Review This – Book/Movie Idea (72/365)

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I’ve had this idea for a book and or screenplay for a while, but I’ve never really put it all down.

Working Title: Review This (Comedy)

Tagline: Don’t Cross Your Russian Mobster Boss

Elevator Pitch: A financially strapped teacher writes online reviews for household products for extra cash.  His employer, a Russian mobster, asks him to review strange and racy products as well as asks the teacher for his wife to be in the video reviews.  He and his wife agrees, but when the Russian mobster asks for too much, will the teacher be able to say no, or does he no longer have a choice on what he can or can’t review.

Premise: A teacher, we’ll name him James, basically has given up controlling his class (I’m thinking like Kevin Hart or Will Farrell as the lead role).  James is looking for a different job or any other way to earn money.  He’s too proud to tell his wife, we’ll name the wife Sue, about his failings as a teacher, but he knows he’s probably going to get fired.  James breaks the vacuum while trying to help out at home and Sue tells him to buy a new one.  He doesn’t have any money to buy a new one, but he finds a unique add on the internet where he could get his vacuum for free if he writes a 2000 word review about the vacuum he buys.  James does this.  The company pays him for the vacuum, and in turn asks him to review five more.  James agrees and does the vacuum reviews and gets paid well for each one.

Soon thereafter, James is asked by a representative from the company, an eccentric Russian man, to start adding video reviews to his written review.  James is camera shy, so he asks his wife to appear in the video reviews.  Sue agrees, and they earn even more money for their vacuum reviews.  The Russian man then starts asking James to review other products like juicers, dishwashers, mattresses.  He agrees.  The money is rolling in, except James gets fired from his teaching job.  James reaches out to the Russian to see if he has any other products that he can review for him.

The Russian asks him to use his wife to review dominatrix type products.  Sue surprisingly agrees to help out and they end up making more and more money.  Unfortunately, a rival reviewing group notices what James is doing, and starts stealing his reviews and posting them on a different website.  The Russian mobster thinks James is double crossing him and tries to kill James and Sue.

Example section of dialogue.  The Russian is telling James that he has to review and make videos about dominatrix clothing and gear.


You want my wife to do what?


To model these clothes.  You don’t like these clothes?


I don’t know?


You don’t know?  You either like them or you like man.  Ha.  That was quite funny.  Funny unless you like man.  Do you like man?  You probably shouldn’t be married to a woman if you like man?


It’s men.  You should say men, as in the plural form of man.


So you like a lot of man.  You like men?


No.  No I like my wife.


So it’s settled then.  She will model the clothes.  Don’t worry.  You can be the won she ties up for the videos.  I don’t want to introduce other men into your life.  Should I say man there?  I’m confused.

This idea actually comes from some of my real life experience, and a fun conversation I had with my friend Art.  I used to do vacuum reviews, and juicer reviews for a guy from Slovenia.  That is the truth.  My wife would be in some of the videos, because it was easier for me to film her and such because I have a little more experience using a video camera.  Here’s an example of one of our video efforts.

Art asked me if the guy I was working for was petting a Siberian Tiger while I spoke to him.  Then our conversation went off the rails.  Ta da!  A movie idea was born.  I think it would be fun to watch something like this occurring.



What Day Would You Loop for a Year – Part Two (71/365)

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If you’ve seen Groundhog’s Day, you understand the concept of a day that loops.  If you don’t, here’s the trailer to that movie.

Yesterday, I wrote about what day of my childhood I would loop over again.  Now let’s focus on the second part of my life.  I like to call this section, with Lisa Marie before children.

I met Lisa Marie in 2001 when we were both coaches for a high school cross country team.  We were engaged in 2002.  We got married in 2003.

Wedding Day

That’s a picture of our wedding day.  No, I wouldn’t loop that day over and over again.  Getting married is a little nerve wracking, with the church service, the big party, and everything.  I loved it, but once was enough.

After we were married, two years later, Lisa gave birth to our first child in 2005.  So we had about four years before someone depended on us. This part of my life was short, but it was electrifying.

The day I would loop would be on our Honeymoon.  I think it was the second day when we were in Jamaica.  We got a couples massage in the morning, and then time slowed down.  Everything was wonderful after that.  As the Jamaican’s told us, “Now you’re on Jamaican Time, Mon.”  I could loop that day for a year.  Beautiful weather, my beautiful wife, and some nice cold beverages by the beach.  That night, we ate dinner on the beach.  The tide was coming in, and we didn’t move.  We sat at our table and let the waves wash over our feet as we drank a bottle of wine.

Do you have a day with your significant other that you would loop for a year?  What day would it be?  Where were you?  I’ve noticed that both days that I’ve picked involve warm weather and water.  I think I need to make some changes in my life!

Why Do We Love Cats? (56/365)

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I admit it.  I’m a cat lover, but I’m not exactly sure why I am.  To give you a little background knowledge, we only have one cat in our house, and it also is the only pet that we have.  Our cat, Sylvie, is a little cutie.


What purpose does the cat serve?  Does it help out our family at all?   I don’t like dogs as much, but I know they can at least provide the family with a service.  Dogs can protect a home, deterring would be intruders.  They also can serve as hunting dogs, pointing out game or retrieving game.  Scratch that.  Cats actually do hunt, and they ever so graciously bring back their prey for you to see.  Sometimes, they even bring it back alive and let it go inside the house for you to finish off the kill.

They certainly don’t help keep the house clean.  It is nice that they poop in a litter box, but why can’t they keep food down.  Seriously.  Cats barf too much, and in some of the worst places.  Last week, our cat barfed on the heating vent.  The cat puke fell between the grates, and I had to take the vent out of the floor and then scrub inside the heating duct, because the air coming out smelled like hot barf.

Yes, cats clean themselves, but they don’t brush themselves.  We purchased a Furminator (I highly recommend one) to try and keep the fur from flying around the house and clinging to every clothing item that we have.

Now, I could go on and on about the negatives of cats, such as when my daughter got mauled by one, but I really want to know, why do I love my cat?

Maybe it’s because they are like a soft little person.  My cat, and all the cats I’ve known have attitude.  It’s not a given that I can just pet my cat and she’ll love it.  She might try to playfully bite me or pin her ears back in displeasure.  She might decide that its not time for pets and simply wiggle around until I put her down or leave her alone.  We humans have to be able to understand when or where we can interact with the cat.

Maybe it’s because they purr.  Something about that rumbling sound makes me smile and relax.  It’s such a unique trait.  So soothing.  I don’t think I have much stress in my life, but when my cat purrs, it does make me feel quite relaxed.  There’s been research done about that, and, like always, I’m not going to take the time to cite my sources because I’m lazy, but from what I understand it provides relief and offers some healing properties as well.  The low vibration of a purring cat helps the cat to heal bones and wounds, as well as the humans nearby.

The biggest reason I love Sylvie, my sweet little cat is because she’s a low maintenance companion.  When I’m watching TV, reading, or sitting by the computer, the cat likes to be around.  Sure, my cat will interrupt by walking across my keyboard while I’m typing, or decide to sit down on my wife’s math papers while she’s grading, but we both don’t seem to mind.  I actually feel rather guilty when my cat comes around and I’m too busy to pet her.

How about you?  Do you love cats?  Why or why not?

Happy Valentine’s Day (45/365)

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Here’s hoping you have some loved ones to give a big hug to on Valentine’s Day.  I feel incredibly lucky because I live in a house filled with love.  My wife gave me a very nice sweatshirt, some Sobe (my favorite drink) and of course, Cadbury Eggs.

I nailed it, like usual, giving her a gift certificate to a nail salon, some flowers (although I buy flowers often.  They just look so nice in the house) and a card.

One thing that I enjoy about my kids being in elementary school is the card exchange that they do amongst each other.  I found some stickers one of them got, today.


My kids were particularly sweet this morning.  We gave each one a small gift, and the oldest one ran up and gave me a hug.  Those are the best hugs.  One’s you didn’t ask for, provided they aren’t from a stranger.  STRANGER DANGER!

Fan Art Friday (44/365)

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Here we go, continuing with the only thing I have standardized for my journal.  FAN ART FRIDAY!  I have new fan art to display this week, and it’s from my mother!  As it should be, she’s probably my number one cant.  Let’s look at this week’s work.  We don’t judge which one is the best here.  Instead, we just celebrate all the beauty.

First up is Ivan’s effort.


Ivan drew a reindeer.  He used many different items to create this like a pencil, a marker, and then colored it in with crayons.

Next up is The Flower Child.


The Flower Child painted a lion.  She loves how colorful it is.  She used paints that we have at home.

Here’s Bob the Builder’s picture.


This is the octopus super hero.  Up above, he is transmitting sonic waves so he can teleport.

My mom added one to the collection.  A great message for all anyone creative!


She took a picture of her picture and sent it to me, so sorry for the blurry quality.

Finally, here’s one from my wife, Lisa Marie.


I’m not sure what is in this picture.  I think there’s a smiley face in there, but my wife said it was a parabola.  Is that what they call a smiley face with only one eye?

Who Would You Have Lunch With, Dead or Alive? (27/365)

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Someone asked me today, “If you could go out to eat lunch with someone dead or alive, who would you pick?”

I was like, “Well, I wouldn’t pick someone who’s dead.  They would be all dead and gross and probably wouldn’t talk too much.”

Then they explained further that the person I picked would be alive, and that I could talk to them about anything I wanted too.  If that were the case, I wouldn’t want to meet and talk to anyone dead or famous at all.  I narrowed my list down to a top three after giving it some thought.  Here’s my top three people to eat lunch with, no matter if they’re dead or alive.  Well, I still picked people that are alive.

1. My wife, Lisa Marie.  With three children, we never get to go out on dates anymore.  I loved going out to lunch or dinner with my wife before we had children.  Now, when we do get to go out on a date, I get as excited or more than I did when I first started dating her.  There’s two reasons for my excitement.  Number one, because this happens so rarely, and I love my wife just as much as I did when we were married.  Getting to spend time with her when we both don’t have to worry about the kids, preparing the meal, or doing the dishes, is delightful.  My second reason is, unlike when we first started dating, I actually have some money to spend now.  We can go to those fancy restaurants like Noodles and Company, and I won’t fret over the bill.

This is the last time we were on a date, at a friend's wedding, about three years ago.

This is the last time we were on a date, at a friend’s wedding, about three years ago.

2. My brother. I don’t get to see my older brother that often anymore.  For a few years after college, we were roommates in a nice apartment in Milwaukee.  During that time, when his birthday rolled around, I would take him out to Burger King.  We’ve done this a few times since then, but not annually like it should happen.  Whenever we do get to do something like this, I really enjoy it.  We’ll talk about the important things in life, like if the Brewers will be any good this year.

3.  The last one isn’t a specific person, but I would like to have lunch with a publisher, as long as it isn’t about why my book ideas stink.  We’d be discussing how wonderful my books were selling.  They’d be saying, “Everyone loves the book.  We can’t keep it on the shelves.  Also, we’re very sorry the internet crashed because so many people were trying to buy an electronic version.”

I’d be all nice and understanding.  “No worries,” I’d laugh.  “Just don’t let the internet crash again.  I want to watch some more silly cat videos.”