28 June, 2005

Michael O'Leary: College Man

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Film: Do the Right Thing. I believe this film to be Spike Lee's masterpiece, although Malcolm X gives it quite a run for its money. I mention this film because it's one of the films we'll be focusing on in the class I'm currently engaged in at Cornell. I've only seen it once but the racial themes explored during the course of the film have stayed with me since that viewing. I'm looking forward to watching it again in the coming weeks, especially on a big screen. If you live in today's world and are at all interested in the issues that exist in your society, check this one out.
CD: Songs for Silverman, Ben Folds. Ben Folds' second studio album is, quite simply, excellent. I immediately fell in love with his first album and this one may even be better. Of the notable songs of the album are "Gracie," "Jesusland" and "Bastard." Although it may seem rather effeminate to be making mention of "Gracie," a song Folds wrote to his daughter, I absolutely love this incredible song. "Jesusland" sounds a lot like a Phish song to me, and I love Phish, so it's a good thing. "Bastard" starts the album off somewhat melancholily but it's a great song. Not to mention, this album is a "DualDisc" and has some DVD content on the reverse side, so this album is well worth your money.

Well, here I am: at Cornell University and coming off my longest entry hiatus since the inception of this blog. Life's been pretty good up here. I say this as I sit in my dorm and do what I want during the two hours of mandatory study time. Yeah, not quite sure how that works. Anyway, the days are pretty demanding, not just for me but for everyone. It's basically like I'm in school, only I'm only involved in one field of study and I'm on a huge college campus. My class is eloquently named, "On Camera: Studies in Film Analysis." It probably took the entirety of my rather substantial tuiton to come up with that name. So, I'm here for three weeks increasing my film buff status. So far, I have been (pleasantly?) surprised by the amount of class time and out of class work bestowed upon us, however it's fairly light in comparison to that which has been bestowed upon students in other programs.
Naturally, after only four days of being here, my dorm room is beginning to get rather messy, like my room at home. Not helping the situation is the fact that nearly my entire building is comprised of single rooms, where there is only one student per room, including my own. Only a little while ago, I returned from the library where I was watching a sequence from Battleship Potemkin, of approximately 15 seconds, that I will be writing a three page paper on due Friday. This at first appeared to be a daunting task, however, I now realize that this assignment is no match for an intellectual/cinephile such as myself. In other words, I will wait until Thursday night to do this paper.
Classes and work aside, campus life is pretty excellent. When I'm not chilling in my room eating Goldfish or Pop-Tarts or downing some Tropicana straight from the carton, I'm playing cards with the other kids in my building, having an extended (all-you-can-eat) meal with those same chaps or taking in the Cornell/Ithaca atmosphere. Negatives do exist, however. The hill (mountain, in my mind) leading up to the classes, libraries, etc. is rather intimidating. Naturally, all the dorms are at the bottom of the hill. I'm not too worried though; usually I ascend that slope shortly after a carb-filled meal and besides, after three weeks of this, I'll have finely shaped calves, like that of a member of England's national football team. Yep, the ladies, now aware of this detail, who were anxiously awaiting my return already, are unsure whether they'll be able to go two and a half more weeks without me. What can I say? I haven't had to do any laundry yet (which has been placed either purposely or coincidentally in the girls dorm...) but seeing as I do my own laundry at home, that shouldn't be a struggle.
So now that I'm getting settled here and I've let you in on what I'm doing without you guys, I'll probably start updating more frequently. And just in case talking to me on the phone or on AIM isn't good enough for you, here's my postal address up here:
Michael O'Leary
213 South Baker Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

25 June, 2005

I'll Be There Awhile

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
CD: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Smashing Pumpkins. Over the past week, I have absoultey fallen in love with the Smashing Pumpkins. Naturally, I've heard their music before but never have I owned any of it nor did I even have any of it on my computer. However, in the past week I've bought two of their albums and cannot stop listening to them. This album features some of my favorite songs of theirs and is two discs, twenty-eight tracks of beautiful Smashing Pumpkins music. I now love the Smashing Pumpkins and hope that the "getting back together" speculation comes true. I'd go as far as to say that not checking this album out would be masochism.
Film Series: Kill Bill. Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Kill Bill: Volume 2 were two of the finest American films of the last two years. Together, they create a revenge epic of over three hours. Quentin Tarantino went about making these two volumes and created two films that were like nothing else out there currently. While parts are violent, especially in Volume 1, almost all the violence is purposely over the top and should be taken lightly. The two volumes do feel very differently but together, they form an incredible epic that will amaze audiences for some time to come.

Well from the title, one may have expected a 311 recommendation, but I just ripped off and modified one of their song titles to give an idea of my upcoming situation. In only a few hours (I probably should be asleep but recently enjoyed a Frapuccino), I'll be headed to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. I'll be taking up residence there for three weeks, hence the title of the post, engaging in film related studies. I'll have my laptop up there and will hopefully will be communicating via AIM and updating this blog regularly. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, spending some time outside of the microcosm I normally exist in, learning the ways of the cinema and getting an idea of what to expect of college. I'm hoping I'll get a cool roomate and won't have to deal with too many, if any, cinematic novices. Living independently should be cool as well but I am obviously going to miss all of my friends, especially those who will be away when I get back. So, as my final blog thought in New Jersey for the next three weeks, I leave you with this, a fond farewell in the form of a movie quote, both to say goodbye for a while and to get myself in the right mindset: "I'll be back!"

23 June, 2005

There's Traffic Today!

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Kid: John Reenstra. As per a promise, here I am recommending John Reenstra. Although his antics may not always be for the faint of heart, he's generally a fun loving kid, not to mention a master of Adobe Photoshop. Sure this may seem like a cheap way to get out of a recommendation, but I'm doing it anyway. John Reenstra, ladies and gentlemen.
CD: (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis. Having just gone to an Oasis/JET concert last night, I was reminded how incredible Oasis is and this album includes some of their finest songs. Oasis's vocals were almost inaudible when they played Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, and Don't Look Back in Anger because the crowd was so in to it. All three of those songs are on this album, naturally why I mentioned their drawing power. Awesome album, anyone who likes any rock music will like this album.

Steven Soderbergh's masterpiece, Traffic, is not just another lengthy film featuring an ensemble cast that I'm crazy for, although those labels do fit the film, all in a positive light. To begin, Traffic has one of the best casts I've ever seen in any film: Michael Douglas, Benecio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman, Don Cheadle, Erika Christenson, Topher Grace, Albert Finney, Salma Hayek, Benjamin Bratt, and Dennis Quaid. Whether or not one enjoys any of these actors other works, he will enjoy that actor in this film. A viewer would have a hard time describing any of the afformentioned actors as the "weak-link" of the cast. The film won 4 Oscars in 2000 (should have won a fifth for Picture) and is already securing a spot as one of the best films of this decade.
The premise of the movie is depicting the war on drugs in the United States and Mexico. Several perspectives of the war are shown through the different, intertwining stories. The stories follow DEA agents, the Mexican equivalents, Mexican drug cartels, the judiciary aspect of the war, average teens' involvments, those who profit from drug sales and many people in between. With all of the appropriate scenes in the Spanish language and having subtitles, realistic teen situations, and real Senators playing themselves, the film feels authentic and entertains for two hours.
While the drugs are obviously portrayed in a negative light, this isn't an anti-drug movie. It displays problems created by the drug trafficking, it shows the way the war against trafficking is being played out and eventually has an optimistic tone regarding society and the effect drugs have on it. Few films can address a current social issue with such little controversy and with such great mastery of the issue and come off as a relevant motion picture for years to come. Since the five years of its release, Traffic has not been seen by as many people as it should be seen by and the film has remained very relevant, perhaps taking on more relevancy than it had when it was released. The issues and conflicts portrayed in the film have not died down and don't seem to be declining any time soon.
All in all, Traffic is an incredibly accurate and interesting look into a certain aspect of society while also existing as a film done by a master. This film will not disappoint and comes from the same guy who directed Erin Brokovich, Ocean's Eleven, Out of Sight, and Ocean's Twelve. Watch Traffic to be blown away with Soderbergh's film making and to be intrigued by the social issues at hand.

20 June, 2005

The Roads Are Clear: No Traffic Today

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Currently Playing Film: Batman Begins. Christopher (Memento, Insomnia) Nolan's entry into the struggling Batman film series should be grouped into its own, autonomous series. Not only does this film not follow the same story as the original four (not counting the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman film of the 1960s), but it is a much better film than any of those (this time, including the Adam West starring film). This dark, gritty, scary approach to the origins of Batman is quite simply, awesome. Not to mention, it has my favorite Batman villain of all time in it, Scarecrow. This is not the typical eat-a-bucket-of-popcorn-and-watch-lots-and-lots-of- stuff-blow-up-for-two-hours summer movie: it's perhaps the best superhero movie to ever be made and not a film to be missed in its theatrical run.
Film Director: Akira Kurosawa. This man is Japan's greatest film director. Although he has passed away, his films are still out there. He has had a great influence on American film making and its makers and the way Japan is portrayed internationally. While all his films do have subtitles, they are among the most highly regarded among all films.

I love Traffic as one has probably gathered from my brief rantings regarding the film, thus far. I made mention in my last post that my next post would be regarding Traffic, but as some of you may have realized from the cryptically corny title of this post, something else has come to my attention. Now your probably thinking a recent polictical issue has come about that has ticked me off, but I actually just viewed a different film I feel compelled to speak about. Not to mention, I'll be going away this Saturday, June 25, to Cornell University to take a three week course in Film Analysis and I'm focusing my entries on film to get myself in the right mindset. So, upon viewing The Graduate for the second time last week, I was so intrigued and amazed with the film that I had to come write about it.
The first thing I'll admit is that The Graduate does look a bit aged. I don't know what it is about it but the film looks a bit grainy and the sound seems to be in mono, but this film does not feel aged. It in fact comes off as very relevant, especially for someone of my age. Although Dustin Hoffman's character, Benjamin, is a bit older (has just graduated college, hence the title of the film), he could just as easily be a senior in high school. Benjamin lives a life that most people, especially adults, have a lot of trouble understanding and relating to. While it does sound cliche, adults cannot relate to those younger than them, especially teenagers, in the day and age of The Graduate as well as the current day and age. Most people don't have any idea what they want to do with their life, especially as high school is coming to an end nor as they finish college. Perhaps that's why I appreciate this film so much because I feel that Benjamin could be me, or any one of my peers. He awkwardly speaks with adults, whom he barely knows and yet they try to make it seem like they're lifelong friends. This is an experience I am, as well as many others are, too familiar with. His parents also parade him in front of their friends for his academic accomplishments, and while he's proud, it's also embarassing.
While the character study of a very relatable figure is very intriguing, The Graduate also delivers one of the greatest, memorable, unorthodox love stories in the history of cinema, an incredible soundtrack done almost entirely by Simon and Garfunkel, as well as a look into the youth culture of the 1960s. The Graduate is also one of the funniest "subtle comedies" that I have ever seen, mostly due to awkward moments that Benjamin experiences. This is a movie that I will watch many times in the future and that I hope many others see, and that these people appreciate it as much as I do.

18 June, 2005

Summertime, and the Living's Easy...

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Movie: Jackie Brown. Quentin Tarantino's third film. In terms of quality, it's right on par with all of his films, with the exception of Pulp Fiction which is a bit higher up than all of Tarantino's other films. Anyone who doesn't believe this to be a good film, doesn't understand it, is trying to get something out of it that doesn't exist, is looking for a Pulp Fiction sequel, or hasn't seen it. Awesome movie.
CD: Rift, Phish. Phish has never crossed into the mainstream, which isn't a problem for those who have discovered their music. While Phish's studio albums are nothing compared to their live albums, this excellent studio album is a good place to start for those unfamiliar with the band and their music. Some excellent songs.

As I see my next post being a time consuming, in depth look at Traffic (as I had made mention of in a previous recommendation), this post isn't going to be much. But, I'll begin by noting that summer is here. Naturally, there are those who will point out that Monday is technically a school day and I will be there for band practice, but with the end of exams today, well, looking at the time I suppose it was actually yesterday, Michael O'Leary has made the shift from "semi-summer mindset" to "full-blown sunshine-soaking, free-loving summer mode." My stack of summer reading is intimidating, however, but I will manage to get it done. I go to Cornell next Saturday, exactly one week. I'm looking forward to that and will probably be brushing up on my film viewing over the course of this weekend and this week. Not sure what's going down tomorrow, but I do have my sister's graduation (I guess it's called graduation when moving from middle school to high school) party, hopefully that won't be too painful. Well, not much else to say, but I will leave you with the away messages I used this week during my exams, each one in the form of an acrostic poem, with the subject I was then being tested on as the vertical word:

English: An Acrostic

Every day learning about the masters of literature
Nature is very important to the Metaphysical poets
Gillian Hettinger is English, and teaches English
Lots and lots of books have been studied
Ishiguro wrote our summer reading book
Sleeping during such an informative, tough class will not bode well
Haha! That's a pity laugh for this pathetic poem that I learned to write in English this year.

History: An Acrostic
Historical occurences are discussed
In great detail, the history of our great nation is learned
Schels knows what he's talking about
Too often, history repeats itself
Of the presidents studied this year, FDR was the best
Reprints and video clips are apparently the only way to learn history
You think you know about history, but in actuality, you have no idea!

Spanish: An Acrostic
Senora Teta-Kohle's last name translates into Spanish most humorously
Paco is quite a common Spanish name
Andalucia is the frying pan of Europe!
No is the opposite of yes in both Spanish and English!
Interesting fact:
Spanish is the most commonly spoken language around the world.
HorseMIERDA is the above statement!

Mathematics: An Acrostic
Masochism defined.
An excruciating way to end the year
Terrified are the innocent children being subjected to this test.
Holocaust would be a more appropriate name than "final exam"
Erroneous procedures and answers will exist in droves
Molougney's slamming the door on our way out of his class against our
Asses with a force I cannot calculate because I don't know how to do
That sort of problem, but I need to be able to for this test
I'm uncertain whether I'll make it through this test alive
Calculus is the devil's work
Some thorough counseling, I will require after enduring this exam.

15 June, 2005

A Message for Lynching Victims from the U.S. Senate: We're Sorry?

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Film: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Whenever Jim Carrey is in a semi-serious role, he scores; notably, Carrey's work in The Truman Show, The Majestic, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In this film, from an original screenplay by the genius Charlie Kaufman, Carrey's relationship with Kate Winslet's character, Clementine, is destroyed when he discovers she has had him erased from her memory. Out of spite and to prevent mourning, Carrey's character, Joel, does the same. Much of the second half of the movie takes place inside of Joel's mind while his body is unconscious. The scenes depict the memories of Clementine being erased, but Joel trying his hardest to hang onto them. The film is absolutely brilliant and is unlike any romantic movie I've ever seen, or heard of for that matter.
CD: Legend, Bob Marley and the Wailers. This greatest hits CD is absolutely incredible. I don't think it's possible to not enjoy the jams of Bob Marley. Pick this one up, or at least download it if you're cheap like that.

This week, the U.S. Senate issued a formal apology for never passing anti-lynching legislation. No, they didn't pass a ban on lynching, just an apology for never have passing a band. Lynching is the hanging of someone, foregoing that person's right to due process, often making a public spectacle of the hanging. It's also not "hanging" in the sense of a "quick drop and a short stop", but rather tying a noose around the victim's neck and pulling them over a tree branch or something else in the air, leaving their hanging body to be strangled by the rope around their neck. This is a grisly way for someone to die, no doubt about that, so how in the world weren't there laws in place making lynching illegal?
It should be noted that lynching was most often used against blacks in the time after the emancipation of slavery and before the most significant civil rights legislation was put into effect in the 1960s, a racially turbulent time period (to put it in the most objective light). I would like to say that it only happened in the South, but according to an Associated Press article, lynching occured in all but four states, which aren't specified in the article. However, they do mention that Mississippi had the highest number of lynchings of any state. According to the same article, 1 in 4 lynchings was of a non-black victim, most likely a white supporter of civil rights. The most startling fact is that 4,743 people fell victim to lynchings over the course of about 80 years. While I don't have an exact figure on how many people were arrested, it wouldn't come as a surprise to me if not one person was arrested for lynchings, at least during the time in which they occured. I am aware of at least one recent arrest of a lyncher, for his crime he committed in the 1960s. The act of lynching was never made illegal and to this day is not classified as illegal, however nowadays, one who lynches would be brought up on murder charges. The racially crooked law enforcement of the lynching era never saught to prosecute those who lynched, because many times law enforcement agents were part of lynch mobs and the fact that most of these acts were carried out by mobs, made it hard to place blame on any individual.
Upon some further research, it is apparent that the Senate was almost singlehandedly responsible for the lack of national anti-lynching legislation. According to the Associated Press article, "Senate Apologizes for Lynching-Ban Delays," Seven presidents petitioned Congress to end lynchings. Nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in the first half of the 20th century. The House passed three anti-lynching measures between 1920 and 1940, but the Senate passed none. You can't knock the Senate for apologizing, but its 2005, the days of lynchings died down in the 1960s: what were they doing for all those years? At the time of the afformentioned article's publication, 75 members of the Senate had endorsed this apology. I find it disturbing that all 100 hadn't signed it immediately. Sure, a few may have been doing business elsewhere, but this is the kind of thing that every single senator should be showing his or her support for, unconditionally.
Now, moving beyond the Senate, some disturbing historical fact regarding the ignoring of lynchings, thanks to Wikipedia. With the election of progressively minded Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, anti-lynching advocates thought an opportunity to finally get legislation passed was available. FDR, however, fearful of losing the white southern vote in the 1936 election, did not endorse any such measure. While you can't rag on the guy for this, he's a politician, one who we needed to be in office in 1936 and beyond, just playing the political game. The more disturbing aspect is that lynching was a hot issue among white southerners. It is absolutely pathetic to think that these Americans(?) would refuse to endorse a president should he make a certain form of murder illegal. Lynching was like a past time for these people! In the way that the more civilized Americans of that age liked going to watch the Yankees, or have barbeques, or go down the shore for the weekend, these people hung black people from trees. Sometimes I'm not sure the fight to prevent the South from seceeding was worth it; maybe if they try again, we'll wise up and let them go, as long as we can capture Disney World.
While I love to see steps being taken to improve race relations and to move into the future a racially united nation, I'm not sure I'm satisfied with what the Senate did. An apology is nice, and is often a big thing in politics, but why didn't they just pass the ban on lynching? It would have been more momentous and meaningful. I sure hope that fear of rejection wasn't one of the reasons such a ban hasn't been passed in recent years. Well, we'll have to settle for this apology for now, perhaps a ban on lynching is the next step.

12 June, 2005

Regarding George A. Romero's Dead Quadrilogy

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Film: Traffic. For those of you who haven't picked up on it through my discussions of Pulp Fiction, Crash and Magnolia, I love long films with ensemble casts. Traffic is about 2.5 hours and has a huge cast. I have a lot to say about it, and may do so in a future post devoted entirely to Traffic, but for now, I'll be as simple as possible. Traffic shows the intertwining stories of people across the United States and into parts of Mexico, all relating to drugs. It takes a look at what drugs are doing to America politically, socially, economically, in the cities, in the suburbs, etc. It's a very relevant topic and the film has emerged as a masterpiece after only five years in existence. The cast is star studded and the film should have won the Best Picture Oscar in 2000. Stay tuned for a more in depth look at Traffic.
CD: Out of Exile, Audioslave. For those of you who liked Audioslave's self-titled debut, you will love their second, more mature offering.

In anticipation of Land of the Dead, I'm here to discuss George A. Romero's Dead quadrilogy. Land of the Dead marks the forth entry in the nearly 40 year old quadrilogy, following Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead. With 1968's Night of the Living Dead, Romero created the modern zombie movie, although the word "zombie" has never been uttered in any of the Dead films. Just about every common occuring idea about zombies has been credited to have been created by Romero: zombies cannot be destroyed unless the body is separated from the brain or the body is burned, a zombie biting a human creates a new zombie, zombies feast on flesh, etc. When it was released, it was considered by many to be one of the scariest things ever to grace the screen; it ushered in a new era for horror films. The film was made on an ultra-low budget, by an unknown director, starring unknowns. The only thing that Night didn't have, was color. Whether it was an artistic choice of a matter of money, Night was filmed in black-and-white. It was Romero's second film in the series, 1978's Dawn of the Dead, that would feature Romero's now-famous vision of the undead in color for the first time. This films follows the story of a small group of humans attempting to take up shelter in a mall overrun by zombies. This film is regarded as Romero at peak performance. Both of the first two entries in the Dead series feel very much like films of their respective decades, aka, they have aged a little. However, watched with an open mind, both of them can be enjoyed very easily by almost anyone. The next part in the series came in the form of Day of the Dead in 1985. The quality of Romero's films takes a dip here, without a doubt. Being from the 1980s, Day is reminiscent of the over the top, sometimes campy, action flicks of that decade (think Predator with a bit cheesier dialogue). However, Day is notable for the most impressive gore effects of the series, effects that have been emulated over and over in horror movies since. With the forthcoming Land of the Dead, Romero returns from the biggest gap between films and looks to be back at the top of his game. Probably the most ambitious film in the series so far, in terms of budget, bigger name actors, number of zombies, etc., Land looks promising. Many of those who see Land, when it comes out in under two weeks, probably have no idea who George A. Romero is or that Land is the fourth entry in a series spanning nearly 40 years. With the release of last year's Dawn of the Dead remake (which I haven't seen so I won't be commenting on directly), many who go to see Land of the Dead may think that these two films are of the same series, but in fact Land of the Dead is of the same series as the remake's source material. Knowing this isn't all the important, however, since, should Land follow in the same suit as the others in the series, Land is unlikely to connect to any of the other entries in the series, so can be viewed without having seen, or having any knowledge, of the earlier entries to the series. I note this so that those interested in seeing Land of the Dead won't be scared off, not having seen the first three in the series. But, I'm sure that shortly upon viewing Land that you'll rush out to pick up Night, Dawn and Day. Another film to catch is the Dead spoof, Shawn of the Dead. It's absolutely hilarious but having seen the first three Dead films makes it that much more enjoyable.

11 June, 2005

The Incredible Martin Scorsese

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Pez Dispenser: The Death Star. As someone of a Pez dispenser connoisseur, I think the Death Star Pez dispenser is absolutely one of the coolest. If you're somewhere, and you have the craving for Pez, get the Death Star one, it's so cool.
Book: The DaVinci Code. To be fair, I haven't fiished this book yet. However, it is absolutely awesome already. From the beginning, this book offers non-stop thrills. Not to mention, the chapters are pretty short, so in reading it, it really feels like you're making progress, which I find appealing.

This is something new: a discussion of a master director. Already I've talked about certain films I believe to be great and other things, but today, I'm discussing one man, the legendary Martin Scorsese. To give those of you an idea of his resume who may otherwise be unaware of it, this man has been directing films since the 1960s and is still pumping out gold; some of his film's include, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Casino, The Color of Money, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Last Waltz and After Hours. Of those films, five were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in their respective years and Scorsese himself has garnered five Best Director Oscar nominations and, in total, seven Oscar nominations. Despite the fact that Scorsese is considered by many to be the best living American director right now, he has never one an Oscar nor have any of his films ever won the Oscar for Best Picture. However, with the lack of awards Scorsese has won aside, his films are American classics. Notable facts about his films include: Raging Bull is considered widely to be the best film of the 1980s, while also marking the end of the American film movement, "The New Hollywood" or "The American New Wave;" Taxi Driver's stunning effect on society could be seen when, about four years after the film's release, a derranged man obsessed with the dark film saught to emulate it and attempted to assasinate then-President Ronald Reagan; The Color of Money is the sequel to Hollywood classic, The Hustler, released some twenty years after the original, and is notable for garnering Paul Newman with his first Oscar as well as marking the only teaming between Scorsese and Tom Cruise; The Departed, Scorsese's newest film, currently in production, is a remake of a highly acclaimed police thriller from Hong Kong, Infernal Affairs, and with a stellar cast, looks very promising. Scorsese is one of my favorite directors, as you are probably aware of by this point. I own more of his movies than any other director and have never been disappointed (more often have been absolutely blown away) with the quality of any of his films, although I haven't seen all of them. I hope to see them all, and to see Scorsese work well into the future, delivering more and more American classics. Finally, if you haven't seen any of Scorsese's films, or have only seen a few, you don't know what you're missing and need to get out there and see them.

09 June, 2005

U.S. Border Patrol: What in God's glorious name are you doing!?

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Movie: Young Frankenstein. This is one of my favorite comedies of all time. It is a spoof of the classic horror movies and all the cliches they entail. Gene Wilder (the guy who played Willy Wonka, originally) plays the contemporary Frankenstein, described in the title. One of the best, if not the best, of Mel Brooks's films. Absolutely hilarious.
Song: Not the Same, Ben Folds. This song depicts a partygoer's acid use, ultimately resulting in an epiphany by which the acid user emerges as a born-again Christian. Might seem weird, but the song is awesome.

First off, I never publicly thanked John Reenstra for creating the extremely classy picture of myself, a state that is so often experienced by those around me come the weekend. Some of you may have heard already of Gregory Despres, the man who attempted to cross the U.S. border with a homeade sword, a hatchet, a knife, some brass knuckles, and (oh here's the best part) a chain saw with spots resembling blood splatters on it. Well certainly the patrol working at the tightened-since-9/11 border must have stopped him, right? If you've read the title of this post, you probably already know the answer: no, the border patrol did not stop this man carrying more than enough weapons to carry out a succesful coup of some third world nations. However, the border patrol did confiscate the entirety of his arsenal and take down Despres's finger prints. Following this, he was allowed to continue into the country. As if this story isn't pathetic enough, it gets far worse. A day or two after Despres's run in with the border patrol, his two neighbors were found dead in their home. One of the victims was decapitated (perhaps done with a chainsaw?) and the other was stabbed to death (a knife would do the job). Despres happened to posess both of these weapons and more when he came from the North, into the U.S. Despite the incompetance of the border patrol, they could put two and two together to figure out that Despres might have had a hand in the murders. As of now, he sits in a prison, waiting for the American justice system to have their way with him. Now, why would the U.S. border patrol let him in? They claim that there were no outstanding warrants for him nor were they capable of charging him with any crime. First of all, the guy has a chain saw with blood-red colored specks covering it. It doesn't take a genius to know that the chain saw has long been the weapon of choice of sadistic members of society (and lumberjacks I suppose and perhaps in that part of the U.S. lumberjacks are commonplace enough that chain saws are carried around like we carry around cell phones). I can think of only a few ways, off the top of my head, that one would have a chain saw covered in blood-red specks: they have sawed into a large crate of ripe tomatoes, they have sawed through a can of paint, or they have sawed through a person's jugular vein. Perhaps the border patrol should have called in some forensic scientists to test whether the specks were vegetable juice, red paint, or human blood. Once tests had shown that it was in fact blood on the chain saw, the border patrol would then be able to hold Despres in custody. But, rather than taking the time to do anything, they just took his toys away and sent him to play outside. Not to mention, this guy does not look like he's in his right mind, what with his pasty white skin, dark black hair shaped into a mohawk going down to his eyes and his eyes protruding a bit too far from his head. If I saw this individual with a blood splattered chain saw, I'd put all the times I've tried not to prejudge, and I'd lock this guy up. In addition, I do believe brass knuckles are illegal to own, and he had a pair of those on his person. If in the end, the border patrol really couldn't find any crime to hold him for, at least try to question him as to why he seems to be carrying the chain saw used to carry out the simultaneous graphic deeds at the end of Apocalypse Now. It seems that if this man was able to come into the safer-since-9/11 U.S., an Islamic extremists with a malevolent agenda and an explosive tucked under his shirt or a small vial of anthrax in his pocket wouldn't have to put up much of a fight. Let's also remember that this is our northern border, not usually associated with immigration troubles, just imagine the possibilities for those at the southern border...

08 June, 2005

Keeping with the Cycle of Things

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Movie: Being John Malkovich. This is easily one of the most original films that I have ever seen. I won't try to explain the plot in too much detail, because it would take far too long, seeing how intricate and bizarre it is, but basically, two people working together, stumble upon a portal into the mind of real life actor, John Malkovich, and exploit it. It will blow you away the first time you see it. It is funny, shocking and intriguing, however, it does lose some of its might the second time around, see it anyway.
Television Show: Lost. This was an addicting show in its first season. A plane crashes on an island, somewhere in the pacific with a handful of survivors. From the beginning, weird things are going on and the mysteries of the survivors and the island itself start to get complicated. The show will be available on DVD in September. The first season is also being repeated throughout the summer on Wednesdays at 10 on ABC. If you haven't seen this show, make every attempt to, it's awesome.

The first thing I need to recognize is the heated debate/discussion going on in the comments of my post concerning random drug testing at PTHS. I'm glad to see people are reading and reacting to what I'm writing. So, the cycle I've been starting to notice on my posts is that they are either a log of my daily life, an in depth look at a movie or something regarding politics. Eventually, I'm hoping to break this cycle with other types of posts, but until then, that's what you can expect. Seeing as the discussion is still raging regarding my last post, I'm not doing anything heavy today. This is one of the posts regarding my daily life. To begin frankly, school has become unbearable. I know many other people will agree with me. I, as well as many others, have already entered the "summer/school's already out" mindset. Unfortunately for us, school isn't quite over yet. This past week, the heat has been almost too much to take, literally not figuratively. It has been very hot and the lack of AC in just about every room in the school only compounds the problem. The good news however, is that the number of days until finals begin (when school is basically over in my mind) is three. Due to the circumstances however, I know these are going to be three long days. Once school ends, I'll have less than a week in which you know I'll party hard (because that's just the kind of kid I am) and then, it's off to Cornell to study the works of the masters. The masters being Spielberg, Scorsese, Scott, Bergman, Kubrik, Ford, Huston, DePalma, among others. Nothing else to say for today, but do check out the discussion in the comments part of the random drug testing post for a good time, and don't forget to give your two cents. O'Leary, out (not an allusion to Ryan Seacrest, I sware...)

07 June, 2005

Drug Testing at the High School

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Movie: The Last Waltz: This film, documenting the final concert of The Band, quite simply, rocks. Both in that the film features non-stop rock music and the concert footage and interviews are integrated beautifully through the entirety of the film. Guest appearances include those of Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr, among other legends of the day. Additionally, it was directed by master film maker Martin Scorsese.
Song: America, Simon and Garfunkel. Awesome song discussing some aspects of life in the 1960s America. Not sure if I like Simon and Garfunkel's or YES's version more, but both versions are incredible.

Well the Pequannock Township Board of Education is looking to implement random drug testing on any student involved with athletics, any extracurricular activity or who parks his or her car on the campus. Seeing as I am personally not a drug user, I am not concerned about the personal ramifications of drug testing nor have I been following this issue quite as closely as any given student probably should be. However, I have read up on it and believe that I have enough information to form an opinion and write an intelligent post about it. My first reaction to hearing that there was a debate about whether or not to put in place random drug testing was, why? I couldn't begin to fathom why any parent, or student, would speak out against drug testing unless they were looking to incriminate their child or themself of using drugs. Upon further reading, I became aware that the reasons that parents are presenting in opposition of the proposed policy is that parents fear that, 1) the district doesn't have the money to fund a program of secondary importance such as this; 2) innocent students will be subjected to humiliation due to the randomness of the testing; 3) the school officials will take on the role of parents in administering drug tests; 4) a "draconian" environment will develop in the school. I don't really buy these reasons for expressing opposition. It should also be noted that the tests are saught to clean up the school, as the police will not be notified of a student failing a drug test, only the parents will be in order to hopefully find counseling and recovery programs to cure a drug problem in any given failing student. So, in the following sentences are my responses to the objections raised by concerned parents (or parents looking to hide their child's drug problem). Firstly, the financial issue: this comes across as the only valid argument against the new policy. Our district has already had several meetings this year regarding our shaky financial situation, which they blame soley on new state legislation. The legislation restricts fundraising of some types and I have no idea whether or not a policy such as this would fall under the cap. However, if starting up a program like this would take away from other, more traditionally school related programs, it should be reconsidered. The second objection: innocent students will be humiliated because of their selection to be randomly drug tested. Now, the concept of random drug testing is that students will be chosen randomly to catch a potential drug user off guard. Naturally, through the random process, students who have never even seen a drug will have to be tested. As long as the random drug testing does remain random and if this is happening on a regular basis, no one will be humiliated because their peers will know that it is all part of the random drug testing process. Third concern: school officials will attain a parental role in administering drug tests. Well, if a student's actual parents aren't doing enough to keep their child off of drugs, maybe the student could use a few more parents. I'll leave it at that. Final concern: a draconian environment will come to be in the school. If the random drug test policy is a success, as in it is scaring kids into not doing drugs, the environment will probably become more relaxed. As long as students aren't using drugs, the school won't have to be ruled with an iron fist. But, if the school's objective is to rid the student body of drug use entirely, and tests are indicating students are using drugs, perhaps a tough environment will be necessary. Finally, the solution for students who want to continue to use drugs is to walk or find a ride to school, drop out of all athletic programs and extracurricular programs and then, the tests will be rendered useless because any student eligible for on campus parking and involvement in any athletic or extracurricular activity who isn't taking advantage of it will be identified as either a misanthrope or a drug user evading the random testing policies. However, the bottom line isthis: random drug testing can work and should be implemented, and if you don't want to get caught, don't do drugs.

06 June, 2005

Pulp Fiction: Pure Masterpiece

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Soda: new Sprite Remix
Video Game: Timesplitters: Future Perfect: Enthralling story, beautiful first-person fun, incredible multiplayer. Schmidt, your mine!

Before I begin, I'd like to post one of the raves I've received from a peer: The Chris Paul says, "The O'Leary blog is filled with ravishing topics and witty satire on todays shallow culture." Well, this is odd: Michael O'Leary is posting his thoughts on Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Pulp Fiction is the movie that introduced me to the idea of film as art. In seeing this movie about two summers ago, I was blown away. I stayed up to a ridiculous hour to watch it on one of my seven or eight HBO channels because I had recently read or heard something about it that for some reason, created like a mandate inside of me to watch it. Soon after my first viewing, my friends and I watched the film on a VHS we found at one of their homes. Shortly thereafter, I purchased the movie on DVD and watched it over and over. In the first few minutes of the film, two characters, Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, or Ringo and Yolanda, are shown sitting in a diner, discussing, in a way that any person may discuss any day-to-day thing. The fluidity of the lines and the realism of the conversation are intriguing. The conversation carries on until the two characters, now revealed to be a criminal duo, jump on the table and announce their plans of robbing the restaurant they are currently in. The credits, some of the longest opening credits of any film I've seen since the end credits became the place where the majority of the people are listed are fun to watch. Despite being long, they are fun to watch. Yellow text on a black background is as intricate as the credits get. The music playing behind the credits is one of the best parts: the first half being Dick Dale's Miserlou and the second half being Kool and the Gang's Jungle Boogie. The famous, recognizable names just keep coming in the credits: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Rosanna Arquette, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Christopher Walken, and Steve Buscemi. The credits end with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson's characters, Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, two hit men, driving to a job and discussing the differences in American and European fast food. This segment serves as the second prologue of the film, in which Travolta mentions his duty of taking his boss's, Ving Rhames, wife, Uma Thurman, out to dinner while his boss is away, to Samuel L. Jackson's character. After a confrontation at the job they were headed to, the first official story begins. The format of Pulp Fiction is basically three interlocking stories, ignoring chronological order, playing out over two and a half hours. The stories are, 1) John Travolta's ill fated night on the town with his bosses wife; 2) Bruce Willis, an aging boxer, who has just killed the opponent whom he was supposed to lose to purposely evading the same boss whose wife is being taken care of by John Travolta in the first story; 3) And the continuation of the second prologue in which John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson attempt to dispose of a dead body. Watching the events appear out of chronological order may seem overwhelming at first, but seeing the way in which they all link up is an unforgettable experience. After my first viewing, I was convinced this was the greatest film to ever exist. It was violent, it was funny, it was captivating, it was beautiful. The film loses nothing on repeat viewings, as the jokes become more and more familiar and enjoyable and knowing what's to come, just creates an immense sense of anticipation in the viewer. After seeing this film many times, and seeing many, many more films I have since come to appreciate as art as well, I'm not sure I believe Pulp Fiction to be the greatest film ever, but it is without a doubt right near the top of my absolute favorite films. Time magazine recently named Pulp Fiction the best film of the 1990s, beating out such revered masterpieces as Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Forrest Gump, Goodfellas, and Fargo. Pulp Fiction isn't just a film, it's an experience. It's an experience that will stick with you for a long time. You'll cringe at the more graphic of moments, you'll laugh out loud at the eloquently written jokes and dialogue. Beautifully written, extraordinarily acted, and just amazing all around, Pulp Fiction is among the 25 films that someone, especially of my generation, must see.

05 June, 2005

Summer 2005

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Movie: Dazed and Confused: This film goes along with the theme of this post, as it depicts the last day of school for high school juniors, going into their senior year. It takes place in the 70s, but still seems very relevant.
Song: School's Out by Alice Cooper

Well, as every member of society is aware, school is winding down and the summer is coming. My friends have all made mention of ambitious plans they which to see to fruition this summer. I'm looking forward to this summer because I want to stay up until the early hours of the morning and sleep until the afternoon. As an overachieving scholar and film lover, I'll be spending three of my weeks this summer up at Cornell University taking a course in Film Analysis. I'm looking forward to increasing my knowledge of film and sharing my current knowledge with those less informed than myself. It's going to be a great experience living on a college campus, especially one as prestigious as Cornell. I will have my laptop up there, so I'll be on AIM and writing in this blog when I'm procrastinating my out of class work up there, similar to what I do outside of PTHS. At this point, my family also plans to take a trip to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hopefully, I'll sit on the beach, watch sunsets, drink frozen fruit drinks and use my laptop there as well. Quite a few college visits will probably take up my summer as well, although I've already got an idea of where I'd ideally like to go, I'll probably have to take a look at some safety schools. The rest of the summer will probably be spent driving around, mowing lawns, and just being lazy. I really have no intentions of getting a job, but in having so many more hours available to me to spend money, I may have to find one. Of course, there will be summer work for several of my classes in school and I've told myself already that I won't wait until 1 am on the morning of the first day of school as I did last year to finish it, but we'll see what happens. Band camp looms at the end of the summer, which is going to be the first indication to myself and my peers that we're going to be seniors in this upcoming school year. Pretty crazy! I'm not going to get all emotional or nostalgic but college is just around the corner, unbelievable. Well, I'm sure the summer has more in store for me than I have listed here or that I can even imagine, but here are my initial thoughts of what this summer is to be.

04 June, 2005

Walmart and the First Amendment

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Internet Browser: Mozilla Firefox: A safer, superior browser to Internet Explorer, Netscape and all the others out there. (for those of you who are unaware of it's glory, I'm hoping they are few and far in between)
Movie: Before Sunrise: At first glance, this may appear to be a chick flick, but I see it like this, Before Sunrise is to a chick flick as "Untitled Michael O'Leary Project" is to a "livejournal." So, a chick flick with brains, made by an intelligent film maker.

As you are probably already aware by the time you've reached this sentence, I've changed the recommendations to include a short description of the items I'm recommending. I'd also like to point out the positive comments I've received, thanks to those who have posted, and thanks for correcting my post, which since reading the comment has been fixed. For today's entry I think I'll discuss a politcal/social issue. To give you an idea of what to expect, I fall somewhere left of center on the political spectrum. I support a woman's right to choose, I support gay rights, mostly, I don't support the coddling of criminals, in any way, I believe in capital punishment, I believe in the separation of Church and state, I support the teaching of evolution in schools, and I support the Patriot Act. But, the one issue that means the most to me, is censorship. I hate censorship in almost all forms. The first amendment is the first, because it is the most important and it is the backbone of our rights as citizens of the United States. We may pray how we want, we may protest how we want and most importantly, we may say what we want. I don't believe that the government should have just such a large role in censoring content in movies, on television, on the radio, in public, etc. I believe it should be at the discretion of the one at the helm of releasing the messages in question. One instance pops to mind: several months back, ABC had plans of airing Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed masterpiece, Saving Private Ryan. Since it's release in 1998, this movie has made millions and millions off of its theatrical run and home video sales. At the end of 1998, it made top 10 lists and won major industry awards, including Oscars. The film was noted for its life-like, gritty depiction of the Invasion of Normandy and other World War II happenings. So the networks should be begging to show this film in order to get great ratings, right? Some did. The ABC affiliates in the great Northeast, including Boston and my own WABC in New York went right ahead showing the film, uncensored. However, a few dozen ABC affiliates in states that hate the First Amendment like we Northeasterners hate the Second pulled this epic masterpiece of a film and put on repeats of some ABC sitcoms. It was a shameful move indeed. Those people who voiced thier opinion to ABC, letting the network know that they believed it inappropriate to show don't need to watch it, nor do their innocent children, unaware of what violence or sex looks like, (yeah alright) who would obviously be disturbed and shaken, need to watch it. Every R-rated moment of Saving Private Ryan is there to show World War II as it happened, blood, swearing, everything. The graphic elements of the film are not thrown in there to appeal to gore-hungry pre-teens in the way sexually explicit elements are thrown in to pornography and low quality teen sex comedies, both of which exploit their audiences hankering for these elements to make a few bucks (although I believe even two much censoring of these genres, bordering on pure smut, exists; someone did create this so-called smut and is proud of it and that person has a first amendment right to freedom of speech as well). But, when sex, violence and profanity are used to convey a message in a piece of art, such as a film realistically depicting events that are commemorated in multiple national holidays every year, the use of censoring is absolutely out of the question. Then again, I suppose when your nearest neighbor, your side of the Mississippi that is, is a 3 hour tractor ride away, you've got some time to complain about the art appearing on your television. Now that I'm through with that half, you're probably wondering, well why do you mention Walmart in the title of the post? Well, Walmart, when they aren't keeping wages as low as they law allows, giving legal citizens' jobs to illegals and running every family run establishment in the country out of business, violates millions of people's first amendment right every single day. As America's largest DVD retailer, the policies Walmart has in place regarding DVD sales has quite an effect on the industry. Not to mention, Walmart does not sell one single CD that carries a parental advisory warning, unless every four letter word beginning with F, S, D, H, Z and Q is removed from the album. However, people tend to overlook these outrageous policies as the prices are so damn cheap. Sally Bob in Kansas only has to pay 10 bucks for her Rascal Flatts album because her neighbor (although living rather far away from eachother), Billy Jake, only gets payed $5.15 and hour, before taxes. Part of Walmart's unconstitutional policy does spawn from their huge presence in America's (long live the Confederacy) Heartland, where their evangelical customers demand that every breast, buttocks and f-word be removed from the media that they will be purchasing, or if not removed, made unavailable for purchase to people who should, due to other age restrictions, be able to purchase. This is where my beef with Walmart comes in. While still a naive citizen (aka unaware of Walmart's policies), I attempted to purchase an R-rated DVD. As I scanned the item through the SELF check-out lane, the Walmart employee who had been aiding all the customers at the SELF check-out lanes came over and asked for my ID that proved that I was 18 years of age. 18? Why I can go buy a movie theater ticket for an NC-17 rated movie. That would be the rating one notch above R, however, Walmart won't let me purchase an R rated DVD. Not to mention, I was attempting to purchase American Splendor, another critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated feature, one of the mildest R-rated films I've ever seen. Of course, Walmart has no way of discerning between a mild or a hardcore R-rated movie, but as a 17 year-old member of society, I'm of the age to buy R-rated materials. So due to my lack of ID, I handed over the American Splendor DVD to the employee like I was trying to steal it, I made my final purchase at Walmart for the forseeable future and drove myself to see three R-rated movies and 5 NC-17 rated movies at the nearest cinema (not really, but because of my age, I would have had absolutely no trouble doing so). Well, I hope that you all now love your First Amendment rights and plan to use them as often as possible in the near future and will at least feel a slight pain in your heart for supporting such practices. Don't let yourself or those around you to be censored, especially in the name of art.

03 June, 2005

Magnolia and Crash

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Book: The Tipping Points: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
CD: Ben Folds, Ben Folds Live

So, here's the first truly intellectual entry into this blog. With the posting of this, there will actually be something of merit to read here. It's regarding two films I've seen recently, Magnolia and Crash. Although I've only recently seen them both, Magnolia was released in 1999 while Crash is still in theaters. The reason that I'm devoting a post to them is because I think both of these films are absolutely stunning and of the highest caliber. I lump them together into one post because, at first glance, they are similar. Simply put, both films have ensemble casts whose characters' story lines overlap and intertwine in present day Los Angeles. However, the films do play out differently. Magnolia runs just over three hours but they move quickly. However, these are three of the most depressing hours I've ever witnessed on film. The depressing lives the characters lead in the film can really make the viewer feel the same emotions that the characters are feeling at almost any given time. The characters are developed beautifully, so that you really do care about what happens to each one of them. Several characters come off as disturbed persons at first, but through the events of and the confessions revealed during another one of the character's stories, justification, or at least reason, for the "disturbed characters" comes about. Following and connecting the various plot lines holds the attention of the viewer until the climax of the film comes along. This film isn't just about the connections between the sad lives of individuals in LA; it's also about the power of chance, the power of coincidence. The utterly amazing and shocking climax plays on this theme and brings the movie to an incredible close. In addition, the film stars and incredible cast featuring Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Baker Hall, and John C. Reilly, among others, a beautiful cast-wide sing along to an extraordinary Aimee Mann song and an enthralling prologue introducing the themes of coincidence and chance. Now, onto Crash. Crash, while playing on the same barebones structure of Magnolia, substitutes the depressing mood and the themes of chance and coincidence with an underlying theme of racial tensions and stereotypes laced throughout its multiple plot lines. Crash comes off as much more gritty than Magnolia. Much more of it takes place amongst the poorer of LA and on the streets whereas most of Magnolia's characters seemed pretty well educated and had at least a reasonable amount of money to live on. Crash is also significantly shorter than Magnolia, running just under two hours. One element that Crash has over Magnolia is that it connects EVERY single character to at least one other character, although, I do think the character connections made in Magnolia were sufficient and connecting them anymore so would have drawn it out longer than it needed to be. But, the totally connectivity of the characters in Crash works very well. The most intriguing of moments in Crash occur when two characters meet up for a second time, after having a bad experience during their first meeting, one moment in the film stands out particularly. It's through these characters' interactions that they become more aware of other racial groups and the truth or fiction behind commonly held beliefs. The epiphanies the characters have because of their experiences are incredible to see unfold on the screen. These two films are, without a doubt, two of the best films (that I have seen) to have come out in the last couple of years. It is without a doubt worth your time to see either or both of these films. Enjoy.

02 June, 2005

Minor Crisis

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Movie: Brazil
CD: System of a Down, Mezmerize

Well my hard drive crapped out on my laptop today. So, it's under repair at CompUSA for a few days. I hope my my baby's alright...ok that's just pathetic. It looks like I'll be watching movies or getting something productive done (probably not) rather than sitting in front of my computer for hours on end. Originally, I was going to put up an insightful review/recommendation/comparison of Magnolia and Crash but seeing as I'm pressed for time using my sister's computer as she wants to do all the things I would be doing if I had my computer, I'll just give you an idea of my current situation. Things will return to normal, both in terms of this infant blog and my AIM usage, once I have my laptop back, hopefully that'll be soon. Well in case I don't have ample time to post before my laptop returns to me, I've got the Band Awards Dinner tomorrow night, and SATs at William Paterson on Saturday morning (driving a car full of party animals). Ok well heed my recommendations and leave me some words of wisdom. See ya kids later!
P.S. If anyone wants to make me a picture that I could use as my visual representation on this blog, I'd be more than willing to use it. Then again, I just might make one myself.

01 June, 2005

June is upon us!

Mike's Suggestions for Readers:
Song to d/l (on iTunes naturally, don't steal): Trey Anastasio, Guyute, from the album "Seis de Mayo"
Movie that needs to be rented: Magnolia

Here's my first real post, consider the previous one as sort of like the rules and conditions of this blog. So, I'll give you an insight into my day, kind of a boring thing but whatever, here it goes: School today, obviously. It's already Wednesday, which is good. Not to mention, June is already here. So sweet. Anyway, I made no progress at all until fifth period in which I took in some of Schels's knowledge regarding Pearl Harbor. History's a good class, at least in comparison to my others. Lunch after that; we discussed intellectually as one would expect a table of our superior intellect to do and as we do everyday. In gym, my softball team hauled some arse again. We did math in math and then band came. Speeches for band council were today. That was fun. I was the first candidate to speak. I was just about the only person with a prepared speech. I delivered it very eloquently and with great passion. It went over pretty well. I didn't care too much about actually winning the election but just saw it as an oppurtunity to write something fun. If anyone is like a creepy stalker and is really interested in reading the speech, just IM me and I'll send it to you. After school, I hit up Starbucks for my fix. I passed the new coffee place in Pequannock and almost stopped but I figured it'd be chaotic seeing as it was the opening day and there didn't appear to be many people. I brought my Grande Caramel Frappuccino and Starbucks Classic Coffee Cake home, sat outside, playing with my dog, doing math homework and listening to music. Nothing of significance since then, although I told myself several hours ago that I'd finish the cliff notes for "Hard Times." Well I hope you enjoyed the first real entry to the "Untitled Michael O'Leary Project." See ya later!

It's Alive!

Well, Mike O'Leary's inaugural blog entry...note, this is not a live journal. I hope not to intrude onto the emo, whiny ground often associated with live journals and similar things. Here, I hope to speak my mind on current issues through sarcastic, comical rhetoric (humor does lie in the eye of the reader, however); give you a recommendation for a movie that I just watched either at home or in the theather; let readers have a look into my daily activities, among other things. I will attempt to refrain from cursing so that every individual can read with a smile on his or her face, although as a teenage boy in general as well as being Michael O'Leary, it's sometimes tough to do. While I am currently feeling confident about updating this, we'll see how that turns out. Seeing as most of you don't have accounts on this blog host, you can post comments as a guest, or whatever they let you do, just drop your name somewhere in there so I've got a clue as to who's trying to communicate with me. While this thing has been fun thus far, I haven't done any of the things I claimed I would earlier on in this rant. Well this post has gone on for too long, so I'll create another recapping my Wednesday.