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Friday, August 28, 2015

New Archies Reviewed: Episode 4A - The Awful Truth

Well, here it is, everyone!  My final blog post for a little while at least.  This weekend is the weekend in which I am unplugging everything in preparation for the big move.  I'm not sure when I will be back up and running, but I am sure that it won't be long.  And when I do come back, I will be announcing a couple of changes to this blog...changes that I hope will affect the quality of the blog, but will inevitably change the quantity.  More on that when I get back.

In the meantime, we have another episode of The New Archies to review.  Let's get to it, shall we?

In this episode (Episode 4A - The Awful Truth). we're going to learn just how the truth can sting just a little too much.  In the case of this episode, Eugene just may as well have shoved scorpions down everybody's pants.

We open the episode at Riverdale Junior High, where every girl in school is crowding around a bulletin board.  But why?  Is there a school club for girls?  Is there a special offer that is first come, first serve?

Well, overhearing the conversation between Betty, Veronica, and Amani, we quickly learn that the Junior Miss Riverdale Pageant is coming to Riverdale Junior High, and apparently every girl in school tried out for it.

Well, all except Amani who doesn't believe in beauty contests.  Um, so why are you there Amani?  I'm guessing to give moral support to Betty and Veronica.

Oh, that's right.  Veronica's a self-absorbed twit who thinks that she is hot stuff and that no amount of hair spray would ever many anyone more beautiful than her.  So, basically Amani is there for Betty because Betty isn't a jerk.  At least, not yet.

Hey...where did that music come from?  I hope it's not foreshadowing.

Anyway, Betty just wants to see if she's a finalist in the competition, and Amani comes up with the idea to announce that Michael J. Fox happens to be in the school!  On one hand, kudos to the showrunners for coming up with a then-recent reference to pop culture.  On the other hand, by 1987, Fox had become a star with "Family Ties" and "Back To The Future".  Does Amani really think that she can trick a bunch of junior high aged girls to leaving the bulletin board alone by claiming that a celebrity would come and visit their podunk hamlet?

Apparently so.  Wow, either Amani is some super genius...or the girls of Riverdale are as dumb as posts. 

At any rate, there's a party going on at Lodge Mansion in celebration of Veronica making it into the semi-finalist round, and judging by Betty's reaction, she must have made it in as well.  Again, Amani didn't try out at all.  Why is she so excited?  Then again, Amani could just be offering her support to Betty, since Veronica is a deplorable human being.

Betty, Veronica, and Amani are so happy and excited that they fail to realize that they are holding up the guys, and Archie, showing that he apparently has the strength of a hundred men literally drags all three girls into the limousine that is taking them to Veronica's house for a pool party!  Wow, if this party is celebrating Veronica being a semi-finalist, I can't wait to see what wingding they plan on having if she won!

So, if you ever wanted to know what pool parties in the 1980s were like, well, they featured girls in ugly swimsuits, a personal chef grilling hot dogs, and what appears to be "A Flock Of Seagulls" or "Honeymoon Suite" playing for them.  Wow, Veronica threw wild parties even at age 12!

Ah, and here comes Eugene with some sort of...invention.  At first glance, it kind of looks like someone combined a football with that vacuum cleaner from that Teletubbies show.  And, of course, Eugene believes that it is going to be an invention that will win him the Inventor of the Year award.

But all it seems to do is make a whole lot of noise, which causes Reggie to screw up his dive...

...and Jughead spraying mustard all over his eyes.

While Veronica walks over to yell at Eugene for interrupting her party, Amani and Betty are discussing the pageant, in which Betty admits that she is nervous about the question portion of the event.  After all, a beauty contest finalist can only wish for world peace for so many times before people start to get bored.  Interestingly enough, Eugene - who has gotten away from Veronica - pops his head up through the bushes and asks Betty if she wants to be his guinea pig for his project.  Betty says yes...but I don't think she quite understood what she was saying yes to.

Whatever the case, Eugene turns on the machine and it blows a cloud of smoke into Betty's face, and Betty goes from being sugar and spice and everything nice to shrieking harpy bitch in six seconds.

Seriously, Eugene's invention happens to be a truth telling machine that is more intense than police polygraph tests.  It makes the person who was sprayed with it tell nothing but the matter how hurtful it may be.

And let's just say that Betty Cooper must have had a lot of deep rooted rage in her heart because she holds nothing back.  Veronica almost gets ready to slap Betty after Betty calls her an egotistical snob.  She makes Reggie fall into the pool again after she calls his diving lame.  And Betty thinks that Archie's bathing suit is so tacky that Archie actually falls over in his beach chair.

Ah, but crafty Eugene doesn't want to know what Betty will tell him, so before she bares her fangs and spews venom over him, he blasts her with another shot of serum which causes Betty to stop being so honest and remorseful for her actions.

Oh, but wait.  Veronica's getting a really nasty idea.  See, look.  You can view it in her little thought bubble.  Since the truth telling machine will cause Betty to only tell the truth, she can use it to make Betty and the other contestants insult the judges so that Veronica will win by default.

In other words, she has really learned nothing.

Ah, but Eugene simply isn't going to let Veronica borrow the truth telling invention the way that one would rent the VHS copy of "Dirty Dancing" from Blockbuster Video.  So, Veronica decides that she'll get it...later.

Later just happens to be in the middle of the night outside of Eugene's house.  And surprise, surprise, she's dragged her partner in crime Reggie with her.  Seriously, can these two be made any more unlikable?

But hey, at least we get a chance to see what Eugene's room looks like.  It kind of reminds me of Screech's room from "Saved By The Bell" with all the electronic gadgets and gizmos.  I half expect Kevin the Robot to make an appearance.

Anyway, Veronica decides that if Eugene won't lend her the truth machine...she'll just break into his house and steal it.  Wow, resorting to breaking and entering to win a beauty contest.  Isn't that the American way?

Unfortunately, Veronica nearly foils her own plot when she steps on a horn and thinks that she's screwed.  But Eugene is too busy dreaming about Amani in a bikini to wake up.

The next day at school, Betty is prepared to open up her locker to grab homework, her lunch, or the 378 photos of Archie that she has plastered everywhere when she gets a shock!

Veronica and Reggie have hidden in Betty's locker with Eugene's truth telling machine and give Betty another dose of truth serum, reverting her back to her bitchy ways and...

...wait a minute.  Reggie, Veronica, and the truth machine all fit inside of Betty's locker?  Just how big are the lockers at Riverdale Junior High?  My high school lockers were never that big - and I had one of the largest lockers in the whole school my senior year!  I'm jealous!

Oh, yeah.  Back to the plot.  Betty insults Mr. Weatherbee's weight and likely ends up getting detention.  She also insults Miss Grundy and she will likely have to copy out Amani's favourite section of the encyclopedia from "I Gotta Be Me, Or Is It You".  She also tells a random student that she didn't invite her to her party because she hates her guts...but since it's not Amani, Veronica, or Big Ethel, we're not supposed to care.

Well, after insulting everyone in the hallways of Riverdale Junior High, she decides to pay Archie a visit in the art room, where he has painted a portrait of Jughead.  And, Betty, being influenced by truth juice tells Archie that he has made Jughead look like a fat pig and that his apple looks like it is rotten.

And Betty must be telling the truth because Jughead comes to life in the painting and tells Archie the same thing that Betty said - which would imply that Archie has major issues, but nevertheless Archie has a sneaking suspicion that Eugene has used his truth-telling machine on Betty and rushes out to find him before Betty insults the President of the United States and starts World War III.

(Or, at least before the beauty contest begins.)

But when Archie finally finds Eugene in another classroom, Eugene is near tears.  Eugene tells Archie that someone stole his machine, and that he should have just listened to Veronica when she asked to borrow it.  At which point, Archie realizes Veronica's dirty scheme and decides to confront her about it.

Naturally, Veronica denies having any involvement in Betty becoming Miss Honesty 1987 and denies even having Eugene's truth-telling machine - at least until Betty comes around and tells Veronica that her hair looks like a troll doll.  Okay, so the real word she used was frizzy, but same difference, right?

The good news is that Archie sets out to go on a mission to retrieve the truth-telling machine, spray Betty back to normal with it, and make Veronica eat her words.

The bad news?  He's recruited Jughead to be his partner in crime.

After looking through the whole school for any evidence, Jughead and Archie are ready to give up on the whole thing, but Archie has a brilliant idea.  He suspects that Veronica would hide it in a spot in which Archie and Jughead would never set foot in.

That's right.  The machine is in the girls' gym.

And let me tell you.  Jughead and Archie could learn some lessons from RuPaul in how to dress up in drag.  Flour bags, potted plants, and mops are not exactly accessories that the modern woman would ever wear.

But it looks like Archie's found the machine hidden in Veronica's locker.  Look!  It has her name written on it!  And it's four times the size of all the other lockers!  My god, does she think she can have everything she wants when she wants it?  I bet the water fountain next to her homeroom provides Perrier, and she probably gets Miss Beazley to give her caviar for lunch! 

At the same time, Betty is about to approach the stage, getting ready to insult everybody that she comes in contact with while Veronica is sitting on the sidelines, cackling like a hyena knowing that Betty is about to become less classy than Mama June and Honey Boo Boo! 

But alas, Veronica's plans are spoiled, and Archie and Jughead manage to turn on the machine, zap Betty back to normal, and she becomes her usual, charming self - with a lot of repressed anger, but I digress.

At that point, Jughead puts on his Walkman to listen to music as Eugene has a heart-warming reunion with his truth-telling machine.

But the reunion does not last long, as Jughead accidentally knocks the machine out of Eugene's hands, and it bounces across the auditorium floor.  I mean it, it literally bounces like one of those rubber balls that you would see in those lottery draws.

And every time it bounces, it sprays truth serum all over random people.

First, Archie gets sprayed, which causes Archie to admit what all of us knew already.  Eugene's inventions suck.

Jughead gets sprayed next, and makes fun of Archie's hair, which causes Archie to make fun of Jughead's name.

The MC of the pageant is next, and he introduces Veronica Lodge as the biggest spoiled brat he has ever seen.  Totally awesome.

Oh, Veronica gets a blast of karmic retribution when she ends up sprayed, and insults the MC's hair.

Eugene finally gets the device to stop...but there is nothing he can do to stop the insanity as the truth serum is all used up.  So, he is forced to watch with horror as the Junior Miss Riverdale Pageant ends up being one gigantic mosh pit of hurt feelings and anger.

Then again, isn't that how most pageants end?

Okay, so at this point, I must bid a brief farewell for now.  This will be the first time I will be taking a break, and it is absolutely necessary because I have to finish up the last touches on the hacienda.  But I will be back at some point.  Take care, my friends.

Oh, and happy golden jubilee to my Mom and Dad!  50 years together.  If only all marriages could last as long or longer.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It's Not Fair...

You know, for those of us who have full-time jobs (or even part-time jobs), we may have a lot of different thoughts passing through our heads.  Some of us probably are thinking that we probably need a half dozen cups of coffee to get us through the morning.  Some probably dread the idea of having to file paperwork the whole day.  Some are trying to think of what plans they will make on the weekend.  And, some are constantly tossing discarded coffee cups left behind by customers who apparently don't know what a garbage can looks like.

But I'm sure that none of us ever go into our respective workplaces thinking that this is the last day that we will ever see again.

I'm only guessing that it never crossed the minds of 24-year-old Alison Parker and 27-year-old Adam Ward that when they reported for work on the morning of August 26, 2015 that it would be the last time that they would be seen alive.

Tragically, both of them died on the same day.  Gruesomely, their deaths were in front of a live television audience in Roanoke, Virginia.

I'm sure you've heard all of the details.  Alison Parker was doing a live remote, interviewing Vicki Gardner, a member of the chamber of commerce in Franklin County, Virginia.  Adam Ward was the cameraman.  The interview was supposed to be a light hearted piece for WDBJ's local morning show.  But at 6:46 am, all hell broke loose as a man approached the trio and shot at them.  Parker and Ward were pronounced dead at the scene, Gardner was seriously injured.

Perhaps what was the most disturbing thing about the whole tragedy was the fact that the gunman (who had been fired from the station, and who singled out Parker and Ward as the people responsible) posted a video on his personal Twitter account.

Extremely inexcusable and disgusting.

The gunman later took his own life, meaning that nobody will ever really know the truth behind what his motivation was, or why he felt compelled to do such a thing.

The only thing that I know for sure is...this was senseless.  Absolutely senseless.  And you know, for this to be planned so meticulously by the person who pulled the trigger - timing the shooting so that it would actually be seen on live television.  What the heck was going through his mind?  Again, with him taking his own life, we'll never know.

Instead, this man used his own pain and turned it into hatred and rage, and as a result, he has not only taken two lives, but destroyed thousands of others.  Both Parker and Ward were reportedly well liked and very respected at their jobs and were considered consummate professionals.  Both were very happy in their personal lives and had fallen in love.  They had their whole lives ahead of them, and in an instant, all of those dreams and future goals were taken away from them.

It's just not fair.  It sucks.

My thoughts go out to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward during this difficult time.  Nobody should EVER lose anyone in such a horrific way.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Food Survey Time!

I'll tell you this much.  When you're short on time because you're busy trying to get moved in, I've found that answering questionnaires is a fun way to fill the void when you really don't have much time.

So, just for the heck of it, here's another one for you to look at.  This one involves food.

I promise, once things settle down, I will be doing more quality entries...even if it's not every day. 

1. How do you like your eggs? 
Chocolate and wrapped in foil (seriously, I don't like eggs) 

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? 
I like my tea iced with just a hint of lemon flavour...and I like my coffee in the form of a Nestle chocolate bar called Coffee Crisp. 

3. Favorite breakfast food: 
If it's available, I love waffles. 

4. Peanut butter: Smooth or crunchy? 
The smoother, the better. 

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? 
There's a mango poppyseed dressing that I LOVE...but it's only available in the USA.  Barring that, I like a standard Caesar. 

6. Coke or Pepsi? 
I can drink both. 

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? 
Reservations.  Or, microwave popcorn.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? 
My favourite pizza place recenly closed down...but if I had my choice, any pizza place that can make a decent Canadian pizza (pepperoni, mushrooms, bacon bits) would be my choice. 

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? 
I'm afraid I'd burn down half the town if I ever attempted cooking. 

10. Do any foods bring back good memories? 
I used to have fond memories of going to Baskin-Robbins for a chocolate brownie ice cream cone...but ours closed down years ago. :( 

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? 
No, not really.  Unless you count the time I got food poisoning from chicken wings.  Took me five years before I could eat them again. 

12. Do any foods remind you of someone? 
Although I don't eat them, whenever I see jam filled cookies, I always think of my grandmother, because she had a really ancient recipe for them, that my mom has duplicated. 

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat? 
Raw onions...they induce projectile vomiting if inhaled. 

14. What was your favorite food as a child? 
McDonald's Chicken McNugget Happy Meal.  And, yes.  I only ate them for the toys.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? 

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? 

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable: 
FRUIT: Seedless grapes, watermelon, cherries, Granny Smith apples, seedless oranges, pineapple, bananas 
VEGETABLES: Cucumbers, lettuce, green peppers, celery

18. Favorite junk food: 
Anything with peanut butter and chocolate.  Or, if I have a salty craving, chips and dip. 

19. Favorite between meal snack: 
See #18.

20. Do you have any weird food habits? 
I'm kind of obsessed with mustard, and can eat it on foods most people wouldn't consider putting it on (i.e. mashed potatoes) 

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? 
Tons of fruit and vegetables, yogurt, low cal soups, rice cakes... 

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? 
Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! With an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen for dessert! 

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? 
Mild. I don't like an overabundance of spice. 

24. Can I get you a drink? 
Non-alcoholic?  Sure!

25. Red or White Wine? 
Not a fan of either, but I could stomach white wine for a toast.  I love champagne though - which is kind of like white wine with a kick. 

26. Favorite dessert? 
Anything chocolate!

27. The perfect nightcap? 
Alcohol would keep me AWAKE at night. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 25, 2001

Are you ready for another edition of the Tuesday Timeline?  I hope you are!  It's the last one for August, and possibly the last one for at least a week or two.  The big move is happening this weekend, and I won't be around during that period.  So, however long it takes to unpack everything - well, I don't have any idea. 

But what I can say is that I do have an interesting topic to talk about in today's Tuesday Timeline entry.  It's a sad topic, mind you, but an interesting one.

I'll explain why that is the case in a moment.  For now, we have a little bit of housekeeping to take care of first.

Let's see what was going on in the world on all of the August 25th's of all time, shall we?

1609 - Galileo Galilei demonstrates his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers

1768 - James Cook begins his first voyage

1835 - The Great Moon Hoax - a story about there being life on the moon - is published in the New York Sun

1875 - Matthew Webb becomes the first person to swim across the English Channel, taking 22 hours to do so

1894 - Kitasato Shibasaburo discovers the infectious agent of the bubonic plague

1916 - The United States National Park Service is created

1939 - EastEnders actor John Bardon (d. 2014) is born in Brentford, Middlesex, England

1944 - During World War II, Paris, France is liberated by the Allies

1945 - Armed supporters of the Chinese Communist Party kill American intelligence officer John Birch - who many consider to be the first victim of the Cold War

1946 - Football player and sportscaster Charlie Sanders (d. 2015) is born in Richlands, North Carolina

1981 - Voyager 2 makes its closest approach to Saturn; exactly 8 years later, in 1989, it would make its closest approach to Neptune

1985 - Thirteen-year-old child ambassador Samantha Smith is killed in a plane crash in Auburn, Maine

1988 - Lisbon, Portugal's Chiado area is severely damaged by fire

1991 - Belarus becomes an independent nation, officially breaking off from the Soviet Union

2009 - American Senator Ted Kennedy passes away at the age of 77

2012 - Astronaut Neil Armstrong dies at the age of 82

2013 - A train derailment in Huimanguillo, Tabasco, Mexico kills six and injures 22

And for celebrity birthdays, let us wish the following people a happy birthday; Monty Hall, Sean Connery, Regis Philbin, Tom Skerritt, Virginia Euwer Wolff, David Canary, John Badham, Conrad Black, Anthony Heald, Gene Simmons, Geoff Downes, Elvis Costello, Tim Burton, Christian LeBlanc, Ashley Crow, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ally Walker, David Packer, Christine McGlade, Blair Underwood, Joanne Whalley, Robert Maschio, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tom Hollander, Rachael Ray, Cameron Mathison, Rachel Shelley, Jo Dee Messina, Claudia Schiffer, Eric Millegan, Jensen Atwood, Jonathan Togo, Kel Mitchell, Rachel Bilson, Stacey Farber, Blake Lively, Alex Roots, and Josh Fitter.

Wow...that's a lot of people with August 25 birthdays!  I hope I didn't forget anybody!

So, for today's date, we're going to go back in time a mere fourteen years to August 25, 2001.

And, to begin this Tuesday Timeline entry, I thought I would post a music video for all of you to watch.  There's a story behind it...a rather tragic story.

ARTIST: Aaliyah
SONG:  Rock The Boat
ALBUM:  Aaliyah
DATE RELEASED:  January 15, 2002

Now, one thing you can say about this video is that it had a lot of beautiful imagery.  After all, the video was shot over a period of three days in August 2001 in Miami, Florida and the Bahamas.  The song was just one of the singles set for release from her 2001 album "Aaliyah", which had just been released in July 2001, and early buzz among music critics was that the album was expected to make Aaliyah Dawn Haughton a household name.

Though, you could say that she was well on her way to doing just that when she first hit the music scene in the spring of 1994.  Like her fellow singers Brandy and Monica who were teenagers when they released their debut albums, Aaliyah was just fifteen when her first album "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" in May 1994.  A second album, "One In A Million" followed in August 1996.  But it wasn't until she contributed songs to the film soundtracks of "Dr. Doolittle" and "Romeo Must Die" (and made her feature film debut in the latter film) that people really started to take notice.

At the time that Aaliyah was working on the video for "Rock The Boat" (which started filming on August 22, 2001), she had a lot of things going for her.  In addition to her third album doing quite well on the R&B charts, she also had landed a role in the Michael Rymer film, "Queen Of The Damned", set for released in early 2002.  She had also been dating Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash, and by all accounts, the couple had been getting quite serious with each other despite the eight year age difference between them (Dash was 30, Aaliyah just 22).

(Of course, it was nothing like when a 15-year-old Aaliyah secretly married a then 27-year-old R. Kelly in late 1994 - the marriage was annulled a month after Aaliyah's sixteenth birthday in February 1995.)

Anyway, the point is that Aaliyah was on top of the world, and had achieved everything that most 22-year-olds could only dream of.

Tragically, the video shoot for "Rock The Boat" would be the last time that anyone would ever see the singer alive.

After filming the underwater scenes for the video on August 22, Aaliyah and her crew flew down to the Bahamas to film the rest of the video.  The filming in the Bahamas was expected to take three days, and a flight back to the United States was booked for Sunday, August 26.

But when Aaliyah wrapped up her scenes a day early, she made the decision to take an earlier flight back to the United States, as she was anxious to get back home.  She would go ahead home while the rest of the video was filmed with the background extras.

The flight back to the United States was scheduled to arrive at the Bahamas the afternoon of August 25, 2001, and Aaliyah boarded the twin-engine Cessna 402B aircraft from Marsh Harbour Airport along with seven other people who were part of Aaliyah's styling crew, close friends, and employees of Blackground Records.

The flight was supposed to arrive at the airport at 4:30 that afternoon, but did not arrive until 6:15, and this reportedly caused a bit of a scuffle between the passengers of the flight and the pilot, Luis Morales III.  But according to another charter pilot, who happened to overhear the fight, he claimed that Morales was trying to convince the passengers that the plane had too much weight on it to fly safely.  Certainly the plane that was chartered was a lot smaller than the plane that brought them to the Bahamas, and each of the passengers on the plane had also brought the equipment that they needed to bring with them for the video shoot.

But despite Morales telling the passengers that it wasn't safe to fly, he eventually gave in and started up the plane, even though one of the engines wouldn't start up at first. 

The flight only lasted a minute at the most.  About a half a mile from the airport, the plane crashed and exploded.  None of the passengers aboard the plane survived the crash.

And just like that, the life of Aaliyah Dawn Houghton was over.  Dead in a plane crash on August 25, 2001 at just twenty-two years old.  The other passengers on board, as well as the pilot, were also dead.  Some were killed instantly, while others died slow, agonizing deaths later on.  Some of the bodies on the plane were burned beyond recognition.  That was how severe the plane crash was.

But what exactly caused the plane to crash in the Bahamas shortly after takeoff?

Well, as it turned out, the pilot was absolutely correct in his suspicion that the aircraft was overloaded.  Further examination of the wreckage confirmed that the aircraft had exceeded its weight limit by 700 pounds, causing the craft to lose its center of gravity.  The excess weight prevented the plane from being able to remain centered, and it practically nose dived into the ground.

But as the investigation continued, it was revealed that the pilot himself could have been a factor in the crash.  In an autopsy, it was revealed that Morales had traces of alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time of his death, which meant that he was flying under the influence.  And while he had received his pilot's license eighteen months before the crash, he also had a long rap sheet as well.  He had been arrested days before the crash for driving with a suspended license and for having cocaine in his possession.  He had been sentenced to probation on August 13, 2001, and just before he flew the plane that would eventually kill him, Aaliyah, and seven others, he had been fired from Florida's Golden Airlines for failing to turn up for work.

He had only been hired by the charter service that supplied the plane for Aaliyah and her crew - Blackhawk International Airways - two days before the crash, and that he had not even been approved to fly any aircraft for the operator!  So, although Morales was qualified to fly a Cessna aircraft, he was not given the authorization by the FAA to do so at Blackhawk. 

Needless to say, all of the variables were there for disaster.  And eerily enough, a month before she died, Aaliyah had suspected that something bad was going to happen to her because she kept on having dreams to the effect, although she couldn't explain why this was happening.

At any rate, a rising star had burnt out much too soon.  Her funeral was held on August 31, 2001, and shortly after her death, the sales of her third album skyrocketed.  There was talk about the "Rock The Boat" video not being released at all due to the fact that it was the last thing that Aaliyah ever filmed (the video was originally meant to have been released September 4, 2001).  But BET decided to air the video in October 2001 as a final tribute to the singer.  The song was later nominated for a Grammy Award.

Aaliyah's album meanwhile skyrocketed in sales, jumping from #19 to #1 on the Billboard 200 in just one week.  Three million copies were sold of the album.

And while "Queen Of The Damned" was not critically acclaimed by any means, it still was a hit at the box office, with many of Aaliyah's fans going to the film just to get one last look at the late singer.

Aaliyah was a rising star in the world of R&B, and it seems hard to believe that she would be 36 years old if she were still alive.  It's hard to say if she would have lasted in the world of music...but one thing we can say is that she died when she was at her prime.  It's just a shame that she never lived long enough to live out her dreams.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Okay, so I thought I'd do a repost of a Facebook note that I wrote all the way back in 2009 with an updated 2015 perspective. 
(Can you tell I haven't a whole lot of time?  In fact, at the end of this note, I will have a bit of an announcement regarding my upcoming hiatus.  So stay tuned.)

Anyway, for today, I found a little bit of a game using Facebook notes entitled "A-B-C".  Twenty-six questions with each one starting with a different letter of the alphabet.  And, for today, I thought I'd answer them here for all of you to get to know me a little bit better.  And, if you want, you can answer these questions yourself!

Here we go!

A - Age: 
I just turned 34 a couple of months ago

B - Bed size: 
I've got a Queen size bed - My room is too small for a king

C - Chore you hate: 
Any and all of them...LOL

D - Dog's name: 
I don't own a dog

E - Essential start your day item: 
A shower

F - Favorite color: 
Royal Purple...or any purple that is dark

G - Gold or Silver: 
I like both 

H - Height: 

I - Instruments you play(ed): 
The Baritone 

J - Job title: 
Customer Service Specialist for Hardware and Sporting Goods - Neither of which I use much of 

K - Kid(s): 
None...And right now, I'm okay with that

L - Living arrangements: 
Changing for the better! 

M - Mom's name: 
I always called her Mom.  ;) 

N - Nicknames: 
Matt, Matty, Jughead, Cap'n, Gnome-Nuts...and, yes, there's a tale behind the last one...Maybe when I have more time, I'll explain it in greater detail

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: 
I spent two weeks in the hospital in February 2011 recovering from surgery 

P - Pet Peeve: 
These days, it's people who don't contribute when they really should 

Q - Quote from a movie: 
bah-la-la-la-la! (Baymax - Big Hero 6) 

R - Right or left handed: 
I'm a righty! 

S - Siblings: 
I am the youngest of three kids - I'm the only boy 

T - Time you wake up: 
It can be anywhere from 6:00am to 12 Noon - depending on my work schedule 

U- Underwear: 
While I won't reveal whether I wear boxers or jockeys, I can tell you that the current pair I'm wearing is grey.

V - Vegetable you dislike: 
You give me an onion, I will give you back a mouthful of puke in return 

W - Ways you run late: 
If anything, I show up 20 minutes early - though I admit that I've taken a 61 minute lunch or two in my lifetime 

X - X-rays you've had: 
I've had tons...let's see...teeth, chest, ankle, left pinky finger, a couple of CAT Scans...

Y - Yummy food you make: 
Microwave popcorn...LOL! So NOT a chef

Z - Zoo favorite: 
I'm not typically a fan of zoos, but I do admit to liking the monkey habitats

And now for the hiatus news.  I'll be moving the last of my stuff out this coming weekend, so this means that my hiatus will likely begin either August 27 or 28.  As for when I will be back, I am aiming for sometime after Labour Day, or earlier if possible.  But it will definitely be in September sometime.

I hope to have at least one more Tuesday Timeline post done this week, as well as a New Archies Reviewed post, if time allows.

Take care, friends!