Continuing my long-standing practice of never ever responding to Facebook memes on Facebook, please find below my list of 15 movies that will always stay with me. Thanks to Julanne for the tag. If you’d like to leave your list, feel free to do so in the comments.
Note: With the exception of the first and last entries, these are listed in no particular order.
Airplane! I typically refer to Airplane! as my favorite film ever. I can’t begin to explain why this humor works for me — but it reduces me to red-faced, teary-eyed, shaking uncontrollably laughter every single time. The same goes for the Naked Gun films and the Police Squad! TV series.
The Sting. The soundtrack sucked me in as a kid, but it’s everything else that makes this one of the best movies ever made.
The Godfather. When I come across The Godfather on TV, I stop what I’m doing and watch. The same goes for The Godfather: Part II.
Star Wars.This isn’t the best of the Star Wars franchise, but as the first, it opened my eyes to the possibilities that lied ahead.
48 Hours. I was so taken with this that Juan and I paid to watch this in the theater twice in the same afternoon when it was released. It’s also the reason I was fond of singing a falsetto “Roxanne” at the top of my lungs from the chairlift on ski club nights in high school.
The Last Waltz. There is no better concert film, period. As a bonus, this provides a nice glimpse at why Bill Graham was the best-ever concert promoter.
American Pop. An animated film by Ralph Bakshi that tells the story of American music through the eyes of an immigrant family. It’s not a happy story, but the energy is undeniable.
The Blues Brothers. This post from two years ago will tell you everything you need to know about why this movie is on my list.
Rear Window. Saw a restored copy of this in the Ohio Theater in Columbus when I was in high school. If Airplane! wasn’t at the top of my list, this probably would be.
Casablanca. Another high school date, another Ohio Theater screening. Perfect.
Hannah and Her Sisters. I am a huge Woody Allen fan. And I’m having some trouble reconciling my love of his films with what is alleged to have happened in his personal life. Mrs. Crappy and I recently watched Hannah and Her Sisters — my personal favorite Woody Allen movie — and couldn’t shake the creepies.
Lost in Translation. A familiar notion: being disconnected in a world where connection is so easy. And the mandatory serious Bill Murray movie on my list.
Groundhog Day. Contemplative and razor-sharp funny. The mandatory funny Bill Murray movie on my list (this could have been Stripes, Ghostbusters or Caddyshack as well, but Groundhog Day wins by a nose because it’s Groundhog Day, for crying out loud).
The World According to Garp. A brilliant adaptation of a brilliant book by my favorite contemporary author. Also, Robin Williams.
Cannery Row. A brilliant adaptation of a brilliant book — actually a couple books, Sweet Thursday and Cannery Row — by my favorite not-quite-as-contemporary author.
Rocky Horror Picture Show. My default Saturday night entertainment option in high school: Get to Graceland Shopping Center by 11:30, buy a bag of rice at Big Bear, and have my butt in a seat at Graceland Twin Cinema in time for the weekly midnight showing. And I did that somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 Saturday nights. Castles don’t have telephones, asshole.
My former colleagues know me so well.
When it came time for my going-away party, I suspected there was a decent chance that I might take home a bottle of beer or two. And my friends at The Times didn’t let me down.
Because I am the beer nerd that I am, I promised that I would give each of these classics the full Beer Guy treatment. A couple Fridays ago, I broke ‘em all out, taking notes on each one. Here you go, boys and girls, in order of appearance:
Were there winners in this experiment? I’ll count myself among the winners, because it was legitimately fun getting back in touch with some of these beers. And if we’re talking about the beers, let’s go with Rolling Rock, because it may have actually improved when it was taken over by our A-B InBev overlords, and IC Light, because it sort of tastes like beer and not so much like bowl of corn flakes soaked in honey.
And I should point out one additional thing: my friends also came through with a very generous Bocktown gift card, so I was able to buy a few more six packs with beer that’ll prompt many fewer complaints.
Thanks again, guys. You couldn’t have done it any better if I had picked them out myself.
Things are about to change.
After more than 14 years with my current employer — I don’t think I’ve ever named it here, but that’s the Beaver County Times — I’m about to start a new gig. On June 30, I’ll move to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as part of their digital team.
The new job? I can’t wait to get started. I long ago found an enthusiasm for the digital side of my business, and being able to take on similar challenges at a paper like the P-G is the kind of thing that makes me wake up happy every day. And if that kind of tinkering isn’t enough, I hope to be able to continue some beer-related video work there as well. It’s a great opportunity; it’ll give Mrs. Crappy and me the chance to make some positive changes and it will keep me challenged and happy professionally.
Having said that, I’m in no real hurry to leave The Times, even though my final day is approaching rapidly. To put it simply: I would be in a much less solid position professionally were it not for the chances I’ve had there. And I’ve had chances at The Times that I wouldn’t have had anywhere else. I started tinkering with the web sites here when I worked on Sunday nights and no one else wanted to mess with those chores. I gingerly — at first, anyway — stepped into doing Newsbreak just because the regular hosts were on vacation. I wrote quirky centerpiece stories because they were occasionally funny. And over the years, this became a lot less like work and a lot more like fun.
And when you can have fun at work, you’ve pretty much got it made, right? I’m grateful I can say that’s been the case for me for nearly all of the last 14 years.
The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection. Were that not so, ours would still be a racially segregated nation according to the now rightfully discarded doctrine of “separate but equal.” In the 60 years since (Brown v. Board of Education) was decided, “separate” has thankfully faded into history, and only “equal” remains. Similarly, in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage.
We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history. An appropriate Order shall issue.
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, May 20, 2014.
All I really wanted to do on Sunday was cut the grass and haul the summer furniture out of the garage, clean it up and spend the rest of the afternoon lounging on the front porch.
As we discussed yesterday, those plans were changed. I took a day off today to get all those things done; I was hoping to finish the toilet installation today and get some outside work finished in time to grill a pork loin and spend the evening outside.
Instead, the bathroom is in pretty much the same state it was when I started working on it this morning. I still have no idea about my toilet installation skills, because I’m still nowhere near being able to install the toilet, thanks to something in the subfloor that has left me unable to anchor a new flange.
And I am out patience and, because I have to work tomorrow, out of time as well.
I don’t have a problem with paying professionals to do these kinds of things. I just wish I hadn’t wasted two full days before figuring out that I’d need to do that now.