Monday, July 28, 2008

Can You Relate?

Having worked in both food service and as a teller, I know the fear that comes when someone walks in and you wonder, even if for a split second, are they going to rob the place?

For example, when I was working at Quizno's one night, my fellow co-worker was in the back washing dishes and I was at the counter. I heard the door open and looked up to see a person in a gorilla costume walk in - and start right towards me. My heart sank, but thankfully I didn't die that day (otherwise, you'd be reading the words of a ghost! Oooooooooooooooooooooooooo!). The gorilla also had some balloons and a pizza with the words "Yes" written on it with banana peppers. I was being answered to a dance. Phew! I told you that people do creative things to accept invitations for dances! My co-worker and I laughed about it and then I changed my pants and went back to work.

I never actually had to deal with a robbery, but I'd like to think that if anything ever did happen that I would be able to respond with the bravery, courage and brainpower that employees of a Pizza Patron in Denton, Texas did.

Stephanie Martinez and Rudy Sandoval were working one night when a man came in dressed in a wig and sunglasses. He appeared to be holding a gun. And since it was July, both Stephanie and Rudy figured it had nothing to do with a school dance.

Stephanie was scared and started to get the money out of the cash drawer, and the robber even slapped Rudy around to get him to obey, but Rudy wasn't having any of it. He attacked the would-be robber and started punching him! And for a 17-year-old, he packed quite a punch. He knocked off the robber's glasses, he knocked off his wig and he knocked out the suspect. As the unmasked assailant slumped to the floor, Rudy wanted to keep beating him, but Stephanie held him back. A merciful act, you say? Kind of.

Stephanie was surprised to see that the dazed suspect was her father,
Benjamin Ramirez.

But wait, there's more.

Dad managed to escape and was able to get to his getaway car where Stephanie's mother (
Sonia Palacios) AND husband (Jose Miguel Martinez) were waiting to take him away. Witnesses followed the pickup truck the suspect was driving and all three were arrested. Denton police say that they don't believe Stephanie knew her family was planning the robbery. But you can judge that for yourself.

So apparently this was the Family Home Evening activity for the Martinez family and, sad for them, Benjamin did not manage to get the treat.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

NanaNanaNanaNana BATMAN!

So. . .The Dark Knight -

I just saw it this morning, and can't stop thinking about it.

Here's my spoiler-free review:

This was one powerful movie. I mean, it's intense! My palms were sweating for the majority of the film.

I'd like to point out that despite the tremendous amount of violence in this film, there is surprisingly little-to-no gore or blood. This does not, however, mean that it's in any way family-friendly. This is not a comic book movie for kids - this is a gritty crime drama that happens to have people dressing up in costumes. My wife is still disturbed by the Joker and his antics and isn't allowing me to do my impression of him around the house. . .for now.

I'm not saying it's the greatest movie in the world, because it's not. It has flaws in both story and acting (though by no fault Heath Ledger. . .but I'll get to that), but it's right up there in my favorite movies of the summer so far. I really liked how it dealt with the idea of escalation and the morals of society. There were many layers to this film and I'm looking forward to discovering more and more.

Now, Heath Ledger -

I was worried when there began to be buzz about him getting an Academy Award that it would be a "pity Oscar" and I didn't think that was fair to him or the film industry. However, I was floored by his performance. The Joker is horrifying, yet endearing, violent, yet funny and entertaining. It's a character that you're not going to forget and it is DEFINITELY worthy of all the praise and an Academy Award.

I would definitely see this movie in the theaters again. And I would pay full evening price to do so. If I like it as much as I do now after multiple viewings, I plan to add it to my home movie collection.

Monday, July 7, 2008

*Laughter* Wipeout!

Yes, Wipeout is a great song (unlike some OTHER songs by The Surfaris I know), but it's also a very entertaining television show. For those of you who haven't heard about it yet, you obviously haven't talked to me in the past week (or you don't have unlimited text - I tend to text a lot and I don't want to give you extra charges). Wipeout is a new show on ABC that airs on Tuesday nights (at 7:00 MST) and, I have to say, I really enjoy it. It's great! Now, I know what you're thinking, "A great show? On ABC? During the summer? Give me a break!". . . .O, ye of little faith!The premise of the show is very simple: it's a game show where contestants go through an obstacle course to win $50,000. But while the drama of who's going to win is enjoyable, the real reason to watch the show is for the. . .well. . .wipeouts.

The show reminds me a lot of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (MXC) where crazy Japanese contestants practically killed themselves for who knows what kind of prize. I'm happy to see that Americans have finally reached that level of entertainment.

Granted there have only been two episodes so far (you can see full episodes online at so I may be jumping the gun on this, but I've seen the first episode over five (5) times and I still laugh and cringe each time I see it.

It's this kind of entertainment that keeps me indoors during the summer. Well done ABC, well done.