it’s his way, who are we to question it?). Whew… what’s that? You need a cigarette?
Anyway, that’ll do it for today. The Wingmans are almost here…and we’ve got a full four-day weekend ahead of us…then I’ve got a three-week weekend after that. So you probably won’t be hearing from me until mid-May…but I’ll be back with plenty of pictures & stories. Besides, a lot of you may get to see me in the meantime…if you’re lucky. It’s going to be EPIC!!! Drive safely everybody!!! Have a great few weeks!!!