Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Discovered

Over the years I have heard stories of how models, athletes, or actors were once lowly people working menial jobs but, at a certain point in their life, they were discovered by someone and that was how they launched their career.

Wanting to get discovered can make some people vulnerable. I've heard of creepy stalker guys claiming to be photographers who offer women a modeling contract if they will come by their place and take some photos. There are also talent agencies who bank on gullible parents and string them along with the dream that their little kid will be the next childhood star like Macaulay Culkin or the Olsen twins.

I'm getting older, but sometimes I wonder if I will ever get discovered and, if so, what it will be for; probably for my ability to tell if a movie is good just from watching the trailer and reading the reviews. Maybe it will be for my talent of shelling sunflower seeds faster than a cage full of parrots. It's hard to identify just one talent that might do it for me.

It's kind of sad that many people who become famous often do so by making a fool of themselves: Miss South Carolina, the rape intruder guy, and Basil Merceaux come to mind. By the way, I noticed that Basil didn't win his election, but he recently got hired to review movies on Jimmy Kimmell Live. I heard his review of Jackass 3D which he refers to as "an amazing film".  I'm pretty sure Roger Ebert doesn't feel threatened.

Maybe it's time to do something stupid on YouTube to further my career and propel Chaka's World to fame. I can already imagine how awesome it would be if they made a movie about my blog. It would probably be way better than The Social Network. Speaking of movies based on the Internet, I can't wait for the movies about Wikipedia or Web MD to come out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fear of Insects

I have to admit that I am uncomfortable around most insects. When I was in second grade, I remember some kids catching grasshoppers during recess and playing with them. They later pulled them apart and chased girls with the parts to scare them.

At an early age, I was blessed with the presence of mind to remain calm and not let on that I was afraid of insects. It's a good thing I did, since some kids spent all their time tormenting others who they knew were afraid of them.

If I were ever on Fear Factor, I'd be eliminated when it came time to sit in a vat of cockroaches (or when it came to do any other event they did on that show). It's not that I'm really scared of bugs, but I'd just rather not touch them if I don't have to. One way I have learned to boost my self esteem is by comparing myself to people who are really scared of bugs. Whenever I hear a girl scream and freak out because there is a spider in the same room with her, it makes me feel a little bit better about myself.

Speaking of spiders, I have a friend who was on a high school field trip and he was taking pictures for the school newspaper. While he was visiting a science lab, he was bit by some kind of mutant spider. He didn't realize what had happened but it made him really sick. It affected his vision and musculature. Anyway, my friend Peter asked me to not give out too much information, but I just want you to know that some spiders can be dangerous.

The Bad Guys-Many insects just gross me out. To this day, I have yet to touch a worm (not an insect, but it fits in the same category of gross stuff I don't want to touch) I also hate grasshoppers, beetles, earwigs, cockroaches, wasps, walking sticks, and dragonflies. Despite my aversion to so many insects, I don't really mind spiders for some reason. I'd obviously avoid touching a black widow, but if some other spider crawled across my arm, I'd just casually flick it off.

The Good Guys-Lest you think I'm a total wimp, there are some insects I don't mind and actually even like. These include lady bugs, potato bugs, butterflies, Box Elder bugs, praying mantises and fruit flies. I'm aware these are the most wussy bugs and they probably sit atop the insect wimp pyramid, but don't read too much into that or make any hasty assumptions about me.

I guess there are worse things one could have than a slight case of entomophobia. At least I'm man enough to admit it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Onion Curse


This post may offend some people, but it's political season so most people should have thick skin this time of year. No, I'm not going to talk about politics, but something far more controversial... Onions! I apologize in advance to any culinary experts or those of you who may suffer from onion enjoyment disorder. My dislike for onions applies to the entire nasty family of red, white, and yellow onions, leeks, and chives.

I hate onions. When I was a little kid I wouldn't eat any food that my mom made if it had onions in it. She caught on and always tried sneaking small diced onions into recipes, but I could always tell when she was trying to poison me. I still try to avoid them today, but it's not always easy due to their popularity. I've had many delicious and otherwise perfectly good hamburgers, salads, and other meals spoiled when I find onions in my food.

There are times when I walk in a room and immediately begin looking for the teenager who hasn't showered for a week who's been wearing the same shirt that they wear to football practice. I then realize it is just someone's food that is loaded with onions. I just don't understand how people can enjoy eating something that smells exactly like body odor!

When I bring the smell issue up with onion enthusiasts, they frequently agree with me and just say "I guess you're right," then shrug it off as I never asked the question. I find that response to be unacceptable. Unfortunately, I am in the minority when it comes to these stinky vegetables. I'm looking for some allies who feel the same way. I'm afraid I may have to go to grade schools to find those who agree with me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amusement and Distractions

I've recently noticed that many people are distracted from reality. I think I am definitely guilty of this too. After a long day of work I find myself escaping by watching the latest sports updates on Youtube, checking Facebook, my e-mail, and blogging. I usually spend much more time doing these activities than I intended.

I'm sure I'm not alone. It's rare to see teenagers these days who are not always texting, playing computer games, or with ear buds in their ears while they are at social gatherings. I think as a society we have a short attention span and believe it's painful and torturous to sit quietly and be forced to think without multi tasking or doing something to stay amused. We are definitely less social despite all the virtual and superficial connections we have to each other.

I'm reminded how the Romans kept the masses happy and distracted from their problems by providing games in the Colosseum. Rather than watching chariot races and gladiators kill each other, today we watch sports, American Idol, and hundreds of other popular TV shows instead.

I've never read Gulliver's Travels, but I did watch a TV mini series years ago. (I can say that about a lot of books.) The most memorable scene for me was when Gulliver was tying to continue his journey and he stopped by a sorcerers palace played by Omar Sharif. He invited him to stay that night to rest up and eat before he continued his journey the next morning. He continued giving him the same invitation every day before he finally realized he was under a spell and had actually been living there for several years and had been distracted  from his journey. Sound familiar?

I'm also reminded of Pinocchio when the boys go to Pleasure Island and are enjoying themselves so much with all the fun and diversions that they don't realize that they are turning into asses.

I hate doing social commentaries, but I have a blog post that needs to be written and it is either address this topic or write a second installment to my apple fritter post. So does this mean I am no longer going to spend time on my computer? Heck no, but I will try to break the habit of turning off my brain and escaping reality with all the amusement and distractions that surround us.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rival Movies

Over the years I've noticed a trend coming out of Hollywood that I'd like to address. Many times different studios will release very similar movies that come out within months of each other. It makes me wonder if rival studio heads come together and say "lets see who can make a better movie starring someone who once played James Bond, but in this movie they will play an eccentric art thief who has a romantic interest with the younger woman who is assigned to investigate him". Then in 1999 both Entrapment and The Thomas Crown Affair are released at the same time.

Was it just a coincidence that 1492 and Christopher Columbus both came out in 1992?

The different movie makers must spy on each other and try to outdo the other. That is why you just happen to have two movies about the fight at the OK Coral released in 1993. Tombstone and Wyatt Earp.

"I heard another Studio is planning on making a movie about a volcano. We are going to miss out on the volcano craze if we don't compete. Ok, lets make one that comes out the same time, except ours will take place in downtown L.A." In 1997 Dante's Peak and Volcano are both in theaters at the same time.

Perhaps the rivalry as simple as getting a short e-mail challenge that says: Lame Mars science Fiction movie in 7 months! Several month later both Mission to Mars and Red Planet come out in 2000.

I saw Without Limits in 1998 which is a movie based on the life of long distance runner Steve Prefontaine. When I returned the video I noticed a movie called Prefontaine which was basically the same story that another studio released in 97.

What are the odds of having more than one action packed drama about a meteor headed towards earth that will wipe out the entire planet unless we can stop it.? Deep Impact and Armageddon both in 1998.

How about a gritty epic World War 2 movie with all star casts? Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line both came out in 1998.

For the longest time I honestly thought that Antz and A Bug's Life was the same movie. Apparently they are separate animated cartoons about ants that both came out in 1998.

In 2006 did you happen to see a suspense/mystery/drama about Magicians in the early 1900's in Europe? I have actually heard cases of people going to the theater and seeing the wrong movie because their friends weren't specific enough about which Magician movie they were recommending. The Prestige and The Illusionist were both good movies, but they reminded me of my theory about movie copycats.

Eagle Eye (2008) was about a rogue computer that frames the main character and tries taking over the government. A year later, The Echelon Conspiracy was released and had nearly the exact same story line.

So you can see that many movies have evil twins. If you can think of any other movies like this, let me know. Ideally they should be released within a year of each other. Also sequels obviously wouldn't count. I know there are many more out there, so let me know the next time you spot one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good Sportsmanship

We live in a society where cheating, taunting, rudeness, and poor sportsmanship are very common. I am always reminded of this when a server in a restaurant breaks a dish and customers sarcastically clap to make fun of them. I'd like to share some contrasting examples of people being kind and compassionate. (This is my feel good post for the year.) Don't be intimidated by the 2 videos. They are short and I think they are worth watching.

Maurice Cheeks was one of my favorite point guards when he played for the Philadelphia 76rs. I liked him as a player, but I respect him even more as a coach. It wasn't his job to do this, but he stepped up to help someone in need. He can't carry a tune to save his life, but watch how he bails this girl out of a frightening situation.

You've probably seen this story of how two softball players volunteered to help carry a player on the opposing team around the bases after she hit a home run and injured her knee while rounding first base. They could have chosen to enforce the technicalities of the rules and it would take away her homer, but instead they decided to help her and by doing so they were eliminate them from the tournament.

I couldn't find a video of my favorite example, but it involved two high school football players in Hawaii who had just beaten their in state rival for the state championship game. The kicker on the opposing team missed a last second field goal which would have won the game for his team. While their teammates were celebrating the win, these two players on the winning team had the presence of mind to go out to the kicker (who I'm sure felt like crap and was not getting any support from his own team) and comfort him. Most players these days would probably taunt him and rub it in.

These stories are not as abundant as all the negative stuff we usually read about, but I'd just like to point out that there are still many good people who do small and simple things that can make a big difference in the lives of others. I dare you to be one of them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Make Money Blogging

I should have put a question mark after the title of this post because I obviously have no idea how to make money blogging. Some of you might be in the same boat and would like to know how to monetize your blog. Unless you are a celebrity with a massive following or have recently gone viral, it can be difficult. 

Despite that challenge, I do have some good news to report. After 2 years of putting ads on my blogs, I finally earned my first check. It was enough to pay my phone bill. When I did the math, I ended up earning an average of 3 cents per hour for my blogging efforts, so it's really nothing to brag about.
Imagine me, a
professional blogger!

However; since I exercised such patience, I can now technically call myself a professional blogger. Now I go around the house saying "Imagine me, a professional blogger", ala Tobias Funke from Arrested Development.

I'm not super excited about waiting another two years for my next paycheck so I have been thinking of some other ways to supplement my blog (aka my ATM.)

1) I was recently thinking back to my walkathon memories from grade school and wonder it that concept still works. Maybe this upcoming year I can go around my neighborhood and get pledges from neighbors and see how much they will pay for each post I write.

2)  I guess I could also stoop to photo shopping celebrities and featuring scandalous headlines about them on Chaka's World, but The National Enquirer already has a corner on that market.

3) Maybe I could change the name of my blog to "Why Bill Gates is the coolest guy ever" and just brown nose him every post and see if he ever reciprocates. 

If any of you have any better ideas or suggestions I'm open minded and eager to listen since I have another phone bill coming due.

P.S.- I did actually benefit financially from my blog at the first of the year. I did a post about my  love for and desire to be a spokesman for Toblerone candy and some anonymous reader sent me a bunch of Toblerones in the mail after reading the post. That was even sweeter than my recent Adsense check. Literally.