So… this weekend is the one year anniversary of my moving out here to Lake Tahoe… and man, did it fly by? I’ve been kind of looking back and seeing how things have changed since then… as I often do. I love it out here. But is it home? Not yet. Obviously I miss all my family & friends… and I haven’t met a whole lot of people here… but hey, these things take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why should Home be any different. I’ve seen many beautiful things and have had wonderful experiences in the past year… and luckily I’ve been able to share them with a lot of the people that I care about, even if just for little spurts. Anyway, maybe more on this a little later… but then again, maybe it’ll pass once my mom comes to visit for Thanksgiving next week. Who knows? My mind is kind of that way. Easily distracted at times, yet always going a hundred miles an hour at least.
Last night, I finally watched “Predators” starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne and Danny Trejo. It starts off with people literally falling from the sky… reaching terminal velocity… and they have no idea where they are. They just wake up and their free falling with a parachute on them. They wake up and just before impact, the chute opens and they land. Where are they? A jungle somewhere… maybe the Amazon… or Afrika. They meet each other… and try to find out what’s going on. Last they remembered, they were in jail, in a war, operating, drinking at the bar, whatever… then there was a flash of light… and they woke up free falling. Well, as the previews kind of gave away, they were dropped into basically what is a gaming reserve for a race of aliens who pride themselves on their hunting skills… and they aren’t the only prey either. Oh… and the gaming reserve is on an alien planet… so now they have to find a way to get off the planet… and not be turned into a trophies by these supreme hunter aliens. Now, you know that I’m a big fan of the previous Predator movies… and this one is actually pretty damn good. Sure, there are a few cheesy lines, plot holes, predictable twists, etc. but for the most part, it’s great action, pretty good suspense, and I really enjoyed this movie. I highly recommend it to anybody who can stand giant blood splatters and the sight of a spinal cord and skull being ripped completely off a human in one swift motion… and don’t worry, it’s in the dark, so not as gory as you might think. It’s also from director Nimrod Antal (“Pathfinder”) so it’s pretty good for that genre.
Also, my roommate got home about half way through the movie, so I offered to fill him in on what was going on… and I basically gave him a spiel like I just gave you with the basic plot… and of course, trying to keep the mystery & mystique that the movie was going for. He basically looked at me and said, “Dude, you should make movies?” Now, I have never really told him about the past scripts and ideas that I’ve written down here and there or anything like that. “Why do you say that?” “Well, I know that you like movies… and you always tell me these stories about your past or just random stories about whatever when we’re watching TV and… I don’t know, you seem to really like them… and so I figured that you might like the idea of making them, you know?” He was a little drunk, I’m not going to lie… but still. “Well, maybe you’re right man. I had thought about it before… even wrote a few quick stories down.” “Yeah, I figured you might have. That’s cool man. Well hey, let’s watch this one and we’ll talk about this another time. I’m kinda tired right now.” So yeah… maybe that’s my calling or something… and I just haven’t done it. I have an odd interpretation of the world… a view askew if you will (shout out to Kevin Smith) but it’s not exactly easy to get into the movie business… and even then, it’s basically a circle jerk of ideas and your idea for a great film may get studio-ized into something that makes “Speed 2” look like “Citizen Kane”. So yeah… we’ll see how that all works out. The funny thing is… when I went to bed… I had another dream… that played out like a pretty interesting movie. Do you want to hear about it? No? Well, I’m gonna tell it anyway… but because it was a bit of a story, and it’s taking a while to type up, I’ll have to feature it tomorrow. I thought it was pretty interesting… so feel free to analyze my many issues… tomorrow…
Sexiest Man Alive - Can life get much better for Ryan Reynolds? After all, he's married to Scarlett Johansson (featured last week). Oh, apparently it can. People magazine has bestowed its "sexiest man alive" title on the 34-year-old actor. Reynolds is about to star on-screen as the Green Lantern. The Canadian native told People: "The sexiest thing about Canadians is that there's an inherent ability to be self-deprecating. That has served me well in my career and personal life." It's the 25th anniversary of People's first sexiest man — Mel Gibson (oh how times have changed). Others given the title include John F. Kennedy Jr., Harrison Ford and Richard Gere. George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp have won it twice. People announced its 2010 list on Wednesday… and in case you were wondering why I was yet again left off the list… it’s because I don’t have a good publicist. I am accepting applications for the position though. Seriously, Ryan Reynolds got a part for a character in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” who doesn’t even speak… but they adapted it so that he (and Hugh Jackman) could spit out a couple bad one-liners. That’s what a good publicist can do for your career. Like a good Wingman… or a Chick-n-Wing. Anyway, congratulations Ryan… and I still remember “Two Guys, a Girl & a Pizza Place” glad that you could overcome it.
Flirting Study - There is a lot more to flirting than fun, according to a new research study that says finding success in romance depends in part on understanding your own personal "flirting style." Whether or not you prefer sidling up to a stranger in a bar or you'd rather sit back and wait for an object of attraction to approach are distinctions that once recognized can help people navigate the rocky seas of relationships, according to Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas. Hall recently completed a study into styles of flirting among dating adults, surveying more than 5,100 people regarding their methods of communicating romantic interest. "Knowing something about the way you communicate attraction says something about challenges you might have had in your past dating life," Hall said. "Hopefully, this awareness can help people avoid those mistakes and succeed in courtship." Hall said there are essentially five styles of flirting: physical, traditional, polite, sincere and playful. In physical flirting, people express their sexual interest in a potential partner and, he says, often quickly can develop the relationships, have more sexual chemistry and have a greater emotional connection to their partners. Traditional flirts tend to believe that men should make the first moves, with women assuming more passive roles. Both sexes comfortable with this style seem to prefer more "intimate" dating scenes, he said. There are many people whose flirting styles fall into the category of "playful" and are aimed largely at enhancing their own self-esteem, Hall said. These people are less likely to have lasting and meaningful relationships, he added. "In some ways, the very early part of developing relationships is important to the success of long-term relationships, including marriages," he said. Hall co-authored the article with Steve Carter, senior director of research and product development at online dating site eHarmony.com; and other researchers. Interesting, right? Know what I found interesting? Did you notice that polite & sincere weren’t even mentioned or elaborated upon? Now… many of you who have witnessed me at work know that I’m all about the playful flirting with ladies… who let’s say are a little out of my age demographic… and that’s more for their self-esteem than mine (though it doesn’t hurt). Yet I wonder… does that seem to carry over into my sincere or traditional flirtation when I’m really looking to build a relationship? God knows I’ve steered away from Physical (except maybe dancing on the rare occasion while intoxicated) thanks to what seems like constant sexual harassment training… and I’m always polite… but yeah, I wonder if it’s my flirtation style that has led to my “cold streak” rather than geographical movement and… just plain sh*tty luck with dating… or partner selection. Who knows? I sure the f**k don’t… but gotta keep out there and trying, right? Maybe there’s more to this study… I’ll have to investigate and let you know. Who knows? Down the road… maybe I’ll pull one of these out on somebody…
Expensive Rock - A rare pink diamond fetched 45.44 million Swiss francs on Tuesday. Don’t worry, you know how conversion is… and it sounds like a lot of money, but that’s only about $45.75 million, which virtually doubled the previous record to become the most expensive stone ever sold at auction and underline the strength of the international jewelry market. The rectangular step-cut pink diamond, which weighs 24.78 carats and is about the size of a pinball (bling BLAUW!!!), was the star lot among nearly 500 on the block at Sotheby's semi-annual jewelry sales in Geneva. Top diamond dealer Laurence Graff, bidding by telephone, was the buyer of the diamond which is mounted in a platinum ring, the auction house said in a statement. "It is the most fabulous diamond I've seen in the history of my career and I'm delighted to have bought it," said Graff, a Briton who began his career as a teenager in London's East End and now resides in the Swiss resort of Gstaad. "It is a world record price for a jewel at auction," said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewelry department in Europe and the Middle East, as he brought down the hammer to applause in the packed sales room. "It's like pink champagne," he told Reuters before the sale. The stone, purchased from American jeweler Harry Winston 60 years ago by the anonymous owner who consigned it for auction in the Swiss city, had a pre-sale estimate of $27-38 million. Previously, the world's most expensive jewel sold at auction was the historic "Wittelsbach" blue diamond, a 17th century stone of 35.56 carats that fetched $24.3 million in December 2008 at rival Christie's. That was also purchased by Graff of Graff Diamonds, who later had it repolished, making it smaller at 31.06 carats, and renaming it the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond. He is the controlling shareholder in the South African Diamond Corporation, a diamond wholesaler and manufacturer based in Johannesburg and a major shareholder in Gem Diamonds Ltd, according to his website. Gem Diamonds earlier this month said it had found a 185-carat rough white diamond at its Letseng mine in Lesotho. "Laurence Graff is a great connoisseur of gem stones. He certainly now owns two of the greatest stones in the world," Bennett told reporters on Tuesday night. "There were four active bidders for the diamond, which at that level is quite extraordinary," he added. "It tells you a lot about the health of the market." Bennett, noting that pure diamonds and vintage pieces by French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels commanded high prices, said: "The market for fine gemstones and fine jewelry is as good as it has ever been, it is very, very strong." A pair of fancy blue diamond and diamond pendant ear clips by French jeweler Alexandre Reza soared to $1.79 million, tripling the low end of its pre-sale estimate. It went to a New York-based dealer, according to the auction house. The sale netted $105.05 million, a world record for a jewelry sale, exceeding the previous record of $68.5 million also set by Sotheby's in Geneva in 1993, its statement said. In all, 397 of the 487 lots on offer found new owners, for a sell through rate of nearly 82 percent by lot. Christie's holds its Geneva jewelry sale on Wednesday. Eric Valdieu, a former Christie's jewel expert in Geneva now of Valdieu Fine Arts, told Reuters as he left the Sotheby's sale: "The prices were stronger than in 2007-2008, that's why everyone has a smile on his face." "The reason is the bad performance of the stock market in the last year or two. Nobody knows what they are buying with stocks, but here they are buying something solid and tangible. The top quality jewels are even more expensive than they should be," the Frenchman added. So there’s some financial advice for you straight from Dr. Love. Don’t invest in stocks (fool me once, shame on you…) but rather, invest more than a hundred times what you’ll ever see in your lifetime even if you visit the U.S. mint in a rock about the size of a Cheerio. It makes perfect sense… because it’s hard and tangible. Look, the best investment you can make with regards to a diamond… is to give it to somebody that you love and want to spend the rest of your miserable life with. That’s the best advice that I can give you. Invest in who wears the diamond.
Priceless Rubble – As you know, I really like Pompeii. I’ve been there twice… and it was a dream of mine to write a movie about in high school with a buddy of mine in AP Literature (think “Last Days of Pompeii” meets “Gladiator” with “Avatar” style CGI for volcanoes). Unfortunately, the incredibly preserved ruins of Pompeii are falling to the elements now that they are exposed for the world to see. More buildings inside the ancient Roman city of Pompeii could collapse, Italy's culture minister said last week, a day after a 2,000-year-old house once used by gladiators disintegrated into rubble. The collapse at one of Italy's main tourist attractions was a source of embarrassment for the government and the country. President Giorgio Napolitano (you HAVE to say it with the accent) said it was a "disgrace for Italy" and demanded an explanation. Culture Minister Sandro Bondi, who went to Pompeii to survey the damage on Sunday, warned that other buildings could also fall, according to Italian news agencies. Given the number of buildings that need restoration, further damage is virtually "inevitable," said Daniela Leone, a spokeswoman for Pompeii's archaeological superintendence. "This is a vast area that requires maintenance, resources," she said. The house that collapsed on Saturday was used by gladiators to train before going to fight in a nearby amphitheater, as well as by other athletes. It was also a storehouse for weapons and armor. It was believed to have been built not long before Pompeii was destroyed in A.D. 79 by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which killed thousands of people and buried the city in 20 feet (six meters) of volcanic ash. The house was also partially destroyed during World War II, and the roof and some of the walls had been rebuilt. Bondi suggested that water infiltration following heavy rains and the heavy roof added during the postwar restoration were to blame. However, he said some frescoes on the lower parts of the walls may be saved, and urged more government funds for Pompeii. My solution – Make my movie with 10% of gross (not net) income going to the preservation of the city of Pompeii. What’s that Hollywood? Too much? Consider it this guy’s tithing towards a worthy cause. Oh, you need a script? Gimme the word and I’ll have a blockbuster storyboard by the end of the week… and don’t worry, I’ll explain the stick figures. I’m not that kind of an artist… besides you’ll just cast whoever you want in there anyway.
Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll have that dream typed up for ya… because I thought it was kind of cool… and patent pending as I see a pretty good SyFy TV movie out of it at least… which is ironic given my roommates comments last night. Have a great night everybody!!!