Thursday, April 23, 2009

Marathon morons

This past Monday, I watched most of the Boston Marathon from Washington Square in Brookline. I say most, because I didn't go to see the elite runners go by (I don't know anyone from Kenya) and occasionally I stepped away to grab a beer, which we were allowed to drink outside.

I haven't watched the Marathon live in a few years, since my older brother ran it. This time around, my little brother was running, and a friend of mine. I was tracking both of them via text alerts, and relaying the information to family and friends. I had everyone looking out for my brother, so we could cheer him on as he neared the finish line. I was excited and proud of all of these people in something for which the word "race" doesn't do justice. On top of that, I am running the Providence Marathon in less than two weeks. I was excited, and nervous watching.

And annoyed. There was an epidemic of people trying to cross the road during the event. The Boston Marathon is not exactly a surprise to anyone who lives in Boston, and it shouldn't even be a foreign idea to those outside the city, considering it is one of the "Big 5" marathons. I myself did have to cross the road at a point during the race, just once, to get to friends and beer. I am pretty quick and agile (I had better be if I'm supposed to run a marathon in 10 days). Even so, I waited until there was a lull in the race and the police officers on duty at the crosswalks.

The three runners up for top offender were: the Asian tourists with a heavy camera who scurried slowly across, holding hands; the two people who crashed into each other in the middle of the road; finally, the woman running across the street with a child in her arms.

The biggest idiot of the day, however, was the woman who tried to cross the street in the middle of a pack of runners, while pushing...a baby stroller. The police officer on that corner chewed her out and rightfully so.

What the ef is wrong with people?

There is a marathon going on. Thousands of people are running 26 miles. In a row! They are doing something that most people couldn't dream of doing. It takes physical fitness, stamina, mental strength, training, dedication, and perseverance that few people have. Show some respect and wait! Where are you and your baby going that is so damn important you can't wait a few minutes to let these people complete one of the most significant things they may ever do, without some idiot pushing a stroller through to throw off their time.

Beyond respect, show some common sense. People running the marathon- not slow. 50 Speedy Gonzales's are coming your way when you cross that street. If you don't get out of their way, the impact will be significant. What if while walking across the street, you caused injury to a runner? Also, worst parent ever! "Oh, I think I'll just take my baby across the street and-" oh your baby just got run over! Your baby's probably dead. These people have been running for 23 miles at this point. It has taken them over 2 and a half hours. Many of them have not stopped, and they're not going to do that easily.

As the stroller pusher, you have shown that you are a complete moron, waste of space, and probably shouldn't have kids. Under your supervision, given the care and decision making skills you've shown, they won't last long in this world anyways, especially considering what a daredevil you decide they will be on their behalf, playing chicken with a wall of elite runners.

I was glad to see that people booed the idiots for crossing the road whenever they felt like it. I am a fan of booing when people deserve it. The thing that sucks is that people running the marathon had to hear something so negative when all they should be hearing are cheers and well wishes and admiration.

Maybe instead of booing there should have been angry, but quiet, mob justice.

"Thank you, logic boy. Did I mention this is a rant? Sense really has no place in it."-BtVS

Sunday, April 5, 2009


“It was the worst job they ever imagined... and the best time of their lives.”

The poster for Adventureland itself is misleading; in bold letters, it boasts that the movie is from the director of Superbad. I actually didn’t care for Superbad, but it would lead one to believe this is going to be a gross out, fast paced, joke every 10 seconds comedy, which it isn’t. Bill Hader, Kristen Wigg, and Ryan Reynolds all promise potential for big laughs. Hader is funny, especially in a scene where he chases a man with a baseball bat, and then goes back to his task as if nothing happened. His funny moments are too few and far between. Wigg, who is the best thing to happen to "Saturday Night Live" in years, is completely underutilized and barely speaks in her few minutes on screen. Hader and Wigg's characters belong in a better, screwball comedy. Reynolds plays a completely phony douche bag, with none of his Van Wilder Charm. We don’t laugh with him or at him.

The tagline featured on the movie poster doesn’t really suit the film. Working in this amusement park is not “the worst job.” I definitely felt worse for Christina Applegate at her summer job cleaning out the grease traps and mopping the floor in the clown burger joint in Dont' Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. And as far as the best time of their lives…the rest of their lives must be pretty weak.

The movie is set in the late ‘80s, which has no effect on the story except for some of the fashion (which is pointless since teenagers now wear ‘80s inspired crap) and featuring some obvious and a few forgotten ‘80s songs. James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) had plans to travel to Europe and go to graduate school at Columbia. His father’s demotion forces him to forget those plans and instead get a job to save money to move to New York. Having no real work experience, the only thing he can find is working the games at the amusement park with the locals. Once there, he quickly falls for Em (Kristen Stewart), who is sleeping with the married maintenance man (Reynolds). Throw in the hot girl, the childhood friend who regularly punches James in the balls, the nerdy, atheist, Jewish sidekick, and the cast is complete. The story is predictable right up to the end: realization, confrontation, rumors, breakdowns, and happy ending.

There are about 20 minutes of a decent film here, with many long, uninspired scenes filling in the gaps. Jesse Eisenberg is good, but he is too similar to Michael Cera, that I spent the whole time wishing that his character were played by Cera. Kristen Stewart is much better here than in Twilight, in which her performance convinced me she couldn’t act. The film could have been a lot funnier. Without the laughs, the story isn’t compelling or unique enough to make a good movie.

Rating: 4/7