Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 6: This is Spartaaa!!

We landed on the moon!....I mean, "Michigan State is going to the Final Four!!!!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 6: At the Month of Madness

March Madness is the pinnacle of sports. No other event offers as much energy, excitment, and competition as the NCAA Tournament packs in. The Superbowl is great, but I feel like the game is sometimes overshadowed by the pagentry surrounding it (i.e. 2,000 commercials for the half time show). March Madness, unlike the BCS championship, offers a chance to any of the 65 teams who are invited. The "anything can happen" nautre makes for compelling, if not mandatory viewing. Sooooo, transplant the viewing experience of a sports bar, or a comfy couch at home to 1:30 in the morning in a Bulgarian block apartment with a shady internet connection steaming the game. Is it still March Madness? Of course, but the madness part really comes into affect after the 2am mark. You know you should be sleeping, but the pull of this tournament is like the tractor beam on the Millenium Falcon: you can't escape it. My biggest gripe with the whole affair has nothing to do with the tournament selection, play, or venues. It comes down to the fact that I went to a college with a Division III team, and therefore, I have no real "team" to root for. Maybe this is a good thing, and I can never feel the crush of dissapoint or the agony of defeat. For now, (and I suspect the forseeable future) I will latch on to schools of my family (UM, MSU), my geographical connections (WU, USC) or who ever is a giant underdog, (Go Western Kentucky!). I hope everyone who is a fan is enjoying this years tournament and doesn't have to watch on a 10 inch screen with constant buffering. Let the good times roll.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 5: Camp Rock...ed My World to Its Foundation

Man, I am lazy. When I said the whole "30 blogs in 30 days" I didn't mean consecutive blogs. (There will probably be a flurry of activity around the 29th day). But fear not, I have a new entry today about a subject near and dear to the so many people,...under the age of 14. At work, I saw CAMP ROCK, and if you don't know what that is...good. You have been spared. Don't google it, don't ask your friends at work, don't turn to the disney channel and keep pretending Jonas Bros is a new Hip Hop group from the ATL. I happened to watch an episode of South Park 2 days prior to this viewing experience, and even though South Park intended to 'satirize" and "parody" the Jonas Brothers, it was scary how close them came to the truth. When it comes to this new-new kids on the block type invasion, I can only say: Be brave America and this will all be over soon.

(Also, Go Spartans)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 4: Watching the Watchmen Being Watched

This weekend was by no small means a "typical weekend". The culmination of 22 years of development came to fruition in the magical movie theatre of the Varna Mall. I refer to the long thought unfilmable graphic novel "WATCHMEN". Since 1987, people have tried to turn this comic property into a workable piece of cinema. Terry Gilliam took the first crack and had envisioned Robin Williams as the detective/psychopath 'Rosarach', Sigourney Weaver as the seductive 'Silk Spectre', and a post Conan, pre Batman & Robin Arnold Schwarzenagger as 'Dr. Manhattan'. (We can all thank Hollywood Development for dodging that potential disaster). AND NOW, 2009, in a former Soviet Bloc, I witnessed the culmination of years of tragedy and aggravation.....and it was pretty good.
I don't want to give a whole review, just a few highlights and observations on my viewing experience.

1) Before the movie started, I had my first hamburger in approximately 2 months. It was a Burger King Whooper. This did not sit well with my stomach

2) You can drink beer in Bulgarian movie theatres. The movie was almost three hours with previews. This did not sit well with my bladder

3) There was a kid who was somewhere between 8-10 sitting two rows behind me who did not stop talking from the moment I sat down

4) About an hour into the movie, a character on screen kills a man with a butcher knife. In the head. This same kid left immediately after wards. I felt no remorse, only the burning sensation of why any parent would take there kid to a movie like this.

5) I only have a few problems with this movie. The most glaring is a scene at a cemetery. I know what a cemetery looks like. I am fairly confident you know what a cemetery looks like. However, with this logic aside, the camera does a sweeping crane shot over a giant cemetery; row after row of tombstones. Then, the camera pans up to a sign over the cemetery; the sign reads: "cemetery".

I can't truthfully say who will like this film. I wouldn't recommend it to everybody, and even the nerd faithful could go either way on this one. It is easily the boldest, gutsiest decision I have scene by a movie studio, and in this era of formulaic, sequel-o-rama's, there is nothing more pleasing than seeing someone take a chance.

So in conclusion, have a happy st. patrick's day

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 3: I am on the map

On my daily searche for Chris Farley videos, I came across this gem. Relevant? Yes. (Wait until 7:26, 7:27 and enjoy)

(This is always relevant when your dealing with Chris Farley)

In other additional news, Bulgaria is still cold and the people are still awesome.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 2: The Apcolypse Comes Early

I had a livelier entry planned, but on my way to work this autrocity caught my eye.

Its like,...Mad Max meets Space Jam

Or Hoosiers and I Am Legend

Or He Got Game...minus the game

And to make matters more bizzare, this happened over night. Playing H-O-R-S-E on wednesday; Judgement Day on Thursday

(I hope there is still standing basketball hoop where you live, and have a great Friday)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 1: Peace Corps or Sunset Strip?

Day 1 of the Java Script Gauntlet starts with news to end all news. I thought about holding this back for sweeps week, but I figure you have to pull your audience in early. As many of you may know, I live in the Rock n' Roll Capital of Bulgaria. This is not my fabrication. This is truth. An 80 year old women in Isperih confirmed this for me. It is common knowledge in this country that if you want your fill of 80's rock n' roll or heavy metal, you go to my town. Even the mayor, who is an awesome guy, is known throughout the land as "The Metal Mayor" (An earlier blog entry can confirm this will a Deep Purple gold record, and numerous murals ranging from Billy Idol to Alice Cooper). The crowning achievement of the metal music season is the Kaliakra Rockfest. This is a huge deal. 20 to 40 thousand people are expected to attend. The stadium is roughly a ten minute walk from my house. I have not felt this sort of anticipation since Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Since I arrived here in October, my mind has only been focused on this event. The line up was supposedly a hugh secret, and was not to be announced until the very last moment. Well Ladies and Gentlemen,.....all is revealed. On July 1st...........the streets will shake......because.....

MOTLEY CRUE is coming to town!

Am I excited? Oh yeah. Do I like Motley Crue? Um,.....sure,...maybe,...I really don't know. My only two experiences with the Crue is their VHI 'Behind the Music' episode, and my good friend Chad chronicling his 'forced against his will' trip to see them. But come on; this is awesome! I am now closer to meeting rock stars than I ever was in America. Traveling 7,000 miles has away from LA and Orange County has actually brought me closer to the rock scene. If you told me this a year ago,...well,...not exactly sure how I would react, there would of been a fair amount of disbelief. So, in conclusion,...join Peace Corps and you will meet Tommy Lee.

(here is my whole impression of what being a rock star is like)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Java Script Gauntlet

A happy and healthy March 11th to you and yours. Today is a big day for many reasons, a few of which I will with hold until the suspense has reached a fever pitch. For starters, as of this day, I promise to have 30 straight blog entries for 30 days. Why? Is it the people you constantly question my dedication to the blogosphere? Or there is just some much happening that anything less than 30 straight days would do a disservice to my service? I'm going to say: not exactly. Today marks the beginning of something very near and dear to my heart, and eventually, my two years in this great country. I am speaking about none other than the Kavarna Film School Project. If you want to take a short walk on over to you can read all about it. In bullet point form, it goes something like this: I love movies, I'm a film major and kid's here love movies. Combine all three and you have the makings for a made more tv movie, and one project that can have a long and lasting impact to everyone involved. However, with that said, I need all the help I can get. SO please, I beseech thee, tell everyone you know about this blog and its companion . Tell your friends, your friends' friends, your great aunt sally, UPS person, gym instructor, Sushi chef, old guy who calls you "Frank"; anyone who will listen, please tell them. I don't want to get all afternoon special, but this has the chance to help a lot of kids and it might be an opportunity they never get otherwise. I really do take this job as a gift and a blessing, and I want to make the most out of it. I know with the constant support of my family and friends, I will succeed. The love and encouragement I have already received during my short time here is nothing short of amazing. Before my mom starts tearing up, I'll wrap this up: Let the 30 day challenge (not involving McDonalds) begin!


p.p.s Thank you everyone


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mistaken Nationality, Fermintation, and Ratings

Talking with my good friend Greg, we came to the conclusion that Peace Corps is the greatest untapped potential for a sitcom. Everything you need is here: crazy cast of characters, interesting situations (both funny and exciting), drama, and intrigue to leave people on the edge of their seats. How many episodes of 'Friends' could feature a donkey cart ride, home-made alcohol, and neighbors thinking you work for the CIA? With this in mind, I present for your viewing pleasure, the first installment of (working title only) "Peace Corps Millionaire"

Ext. Long Shot, Afternoon

(An empty street, with more stray dogs than cars. Bloc apartments dominate the frame, making a guessing game of what year we are actually in.)

Long shot of a lonely figure walking past a giant Mural of Alice Cooper

Quick close-up on all things American: Northface logo, nike swoosh on shoes, and ipod cord dangling off

[With an homage to 'Do The Right Thing', the main character walks over a chalk drawing in the street, which has "Peace Corps Millionaire" written]

Only sound heard is coming from the ipod; Flo-Rida

Suddenly a loud voice booms:

English! English!

[A confused Peace Corps volunteer looks around, then does the obvious thing, and finally looks up to see Victor on his balcony]

Oh, strazti. Az ne English. Asum ot America

[Victor, a man of 50, white a great white beard and matching fro, looks, smiles, and says:]

Come, English

(To himself)
Does he need a map,...England doesn't even look like America...

Cut to Int. Victor's "office": A basement room full of bottles, tools, and two giant barrels of a clear substance that is definitely not water

(Talking a mile a minute, with the only understood words being "English")

(Nodding politely)
Yep,...oh, yeah,...most def,....yep,...still American.....

[With a lull in the "conversation", Victor pulls out two glasses, and proceeds to scoop out liquid from the two ominous containers]

[He hands one to PCV, and says, "Nas Gravi!". They clink glasses, and PCV downs his like a fraternity pledge. Victor sips his patiently]

(Having a mini spasm)
Woah,...(coughing),...that ah,...thats,...mnogo dobre

(Stunned to see it downed so fast)
Eschus li?

Another? Sure,..I mean, I can do one more...what is this?

[Flash cut to black and white montage]

V.O. "Welcome to the history of Rikyia" There are no South African breweries to give you peace of mind, or label approved by the FDA. All I have is a man and his word. The word is in jumbled Bulgarian, but the toothless grin tells me all I need to know: This clear substance may or may not be strong enough to power a car. Those of you saying "Well, how strong can it really be?" don't know your Bulgarian liguors. American beverages such as Smirnoff or Jack Daniels top out at around 40% proof. Typcially, rikia is about 55% proof and makes your tummy feel all warm and fuzzy. Also, it is suppose to cure all major headaches, fevers and stomach aches (no scientifically approved but rigorously supported by the local 55 and over crowd).

[Snap back to the present]

[Camera follows glass to PCVs lips, and then appears to seamlessly follow the glass back down, only to reveal a whole host of other glasses. Its been close to an hour)

No, no, no....Randal Cunningham,...any day of the week.

(Wobbling slightly)
[From Bulgarian] You,,..look like snoopy

[Jump ahead 26 1/2 minutes)

(Eyes are completely glassed over now)
Now,...I don't speak Bulgarian to ...good...but,ah,.."As e te, shte pisha rikyia vasecki den" [Subtitled as "I and you will drink rikyia every day"] Alright,...catch ya on the flip side...



[Fade to black. Single word appears: Integration. Fade to black]

Well, thats a slice of life that I-,..or someone like me has encountered. Stayed tuned for next week's installment, and maybe, in the near future, it will become a webisode. For now, use your imagination and hope all is well in all the land (B-to-I-to-S-to-C)