Monday, July 7th, 2008

Well, it’s not cancer. It was simply a regrown radicular cyst, possibly thanks to the suckitude of my last oral surgeon, possibly thanks to the suckitude of the 3 root canals in those 2 teeth, or possibly due to none of the above and simple bad luck and/or genetics.

Doctor’s recommendation is for me to get the area cleaned out again, losing tooth #19 & #20, and paying $1150 out of pocket because Carolyn’s Aetna insurance only covers 50%. They told me there that most people’s Aetna covers 80%, so a special thanks to Carolyn’s employer for giving out shitty dental benefits. But then again, dental benefits are getting shittier and shittier by the year, with most companies scaling back maximum yearly payout from $1500 to $1250 in the last 10 years. My dentist was just commenting on how this has gone down, despite dental costs going up. People: Pay attention to your dental benefits when seeking employment. If a few people turn down employment based on inferior benefits, companies will be forced to negotiate better scams. It is unfortunate that our capitalist system will gradually move towards exploitation unless each individual is individually vigilant. This is one of the reasons why socialized health care can be much better for the average person.

So, it’s either $1150 out of pocket to go back in in an equally invasive procedure — or I can wait for when and if it grows back, and have an equally invasive surgery for a mere $135 out of pocket. So I am being encouraged to not deal with the problem, or pay over eight times as much.

[sarcasm on] Gee, our capitalist health care system is the best on the planet. It’s so good that the republicans have prevented us from running things like the rest of the civilized world does. It’s great that money encourages people to seek out less healthy solutions. [/sarcasm off]

It would be cheaper (in terms of total money spent; NOT for me) to fix it for good with the apoco ($1150), yet I am encouraged to keep coming back and pay for cheaper surgeries ($130), thus giving the insurance companies more profit by having more business. Keeping me sick for their profit; fining me 8X as much if I want to get better. Welcome to America. (How do I get out?) (more…)

I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Not available on Netflix.] Why the hell did we wait 14 years to watch this?!?! Although not currently in rotation due to micro-playlist management, we previously had the Jerky Boys in rotation with our normal music for over 10 years straight. They’re hilarious, and I’ve even gotten unreleased material on the internet. So why did we never see the movie? I DON’T KNOW! Could it be the astoundingly low IMDB rating of 3.9? Nahhh; that hasn’t stopped us before. Low ratings just mean we’ll watch a movie Mon-Wed instead of Thu-Sat. We optimize for fun weekends! Anyway….

PEOPLE: The Jerky Boys! Kamal Ahmed and John G. Brennan! This is the sole reason for watching the movie. Other people are not necessary, but there IS a cameo by Ozzy Osbourne! But damn. The Jerky Boys! After listening to them for so many years, everyone wants to know what they look like.

QUIRKS: Since they know everyone wants to see what they look like, they wear masks in the opening scene. Just to draw it out a bit more. That actually helped the “suspense” — after 14+ years, I still had to wait a couple minutes longer than expected!

BAD STUFF: This was a bit of a low-budget movie, and it dealt with Mafia/mobsters. Those 2 things made this really remind me of High Times’ Potluck. However, this wasn’t a drug-centric movie. It was mostly about the Jerky Boys being losers who need to get a job and move out of their parents’ house (much like the movie Mama’s Boy, which we recently watched).

CONCLUSIONS: We enjoyed it!! More than a “generic pass”, this was like seeing legend come to life. I’m assuming the awful ratings come from all the NON-Jerky Boy-fanboys, because it was simply great to see these guys in a movie. But of course, any non-movie that gets adapted into a movie ALWAYS faces incredible backlash. It really frickin’ annoys me. The point of adapting something to a movie isn’t to be better than other movies; it is to have that something in a new medium. And having the Jerky Boys in a movie was great.

Instead of being all prank calls, they sometimes had to use their “funny voices” vocal talent to get themselves out of sticky situations. For instance, when a mobster was searching bathroom stalls for them — and they were hiding in the last one — [highlight for spoilers] they both pretend to be stereotypically flamingly gay men having sex. The end effect is that both mobsters agree [highlight for spoilers] to lie to the boss and say they searched the bathroom, becuase they really did NOT want to see what lurked behind door number three. They used their vocal prowess to get out of several sticky situations, and it surprised me that “crank calling” could actually be a life-saving skill. But they made it so, and that was great.

It’s also nice to see “Brett Weir” and “Uncle Freddy”. I was surprised that certain made-up names in their crank calls became characters in the movie. They really went out of the way to link the movie to specific prank calls as much as possible, and succeeded admirably given the strangeness of a “crank call collection to film adaptation”. The only other time I’ve seen an adaptation of prank calls was the 10-minute short film “Red”, based on the infamous Tube Bar prank calls — which is what The Simpsons’s Moe Szyslak is also based on. “Red” is a great film, I can’t find it, Wikipedia does not acknowledge its existence, and I would kill for a copy . [UPDATE: Ian B told me where to buy Red in the comments below. Awesome!] I need to see the “bite the curb” scene again! But I digress…

RECOMMENDATION: I guess this movie was only made for people who already liked The Jerky Boys“. And if you are a naysayer who hates all film adaptations of books, comic books, cartoons, etc. — then just skip over this. You’re not going to like it. But any completist, crank call lover, or Jerky Boys fanboy cannot go through life without seeing this.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: It’s not on Netflix, so I’m probably the only human I know who has this.