Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Darkness

Here in the wet wintry depths of Oregon, where Point-Counter-Point-Point-Point’s magic is born, we’re forced for about seven months of the year to stay indoors and ponder what life is like in non-greys. And watch TV.

And sometimes we turn to each other for help.

Pat:  Yo, man...what are you doing to deal with the winter blues? I’m kinda’ at the end of my bag of tricks, having seen all of the second-run movies, and done all of the indoor kids activities this town has to offer.

I just found myself drinking KOMBUCHA, for christs’ sake, and considering going to a poetry reading! I start getting worried when my coping mechanisms switch from the standard alcohol and cable TV to non-regulated fermented Tibetan fungus tea and rhyming verse.

Any suggestions?

Christian: Pat! Back away from the poetry. It’s going to be OK. Just put the poetry down. No need go and do something crazy that we will all regret later.

For the most part I actually don’t mind the rain and grey skies. Don’t get me wrong I prefer the sun and warmth but I have always just accepted the fact that the weather here is just how it’s going to be so I don’t really notice it. However I do really dislike wind. I’m totally fine with running errands in torrential downpours but if there’s a strong wind, no way Thumbelina*.

Have you thought about becoming one of those snow bird types that travels south during the winter? I guess that might be hard to do with still maintaining consistent employment. Maybe you just need a heavier jacket. Have you tried that?

And only seven months of rain? No way Cesar Romero**! Don’t you think it’s more like nine or ten?

Typical Oregon Day.

Pat:  I think I saw the sky in that picture just the other day! And, yeah, I suppose you’re right...July and August and some of September are pretty nice. Hmm.

As much as I grow tired of the weather, I don’t think I have it in me to be one of those “snowbirds” you referred to. Not that I wouldn’t like the sun and the change of scenery. It just seems like too much effort and work.

That just got me thinking. Y’ever read The Phantom Tollbooth? I think we might be living in the doldrums. Maybe we should let the Oregon Tourist Bureau know about using that as a selling point for people wanting to come visit in February. I bet all them literary types would really get into it.

Christian: The Phantom Tollboth? No way Chupacabra!*** I’ve never read it. Therefore I have no idea what you are talking about but I think you might be onto something (Or on something?). Here’s an idea - we market Oregon as a great place to travel for those that are looking to reach a really dark place mentally. Fantastic!

Truly great artists have always led tortured existences. Their lives are always filled with despair, addictions, and turmoil. At least that’s what my National Institute of Rainbows and Shapes “So You Want To Be An Artist?” correspondence classes always say.

But what if you are an aspiring artist that has had a stable and very pleasant life filled with good fortune? Well before my idea, you were doomed to live a life of failure and happiness. But now all you need to do is come live in the Northwest for a few months and voila! You’ll be so depressed and mentally debilitated that you’ll have masterpieces coming out of your ass.

And maybe this is the answer to your original problem, Pat. Take your winter blues and fixate and obsess over them. Once you feel like there’s really no more hope, write a novel, paint a painting, or record a hip-hop album. If you’ve truly reached the darkest shadows of your soul, it could turn out to be a classic! Or maybe just make yourself a nice sandwich. That would probably work too.

Pat:  I like it! And we could bill it as a way for happy, upbeat people to learn how to commiserate with sad sacks, which I bet they’d be really into, ‘cause happy people like to try to make other people happy. They’re kind of naïve like that.

We could maybe even try to sway the folks at (which looks like our most official-ish state endorsed travel bureau) to change their motto from “Oregon- We Love Dreamers” to something like “Oregon- We Love Dreamers, Existentialist Philosophers, and People Who Seek Out Physician Assisted Suicide”.

Christian: Sounds like someone’s got a little more pep in their step. Are you feeling better about those winter blues now? There’s nothing like having a new exciting project to work on to get those motivational juices pumping and pull you out of a funk.

So how about you call those people over at and pitch them the idea and work out all the details and I’m going to go drink myself into oblivion while listening to The Cure.

*  I know the phrase is “No way Jose” but I’m trying to be more creative in my writing.
** Still not quite right.
*** Nailed it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cheesy Movies vs. Sheepasaurusoctotroid!

The other day I was perusing Netflix looking at the new releases for Sci-Fi/Fantasy when I came across Sharktopus!

Apparently Sharktopi can also fly.

I quietly and slowly whispered to myself, “Awesome”.

Then two movies down in that little Netflix movie merry-go-round thingy were these two movies, back to back:

These two are probably actually just the same movie but with diff... WAIT A SEC!!! Starring Debbie Gibson and Tiffany? Seriously? I wonder which one plays Gatoroid. I bet it’s Tiffany.

This time I slowly whispered to myself “Whoahhh. Cooool.”

But wait there’s even more. A few more movies down gave us this:

Coincidentally Mongolian Death Worm was our second
choice for the name of this blog.

And even more:

I started to envision a Mega-Dinoshark, but realized I was now
just being absurd.

But the one that looked the absolute worst and most ridiculous was this one:

The worst.

I couldn’t believe Netflix was listing out all these movies to me at the same time. It totally made my day.

However, this blog post isn’t about why these movies miraculously showed up to me at all at once. That is obviously just God saying to me “Hey there! Just wanted to let you know I was thinkin’ bout ya. Later gator!”

No, this post is about low budget cheesy movies and their importance in the art of movie making. This is PCPPP being cultured. Hopefully we don’t turn off too many readers with our dope ass sophistication. I’ll start...

Christian: I’m a fan of low budget cheesy sci-fi and horror movies, although I rarely watch any. Usually because they turn out to be so bad in a non-good way. I so often find myself getting more enjoyment out of the cover on the box then the movie itself. It’s as if the cover art holds too much promise that the movie just can’t possibly deliver on.

That is why I feel that making a truly great cheesy sci-fi or horror movie is as big an accomplishment as making one of those Oscar winning movies that’s about issues and talking.

Pat:  I am totally with you on this one buddy (but, for me, the whole reptilian-robotic-’roid fueled creature feature doesn’t do it). My cred-depleting genre of choice is...Zombies! I know, I know...zombies are all the rage now, but please trust me when I say that I have been a true devoteé of the genré since my early teenage years when I was drawn to the punk stylings of the soundtrack to “Return of the Living Dead”. And I kinda’ feel like the more degenerate and the worse the film is, the better it is. I’m like that with tacquerias too, for that matter...the more I worry about my health the higher rating I give the place.

I give credit to those films that challenge us to think beyond our limits, or those films that are filmed in such a way as to give us insight into the perspectives of others, but I have to say that the most credit I am capable of giving goes to those films which consistently keep me entertained and coming back for more. Those films inevitably rate high on the cheese-o-meter!

Christian: OK, here’s where we might have a disagreement. I feel like zombie movies are in their own category and I actually want and expect them to be good. Sure, I guess I can appreciate a good quality bad zombie movie if done right. But I'd rather see a good quality good zombie movie.

I have the same respect for the zombie movie genre as I do for serious dramas, documentaries, and movies about high speed car chases.

Move over Citizen Kane.

When it comes to great bad cheesy movies I prefer them to be in the monster or horror genre. I think that’s where they belong.

I think if you were really a true connoisseur of the zombie genre you would feel this way too.

Pat:  Have you considered watching this one:


You’ve used the word “cheesy” a lot, and I thought this might be a new genré for you to check out.

It took me a bit to realize, but I think what you’re calling “great bad cheesy movies” is roughly what I’ve been referring to for decades as “movies perfect for wasting a Saturday on my couch”.  Y’ know what I mean?  

These are the kind of movies that are actually BETTER when you’re hung over, laying on the couch, ignoring the kids’ calls for you to cook for them or help them get exercise. The ones interrupted by various and sundry commercials aimed at getting deadbeats into correspondence college courses or at fleecing the already poor of their gold fillings.

Yeah...I LOVE those movies! And I learned to love them after only five easy classes with DeVroenix Online Academé du Film. You can too!

Films is COOL, man!

Christian: Yes I agree that what I am referring to as “great bad cheesy movies”  could also be described as "movies perfect for wasting a Saturday on my couch.” Although my description is a little more accurate and uses less words. More efficient really. And I would say that they don’t have to only be viewed on Saturdays and on couches. So not only is your description inefficient it also unnecessarily limiting.

But other than that, yes we are in total agreement. Also, saying “my couch”  in your description sounds weird. It would sound better if you said “the couch,” if we absolutely had to go with your description.

But like I said above I prefer my Zombie movies to not fall into this category, whether we use my accurate and succinct description or your bloated and oddly worded one. Zombie movies should be good. Period.

Pat:  Well...there is something magical about my couch. You’re welcome to come over and try it sometime. And when you do, you can consider watching this:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

HERE'S Your Thin Mint, Little Girl!

I like kids. Really. They can be cute. (they can NOT be cute too...there are some UGLY kids out there!) And I get it...they’re innocent. Fine.

But I feel a certain self-righteousness and privilege when it comes to criticising kids, due in large part to my job. I have chosen, for reasons that are still sometimes unclear to me, to immerse myself in the worlds and lives and smells of kids for roughly eight hours a day.

That said...

Pat:  It has begun, Christian. The season of the devil. Have you been plagued by his darkness’ minions? We were. Twice this weekend. He left us with orders for four boxes of cookies. Thin Mints and the new Dulce de Leche, to be precise.

Who knew that evil could look so cute in braided pigtails?

Christian: I for one welcome our new cookie peddling overlords. I can never remember what they are called, but those peanut butter and chocolate girl scout cookies are to die for! I usually end up buying more and more each year. I’m guessing after I purchase my order for 47 boxes this year, I’ll have put a few of those scouts through college.

You can’t be telling me you’re against Girl Scout cookie season? There could not possibly be anything negative about it.

OK, this is negative.

Pat:  That’s PRECISELY what I’m telling you. Adorable do-gooder girls? Fine. Munch-tastic cookies? Okay. Frat boy fantasy uniforms (apparently)? Whatever.

But, yes, I am here to say, in the face of all philanthropic love and adoration, that I dread Girl Scout Cookie Season. Cookies that aren’t that good being shoved in my face, with an extra helping of shame and guilt if I even THINK of not buying them. Who needs it? Certainly not us, fellow member of Fatlandia!

Leave me be, Satan.

If that’s not enough, here’s the peach who started baking those treats. You telling me you’re gonna’ trust HER with your sweet tooth?

Is that a samoa or a pentagram on your lapel, ma’am?

Christian:  I’m sorry but you lost me at “Cookies that aren’t that good...” and then again at “...think of not buying them”. Have you not tried the peanut butter and chocolate ones I mentioned above? I think they’re called Peanut Butter Cocaine Delights or something like that.* They are fantastic! And according to the independent studies I’ve done in my kitchen, they are good for your heart (maybe) and go great with red wine (definitely).

Plus, doesn’t the money they get for the cookies go towards good causes like supporting cancer and fighting the homeless? Nothing wrong with that.

I don’t care whether or not that dude in the old-timey hat is wearing a samoa, a pentagram, or both. If he’s the one that started the Girl Scouts and created their wonderful cookies, then he can wear whatever he wants.  

There are no downsides to Girl Scout cookie season.

Pat: Good points...and you’re right. While not actually male, Juliette Gordon Low does not exactly look like someone you’d be excited to snuggle up against. Or like someone you’d willingly accept cookies from.

Upon further research and investigation, however, it turns out that she was quite the progressive. She advocated for all sorts of girly things...kinda’ like the original Riot Grrrl (how many ‘r’s go into that one, exactly?), and was even praised/demonized for her advocacy for her rightful inheritance of her husband’s fortune upon his death (selfish bastard...left his fortune to his MISTRESS! samoas for you!).

And, nowadays, it turns out the Girl Scouts advocate for all sorts of things--gender equality, gay rights, economic equality. In other words, they’re progressive hippie chicks in boring green uniforms. Hard to argue with that!

Still...I stand firm by my statement that their cookies are not that good and make our country unnecessarily fat.

Christian: OK, I’m just going to go ahead and state the obvious fact here: YOU HAVE NEVER TRIED THE PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE ONES. Because if you had you would realize how ridiculous you sound.

Yes, maybe some of the other kinds are not that great - I don’t know, because it has been forever since I’ve tried any other than my buttery dark mistresses, the confusingly named Tagalongs**. But just because some of their cookies are sub-par doesn’t mean we should call an end to Girl Scout Cookie season. I just put up my Girl Scout Cookie tree and lights for pete’s sake.

I’m sure Michaelangelo churned out some duds in his lifetime, but that doesn’t mean his whole body of work, including the Sistine Chapel (which is the Tagalongs in this metaphor), should be discounted.

For example- I did a google search for some of Michaelangelo’s works and found this:

Pretty lame.  

But using your logic, since this Turtle-man phase he was in wasn’t that great, we should just go ahead and duct tape up the whole Sistine Chapel and put in some skylights, right?

Pat: What? You lost me...but it was more because I was fixated on your Tagalongs. I’ve had them. And, yes, they’re good. But there was something else that bothered me about them and I couldn’t remember what it was.

But then I looked again at Michaelangelo’s sketch--with all of those turtles crammed into one picture--and it reminded me of Thin Mints, the one Girl Scout cookie I will even consider purchasing. You know why? VALUE! Your Tagalongs are good, but you only get about 3 ½ of them per box. For the same $4.00, you get like 78 Thin Mints. Who the hell do they think they are, so blatantly ripping off the public like that?

Why not just buy some ‘Nilla Wafers, a jar of peanut butter, and some chocolate sauce and make 
your own, like this person did:

Cheap-Ass Yumminess!

Christian: Good point. You’re right. I should up it 67 boxes this year.

* I eventually had to go and Google it and apparently they are called Tagalongs, which I don’t understand.
** I’m serious here. Can anyone tell me why they are called this?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wait Just a Gosh Darn Minute!

Hey! I’ve noticed something, Christian. Many of our blog posts end with you having the final say on things. That makes me look weak, diminutive and inferior, and I don’t like it and it tears away at my I.A.L.A.C. sign (you’re welcome, Ms. Veeck, for remembering that valuable mental health lesson!). Why do YOU always get to have the last word? Is it because you know how to get these rambling ideas from a Word™ document to the wonderful world of web posting, or is it simply because you want me to appear small and powerless?

By the way...if you just don’t respond or answer any of the questions I just asked we’re all good, ‘cause, y’know, this will be my chance to have the final say. Your call, really.

Christian: First off, I thought you were aware of this but we are actually using Google docs to write these blog posts. As you type in your next response take note that you are actually logged into Google Docs via your web browser and have not opened up Microsoft Word. Just an FYI.

Pat:  Huh?

Christian: Secondly, I’ve also sort of noticed that I tend to get the last word in too. But I don’t see it as me getting the last word in as much as you not getting the last word in. I’ll explain after giving our highly attractive readers some background:

I know most of you assume that Pat and I write our specific sections of these madcap back and fourth blog posts from our individual estates, having them hand delivered back and forth via gold plated titanium chariots driven by former elite secret service men. The best of the best.

Then at the point that they have been decreed post worthy, they are dictated by Himalayan monks who have taken an oath of silence until said post is ready to read into our computer systems that were at one point used by NASA until they rejected them on the grounds of them being “too complex and sophisticated”. Then finally the original copy is set aflame and sent out to sea via a burning wooden raft made of the rarest of expensive woods.  

Well, it’s more or less like that except, like I mentioned before, we use Google Docs*. We each have a folder on Google Docs, and when one of us finishes one section they move it into the other’s folder letting them know it’s their turn. But when one of us feels like the post has come to an end or feels like they have said all that they want to say, they are supposed to move it into another folder labeled “Done”. It should be noted at this point that Pat has never moved one of our posts into the “Done” folder.

However it was agreed that we can still add more to the posts that have reached this “Done” folder if we want to. There is always plenty of time to add more before they go from the “Done” folder to going “live” for all of our dashing readers to enjoy.    

So really, Pat, you have no one to blame but yourself for not getting in the last word. But I promise that for this particular post, you can have the last word.

Make it count.

Pat: I didn’t know I COULD move things into the “Done” folder. Nor did I think you could, or were, for that matter. I kinda’ assumed that some Google-god moved our drafts into the “Done” folder when it deemed it magnificent enough to put into inter-print. So...there’s no higher power at work here?

Can we be “Done” right now?

Sweet! I got the last word!

Christian: It should be noted to our golden hearted readers that Pat finally moved a post into the “Done” folder. This one. Nice work Pat.

Pat:  Hey fucker...don’t try to take this from me!

Christian: Fine we can end it here but don’t you think that this is kind of a short post?

Pat:  No!  Now don’t say anything.

* Still trying to patent Google Docs.

**(this is Pat typing) Do I have to say something down here too? ‘Cause that asterisk is from Christian. Umm...thanks for reading!