Tag Archives: movies

5 Ideas for Cheap, Last-Minute Father’s Day Gifts

mike bradyFather’s Day is Sunday, and if you haven’t already put a card in the mail, there’s still time!

As I said about Mother’s Day, being unemployed does not excuse you from honoring that parent who has put up with you for, I’m guessing, 20+ years. Dad deserves it. That said, I know you don’t have $$$$ to spend. And if you’re reading this and have yet to get it together, you’re in luck. Here are five gifts you can get easily, quickly and, most importantly, cheaply. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s always the thought that counts.

  1. For the Beer Lover– Grab a painted or galvanized metal bucket or perhaps a small cooler and head over to your neighborhood liquor or grocery store. Fill with six different hand-selected microbrews or interesting import beers. Tailor them to your Dad’s taste, favorite locales or vacation spots. For example, if he loves New Orleans, grab a mix of Abita beers. You can probably put something together for around $20-30
  2. For the Sports Fan – Is your major or minor league baseball team in town Father’s Day weekend? Grab a couple of cheap-seat tickets on the fly and spend an afternoon or evening cheering on the home team. I know you can grab Atlanta Braves tickets for very reasonable prices, leaving you a few bucks for hot dogs or peanuts
  3. For the Movie Buff – Grab a DVD of his all-time favorite classic movie or childhood cartoon (My Dad LOVED getting a special-edition DVD of “Blazing Saddles” as well as “Bullwinkle & Rocky” DVDs) or treat Dad to a matinee at your local theater. There are some great flicks out right now, namely “The Hangover”, “Star Trek”, “Angels & Demons” and “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3”
  4. For the Reader – Personally select a brand-new hardcover novel or hot nonfiction title if your dad can’t put a book down. Just one volume can cost anywhere from $15-30. If you are a member of a bookstore savings program, you can even get $$ or certain percentages off. I love browsing the bookstore aisles, tailoring a selection to my Dad’s interests, habits and hobbies. I’ve been able to introduce him to new thriller writers as well as intriguing political and sports titles. It’s a gift that keeps on giving
  5. Yourself – If you’re in town or within driving distance, hop in the car and make an in-person visit. I promise that quality time together will make Dad happier than anything you can buy. Your only cost is gas for your car.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Mindless Movie Monday

I’m so disappointed. There are no “quality” bad, mindless movies on TV today. If you have the SOAP network, you can always watch a daily marathon of “90210”, “The O.C.” and “One Tree Hill”, but those don’t count.

If you need an escape, get yourself to a matinee (it’s cheaper–last week I paid $5 to see “He’s Just Not That Into You”)to see one of last night’s Oscar winners. I haven’t seen “The Reader”, “Doubt” or “Milk”, so I may just have to get out today myself. Enjoy!

Miss Pink Slip’s Out-of-Work Oscars, Part II

office_space_fax_machine_sceneHappy Oscars Day!

Yesterday I counted down the first five of 10 movies I think best exemplify the life (for better or worse) of the unemployed. Some of them are inspirational; some are cautionary tales of the highest degree. Here we go with 6-10:

6. American Beauty– Oh, Kevin Spacey and his bitter, sardonic pervy Lester Burnham! As a depressed father living in “perfect” suburbia, Lester is going through a serious mid-life crisis. He is spectacularly fired, then decides to remake his life when he becomes obsessed with his daughter’s nymphet friend played by Mena Suvari. Chaos ensues. For the unemployed, though, all that matters are Lester’s classic responses to his state of loserness: the firing, the drive-thru window debacle (“you are soooo busted”), the confrontation of his wife sleeping with the Real Estate King. But perhaps the best thing for us to recall and repeat to ourselves is what Lester tells tight-ass Carolyn as she’s bitching him out for the 100th time: “I rule!” Yes, Lester, you do rule.

Moral of the story: Well, there shouldn’t really be a moral for this one, but what the hell. Don’t let the “man” push you around!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqJ8zxV7Cjw

7. Pretty in Pink – Okay. You’re probably wondering how this made the list. Well, Harry Dean Stanton’s portrayal of Jack Walsh (father of Andie) exemplifies the perpetually out-of-work. There’s really no lesson to be learned here. I just wanted to honor the fact that while the guy couldn’t keep a job to save his soul, he really could pick out a good pink prom dress (which his daughter goes on to make into the most butt-ugly prom dress of all time). I guess everyone’s got talent. No chaos here, unless you count Blane dissing Andie for the prom.

Moral of the story: Be good at something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnBjDZ5WRME 

8. Fun with Dick and Jane – I have to admit that I’ve never seen this movie, but I know it absolutely represents our current environment. I also know chaos ensues, but I’ll quote from IMDB for a recap: “The day before Globodyne’s stock tanks, a la Enron, and its pension fund evaporates, the corporation’s CEO and CFO set up middle manager Dick Harper to be the public face of the disaster. Jobless, and with no savings, pension, or home equity, Dick and his wife Jane sink slowly into poverty. He looks for work (as do all former Globodyne executives); he even tries day labor with the relatives of their Mexican nanny. A foreclosure notice sends Dick and Jane over the edge into a life of blue-collar crime. Then, as things finally look up, the report of an looming indictment pushes Dick and Jane toward a denouement with the real criminals, the white-collar guys.” (Thanks, J. Hailey via IMDB!) 

Moral of the story: No matter what, criminal activity is not the answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubWVznIj_xg&feature=related

9. Kramer vs. Kramer – Dustin Hoffman makes the list twice with this tearjerker about a workaholic ad man who gets laid-off, then goes home to find out his wife’s leaving him…and their young son, Billy. Chaos ensues (including a great scene with French toast), leaving Ted Kramer to embrace his role as a single father and ultimately realize that family isfirst in his life. He also has a nasty court battle with wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) that will exhaust you.

Moral of the story: Bad events can often make you realize what’s most important in life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmyfOquda-M

10. Office Space – This is definitely a case of saving the best for last. “Office Space” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it fully cemented Ron Livingston’s position in my top five guy list. Plus, I believe it’s one of the only great movies Jennifer Aniston has done. Peter Gibbons is the hero of everyone stuck in a shit job. Unlike most of us, he’s desperately trying to get fired and does everything in his power to do so. What happens? He gets promoted! Genius! Chaos ensues and Peter and his friends move on to a life of white collar crime. I could go on and on and on, but why? We all know the movie by heart anyway.

Moral of the story: Never steal someone’s red Swingline stapler.

One more moral: If you get laid-off, beating the hell out of a fax machine to the tune of “Still” by Geto Boyz will make you feel like a million bucks.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gujp3PxkkNg&feature=related

Did I forget any? I’m sure I have. Let me know your favorites!