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Misery quick movie review

(FYI: the trailer gives away too much!)

If someone ever asks you, “What was the last Hitchcock movie?” just say Misery.  I can’t give this flick any higher praise than that – but I guess I’ll try.
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Living in Oblivion quick movie review

There’s movies about making movies, and then there’s Living in Oblivion, headlined by Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener and Peter Dinklage.

Also, this is one of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen.

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First Impressions of Nintendo Wii U

We finally got Nintendo Wii U and I have to say that overall, I am digging it.  It’s not perfect (and I think they could make some easy tweaks to improve stuff), but it’s far from disappointing.  Read the rest of this entry

Snowpiercer (movie review)

Like The Interview, Snowpiercer was released online/VOD/whatever-you-call-it earlier this year. We watched it via streaming on Amazon for a dollar, and it’s one of the best values I can recall in entertainment. Read the rest of this entry

Black Friday of DEATH! or This Christmas, get her a Crossbow!

The Christmas shopping season is upon us! The deals are already out there! And it’s not just jewelers, TVs and toasters, no! We can gear up Chewbacca style!

(What I’m trying to say is, Chewbacca’s weapon is a crossbow… not sure that’s clear.) Read the rest of this entry

4 Ways To Bitch Slap Your Christmas Shopping

christmas-presents

Look at those smug bastards, just sitting there...

A few years ago, I made a pact with myself to get out in front of the disaster called my Christmas Shopping.  I hate shopping as a matter of principle, but buying presents for people is kind of fun…  except when I have to do it for everyone I care about at the same time.  For me, the conception aspect is the hardest part of gift giving – what do I buy for who?  Once I’ve got that down, I just have to deal with the execution:  actually buying the gift, which can be challenging, but doesn’t require nearly as much thought.

After some truly awful Christmas Shopping experiences (I pulled a quad), I decided that I needed to do a few key things that would save me time and make my life a lot easier.

1.  I’m making a list, I’m checking it twice…
That’s bullshit – actually, I’m checking and updating it a zillion times over the course of the entire year.  See, the first thing you have to do to be a successful Christmas shopper is get organized.  I’ve started what I refer to as my Forever Gift List and it’s made all the difference in the world because I use it for Christmas, birthdays and any other gift giving occasion.  All you need to do is make a list of everyone you need to give a gift to and anytime you get an idea, jot it down.

I use Google Docs for my list because I can access it from my phone and my PC, so it’s super handy.  At first, I used a spread sheet, which is easier to read and organize on a PC but a pain in the ass on my phone – even on my Samsung Infuse and it’s ridiculous four inch screen.   Now I use a regular Word Doc, which works great on both my phone and my PC.  The list is also handy because you can go back and see what you got someone previously, and this can make getting the next gift easier if they liked it – or hated it.

Do yourself a favor – don’t ever start shopping until you know what you’re going to buy.  Wandering around stores or the internet is like being one of the zombies on that The Walking Dead show.

2.  Spread out the pain!

If you do all of your Christmas shopping during the month of December, you’re tougher than I am – or blessed with a bigger bank account than I, at the very least.  When you have a list at your disposal, you can start doing your shopping any time you want and you can pay for it gradually instead of one big, painful credit card bill.  See, I know my credit card monthly billing cycle ends around the 20th of the month, so I make sure to get my first round of shopping done between October 20th and November 20th.  Then I do my next round during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period.  I do the last minute stuff after December 20th, and I’m good to go – horrible, painful gift expenses spread over three months.

3.  Shop online

Supporting local stores and the big box chains is all well and good – they create jobs, contribute to the local economy and so on – but seriously, who has the time or patience for that?  I do not.  If you hate going to the mall as much as I do (you’d rather let the neighborhood children take turns using your car for a trampoline), then just get your Amazon and eBay on.  Depending on what you need, there’s lot of other places to shop online, but it terms of one stop shopping, they’re about as good as it gets.  Plus, Amazon’s credit card has a cash back feature that you can use for future purchases or just have them send you a check, straight up.  It’s also pretty easy to hit Amazon’s Free Shipping threshold when you’re doing a big order.  It’s also nice to be able to ship something directly to the recipient and not have to deal with the post office.

Wrapping Presents:  Don’t wait till the last minute like these turtles did.


4.  Don’t wait to wrap presents!

As gifts arrive in the mail (or if you actually brave the outside world), don’t sleep on that shiz – wrap em up!  The longer you wait, the worst it gets, and if you do two or three shipments, it’s not so bad.  I mean, it still sucks golf balls through a garden hose, but it’s way better than when I would do a ‘wrap night’ way to close to Christmas (December 23rd at best) and have to wrap every single gift.  That sucks HARD.

Christmas shopping is no joke, and if you think like I do, then it’s already crunch time.  Good luck!

More Christmas at creativejamie.com/category/christmas/

More Lists at creativejamie.com/category/lists/

Attention Must Be Paid: Air

airWelcome back to the journey into under appreciated creativity.  This feature, Attention Must be Paid, will shine my (however brief and dull) spotlight on something that needs props.  Mad props.  Today, I’d like to shine the light on Air, published by Vertigo Comics, a subsidiary of DC Comics.

Air is great.  It’s well written and the characters are vibrant.  Now, what’s Air all about?  Uhm, I’ll take some picks from Wikipedia and let them explain:

Blythe follows [Zayn] to Narimar, where she is designated by the Etesian Front a “hyperpract”, that is, someone with the power to move into different dimensions or realities.
As the story progresses, the ambiguous concept of ‘hyperpraxis’ is introduced, as what seems to be a supernatural form of teleportation. The story develops more eccentric and fantasy elements, introducing Amelia Earhart and Quetzacoatl as supporting characters.

Follow all that?  And yes, I am openly praising a comic book that features Amelia Earhart as a character, not to mention Quetzacoatl.  Air is a great example of a book that shows you how you can do whatever you want, just as long as it’s done well.  Blythe is an excellent character.  She’s smart, powerful and vulnerable all at once – not to mention other things.

The author of Air was G. Willow Wilson, making this one of the only comic books I’ve read that was written by a woman.  Unfortunately, the book has been canceled after 24 issues.  =(  Why, I don’t know – it always sells out at my local retailers.  Wilson should obviously move to Bergen County, NJ, where her genius will be appreciated.  Air is getting the graphic novel treatment, though – the first volume is available at Amazon.

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