Thursday, January 27, 2011

Top 5 movie scenes to have ever made me cry

This did not make the list.

We were introduced to the greatness of Netflix last summer when my sister gave it to me as a birthday gift. Life has not been quite the same since.

Especially since you can watch NetFlix via the good graces of the internet or the Wii. I've watched and re-watched the final episode of M*A*S*H six times now.

In honor of the greatness that is Netflix, here's a little Top 5 list I have whipped up for you consisting of the Top 5 movie scenes to have ever caused me to sob or shed tears of pain, sorrow, or grief.

5. The Rookie (Dennis Quaid calls home to talk to Rachel Griffiths to tell her that he's being called up, and she puts their son - the kid from Two an a Half Men - on the phone)

I know what you're saying. Shut up.

4. Million Dollar Baby (Every scene in the hospital)

When one person asks another person if they can end their life to ease the suffering, how is that not sad?

3. My Life (Pretty much everything from about 20 minutes in until the end of the movie) 

To watch this movie is to peel an onion and hold it directly in front of your eyes. There's not really any one or two scenes in this movie to make you well up. Instead it's pretty much the whole thing. I've only seen it once, and although it truly is an excellent film, now that I'm happily married and intent on starting a family one day I'm somewhat hesitant to watch it again. 

2. Saving Private Ryan (The beginning of the movie at the the cemetery in Normandy, Tom Hanks dying, elder James Ryan asking his wife to tell him he is a "good man") 

Always a stop down anytime it's on TNT. Of course I have to mention the D-Day scene at the beginning of the film.

1. Marley & Me (Owen Wilson and Marley sittin' on a hill, and that scene in the animal hospital at the end of the movie) 

I'm a dog lover, and I know that the fact that this is a fairly recent movie may cheapen this list to some. But try explaining that to the John that was sitting in the theater watching this transpire on the big screen and making more audible weeping noises than at any other time during film watching. Even Mel, who also had a case of wet-eye, reached over and put her hand on my hand as if to say "Good grief, you're a wuss. You will never know how much I love you at this very moment."

Happy movie watching.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I know it's been over a week since I've had anything to say, and I apologize to you, the reader for this.

The only excuse I have for you is that I've been working a lot.


So when I get home at night, I've been spending very little time on the Mac and more time collapsed on the couch approaching a comatose state of being from the preceding day.

That an Inception has still fried my brain.

I would like to watch that. I need to watch that movie about five more times in order to fully grasp everything that I have seen.

Anyway, I'll be sure to check back with you all soon.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Ever since I have partaken of the blog environment on the world wide web of internet super highways, I've always wanted to do something sports related but have never really gotten a chance (or had the patience enough) to do. 

This time, I really, really want to try it. 

I mentioned early on that this blog would not strictly be a sports one, and I stand by that. But if you know us you know that from pretty much April March February though October November, Mel and I are all about the great game. 

So I figured that now that we've started up this little blog, with our own rules, what better time to do the following: 

Blog about every single Rangers game. 

You heard me. 

This idea came to me after I first read this book by Red Sox fan and horror writer Stephen King and his friend and fellow writer Stewart O'Nan called "Faithful". Basically, it's a collection of thoughts, recaps, and e-mail conversations between the two about almost every single game during that unbelievable 2004 season. 

Even further than that, I read "Now I Can Die In Peace" by Bill Simmons. It's a little different kind of set-up content wise, but is basically the same thing. 

And not to be left out, Joe Siegler's website was a big player in me wanting to do this. 

So beginning with the first game of the spring, and ending with the final game of the season (whenever that may be - hopefully November), I'm going to attempt a post a day to recap that day/evening in Ranger baseball. I can tell you that first weekend in March has the possibilities of being a really entertaining one with Mel and I taking our first married couple trip to Arizona for spring training. She has even alerted me that she'd be up for taking control every one in awhile to talk some sports. 

So between the both of us this should be fun. Or a train wreck. Or both. 

Keep in mind, there will still be other content, a lot of it likely being intertwined with that day's daily regimen of baseball talk, so don't automatically lose all interest in us (if you had any kind of interest in us to begin with). 

Thanks for reading. And sports. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top 10 Robert Earl Keen Songs

Robert Earl Keen is 55 years old today. Happy birthday to him.

In honor of the birthday boy, here's a little Top 10 List I whipped together of the greatest REK songs on my iPod ever. Not CD specific.

And no, I'm not going to go right to the wheel-well and put Road Goes On Forever automatically at #1. It's a good song and easily his most famous. But that would be too easy.

Same thing with "Merry Christmas To The Family". It's garnered him a good share of popularity, but it's not his best.

So feel free to rate and debate as you'd like. Even make your own lists, I'd love to see them. Really. I would.

10. Five Pound Bass - Although I will admit, the #9 Live Diner version is a little more raucous and fun than the regular album version.

9. What I Really Mean - Easily my favorite of the material he's put out over the last couple years or so.

8. Feelin' Good Again - When you hear that guitar kicking it off, the volume immediately goes up.

7. I'm Coming Home

6. The Road Goes On Forever - I thought this would be a fair spot for it to be. Making it #1 is too much of a give-up in my opinion, and leaving it off the list entirely when it's his most popular song doesn't seem right. So here it shall be.

5. Levelland - Easily #1 for my Dad though.

4. Gringo Honeymoon

3. Down That Dusty Trail - Since my REK consciousness began, I've made it a point to give this song a listen on my birthday every year.

2. The Front Porch Song - On this one, I am a little more partial to the live version of it where REK goes on a talking spree in the middle of the song about he and Lyle Lovett sitting in their underwear and playing guitar to the Presbyterians (or "Presmaterians" as he says on the album) as they exited church on Sundays. Love it.

1. Corpus Christi Bay

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Top 5/Bottom 5 things I loved about my old 2004 Toyota Tacoma

(Editors note: Not actual truck)

A momentous achievement was reached on the final day of 2010 with the purchase of a brand new 2011 Toyota Tacoma. 

So with it came the close of another era of vehicle driving in the life of John and Melissa Vittas. 

Still, often times you cannot look forward without looking back. So with that in mind, allow me to present to you my Top 5 and Bottom 5 things I loved about my now gone 2004 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner. 

5. (Anytime the truck was used to help a friend move something big
Most people who know me (James, I'm looking in your direction) know that I'm typically the guy to lend a hand in a pinch. More often than not, that pinch involved moving many boxes of things, or one or two large and painstakingly heavy things from one place to another. This is where having a truck came in handy to accompany another truck, car, van, rickshaw, camel, or whatever the other mode of transportation was. 

I never minded lending a hand either. That's how much I love you jerks guys.

4. The time I got pulled over for speeding in White Settlement and was honest and polite to the officer, and didn't get a ticket
I don't remember how fast I was going, let's say 40 in a 30 mph zone. And I knew I was caught when I saw the police officer in his cruiser in a parking lot alongside the road, so I pulled into a side street and waited for the long arm of the law to come and deliver his swift hand of justice. When he arrived, and inquired as to why I was speeding, I was honest: It was a Friday, it had been a long week at work, and I was just looking forward to going home. That was the long and short of it. 

In return, I got a "Have a nice day" and "Be careful", and that was it. 

So what do you think I did? 

Turned up the Todd Rundgren and floored it. (Just kidding.)

3. Taking the dogs to the dog park
Seeing those two lovable creatures get all fired up about getting to run around with a bunch of strange was both cute and annoying at the same time (more on that in a minute.)

2. The first time we drove to the coast
It was the first time the truck got a whiff of salty sea air and a front grill and interior full of sand, but it was well worth it and I got an exhilarating thrill driving up and down the beach. All we needed was a giant confederate flag on a flag pole attached to the truck bed and we would have blended in completely. 

1. The day it was bought
I felt like a proud Papa driving off the lot, even if it did have 16,000 miles on it already. More like a proud stepfather I guess. 

5. Taking the dogs to the dog park, or anywhere for that matter
Don't get me wrong, I love our pets and consider them parts of our family. But they also shed like there's no tomorrow, and turned the back seat of that truck into an ad for the Hairclub For Men. The windows also developed a film on the glass the likes of which that film you see on the top of a stagnant lake has never seen. 

Not saying this won't soon happen in the new truck. I know it will, it's just a matter of time. 

4. Getting rear-ended
In hindsight, it wasn't really that big a deal for me. This is especially true if you were to have seen the damage done to the little two-door Honda coupe that hit me and suffered massive radiator damage, among other things. But I had to deal with the annoyance of knowing I had an ever-so slightly bent bumper and people who stared at the back of my truck for longer than two seconds trying to pinpoint exactly what looked wrong. 

Still, we did get a check for $800 from State Farm, so I guess this one can't be all that bad.

3. Driving back to my house with Robert after the Rangers lost the World Series
Because as much as we wanted to be cheerful about such a fantastic and memorable run, it was still a somber mood inside of that truck for that 3 minute trip back to our house. 

2. The time Lacy threw up on the backseat
There are few more  hopeless feelings in the world than when you're cruising down the highway with a dog in the backseat, and hearing that familiar esophageal hiccuping/suppressing vomit noise coming from behind you (dog owners know exactly what I'm talking about right now, and may have just gotten grossed out a little). THEN, as you're pulling off the highway and into someplace where you can begin some kind of semblance of of cleaning up the dog vomit, having still more vomit be deposited on the back seat and floorboard. 


1. The XM radio
This is kind of a double-edged sword for me. I loved having satellite radio and greatly enjoyed all the fine programming it had to offer. But I also had a very annoying setup that wouldn't allow me to listen to any kind of terrestrial radio at all when it was firmly attached to the cradle on the console. It got so that I had to start unhooking things if there was a Rangers game or something else I wanted to listen to on regular radio, and looked very, well, tacky. 

This is not a problem with the new truck, which has built in SiriusXM and a free three-month subscription. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New year, new logo

I mentioned before my half-assedness at making this look like a respectable looking blog. My quick searching efforts on Google were sufficient enough to last for a little while.

Until now.

So a big thank you to Robert Strickland, in all his infinite graphic designing wisdom, for creating what you now see gracing the right side of the page.

I think it captures the very essence, the very fibers of the thoughts and emotions emitting from my fingertips with each word said and sentence created on here.

(No idea what I just said.)

Monday, January 3, 2011


Of course, how could I leave out one absolutely keystone moment that happened to us in 2010?

My wife gave me a MacBook Pro for Christmas.

Obviously, the reigns have really yet to be unleashed on this thing as far as creative ability goes. I could have brought it with me to NY for Christmas, but I really didn't want to deal with the hassle of bringing something I had barely been using for 24 hours with me on a plane trip. Especially with the amount of coats, bags, other things you have to remove from your person before going through the security checkpoint. I ended up regretting my decision and wishing I had brought it with me anyway.

I hadn't really been on one side or the other in regards to Mac vs. PC, and I realize that for some this argument isn't an argument at all. But for those who are still on the fence, let me say this: The Mac = friendly.

In animal terms, the PC is probably a Rottweiler - mean and often times ugly. The Mac is something cuddly but also dependable and faithful. Something like a Golden Retriever or a Labra-doodle. Maybe a Golden Retriever/Labra-doodle hybrid. A Golden/Labra-doodle hybrid that can turn evil on a dime and take a huge chunk out of your leg if you don't watch out.

I really do love it.

I have some possible ideas in mind for things to do in 2011 using this new baby. Hopefully, they're funny.

So, I wil put this at #4, with new truck moving to #5, tile on patio moving to #6, and surviving the great blizzard of snow doom to #7.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Top 10 things to happen to us in 2010

This final week of the previous year/first week of the new year is typically the time for everybody and their Grandmother to do a top 10, 20, 50, 100, etc. of the previous year. I am no different.

Here are the top 10 6 things to have happened to Mel and I in 2010.

6. Surviving the Snowmageddon
This was a momentous occasion because none of us may ever see that much snow in this state for the rest of our lives. It really was a sight to see. However, I did get tired of the "First, a White a White Valentine's Day!" jokes.

Look, nowhere in any of our American culture has there ever been a reference to White Valentine's Day. Everybody gets White Christmas, but Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny freakin' Kaye did not gather round the fireplace and sing about it being a White Valentine's Day. I want these jokes to stop.


5. New tile on the patio
Sorry, don't have a picture to provide. But it was a nice cosmetic change that took place early 2010.

4. The new truck
Purchased on the morning on New Year's Eve 2010, this just barely snuck in with time left on the clock. Very nice.

3. New door to the patio
Gone are the days of the heavy sliding door that ceased to slide very well. No more curse words. Seriously, towards the end there I think that in order to properly open that sliding door you would have to remove two of your ribs because you had to contort your body in such a weird way. Some people who have attempted to open it now have a few vertebrae fused together. (I'm kidding, of course. I think.)

2. Hair school grad
One year ago, Mel unceremoniously dumped quit her job, and went after her dream. Nine months or so later, she became an officially licensed cosmetologist. Her adventure, and career, is just beginning.

I'm very proud of her.

1. Rangers make the World Series
And we saw it all. This shouldn't come as a shocker to anybody who knows us.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome back!

.....and that's why baseball needs the designated hitter.

Oh, sorry.

Welcome back....let me reintroduce myself.

Add Video

My name is John. This is me, right now as I'm typing this.

Meet Melissa. Mel and I have been married since March of 2009, which means that this year will be two years of marriage. Crazy.

We also have two dogs, who will likely be frequent topics of conversation on this blog.

Lacy and Sierra.

One is part Corgi and Rat Terrier, the other is part Lab and Sharpee. Don't let that picture fool you, because they're both two parts crazy.

We call this city our home. In another month, so will about 800,000 more people for the Super Bowl.

It's good to be back in the blogging world. Things won't be completely baseball intensive this time around, but if you know us you know sports make up a large part of our life, and this blog will probably show that now and then.

This blog is what I consider to be a "soft" work in progress. Chances are it'll change some, but not much. One thing that will change will be that logo you see on the top right corner. I basically found it by typing "VB" into Google and hoping that the search results that appeared would have nothing to do with any kind of sexually transmitted diseases.

Thankfully, I lucked out.

However, all that was decided upon BEFORE I received the miraculous wonder of a MacBook Pro from my wife for Christmas.

God bless that thing.

Let me wrap this up quick since the Rose Bowl is getting underway and just say, welcome to our little blog. I'm sure there will be more than a few entries full of things out there nobody really cares about, but isn't that what makes blogs great?

You would think that since I'm on here so much, chances are things will stay regularly updated, and I'll try to keep things just like that. But I'll apologize in advance for any lacks in blogging on my behalf. I'll try to keep them to a minimum.

It's good to be back.

Talk to you all soon.