To The Surprise Of No One

“To the surprise of no one…” — I like this phrase a lot.

You think you will learn of someone being surprised, only to have the phrase at the end do a little twist, indicating that no one was in fact surprised.

So the phrase that tells you no one is surprised itself has a mildly surprising finish.

Yes, this is what it’s like inside my brain.

Story Virus v4

For those visiting this blog for a while, you may have noticed a story virus popping up every six months or so. Well, it’s been six months since v3, so that means this must be v4.

For those unfamiliar, here’s a recap:

Here’s what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don’t know how realistic it is, but that’s what I’m aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it’s okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that’s five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours.

There always has to be a start of a story, so here it is.


The ground crunched beneath my feet. Besides my noisy footsteps, I heard only the sound of the gentle crackling fire behind me. Its faint orange light lazily revealed my immediate surroundings. Beyond the glow, there was total blackness. I whistled. I took the small rock I had been carrying and whipped it away from me, expecting a thud, crack or plop — but a soft yelp of a cry answered.


Please continue this story virus.

I tag:

Randal G
Freida Bee
Some Guy
Chef Cthulhu
Flannery Alden

I Cannot Pan Adventureland, or Who Watches The Watchmen For Twenty Minutes?

So, it’s been a crazy amount of time since I have been back to the LaGrange. Between my schedule and the theatre’s schedule, it just hasn’t worked out until now. The LaGrange is currently undergoing some major remodeling, which has resulted in it being closed for days at a time. Theatre 1 is currently torn up, and the lobby is unrecognizable.

La Grange Theatre renovations in the home stretch

Agh! According to the article, after all the remodeling is done they will bump up their prices from $3.50 to $5.00! It’s following the path of the Davis Theater! Oh, mercy!

Alright, anyways, what the hell were my options?

Taken – Seen it!
Watchmen – Seen it!
Adventureland – Okay!

So, Adventureland it was — a movie following a guy out of college who is forced by circumstances to work the summer at an amusement park in Pittsburgh. I had the same problem with this movie that I had with Juno. Too much fucking music that I liked being plugged into every stray silent moment. I felt like I didn’t have the opportunity to interpret moments myself, I had to have the Velvet Underground tell me what to feel.

I know how powerful music can be when accompanied with a giant moving image, and know the allure it must have to a lot of filmmakers. But still, I don’t know, it can be awful if it’s overused.

Adventureland wasn’t a great movie, but I feel like I can’t really be snarky or snide to it. It wasn’t awful, certainly. This is one of those really personal coming-of-age films. I felt like there were strong emotions and experiences behind this story, but they didn’t resonate in the movie for me (maybe they did to other viewers).

I never felt more than when I was young, when everything seemed to hit me so hard, and my emotions were bigger than anything else. I had one of my most “human being moments” as a lowly worker retrieving shopping carts from a supermarket parking lot during sunset. I want to like movies that deal with that time of life, when you’re just this raw nerve experiencing the world for the first time.

It’s one of the reasons I like Almost Famous so much. It’s not made by Cameron Crowe the-guy-who-directed-Jerry-Maguire, it’s by Cameron Crowe the-kid-who-was-painfully-awkward-and-alive.

So, I wanted to experience Adventureland like I was that young man in the amusement park, but I just couldn’t get to that space. I don’t know if it was the distraction of Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as his bosses, the overuse of music, or what. It just didn’t feel real to me. I am sorry to the filmmaker for not feeling it — I wanted to.

So the movie lets out and I slip into Theatre 4 for some of the Watchmen. As I sit down Malin Ackerman gives a brutal bonesnap to a dude in an alley. Stinky. I saw this movie halfheartedly