Category Archives: Uncategorized

Films 163 – 171

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Walt Disney Short Films. Really liked Paperman and Tangled Ever After. Makes me wish shorts were shown with features like back in the day.

Particle Fever. I think I’m more theoretical than experimental. If only I knew what all those squiggles and dodahs meant. Interesting stuff.

The Kids are All Right. Better than I remember. Life is a marathon and a man has to be better than just cool. Moore and Bening are so good.

White God. Strange film. Haven’t seen anything like it. Planet of the dogs and more. Liked it, especially ending, but didn’t quite grok it.

Superfast! Watched this with my boy because he wanted to. That’s the only reason I can think of to watch this terrible lame not funny movie.

Fearless. Two of my favorite shots: Smelling the stranger’s baby & toolbox crashing through the windshield. And others. But does it hold up?

Manuscripts Don’t Burn. Well done & important film. But seems so hopeless. Except that this was shot under the nose of the regime, so . . .

Chef. Hit some of my sweet spots: food, fatherhood, roadtrips, Sophia Vergara. Loved the grilled cheese scenes. And now I want a food truck.

Cap Am: Civil War. This is how you do an Avengers movie! I’d love for these dudes to direct Justice League. So much to like here. #SpiderMan

Aqua Velva Granddad

I tried to mashup a couple facebook posts my cousin and I traded after a meetup a couple months ago. I thought it could be cut into a sort of conversation poem. The beginning sounds to me like we’re gearing up to sing a duet on a 70’s variety show.  But I like where it ends up.

So good to see cousin Kari and her kids last night. Summers spent with her and her brother Brandin at Granddad Sears’s place in the southeast Kansas boonies are highlights of my childhood memories.

Matt, you nailed it.  I’ve tried to express what was special about that place, and this is it exactly.  It was not just the place but the people, and not just the people but also the place.

In hindsight, those nights spent in the tent or lean-to, my cousins, my brother, and me, with the coyotes roaming around us, or at least across the road, were some of my first experiences with a world bigger than Dickinson County, Kansas.

For this metropolitan cousin it was a wonderland, and my cousins were different from us, but also so much the same.

Stories from my cousins of a Seattle school with hundreds and hundreds of students.

The coyotes, the TV antenna.

This game soccer, which was played competitively for a whole season, not just a few days in P.E.

The inevitable ticks that just weren’t a big deal,

the horse,

the dogs,

the trenches.

Their dad, my uncle, the Vulcan who took his face off at night.

Sending grasshoppers into space on bottle rockets (“First grasshopper in space!!!”)

We’d while away the night figuring out what the first though third base really equated to on a date. (This long before I had ever rounded first.)

The cantaloupes!

the “rockety road.”

And the horrible, long and pointless jokes whose punch lines became as funny (to us) alone as they did attached to the jokes.

The fishing pond,

the Aqua Velva granddad.

Highlights of my childhood memories.

Not just the place but the people, and not just the people but also the place.

 

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Even though I’ve neglected my blog for the past month, it’s nice to get positive comments.  Like this one which comes from some spam-bot which certainly hasn’t read anything on the blog.  But still, it’s good to get an encouraging word.

 

 

My Twitter – MrMattSears

A quick plug for my twitter – @mrmattsears. I’m not selling anything, so I’m not sure why I tweet. I guess it’s a way to stay in touch with friends who are too hip for the Facebook. If you follow me you’ll mostly find in my twitter feed my short reviews for the films I watch on the treadmill–the best movies on Netflix according to Rotten Tomatoes, an occasional retweet of my school engineering twitter account–@ar3engineering, an infrequent and brief twitter war with one of my past students, a rare picture of one of my old trading cards, recently a photo for every day of the summer, and I guess that’s about it.

This blog is me writing and reviewing and remembering everything in my life.

Facebook is mostly what’s happening in my day to day life with the occasional joke that I should probably put on twitter instead.

I’m not really sure what do with twitter, so I guess I’ll just keep doing those things listed above.

Mare’s Mess

My beloved bride is back to blogging. It started with a piece she wrote about cursing that she thought was too long for Facebook. When she went to set up a blog on which to post said piece, she recalled that the blog, Mare’s Mess, already existed. So she spruced things up a bit and is open again for business. Her most recent feature is the Thursday Three-fers where she shares three songs that she loves, and talks a bit about them. There are other pieces there as well, pieces inspired by both inspirations and frustrations she encounters in life. As people often say about blogs they enjoy, you should check it out.

Blogging for a Year

This blog is one year old, almost, give or take. The Real Matt Show started as a place to put up everything I’ve written over the years. I hadn’t intended to write anything new for it. But the thoughts about some of the student work I’ve collected, those were new. And then the reviews/discussions initiated by my comic book and record album collection, those were new writings too.

For the first year my goal was a new post every day. If you want traffic on your blog, they said, you must provide new content. Well, I’ve missed some days, but for the most part I have been pretty consistent. After a year, almost, give or take, some of the wells have run dry. My button inspired memories, which originally appeared on Facebook, are used up. The communion messages, which I’ve been writing and delivering at church every few months for the past several years, are used up. The creative writing that I did when I taught the class is long gone, although my novel is still sitting there, backed up in so many places I’m not sure what the most recent version is. I still have some short book reviews on Goodreads. I’ve mostly been using those when I didn’t have anything else to share as I think they are too brief to say much, and I usually have to fill them in at least a little bit. There are a lot of old podcasts left. There are a lot of things lying around which I’ve written on paper over the years, like the Letters Home of late. And I think there’s some bits and bots there in the Google drive somewhere.

As far as new material goes, I have a lot of comic books and records and buttons. I still read books. I still watch movies on the treadmill. And I’m still on the communion schedule.

My plan is to continue the blog, to continue to share old stuff, and to continue to write new. However, I’m taking the pressure off myself to offer something everyday, although some habits die hard. My plan is also to get under the hood of this baby and see what it can do. I have no idea how many people are reading this thing. I’m afraid to find out. But now that the habit is there, perhaps finding out that I’m writing for just me and my parents won’t discourage me too much.

My initial impetus for The Real Matt Show was to collect all my writings into one place so that if anyone, my kids for example, ever wanted to know who I was, this collection of memories and stories would give them some idea. It’s grown a bit in scope since its inception. But this is all basically me. Thanks for reading.

Matt

Driver Four

When I came across this I had no memory of writing it.  It would have been a few years ago when I was teaching the creative writing class.  We usually didn’t make it through the drama section of the book.  I don’t recall any of the students writing one act plays.  I do remember it being something they weren’t comfortable with.  They fussed a bit when we got to this section.  I had poetry kids and fiction kids, and occasionally autobiography kids.  But I never had a kid who was excited about writing drama.

Anyway, this little one act play shows that I maybe could have been successful writing sketch comedy . . . in the 1950’s.  It strikes me as a pretty corny one joke scene.  But I suppose if you’ve ever worked in some aspect of customer service, you might appreciate it.

 

Driver Four

(Scene: Lights up on a man or woman standing in front a big city map mounted on the wall. Next too him is a table holding a c.b. radio and stacks of papers–delivery orders.  He’s on the phone.  Other voice is heard from off stage.)

 MANAGER

 You say your food’s cold and your order’s not right.

 CUSTOMER

Yeah, it’s cold.

 MANAGER

               (checks some papers)

Looks like our driver had your food for about 25 minutes.  It shouldn’t be cold.

 CUSTOMER

And it’s wrong.

 MANAGER

What’s wrong with it, sir?

 CUSTOMER

It’s not right.

MANAGER

What did you order, sir?

 CUSTOMER

 Spaghetti and meatballs . . . and a pizza . . . and bread.

 MANAGER

 And what did you get?

 CUSTOMER

                (to someone else on his side of the line, not to MANAGER)

Hey. . . What’d we get? . . . What’d we get? . . . The food?

(to MANAGER)

We got bread.

MANAGER

 Bread.

 CUSTOMER

 Pizza.

 MANAGER

 Pizza.

 CUSTOMER

 Spaghetti.

MANAGER

 Spaghetti.

 CUSTOMER

                (to other person)

Hey. . .  Did we get any meatballs with that?  The spaghetti?  Yeah?

(to MANAGER)

And meatballs.

 MANAGER

So you got bread?

 CUSTOMER

 Yeah.

MANAGER

 Pizza?

 CUSTOMER

 Yeah.

MANAGER

Spaghetti?

 CUSTOMER

 Yeah.

MANAGER

 And meatballs?

 CUSTOMER

                (to someone on his end)

Hey. . . Did we get meatballs?  Yeah?

(to MANAGER)

Yeah.  Meatballs.

 MANAGER

                (throws papers)

So what’s the problem?

 CUSTOMER

 Oh.  Dude.  I guess we’re good.

(sound of hanging up)

 MANAGER

                (into c.b. radio mic)

Driver, you there.

(pause)

Driver Six, how did that last delivery seem to you?  They seem ok?

(phone rings. Into phone)

Food-2-You, how can I help you?

 CUSTOMER

                (similar as before)

Yeah, um, we have an order here that’s wrong.

 MANAGER

 Did you call before?

 CUSTOMER

 Uh, yeah.

 MANAGER

 I thought we had this worked out sir.  What seems to be the problem?

 CUSTOMER

 The order’s wrong.

 MANAGER

 Food’s warm?

 CUSTOMER

 Was when it got here.

 MANAGER

 It tastes ok?

 CUSTOMER

 Good?  Yeah, so far.

 MANAGER

 Driver polite?

 CUSTOMER

 Yeah, I guess.

 MANAGER

               (groping)

Did you get something that you didn’t order?

                CUSTOMER

 No, uh.  I didn’t get my drink.

 MANAGER

                (exasperated.  picks up previously thrown paper)

One moment sir.

(examines paper)

Sir, it appears that you didn’t order any drinks.

 CUSTOMER

 Yeah.  I think so.

 MANAGER

 I’m sorry sir.  I’m looking at your order, and you didn’t.  Our customer service reps are trained to ask you about drinks.  I’m sorry if the mistake was on our end.  What I’ll do is put a credit on your account so that next time you order you can use that credit.  Thanks for using Food-2-You.

(starts to hang up)

 CUSTOMER

 Yeah, no, I’d like my drink.

MANAGER

 Sir, we’re really backed up tonight, but since you didn’t order any drinks, and I’ve given you the credit, I think that’s all we can do for you.

 CUSTOMER

I can’t order a drink?

 MANAGER

 You want to place another order, just for drinks?  To do that you’ll need to meet the $25 minimum order.

 CUSTOMER

 I’m not paying $25 for a drink.  I want something to drink with my dinner!

 MANAGER

 You’ve already eaten your dinner!

 CUSTOMER

 No I haven’t!

 MANAGER

 Sir, I can connect you with one of our customer service reps so you can place another order for drinks, or you could do what everyone else does when they’re thirsty; you can walk over to you refrigerator and get a stinkin’ drink yourself!

 CUSTOMER

Look pal, I am in a wheel chair. I can’t believe you would say something like that to me!

 MANAGER

 Then have one of your friends get it for you.

CUSTOMER

What friends?

 MANAGER

 Your friends, your pals, your boys, whoever you were talking to before.

 CUSTOMER

 There’s no one here but me.

 MANAGER

 You were just talking to someone last time you called about your order.  Like five minutes ago.

 CUSTOMER

 I haven’t talked to you before.

 MANAGER

 Sir, when you called, I asked if you we’d just spoken –

 CUSTOMER

 No you didn’t.  You asked if I’d called before.  Which I have.  I call and order from you a couple times a week.  I don’t like to cook for one.

 MANAGER

 Who is this?

 CUSTOMER

This is Robert Feinman.

 MANAGER

 (looks at paper.  tosses it aside.  sorts through other papers on desk, find one)

Oh hell!

 CUSTOMER

 What!

 MANAGER

 Oh.  Hell-o Mr. Feinman.  I have your order right here.   With your drink.  I’ll get it out to you right away.  I’ll bump that credit up to a free dinner next time you call.

 CUSTOMER

 Oh. Well, thank you.

 MANAGER

 Thank you Mr. Feinman.  For your patience.  Have a nice night.

(hangs up phone.  then on radio to driver)

Driver. . .

(looks at paper)

Four, Driver Four come in.

 DRIVER

                (over radio)

This is driver four.

(loud slurping sound)

MANAGER

 Driver four, you need to get a missing drink back to your last delivery pronto!  And please tell me that’s not it you’re sucking on now.

(lights go down)

 

 

USA Dad

usa dad

Some of these pieces I am bit more partial to than others.  The one’s with the words “Dad” and “I love you” often fall into that category. I’m not sure of everything that is going on in this picture, but clearly I am some sort of American hero, an astronaut, I think.  I’ve always thought that what my boy lacked in raw artistic talent, he made up for in an eye for color and spacial balance.  Of course, as I mentioned, I’m partial.