Devil Possession and Dirty Nightgowns

There are certain things that we as Americans will unfortunately just never tire of. Our love of fast food being one of them. We prefer it deep-fried, and we demand it to include a dipping sauce. We also love watching women have trivial fights on television. Actually that last one may be considered an addiction. Oddly enough, we’re extremely progressive about how we prefer to see women fight. In the 80’s it was rich ladies wearing furs and throwing each other into pools. It’s now snowballed into rich ladies arguing next to pools about things like breast implants and net worth. If you’re picturing me on a soap box right now, your interpretation is completely off. You’d be better off to imagine me writing this as I dip a chicken nugget in honey mustard and set my DVR to record The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

This is, however, where I blow the dust off my judgmental pointer finger. The one thing I have never understood about the American people is their obsession with a girl in a night-gown possessed by the devil. Are we seriously still riding the coat tails of a move that came out over 30 years ago? The fact that directors haven’t been shamed enough by this beat to death genre is beyond me. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be inspired by classics. The Exorcist is one if the greatest stories to ever be told. Most people categories it as the only movie to ever genuinely scare them, and for good reason. To not want to build on that would be unrealistic. The problem is that directors are literally taking the concept of the movie and completely plagiarizing it. The only difference is that it’s cheapened with bad CGI and story lines that have more holes than a wheel of Swiss.

ImageIt typically starts with a girl so unrealistically sweet that she makes our teeth ache. She then starts becoming moody and less tan, which naturally scares her friends and family. At this point the director becomes trigger happy with computer animation. The innocent girl then learns how to contort her body, speak in Latin and pee In weird places. Her white nightgown acts as a navigation tool for the audience. The more dirty her gown, the more possessed she is.

In honor of tonight’s “The Last Exorcism 2” release, I’d like to leave you with a list of exorcism moves that are actually worth seeing.

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Requiem:
This film is based on events that actually took place in Germany to a Catholic girl named Anneliese Michel. Probably one of the more famous exorcism cases to be recorded. Three movies have been made based in her life, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” being one of them. This film is great because it takes a more realistic approach to what happened to this girl. It focuses more on amazing acting than computer animation. Sorry to burst your bubble, but she doesn’t end up floating in her barn.Image
Lovely Molly:
This movie focuses on a newlywed named Molly who moves into her childhood home with her husband. We learn at the beginning of the movie that Molly is a recovering drug and alcohol abuser who still struggles. The audience must decide on whether or not her addiction is the cause of all the havoc being caused in her home. Molly is played by an unknown actress named Gretchen Lodge, and her performance is absolutely outstanding.
The Exorcist:
I feel it would be wrong of me to make this list and not include the movie that started it all. The Exorcist is to possession movies as James Bond is to spy films. It’s classic, and synonymous to its genre. The Exorcist also has so much amazing history behind it that only adds to the impact that’s its made on our culture. If you’ve never seen The Exorcist, you need to turn out the lights and turn on your Netflix ASAP.
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25 going on 13

When one of my best friends Jenny asked me to help plan her 25th birthday party, the option of no didn’t even cross my mind. I pretty much live for things like this. I spend a minimum of 20 hours a week taking mental notes from The Barefoot Contessa so that when things like this pop up I feel as prepared as Ina Garten would. During the planning of this party it hit me like a ton of bricks that Jenny and I had been friends for almost 13 years! Hidden beneath all of the sarcastic “over the hill” jokes was the realization that we are actually getting pretty old. I remember being 14 and having the most exciting part of my day be the walk to the lunchroom with my friends. Our focus has shifted from what time to have our parents pick us up from the mall to “Does this job have good benefits?”.

The party was a classic fiesta theme, and we even got a chili shaped pinata! These are the photos from the soiree.

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Stan Hywet: Ohio Mart 2012

I’ve written a number of articles on Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, an iconic mansion here in Akron. Just to refresh your memory, It’s the only national historic landmark in Ohio. It once was the home to the Seiberling family, and is now an iconic museum. If you aren’t familiar with the Seiberlings, they are responsible for founding Goodyear Tire. They are also responsible for making Akron the rubber capital of the world. There are so many amazing events that take place all year round at the mansion. Murder mystery dinners, Christmas lighting events, and mansion tours to name a few. One of my favorites, of course being the fall event.

Ohio Mart is an arts, crafts and food festival that takes place in October at the mansion. These are the sort of events that remind you that the holidays are slowly creeping up on you. I think everyone goes through the initial shock of realizing you have to start planing for the season. An event like this helps to sort of get your mind flowing with ideas on what to gift friends and family.

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App Spotlight: “Instant Art”

I think anyone with a smart phone is guilty of what I call “app binging”. You probably already know what I’m talking about. It’s when you compulsively download apps based on their picture and description. If you’re looking for a fun game, and you see a picture of a pig holding a rocket launcher, you can consider that app downloaded. You need help managing your finances, and you stumble upon an app with a picture of a piggy bank. Throw it in the cart! I consider myself to be an app connoisseur, so I figure why not make a space for it on my blog. I want to dedicate my first app post to an amazing app that I found last night while in one of my infamous Apple store hazes. Its called Instant Art.

Instant Art is an app that allows you to do just that, make instant art. The concept is simple, which in my opinion separates the good apps from the not so good. You type in a keyword that means something important to you and the app does the rest. It creates art from an internet search of the word you typed in. Here is some of the Instant Art I was given based on some of the words I typed in.

The Simpsons:

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Jeffrey Cambell:

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Annie Hall:

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Chicago:

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NIghtmare on Elm Street:

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Banksy:

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Random:

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There goes the neighborhood (Chagrin Falls edition)

It’s not often that I’ll turn down the opportunity to explore, especially when it involves a beautiful town that I could never afford to live in. Chagrin Falls is a small town in Cuyahoga County, about 40 minutes from Cleveland.  It’s the kind of town you would imagine a lifetime movie to be filmed in. Everything is beautiful, quaint, and waiting to be photographed. Great restaurants, awesome boutiques, and really nice people. I also saw a couple of bikers with gelled, and twisted mustaches. My best friend Amanda took her wedding photos there, and has been telling me for months how much I’d love it. here are a few photos from my Chagrin experience.

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Lions, Tigers, and Heat Stroke…Oh My!

If you’ve read more than one of my blog posts, then you should know by now that I’m a VIP member of the “I Hate Summer” fan club. I won’t bore you with the reasons why (heat, bugs, the clothing, humidity, etc..) but I make it no secret. There are obvious exceptions to my “Say No To Summer” campaign. When your best friend of 12 years tells you that she wants to spend her birthday at the Cleveland Zoo, you paint your smile and tell her how excited you are. One other thing that you may have learned about me is that I feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations if i have my camera. I use it as a sort of security blanket. The scalding heat, breath stealing humidity, and shrill sound of children crying is background noise to me when my eye is looking through the viewfinder of my camera. Another plus is that the Cleveland Zoo has an indoor, AIR CONDITIONED rain forest exhibit. That pretty much covers all of my bases. I love animals, and hate pit stains…problem solved!

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After about an hour and a half, I wasn’t the only one tired enough to want to abandon the whole “lets walk around outside in 99 degree weather” idea. Our zoo excursion was short lived, but as always, it made for a good photo opportunity. Luckily we had this waiting for us back at home…

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Tiger Tiger Woods, Ya’ll

Being the type of guy that watches shows like Real Housewives and Teen Mom, it’s easy to assume that I’m not the biggest golf fanatic. To me the most exciting part of golfing is driving around in the golf cart and drinking gin. So imagine my surprise when my good friend Sarah invites me to the Bridgestone Golf Tournament that takes place here in Akron. Mostly confusion and…well more confusion. Then she tells me that Tiger Woods is playing and my confusion quickly turns to excitement and hope. Hope that i’ll get to see Tiger grope or flirt with a waitress first hand…I’M IN!

I don’t think we could have stood out anymore than we did upon arrival. In a sea of khaki and fanny pack, we were the plaid and tie die (literally) amongst the group. I’m pretty sure I was the only male there not wearing a polo. I actually took the time to count how many I saw, and I had to stop at 4,000,000. With neither of us being golf fans at all we had no idea where we were going or what we were supposed to do. “Do we just follow the groups of people?”. “Do we sit in the stands?”. “Are we even aloud in the stands?”. “How do you know who the famous ones are?”. “Where the hell is Tiger?”. After a few hours of walking in circles and sweating, we finally started to get the hang of things. The golfers hit the ball, the ball flies twenty thousand feet down a field of grass, and you follow like cattle. We also had a guide with the athletes faces on it, so we were able to play “guess who” with the most famous golfers in the world. For most of the day we were like two blind people trying to explain a silent film. By the end of the day we were commenting on the players golf swings, and could tell who all of them were just by the color of their pants (it was pretty impressive). We were actually enjoying the golf!

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ImageGolfing is fun for everyone today!

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After a few hours of walking, eating lunch, and having a drink, the most exciting part of the day was about to ensue. We had heard form a few people that Tiger was finally there and if we made it to the right place at the right time we could be lucky enough to see him. We walked for what seemed like a decade (Sarah’s feet blistered and bleeding) and finally we ran into a gigantic group of creepily quite people. In the golf world exteme silence means something extremely exciting is about to happen. The biggest lesson I learned that day was that the larger the heard, the more famous the golfer. The largest heard meant they were following the biggest golfer in the world. Simply wanting to see Tiger golf quickly turned to us hunting this man like he had a million dollar check written in our name. With the confirmation from an avid golf fan next to us, we were there. Our prey was ready to be pounced, and my camera…was dead. Silly me left it on while drinking a gin and tonic, so I had to use my IPhone.

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So there you have it folks, the Bridgestone Golf Tournament from the inside. Dare I say, I will be watching on TV today?