Lucy – 0* (full of spoilers)

This review is full of spoilers and plot summary. I highly recommend you skip “Lucy” as it may be the worst movie I have ever seen, but going to give that warning.

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I went to see Lucy with my wife last night. The previews looked cool, I like Luc Besson and I like Scarlett Johannson. I read a horrible review of it but I thought I would give it a chance since it was the most interesting option at the movie theater.

It was absolutely horrible. Horrible, ridiculous setup. Seems like there should be much easier ways to transport drugs that with stomach surgery. Horrible druglord.

And when she becomes “enhanced” she just acts more and more like in a major mania where she should be hospitalized, while taking something like cocaine and angel dust. Kind of like Charlie Sheen when he was “winning.”

And she kept needing more, and was supposed to be somehow “enlightened” and could go through communication media.

Also if she had all this power couldn’t she stop the drug lords without a shooting sequence?

And all of the animal cut-outs were ridiculous and annoying too.

Luc Besson is a very talented director. This could have been a good movie but it was just horrible.

The idea that we only use 10% of our brains isn’t true. The concepts Morgan Freeman’s professor character gives for more “cranial capacity” are ridiculous. The idea that more brain power makes you worse to people is insane. Lucy’s lack of compassion for humanity is terrible.

Awful, horrible, ridiculous. Although I think this could use Rifftrax. There is so much to make fun of.

Banana Brasil Grill ****

Sometimes when you travel you get lucky.

Me and Lanna are moving to Connecticut and going up 8 towards 84 on the way home. A mile before 84 we decided to get off the road and find lunch.

After a couple miles or so on the old road now Main Street we found the Banana Brazil Grill. A small place next to an old motel. At first we drove by it and then circled back.

It’s delicious. A buffet with unlimited food including meat on a fire rotisserie. Only $12.99. The rice and beans and rare beef are spectacular. Lanna loved their potato salad. It’s clearly a neighborhood place where Portuguese is spoken. I am seeing takeout and even huge party platters.

I am sure I am not saying enough but if you are in the area you have to go. Plug it in the phone with an empty stomach and prepare for happiness. ****

It’s on 2060 South Main Street in Waterbury, Connecticut near where 84 and 8 come together. But not right off the road. Definitely will require a GPS.

They are open 6am-10pm seven days a week. The phone number is 475-235-2671.

Three Great Things (or so): Day 15

1. That Swype is pretty good at guessing the correct words. Well not always.

2. That I am finally going to Connecticut today even though the bus is going at 2:30 from Boston not noon.

3. Boston Chinatown is wicked close to South Station so I can go search out for dumplings.

4. Friends who are cooking for us tonight.

5. A realtor that agreed to work with us.

6. A chance this week to run around Connecticut and explore the Shelton area.

7. Music to drown out the madness of bus travel.

8. Cheap bus fares and Concord Trailways, one of the best run bus lines I have ever seen.

9. That my mother in law Dottie Melia Maheux can watch the kitties and give me a ride to the bus station this morning. Her being close has been a great thing in our life.

10. The perspective that starting the day thinking of positive things brings.

11. Blogging every day since last Monday going to copy the last two positive posts on the blog.

May y’all have a great day!

Day Fourteen of Three (or so) Good Things

1. Remembering to turn my alarms on before going to bed.

2. Snooze

3. Lenny. Even though his ability to anmoy in the morning is very high.

4. Scotch tape dispensers for packing tape. Good to close boxes and move on.

5. Seeing Lanna Lee Maheux tomorrow. We are much too close to be parted for nine days.

6. Apartment/House hunting. Hoping we can find a most excellent place to rent.

7. New possibilities. Going for an information session with Yale Nursing School tomorrow at 3pm to look into becoming a nurse practitioner in mental health. I am very excited if daunted about this idea.

8. The fact that Concord Trailways rind an excellent bus line and that Megabus has an inexpensive nonstop bus from Boston to New Haven.

9. Getting something to eat in Boston Chinatown tomorrow. I’m hoping Connecticut has better Chinese food than Maine.

10. Totally ignoring that I am only supposed to list 3 things.

Wheeeeee!

Pinball madness

At Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, New Hampshire today so feel like reviewing some of the older games.

First is one I know from my friend and Ballyman John Reuter – Firepower II – Williams. Not one of my favorite games sound isn’t great, look isn’t great. Gameplay is just fair. 68/D+

Next Firepower (Williams). Much better than its sequel, better gameplay, better look, not a fan of the sound. 82/B-

Scorpion (Williams) A much better game that I haven’t played before. Great gameplay, interesting and challenging shots, nice upper left mini board, locks. I love wide bodies too. 93/A

Eight Ball (Bally) Not a fan. Odd feel to it. Odd sound. This particular one seems in pretty rough shape. 65/D

Kiss (Bally) Solid game. Nice look, especially on the bumpers, has kept a lot of love due to subject matter. 85/B

Silverball Mania (Bally) One of the more interesting designs for a pin ever. The center shot for the kicker save is very clever and makes it a longer player. Fun. 89/B

Gorgar (Williams) I prefer it’s widebody brother game Algar. Nice look and sound. Lots of points for the Pit. 83/B

Sorcerer (Williams) a fun game I enjoy at JR’s. Solid. 84/B

Laser Ball (Williams) Not a fan. I like widebodies but this game is in rough shape. 65/D Could be condition related. Feels rough.

Creature From the Black Lagoon (Bally) Great subject matter, fun skills, wonderful look. Difficult until you get the hang of it. 91/A-

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Williams) Meh. Seems okay at best. 72/C-

Who dunnit (Williams) Fun game. Neat subject matter. The two minute novice mode with unlimited balls is genius. 90/A-

Fire! (Williams) Very odd feeling game. Very steep rescue victim ramps. Odd. 73/C

Teed Off (Gottlieb) Has Giant Dots big screens which is very weird. Solid little game. 83/B

Black Rose (Bally) Very dependent on center shot but still good fun. 82/B

Tale of the Arabian Nights (Williams) A fun solid game. Nice shots lamp means an awful lot. 89/B+

Tron Legacy (Stern) Feels all too fast. Lots of shiny but overly fast gameplay. 79/C+

Mustang (Stern) Nice looking but pretty meh gameplay. 80/B-

Avatar (Stern) Possibly my favorite Stern. The special edition lighting makes it less fun to me. A little harder to see. JR’s 88/B+ Here 84/B

Thoughts on the Cost of College

I was reading an article in the New York Times this morning with the headline: “How the Government Exagarrates the Cost of College.”

I have already discussed before that the idea that 18 year olds should all go to college is absurd.

Here is my comment on the story:

When I went to college 20 years ago the caps on student borrowing were far, far lower. One major issue so many students have is crippling student loan debt. I know a lot of people who go to the University of Southern Maine and are taking out $10,000 year in student loan debt for a public college. I went to Rutgers for $2,000/semester and it’s skyrocketed since.

We also need to get rid of the absurd cost of intercolliegate athletics and move to club sports.

And the idea that everyone should go to college that is part of the American story right now doesn’t serve many well. A lot of 18 year old need to learn humility. There is a lot to be said for working out of high school and just getting by with your friends. There is no reason to pay tuition to get drunk, high and play Halo. Far too many college students do this.

Also college is not the place to “discover yourself.” Traveling overseas and working your way across the world for a year is a far smarter way to do it.

Also need to get rid of the idea that college is required for so many jobs where it’s irrelevant. Having a liberal arts degree for instance is totally irrelevant for selling insurance. The ones who would be good at that are popular kids in high school, naturally affable and good with people.

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We are moving toward a time where you can do most of your learning online. I think the college cost bubble is due to pop soon. I’m not sure it’s the way to go. Certainly if you don’t know what you are doing.

I think if you want success now you should learn to code and keep gaining credentials, languages and certifications. And try to find a job in the field you like. If you want to go to marketing and start at the entry level, you are better off with 4 years of experience and positive cashflow than a marketing or liberal arts degree, a ton of debt and no experience.

I also think that looking at default rates as a measure of “success” is absurd. Truthfully we need to move to a model where students pay debt as they can like the English model. Paying for rent, utilites, food and diapers is going to be ahead of student loans every time. The current system works great for banks and especially debt collection but not for students or America.

edmund

7 Good Things

Today I will just be lazy and just post my 7 good things for the day.

I feel like a lot of my blogging and writing goes directly to Facebook.

Three good things: Day 11

1. The success of my poem “Write Poorly”. It even ended up in Colleen Hoover’s we wonderful bestseller “Point of Retreat.”

2. That I was able to write a chapbook last year. “Embrace the Geek.”

3. That I have this pocket computer in my hand that allows me to blog with WordPress and use Facebook without being on a computer.

4. Wi-Fi. May it be free in more places.

5. The open space of the internet to allow ideas to come out.

6. The teaching power of failure and practice.

7. The chance to pontificate on lists about positive things.

I wonder if I will keep having more of these as I keep at it. I think I plan to. It’s a nice way to start the day.

Three Good Things – First Ten Days

I am always skeptical of these memes. But I liked it was only for 5 days and just 3 things a day.

I am now in day 10. And really enjoying it.

It’s nice to think of positive things in the morning and the good things going on your life. Definitely encourage y’all to try it.

Day 1 I can’t seem to find so let me do some new ones.

1. Thinking of positive things in life.

2. Moving and the chances to pare down.

3. New beginnings.

Day 2 of three positive things

1. Being able to explore beautiful Portland, Maine

2. Having lunch with a friend.

3. Slow progress on packing.

Day 3 of 3 positive things.

1. I have a job.

2. I can move my job to Connecticut.

3. Maine is so green.

Day 4 of three positive things

1. The quiet of the pre dawn witching hours

2. A comfy, comfy bed

3. Friends to help you through this weird world.

Day Five of three things that make me happy.

1. Lenny barely fitting himself in the bathroom sink.

2. Things coming out great in the crockpot.

3. Hanging out with cool and crazy friends.

Day 6 of three things that make me happy. Meme is for 5 days but keeping it going.

1. Generous friends who put on a wonderful party on a glorious night. Great people with great spirits is awesome.

2. The beautiful summer days and nights of Maine.

3. New beginnings. Lanna Lee starts a new job tomorrow in Connecticut and around one month to move. Huge change and a chance for new relationships while keeping the old ones. It’s something I want to make an effort on.

Day 7 of three good things

1. Have 3 days off a week with my job. Let’s me sleep in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

2. My job offers a lot of PTO and flexibility to switch shifts.

3. I help people get medical care and peace of mind with my job.

I like helping people. We live in broken times. Let’s heal.

Three good things: Day 8

1. Making a lot of progress of the move.

2. Having all of this stuff to give away. I hope it finds a good home.

3. A cool day to pack in.

Yep all about moving right now.

Three good things day nine.

1. Hearing wonderful poetry from Slam Free or Die as the feature before The National Poetry Slam next week in Oakland. Especially from Sam Rush and Christopher Clauss.

2. New readers of poetry going on the stage for the first time and showing their truth.

3. Amazing lunches with friends. I want to get together with people before I move to Connecticut in a month.

4. (Bonus) Local craftsmen and artists making amazing things.

Blessed be. Try this. I was skeptical and have really enjoyed it.

3 good things day 10:

1. That I got to spend 9 1/2 years (since January 2005) living in the Portland, Maine area. Portland is a very special small city.

2. Having dinner at Schulte & Herr last night. Potato Pancakes with apple sauce and the rye dipping stuff with sour cream, cream cheese and spices is delicious, as is that stuff on rye bread. And some nice rich split pea and ham soup. It don’t get no betta. If you haven’t been yet it’s on Cumberland near Preble and actually quieter in the summer.

3. Getting some good sleep finally last night.

4. Going to Urban Farm Fermentory for some of the best kombucha ever. I love that they let the 1.5% alcohol come out. Many places denature their kombucha when hurts flavor. Wonderful tasting room on Anderson St. too.

5. Having some delicious beer at Rising Tide. Lovely tasting room.

6. Getting some of the amazing and delicious herbal Little Lads popcorn for Lanna before we leave town. Seriously yummy.

That’s definitely not 3 things, but I guess I am an overachiever.

Things, People and Places I Will Miss in Westbrook and Gorham, Maine

Alex Steed — rare to find an activist who is in such great humor about the world and sarcastic — rare to find someone who can still dance like the silly idiot in Junior High School (which was me) as an adult
Allie Munier — Very cool, and one of the best blogs in Maine with Broke 207.
Keith Luke — Character, planner, fan of curling
Greg Daly — One of those wonderful distinctive artists characters you keep hearing about
Rick Hersom — A fellow man of skepticism and beer
Tod Gary — Good friend, better golfer than me (which doesn’t take much).
Dottie Maheux — It was great having my mother in law crosstown in so many ways.
and so many others.

Places:
Westbrook, Maine
The Dancing Elephant — Legit Indian food around the corner
The Frog and Turtle — Awesome brunch, poutine and atmosphere. Although sometimes they have bands that are too loud.
Catbird Creamery — Andrew Bird is a genius. Some of the best ice cream you will find anywhere. If you haven’t been here yet (across from Bank of America on Main Street) go. Your taste buds will sing. It’s 100% on Urbanspoon for a reason. And five stars on Yelp, get there this week in the afternoon if you can. I think this might be dinner tonight. Just reading the reviews is giving me a craving.
Baker’s Bench — Legit baked goods. Their prairie bread with lots of seeds is awesome with peanut butter.
The Saccarappa Falls — I can see them from my window during the winter. Not so much with the thick green trees of July. Awesome to hear on the quiet morning or at night too. Unfortunately the drone of Main Street and the William Clarke Extension drowns them out.
The Presumpscot River Trail — Right by the house and a lovely walk.
Riverside Park — Enjoy seeing the ducks.
Sunset Ridge Golf Club — Underused, a lot of fun, great challenges, good prices. Cumberland Avenue near Windham border.
Digby’s Variety — I didn’t go here enough. They make a wicked good hot dog and cheeseburger sub. Drove by it way too many times before stopping. On New Gorham Road about 3 blocks or so from 25.
Walker Memorial Library — No idea how I almost didn’t think of this. Probably my favorite place in Westbrook, so many great books through the library and the Maine Minerva service that allows books from many of the best libraries in Maine. I really hope there is something similar to Minerva in Connecticut.

Gorham, ME
Gorham House of Pizza — Wicked delicous, simple Maine food. Odd that one of the biggest pizza “chains” in Maine is independently owned by Greeks all over the state. Wish they had more Greek food but a great place for Maine staples like pizza and sandwiches.
Gorham Country Club — Accessible, moderate price, good challenge, pretty open for a terrible player like me. Beautiful.
Bennett Farm — Great place to play Disc Golf. Very long and there is a lot of long grass between the holes. The best disc golf place I have found in the area (only other ones I have played here are Pleasant Hill in Scarborough and the one in Saco.) About 4 miles from USM on 114 towards Sebago Lake on the left. $5 cash with drop off box so bring exact change.
The University of Southern Maine — So many mixed feelings about USM since it is so poorly run. But great job for my wife at the School of Education and Human Development. And three of my favorite Maine sports memories. Watching Bowdoin vs. USM in a match up of two top 10 Division III Women’s Basketball teams put on a coaching clinic of great defense. Gary Fifield is a better coach (for USM) than most Division I programs have. And watching St. Joseph’s vs. USM baseball for a few innings on a beautiful day and having a hot dog, easily the best baseball experience I had in Maine.

Portland, ME: One of the best small cities in America
Port Veritas: Been with them a few years, even moved my schedule around to be out earlier on Tuesdays. Saw them a couple times at Acoustic Coffee, the last few months of the North Star Cafe (still missed), Blue, Local Sprouts and now Bull Feeney’s upstairs. Slam poetry has been probably my favorite reason to go out the last few hours. Planning to spend time at Poetry Slap in Bridgeport, CT when I move. If you are interested go to the website and sign up for the e-mails. Have seen so, so many great poets through PV. Lauren Zuniga, Theresa Davis, Billy Tuggle, Ryk McIntyre, Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie, Heidi Therrien, Ellyn Touchette, Wil Gibson, Ryan McLellan, Brendan Constantine …

Rhythmic Cypher — The second poetry slam in Portland (amazing we have two of the 72 teams that competed in Boston/Cambridge for the 2013 National Poetry slam last year) designed for the outsiders. I have seen some amazing poetry here from queer, trans, the mentally ill, and just outsiders. Also great to have poetry with music behind you.

Miyake — Seriously amazing sushi. Expensive so don’t order everything. Hamiyake is one of the many delicious things here. I also discovered monkfish liver, which is so rich and full of umami, almost tastes like pork. Here is the Yelp on it.