Blog Archive

Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, October 30, 2009 16 comments

“See, I was the one who really killed the Terence brothers. And I doubt a lying little chickenshit like you was even in the same state!,” Gene Hackman, ‘The Quick and the Dead’

I watched this movie last week for the first time in nearly a decade, and Hackman really holds the project together despite a powerhouse cast that also included Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, and Gary Sinise. It’s too bad it wasn’t a better film, although it’s perfectly serviceable for a certain amount of brainless fun.

My own brain is already out the door today, thinking about Halloween and also about gaining an extra hour of sleep, the latter of which excites me just as much as the former. But before I stroll outside into the rain by 3 p.m., let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Scarlett Johansson confirmed this week that she will make her Broadway debut and star opposite Liev Schreiber early next year in a revival of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge."

Producer Stuart Thompson says the production will open Jan. 24 at the Cort Theater. Previews begin Dec. 28 for “A View From the Bridge”

I only hope that the ‘View From the Bridge’ extends into Johansson’s dressing room, but I tend to doubt it.

Levi Johnston confirmed this week that he will go full frontal for his upcoming spread in ‘Playgirl’ magazine.

"Everything's gonna hang out," manager Tank Jones told "We're talking 'Full Johnson.'"

The timing couldn't be more appropriate: Johnston, 19, will pose in the buff on Nov. 16, which is also the day that Sarah Palin will appear on ‘ The Oprah Winfrey Show.’

I’m going to act like Switzerland, stay neutral, and simply not watch either of them since I wish that both would fade into the Alaskan wilderness.

In worthless Lindsay Lohan news, her father – Michael Lohan - continued his publicity tour this week and told a magazine that Lindsay will be dead in a year if she doesn’t change her pill-popping ways.

"It could be a year, a month, a week -- who knows?" he told Grazia magazine. "She has a plethora of medicine you can't mix and can't drink with."

I don’t entirely believe him, but then again, her career has been dead for several years now.

Miley Cyrus was voted the worst celebrity influence of 2009 in a poll conducted by teens and tweens on the website this week.

Cyrus took 42% of the vote, far ahead of Britney Spears and Kanye West who came in second and third respectively.

Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan has demanded a recount.

Rosie O’Donnell sat down with Howard Stern this week for an interview where she discussed her relationship troubles with the longtime partner Kelli Carpenter but also revealed that she had a phone fling with Angelina Jolie.

"She… gave me her phone number and we talked on the phone two or three times, but that was that," Rosie revealed. "There was a tentative plan to have dinner that never came through. I was a little afraid of her. She's scary in a sexual kind of way."

I find it very, very scary that this potential coupling ever came remotely close to happening – even if it was only in O’Donnell’s mind.

The Jonas Brothers took to their MySpace page this week to deny that they were breaking up after confirmation of Nick Jonas’s solo project was confirmed.

In a post titled, "We Are Not Breaking Up," the trio gave a list of facts about the current and future plans of all members of the group:

#1 - The Jonas Brothers are NOT breaking up!

#2 – Nick Jonas is working on a side project called Nick Jonas & The Administration

#3 - This project will be released early in 2010

#4 - We are ALL excited about this project AND what we are doing TOGETHER!

#5 - We plan to make music together for as long as we can.

#6 - We assume we will be able to make music together until our fan base passes through puberty. We hope.

It was announced Monday that British comedian Ricky Gervais will host this January's Golden Globe Awards as Gervais will be the first official host of the Golden Globes since 1995.

I’ve got no joke for this one - it was an excellent choice & I’ll leave the jokes to Gervais since he’s often quite good with them.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or three:

These were kind of a motley crew of images, and although I don’t love any one of them, they all have something going for them. So embrace the random today, go colorful or go home and . . . Happy Friday & Happy Halloween!


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5 Years Running . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, October 27, 2009 18 comments

Somehow I missed it.

I had a certain date in my head – October 29th – and had been working diligently towards that goal without bothering to check the facts. These things happen, I suppose. But then again, I’m a bear for detail, so it did pain me to discover at the end of last week that I missed the 5 year anniversary of $2 Dollar Productions blog existence.

It flew right past me. October 20th came and went as an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday, and I had no inkling that something was rotten in Denmark until I was preparing Quick Hit Friday and I finally bothered to backtrack through my archives where I read the first entry ever posted on this blog:

I just arrived back to the U.S. after a tour through Italy and Ireland , red wine and Guinness and too many public bathrooms where you had to pay to enter. But it's nice to come back and find this thing off and running and chronicling our attempt to write and sell a comedy script from the ground up. We'll see. In the meantime, a brutal and savage re-write is needed before anyone should be subjected to actually reading this thing.

That was October 20th, 2004. And it feels like a very long time ago indeed.

I’ve said it before, but this blog originally started with my brother suggesting we needed a forum to promote our screenwriting. It quickly became apparent that $2 Dollar Productions wouldn’t be self-sustaining if that was the only subject for posting, especially since all efforts to further this along have been moving with the pace of a tree-sloth running a marathon while covered in molasses.

So, the blog changed, mutated and morphed into a hodge-podge of movie reviews and Hollywood shenanigans, corporate misfires and cheating scenarios, Viking wisdom as well as the kind of pure randomness which occurs when you want to post something and yet your brain is running squarely on fumes.

By the numbers:

• 5 years
• 60 months
• 802 posts
• Average of 13.366666 Posts Per Month
• 2 scripts written, 1 novel draft finished
• 1 Fitness Modeling trip to NYC
• 1 UT National Football Championship
• 31 Viking Wisdom Collections
• 1 Re-Location – Plano to Austin
• 3 different jobs

But in my estimation, you can’t boil the past five years down to numbers because that misses the real value. I had no expectations going into this endeavor, but even if I had something formulated, I’m certain that the actual experience would have far exceeded them. For me, it has always come down to the people running around Cyberspace who have made $2 Dollar Productions sustainable for the duration and more rewarding than it had any right to be.

It remains semi-amazing to me that over the course of two cups of coffee, I’m able to cast a roving eye around various parts of the United States, go up through Canada, move across the pond to the U.K., then boomerang my way to Australia before returning back home to Austin. The route is sometimes winding, but always interesting. It provides glimpses into a wide variety of perspectives that I feel extremely lucky for being able to experience for so many years.

But it is work. As anyone knows who has been blogging for awhile, real life has a way of intruding on the best of blogging intentions, and regardless, it takes time and effort to post things that are hopefully worth reading and lately I’ve been feeling a little tired. Not burned out, not depressed, just a bit weary.

$2 Dollar Productions needs a new look. A face-lift has been building for awhile now, and so I’m going to take a small hiatus to work with someone to re-design things around here, to make it more visually appealing (hopefully) and give me a little shot in the arm along the way. I’m hoping this won’t take long, but I have no clue about blog design. At the very least, this person should be able to get the tagline out from under the $2 Dollar Productions banner as that has bothered me for years, and when drinking, caused me to berate my brother’s friend about her work on the initial refresh. Selah.

Anyway, I plan to continue to post Quick Hit Fridays and check into everyone’s business to stay in the loop, but if things are a little sparse around here for the next month or so, that is the reason.

Thanks to everyone who has come and gone around here the past five years. The visits are always appreciated. The people who leave forever are missed. And those who continually pop over to say hello keep this place alive.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, October 23, 2009 14 comments

“I peed on the corpse. Can they do, like, an ID from that?” – Robert Downey Jr., “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

This was a little-seen though frequently funny movie from a few years ago which boasted a title which reads like a porno, but is really just a detective story with Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer both giving excellent performances.

Personally, I anticipate turning in a wholly mediocre performance at work today since I was out last night, so before I hit the highway by 3 p.m. let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Oprah Winfrey announced Tuesday that former governor of Alaska and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Monday, Nov. 16.

The interview will be Palin’s first about her new book, “Going Rogue: An American Life.”

Palin agreed to the visit Winfrey after the talk show host told her that you could see the North Pole from her Chicago city studio.

Whitney Houston lost a strap on her dress this week during a singing performance on the U.K.-based television show “X Factor.”

Houston was singing her song “Million Dollar Bill” when the strap on her floor-length silver sequined dress broke on stage, which caused the singer to stop briefly and fumble with the strap before continuing with the song.

It also caused the production crew to yell furiously into her ear piece: “Houston, we have a problem” until the dress was fixed.

In Lindsay Lohan news, her Dad – Michael Lohan – said this week that he would like to find a court to grant him conservatorship over his daughter, much like the one ordered in the Britney Spears case. If that doesn’t work, Lohan said he would try other avenues.

“If I can’t get a conservatorship, then I’m going to take her to an undisclosed location and get her straight,” Michael Lohan told X17Online. “But I know I’m going to get charged with kidnapping.”

In response, Lindsay Lohan might fiile a restraining order to keep her estranged dad far outside of kidnapping range. Seriously.

In response to the restraining order threat, Michael Lohan blamed ex-wife, Dina Lohan and said: “Dina is the one that told her to get a restraining order. But you know what? I’m still going to try to do everything with the courts to try and get Lindsay better.”

It’s shocking that Lindsay Lohan isn’t more together considering she was raised in such a stable and nurturing home environment.

Now that his TLC show, “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” is in legal limbo, it was reported this week that Jon Gosselin is asking for appearance fees of of $10,000-$12,000 for his time.

A DJ for Tampa’s 93.3 FLZ MJ Morning Show told ‘Access Hollywood’ that the station contacted Gosselin’ rep in hopes of getting him to guest co-host the radio show for one morning, and Gosselin’s rep requested an “appearance fee ... in the 10-12K range,” and his rep also added that: ”[Jon’s] name and appearance on your show will instantly draw press ... and will be a high point for the show . . . he’s quite funny, sharp witted and interesting.”

Gosselin’s representative is 'quite' obviously full of shit.

Madonna was hit by a complaint filed by the woman who lives above her in New York this week as her neighbor filed the order with New York State Supreme Court about excessive noise coming from the singer’s apartment in Manhattan.

Madonna moved to the flat, which overlooks Central Park, after splitting from her film director husband, Guy Ritchie, last year. Her neighbor is now suing the company who manages the building after failing to do anything about her previous complaints concerning excessive noise as she claims the noise and vibrations coming through the walls are “unbearable,” BBC News reported.

Madonna replied that her orgies with back-up dancers would be ‘unbearable’ if she was forced to muzzle the participants to lower the sound volume.

“The Hills” star Stephanie Pratt was been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving this week.

Los Angeles police say the 23-year-old Pratt was arrested outside a party in Hollywood. She was booked at Van Nuys jail on suspicion of driving under the influence and was released a few hours later after posting $5,000 bail.

I’m just sorry she didn’t run over her douchebag brother – Spencer Pratt –with her car before she was arrested because no jury in the world would convict her of THAT crime.

Rosie O’Donnell said this week that she is going through a rough patch with Kellie Carpenter, her spouse of nearly 5 years after being asked about speculation that Carpenter had moved out of their home in Nyack, N.Y., and into an apartment in Manhattan.

"Kelli and I love each other very much and we are working on our issues," O’Donnell told USA Today, emphasizing that the couple's four children are "a priority." "Those are the only words I am ever going to say. Ever. And that is something that has been agreed upon by all parties. But everything's fine and everybody's good and we're still both raising them together. We will both continue to parent them and we're friendly and everything's all right."

Whenever a celebrity insists that everything is all right in a relationship, then the only thing you can guarantee is that the total opposite is true.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or three:

Since Halloween is near and black cats are about and legs and lingerie are always in season, these seemed appropriate for today. So, pull on or take off some clothing, don’t worry about superstitions and . . . Happy Friday!


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Thoughts on 'Paranormal Activity' . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, October 21, 2009 8 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee or Rental. Scary movies are often more fun in the theater due to the shared audience experience, however, since 'Paranormal Activity' is set largely inside a house for its running time, it might be equally as unsettling if you waited for a rental and watche it at home.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. It was enjoyable enough to sit through one time, but I don't see myself ever returning to the film.

Overrall Grade: B-

1) 'Paranormal Activity' is a lesson in stellar viral marketing as this low budget movie (Cost: something like $15,000 to make) has already earned more than $30 million after the studio rolled it out in extremely limited release while hyping it up as the scariest movie you've seen in a long time because it's real - or at least as real as 'The Blair Witch Project' which is the obvious cinematic parallel.

2) That being said, 'Activity' does provide some legitimite bits of terror, although this film is definitely a things that go bump in the night project versus the torture-porn horror films like Saw 27.

3) 'Activity' is shot documentary-style and follows a young couple living together who try to capture evidence of a ghost or demon that has been haunting the woman since childhood. The bulk of the footage is shot from a tripod in their bedroom as the haunting largely occurs while they're asleep, which means you get a lot of footage from this angle:

To the filmmakers credit, however, they wring about as much tension as you can out of a suburban San Diego home without specifically mentioning the drastic fall in real estate prices the past few years.

4) In scary movies there is always at least one character who is generally annoying and/or insanely stupid and who you generally root for to meet their demise. In 'Activity' this character was the boyfriend, who is the film geek intent on antagonizing the ghost/demon, although the haunting expert the couple brings in for help runs a close second.

5) Overall, 'Activity' accomplishes its goal of creating a spooky reality without resulting to gimmickery. It is at least 15 - 20 minutes too long, but if you can stick with it, viewers are rewarded with an ending that works pretty damn well.


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Thoughts on 'Couples Retreat' . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, October 19, 2009 12 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Rental. Unless you are already missing summer and need - just plain NEED - to see a beach, then this one would be fine as a rental because it only rarely rises above a mediocre comedy, which is disappointing given the cast involved with the project.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. Right now, I don't feel the need to ever see it again, although I would watch certain segments if it was showing on cable some lazy afternoon.

Overrall Grade: C

1) I love movies set on tropical beaches. I am a total sucker for them every single time. I've seen fairly good ones ('Forgetting Sarah Marshall'), solid if unspectular ones ('The Beach') and bad ones ('Turistas'). I would probably pay to watch Lindsay Lohan read the phone book to Josh Hartnett if they set it on a beach in the Carribbean. Maybe not as we all have our limits, but anyway, 'Couples Retreat' falls into the middle-of-the-road category where most of the jokes have been shown in the previews, and this high concept comedy generally fails to create anything particularly memorable.

2) The plot involves 4 couples who travel to the Eden resort - located in Tahiti - to work on their relationships in paradaise. There's the couple lacking alone time because they have small kids (Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman), the couple who want kids but can't have them (Jason Bateman, Kristin Bell), the couple together since high school who now hate each other (John Favreau, Kristin Davis), and the newly divorced man now dating a 20-year-old party girl who calls him 'Daddy' (Kali Hawk, Faizon Love).

As you might expect, they all learn certain lessons along the way from the specific programs crafted for them by Jean Reno, a legendary relationship master who likes to wear skimpy bathing suits and silk robes.

3) The cast of 'Couples Retreat' boasts several members that I generally like including Bateman, Vaughn, Favreau, and Reno. The women were also appealing as they all have good comic timing, and the fact they look great in bathing suits doesn't hurt either. Still, for the number of funny people involved in this movie, there is a noticable dearth of laughs and considering that Vaughn and Favreau co-wrote the script, they have nobody to blame but themselves.

4) That being said, the director doesn't help them out by elevating the material. The kid from 'A Christmas Story' directed this movie, and I'm not sure if it was his first effort, but regardless, he failed to milk the maximum amount of fun/laughs from the set-ups which were given to him. A 'Guitar Hero' sequence in particular seemed like something ripe for caging a few more audience chuckles, and yet, they never fully arrived.

5) The main problem I had with 'Couples Retreat' was that it played it far too safe. This should have been a R rated comedy versus the PG-13 film they released, a decision that I'm sure was a calculation to bring in more box office money by the studio. That decision, however, has produced a decent yet wholly unspectacular comedy that largely wastes a cast who are never challenged to flex their comic muscles in new and unexpected ways.


Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, October 16, 2009 23 comments

“You don't know shit about the shit we're in out here!” – Owen Wilson, “Anaconda”

I might not know shit, but I know a shitty movie script when I see one, which is more than I can say for Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight and Ice Cube who all signed on for this giant snake movie, though to be fair, I did see it in the theaters on a date for reasons I can’t adequately explain at the moment. Selah.

Anyway, I loathe snakes, so I plan to stay away from all reptiles and slither my way out of the office by 3 p.m., but before that can happen, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Britney Spears has done it again as the U.S. pop singer had her new single, "3," rocket to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its debut week.

The song, who some allege concerns a threesome invitation, entered the charts at the top, making her the first artist with a debut No. 1 in more than three years, Billboard said on Wednesday.

In response, Spears said: "I am truly blessed with the greatest fans in the world and I am so happy y'all love it because I do this all for you."

She later added, but “I do the actual threesomes for myself – ya’ll understand.”

A former Ralph Lauren model whose image was digitally slenderized for an ad campaign said Wednesday that the Ralph Lauren label did not renew her contract because she was "too large."

The photo's emaciated depiction of her, with hips about as narrow as her head, could make young women "think that it's normal to look like that — and it's not," the 5-foot-10, 120-pound model told NBC's "Today" show.

She later told the Daily News that: "They fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn't fit in their clothes anymore," 23-year-old Filippa Hamilton, who worked for the company since she was 15. She has not decided whether to sue, said Jesse Derris, her spokesman at Sunshine Sachs & Associates.

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren said the whole thing is ridiculous because Hamilton was simply fired for not sleeping with him, and that her weight had nothing to do with the decision.

In legitimate workplace sex news, another late-night talk show host admitted a relationship with a staffer this week as Jimmy Kimmel confirmed that he has been dating the show’s co-heard-writer, Molly McNearney.

Since joining the show as an assistant in 2003, McNearney, 31, was promoted to writer in 2006 and to co-head writer in May 2008, People says. The Kimmel-McNearny relationship has been going on several months, according to sources cited by the magazines.

This decision obviously worked out so well for David Letterman that Kimmel couldn’t help trying it for himself.

Michael Jackson’s first posthumous single "This Is It" was released Monday, and hours after it hit the airwaves, it emerged that the tune had been recorded 18 years ago by an obscure Puerto Rican singer.

The co-author of that tune, songwriter Paul Anka, threatened to sue Jackson's estate for proper credit and his share of royalties and the administrators of the estate quickly acknowledged Anka's claims and granted him 50 percent of the copyright.

"They realize it's a mistake, they realize it's my song, they realize it's my production of his vocal in my studio and I am getting 50 percent of the whole project, actually, which is fair," Anka said in a video posted on the TMZ gossip Web site.

Anka is now the richest obscure Puerto Rican singer in history.

In a hearing in family court Tuesday, a judge ordered Jon Gosselin to return $180,000in marital funds, according to Kate Gosselin’s lawyer.

Her lawyer, Mark Momjian, said Montgomery County Judge Arthur Tilson ordered Jon Gosselin to return the money by Oct. 26 or face contempt charges.

In a related story, large quantities of ugly t-shirts, male diamond stud earrings and self-help books have turned up on Ebay with an ending date of Oct. 25th attached to them.

Avril Lavigne filed for divorce this week from her musician husband after three years of marriage to Sum 41 singer Deryck Jason Whibley.

The couple were married in July 2006 and have no children together and Lavigne cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split.

Whibly is claiming that Lavigne has been sleeping with Skater Boyz during their entire marriage, and it became too much to bear.

Megan Fox was announced as the new female face of Armani next year, replacing Victoria Beckham for the campaign.

Fox will appear in the Italian fashion leaders women’s wear ads from 2010 onward, and also be involved in a Armani Jeans campaign that is being shot in L.A. this week.

This seems like a perfect job for Fox since it shouldn’t require her to actually speak a single word.

Garth Brooks announced Thursday that he's coming out of retirement with a show in Las Vegas.

Brooks, 47, said at a news conference in Nashville that he will end his retirement with an extended engagement at the Wynn Resort. He retired in 2000 to spend more time with his three children.

Apparently, his children got tired of listening to his music too.

As always, let’s end with a gold image of three:

A little suggestion instead of pure showcasing is sometimes a good thing (though not always). So, try a change of pace today, hold a little something back and . . . Happy Friday!


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Thoughts on 'Zombieland' . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, October 14, 2009 12 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee or rental. 'Zombieland' is an enjoyably light comedy that still delivers some unruly flesh-eating zombies, but there's simply not enough meat on the cinematic bones of this project to pay full price for at the theater, and really, it would be just as good as a rental, maybe better.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I'd watch it one more time, but that's not enough to justify buying it on DVD.

Overrall Grade: B-

1) 'Zombieland' is exactly the kind of movie it sounds like from the title, and from the plethora of previews on the television. It's a consistently funny - though not hilarious - movie where a group of rag-tag survivors from a massive zombie infection ban together to make their way across America while killing a hell of a lot of the undead along the way and laughing about it while they go.

2) The tone and pacing of the film never wavers, and the cast delivers performances that mesh perfectly with the humor and the occasionally gruesome decapitations. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg ('Adventureland'), Emma Stone ('Superbad') and Abagail Bresnin ('Little Miss Sunshine') all bring different attributes to the group with Harrelson and Eisenberg being my favorite players. Harrelson is casually hilarious as a Twinkie-loving, dim-witted Zombie killer extrodionaire and yet Eisenberg's nebbish survivor mentalilty rivals him for laughs, especially when he constantly introduces the rules of Zombie survival to the audience.

3) There is also a totally unexpected cameo from a big star in this flick. I won't spoil the name since most reviews go out of their way to avoid even hinting at it, however, I will say that it's one of the best uses of this device I've seen during a movie in several years.

4) One of the finest things about 'Zombieland' is that it realizes exactly what kind of movie it is, and the purpose it serves. Consequently, the running time clocks in at 80-something minutes, and I rejoiced at a film that can edit itself based on the content it delivers, and doesn't feel the need to bloat the running time with unnecessary nonsense.

5) That being said, I've got nothing else to add about 'Zombieland' because it is so inconsequential, which isn't a bad thing. It's as light and airy as a popcorn fart and equally as enjoyable and you could do worse than attending a quick matinee on a lazy Sunday when the NFL games look particularly lame.


Wedding Day Blues . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, October 12, 2009 14 comments

I don’t begrudge anyone who invites me to watch them get married, however, the further removed I am from knowing the participants, the deeper it is into the college football season and the more time requested from me (about 9 hours) on a gray weather Saturday tends to put me in a somewhat hostile mood on what should otherwise be a blessed occasion. Selah.

The Preparation - Loft: 1 hour

A shower was needed, and then I had to leave enough time to get my tie tied correctly as I tend to wear one about once per season, and consequently, one loop or pull through always remains a bit elusive. It was the nature of the reception, however, which caused this process to drag out closer to an hour as the rumor was that it was going to be dry, a perverse choice by the bridge and groom which seemed deliberately and unnecessarily cruel. At least offer a cash bar . . . but instead, I cleaned out my college flask and filled it with whiskey. The only difficult part would be refraining from partaking until the reception actually started.

The Ceremony – Church: 1 hour

It was inside a church about 45 minutes north of Austin. Stained glass windows and pews and vows and a sermon which at one stage found the minister wrapping up some point (I’m still not sure which one) by stating: And as they say in the black church, ‘Keep on, Keeping On.’ Seriously. I remember thinking when he started that sentence that he really shouldn’t complete it, but unlike the vows themselves when he gave anyone in the audience the chance to object, during this portion of the service, he kept that offer to himself.

The Reception – Marriott Ballroom: 5 hours

Things were actually moving along rather smoothly until the reception, which was when time began to stand still and the best college football games of the day were starting. The seating arrangements were the first warning sign that things were not going to lend themselves to an early exit. This was due to the fact that we were up on an elevated stage, at the end of one long table, with the bridge and groom in the middle and the peons sitting at round tables scattered throughout the ballroom and looking up at us. I would have offered them money to trade places. Unfortunately, my wife was in the wedding party, and so we had been placed in the most conspicuous area possible. On the plus side, the table did offer a fine staging ground for doctoring the Diet Cokes I was ordering from the bar with whiskey and nobody was the wiser except one server who came up behind me unexpectedly and gave me a look of intense longing as I poured the amber fluid into my glass.

The toasts were serviceable even when one of the bridesmaids tried to be funny a la Rachel McAdams in the ‘Wedding Crashers,’ and much like the results of that cinematic choice, there were no laughs to be found in the audience, only crickets. The bride’s brother did get a laugh when he threatened to kill the groom if he broke his sister’s heart. He said it twice. More laughter. But I still don’t think he was kidding and now his confession in on tape.

Without free-flowing booze, dancing is a challenge and even though the DJ who sported odd facial hair and a pompadour seemed to be having a great time (I think he was on Ecstasy), couldn’t do much to get people on the dance floor, though he did play Cowboy Junkies at one point which I liked.

Long ago, it was written that something awful has to occur for it to be a real wedding, and sure enough, it happened towards the end of the night . Somebody stole a gift box full of checks and cash meant for the bride and groom. I felt pretty terrible about this situation as it cast a nasty end to the proceedings, especially when the cops showed up just as the newlyweds were walking out to their limo for their final appearance. I mean seriously, what kind of person does something like that, and without a doubt, it had to be one of the guests or one of the wait staff and regardless of the exact person, it’s just a scumbag thing to do.

Oh well, I guess it still went fairly well as far weddings go since the bride and groom generally looked happy, and we also went with another couple that we liked and who were drinking whiskey and laughing beside us at the head table. I blame my wife for getting roped into being a bridesmaid, but then again, she probably received her own Karmic justice by having to pay $250 in tailoring and fabric costs for a bright red bridesmaid dress that will never see the light of day again unless it’s Halloween or a transvestite buys it off Craig’s List.

But at the end of the day, I’m just happy that the event is now in the rear-view mirror of obligations instead of lingering on the horizon like a three-day old fish special I’d rather send back.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, October 09, 2009 19 comments

“The world meets nobody halfway. When you want something, you gotta take it.,” – Sylvester Stallone, “Over The Top”

This 1987 film was probably the finest movie ever made about the somewhat illegal back-room arm wrestling circuit, and Stallone was very convincing as a truck driver who wanted to arm wrestle his way into the heart of his estranged son. But I digress.

I would arm wrestle a grizzly bear today if it meant I could get out of attending a rehearsal dinner tonight and a long wedding, which is also free from booze, tomorrow night. It’s an ugly situation, and I might just have to bring a flask, something I haven’t done since college. Anyway, before any of that happens, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Kate Gosselin accused estranged husband Jon Gosselin of swiping $230,000 from the joint checking account they share on “The Today Show” this week.

“He took $230,000 of the $231,000 we had,” Kate said on the show. “I have a stack of bills. The last thing I wanted was to do this show and end up not being able to pay our bills.”

Kate also said she can't sleep and she's worried about her former husband.

“He has gone way far off the trail. ... Obviously, I am very upset. I can’t sleep at night. I can’t pay my bills. I think he’s receiving bad advice. I think he’s making bad decisions.”

Jon responded that it was probably a bad decision to have 8 children and sign up for a reality show, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Then he went back to stuffing $230,000 worth of dollar bills into stripper’s g-strings in Vegas.

Lindsay Lohan’s debut collection for Parisian fashion house Emanuel Ungaro was unveiled on Sunday, showing super-short pink dresses and blazers worn over bare skin, and garnering largely negative reviews from fashion critics who didn’t seem to care for Lohan's bra tops and stripper-inspired nipple pasties.

"It's not good to show your nipples so they should be covered," Lohan told Reuters, referring to the heart-shaped pasties.

As evidenced by her past papparrazi shots, however, Lohan has no such qualms about covering up vaginas.

Levi Johnston - the 19-year-old baby daddy of Sarah Palin’s grandson - is set to appear in a photo shoot for Playgirl magazine, US Magazine reported this week.

"Team Levi is in the process of preparing for his Playgirl appearance," Rex Butler, Johnston's lawyer, said. "He is in the gym six days a week for the next three weeks."

I’m just waiting for the next story where Johnston injures himself trying to do bicep curls with his penis.

A judge ruled Tuesday that Mel Gibson's conviction stemming from his notorious 2006 drunken driving arrest is being expunged.

The ruling came after Gibson’s lawyer had requested the dismissal following the actor-director’s successful completion of the terms of his three-year probation following the misdemeanor drunken driving arrest in which he made derogatory comments about Jews and women. As part of his no-contest plea, Gibson was sentenced to three years of probation, paid about $1,600 in fines and had to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and other meetings.

Gibson was unable, however, to convince the judge to expunge the memories of everyone else on the planet who still remembers Gibson’s “sugar tits” rant.

Madonna accepted damages from a British newspaper this week for publishing pictures of her wedding to Guy Ritchie that she said had been stolen from her home.

The singer wasn't in court Tuesday, but her lawyer confirmed that she had accepted "substantial" damages from Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday, and that the singer would donate the money to her Raising Malawi charity. Madonna, who was divorced from Ritchie earlier this year, had sought damages in excess of $8 million.

The newspaper is now attempting to publish pictures of her divorce from Guy Ritchie to balance the scales.

In other Madonna – Guy Ritchie news, a year after Madonna called Ritchie "emotionally retarded," Ritchie told Esquire magazine Wednesday that he still loves her, but that she is "retarded" herself.

The 41 year-old British director said Madonna "makes things happen" and works hard at her career. "And, of course, here you go: I still love her," Ritchie told the magazine. "But she's retarded, too."

Ritchie said he plans to continue to use the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” childhood defense whenever Madonna insults him the future as well.

David Letterman made several on-air apologies to his wife and staff this week for having sex with co-workers after revealing last week that he had been the victim of a $2 million blackmail threat to expose the affairs.

Letterman also vowed to repair his relationship with his wife, but said: "Let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me," he said ruefully.

It wasn’t clear if Letterman meant the problems with his wife or with filling next year’s staff internship positions, which right now, has multiple vacancies.

Reality TV star Nicole Richie was hurt Monday in a traffic accident in Beverly Hills.

The 28-year-old Richie was driving a Land Rover on Wilshire Blvd. when she was rear-ended by a photographer who was driving without a license, said Beverly Hills police Lt. Mike Hill. Richie complained of pain but opted to seek her own treatment and no ambulance was called, Hill said.

Richie did, however, request that more photographers be called in order to take as many pictures as humanely possible.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or two:

This is what I always imagined happened at sleepover parties even though experience has taught me that this is not the case at all. Regardless, feel free to live out a fantasy today or grab onto life firmly with both hands and . . . Happy Friday!


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