Facts I Made Up About Raiders of the Lost Ark

This evening Tom and I are going to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the movies in IMAX. Yayah. There’s still time for you to go see it, more info here. To commemorate this awesomeness, here’s some amazing things I know you don’t know about the movie:

– Before they settled on the name “Indiana Jones,” they were considering: South Dakota Smith, Florida McGee, and Rhode Island Kwemenphefferbrankly.

– That monkey was actually a Nazi. He nailed the audition, so they changed the role to fit him  better.

– Harrison Ford isn’t afraid of snakes but he IS afraid of fedoras. He spent the whole movie shoot in fear.

– The big boulder in the famous opening sequence was made from hundreds of thousands of wads of chewed gum, then rolled in dirt for authenticity.

– The Ark of the Covenant was actually an elaborate cooler that kept the cast and crew’s sandwiches cold. Someone in the prop department suggested they use it in the movie.

– The original name for the movie was “Indiana Jones in the Best One of Four.” They changed it at the last minute because it didn’t make sense at the time.

– George Lucas was inspired to write the scene where Marion Ravenwood gets lost in a basket because that happened to him once.

– The movie was made and marketed for five dollars.

Product Review: My Keys

We’ve all been there: you arrive at a door and it won’t open. You turn the knob again and again to no avail. You look for a rock to break the window, and we all know – there either isn’t one or you’re covered in your own blood by the time you get into the house. What if I told you you could leave those days behind?

It turns out that most of those doors that don’t open are “locked.” “Locking” is a way to make it so that things won’t open and only a person that has a rock can get in. After a recent arrest and trip to the ER for stitches, a friend of mine suggested I use my keys to get into my car and house. She told me she uses her keys to unlock the things that she owns and it works for her every time.

I was skeptical at first. Just like everyone else, I get so used to the way things are and I’m suspicious of promises that a new product will make life so much easier. For every sliced bread there’s a sliced piano – useless and not worth my time. But, let me tell you – my keys are the real deal.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

I was worried about the expense. My husband and I are trying to save money, so when I asked him if we could afford a set of keys for me, I was relieved when he sweetly called me “moron” (his pet name for me), reached into my purse, and pulled out a set of keys. I couldn’t wait to try them out! I ran around from door to door, stabbing at the knobs, yelling at the doors “I have a key, I have a key!” It turns out there’s a little more to keys than that! Here’s some things I learned about keys, hopefully they’ll help you get the hang of if faster than I did:

  • You need to have a key for each specific lock. If you don’t have a key for something you want to get into (you don’t own the thing that’s locked, or you forgot your keys, for example), you will still need a rock or crowbar.
  • If you want to keep your all keys in one place (apparently it’s not safe to leave them hanging from the outside doorknob), you can get what’s called a “keyring.”
  • You can get fun accessories like the one I have. I’m told he’s a little Italian plumber. I think he’s like the patron saint of keys because plumbers are like keys because when your drains are clogged (door), the plumber (key), clears it out (opening the locked door).
  • If you want more of a key you already have, you can take it to a local hardware store and the black magic wizard they have staffed there will sacrifice a goat and conjure another one for you (I think that’s how it happened, I was busy browsing something called “paint” that you can put on your walls and make them a different color).
  • The “lock” is a kind of long, thin hole. You take the key and hold the thicker upper part and then stick the skinnier part in the hole. Then, and here’s the important part – you need to turn the key so that the lock becomes “unlocked.” That then allows you to open the thing you just used the key on. Fun tip: after you’re inside your house, you can use that same key (I know – SO convenient!) to then lock the door behind you so that it makes it harder for people to enter your home and murder you.

I know I’m just discovering all the things keys can do, but overall I have to say – they are definitely worth it. They have saved me time, money, and blood. I can’t recommend them more enthusiastically.

I was not paid for this endorsement. I strongly believe in the product and have written this review without compensation.

Pop Culture Roundup 3

On the right of this blog is an Amazon affiliate banner. Yes, it’s an affiliate link, but it’s also a little list of the things I’ve been watching at any given time, like a lazy, non-personal journal. It’s over that way ======>

But, I also like to occasionally talk about what I’ve seen, and so here’s some of the stuff I’ve watched over the last few weeks:

Things I hadn’t seen before:

The Fog
I hadn’t seen this 1980s John Carpenter horror movie before. I thought the fog was the actual thing that killed you but I learned that you shouldn’t make those kinds of judgements about movies called “The Fog.” Helpful tip you would think most people would know but didn’t in this movie: if, after midnight, someone shows up at your door and eerily and creepily loudly and slowly rhythmically knocks on your door with what sounds like a large metal object – DO NOT ANSWER YOUR DOOR.

Wow. Have any of y’all seen this show? I didn’t really know much about it before I started watching it other than everyone said it was really good. It was really good. I don’t want to spoil anything about the show so the only comment I’ll make on it is that I keep wanting to call it “Homeland Fries.” That comment has nothing to do with anything, don’t worry.

Things I re-watched:

Groundhog Day
Our local movie theater recently had a little film festival with classic comedies. This was one of them. I’ve seen this movie many, many times. It is a practically perfect movie. It survives having Andie MacDowell in it. I’m glad this movie exists, because if it ever happens to me in real life, I will have the advantage of being able to explain it to my loved ones. “Groundhog Day is happening to ME!” Much easier than for Phil Connors.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Discussion: Ferris Bueller is a bit of an asshole – yes or no? I love this movie. This may shock all of you, but I’m much more of a Cameron than a Ferris, so I often roll my eyes at Ferris’ shenanigans and think he’s kind of a jackass. My favorite character is Grace, Principal Rooney’s assistant.

The Jerk
This is one of my favorite movies. I don’t understand people who don’t like this movie. We got to see it in the theater and here’s something I never noticed: the guy that gives Navin his first hitchhike ride is Rob Reiner. I don’t know how I’ve missed that all these years. So many useable quotes from this movie. One of my favorites: “You know, you can tell so much about a person from the way they live. Just looking around here I can tell…you’re a genuinely dirty person.”

Have you seen anything good lately?

Two Things I’ll Miss, The Thing I’ve Missed

As I’ve mentioned too many times already, we just moved from Atlanta back to North Carolina, where both Tom and I are from.

I was  going through my phone pictures and I found two little examples of things I’ll miss from our time in Georgia.

The first is from the Japanese restaurant near our house. There’s a mural with lots of rabbits and anthropomorphic vegetables. My favorite part of the mural is this:

In all the fun and laughter amongst the rabbits and the vegetables (ok, yes tomatoes are a fruit), one rabbit seems to have gotten a little carried away in her enthusiasm, and this is clearly upsetting to the tomato she’s so happily rough housing. Maybe I like it so much because that’s how I felt in Atlanta – just a little tomato being jostled around by an over-active rabbit. Yeah, I got deep and metaphorical there for a second. Please know that I did not actually like it because that’s how I felt in Atlanta – I like it because a tomato is being man handled by a rabbit, so there’s no need to delve deeper to see why it’s so awesome to me.

The other image on my phone was of a run-down mansion that looks like it was built in the 1980s. We would pass it on our way to the movie theater that plays retro movies, also often from the 1980s. The house is a pastel peach, and I can just imagine all sorts of 80s douche bags dressed Miami Vice-style, having big parties and thinking it would last forever. And it sort of did, because nobody has changed that house since its heyday. This too could be seen as a monument to my time in Atlanta – arriving with the best of intentions and then slowly feeling the need for a change but continuing to stay the same. But, HA, no. We didn’t move to Atlanta intending to stay. Nope, I liked passing by this house because it stuck out like a sore thumb, reminded me of the 80s, and was on the way to watching old movies on the big screen.

Then came the pictures from the short two weeks we’ve been back. This past weekend we went to a small family reunion, held in my father’s small hometown, where my grandmother lived until she died. My grandparents owned a farm. My dad hated helping out on the farm because he was allergic to everything involving farms (which he so lovingly passed on to me). So, when the time came, my dad sold his share of the farm to my uncle, who is more enamored with farm land and farm-related activities.

So, while I love this town, and have many wonderful memories of spending time on the farm, I don’t actually know much about the ins and outs of farming. As a child I did more “look, I’m on a tractor!” novelty tractor rides than finding out exactly what tractors can actually do. I was also more, “hey look, there are peanuts everywhere and I can have some!” than actually understanding how the peanuts got there.

As we made our way to the farm, we ended up behind this thing.  It looked like someone took a bunch of other things and made this one thing. It also looked like perhaps we would find an alien driving it if we looked close enough. I can deduce that the giant old-timey looking wheels are to go down the row of crops, and that the tank on top (you can’t see it from this angle), sprays stuff, but as to what it’s actually called, and what it really does – dunno. But, still, there’s a part of me that sees something like this and it feels right. I may be allergic to farms, but it’s still there in my genes somewhere.

We passed the contraption (after contemplating driving under it just to see if we could fit) and continued on toward our destination. I haven’t been back to this town in years. Living in Georgia meant there wasn’t a lot of time to visit anywhere other than where my mom and sister live. So when we finally hit the street we were looking for, there stood the image that trumps all man-handled tomatoes and coke-filled pastel 80s mansions:

My family’s road. On my family’s farm. A lovely reminder of where my father came from and, by extension, where I came from. And while my dad isn’t here anymore, and my grandma is gone, too, the road bearing their last name is still here, and I can visit it any time I want. And that’s what being back home means to me.

That, and free food from my mom’s house, but mostly that.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

1975 – A good year for creepy children and Corduroy.

As you may already know, I like to look through old catalogs on wishbookweb.com. I genuinely like doing it, so please don’t comfort yourself by thinking that I look at them so I can make fun of them later. That’s just a bonus.

This weekend, my catalog of choice was the 1975 Sears Catalog. It was a good year for catalogs. The plaids, mustard yellows, burnt oranges, and avocado greens were plentiful and the bottoms were belled. Here’s what I found:

Have you ever seen a more depressing image in a catalog? These two clearly did NOT want Winnie the Pooh jogging suits for Christmas.
I find this picture frightening. I feel like these children are threatening me with the way Pooh's head is on the floor and they are eating his innards. And the look on their faces doesn't help, either.
What is this? Some kind of messed up training for future Eyes Wide Shut parties? These are pajamas, not costumes. Children who wear creepy masks to bed should not be marketed to in Sears catalogs. And, if they are the spawn of Satan, you can't even fight them off with fire because the pajamas are flame resistant.

Finally, I was really surprised when I fake turned the page and saw world-famous 1970’s-early 80s supermodel Corduroy featured on the pages.

What he was doing in the Sears catalog, and how they could have afforded him is a mystery. As we all know, he quickly shot to fame and was on the cover of dozens of high-profile magazines.

Until, of course his untimely death – brought down by the excesses of being a famous one-name 1970s supermodel.

R.I.P. Corduroy.