Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Paranormal Activity VS The Blair Witch Project


A big buzz that was going on about a month or so ago was if the new movie "Paranormal Activity" was as good as, or even better than, "The Blair Witch Project". With today being the release of P.A. on DVD, I imagine the debate will start right back up full force... So, being the attention whore I am, I decided to jump right on that bandwagon!

I have been discussing with various people my intentions to watch P.A. and my attempt to do so with an open mind, trying not to let any preconcieved notions from things I have heard sway my opinion. When B.W. first came out they did a fabulous job of marketing, with missing posters

and some web videos. They basically filmed another movie's worth of footage to promote the film and it's release. Well, times (and the Internet) have advanced and P.A. flooded the online communities and did a cool trick of having people "demand" the movie online. I believe the advanced tactics of P.A. created a bigger "buzz" for them, but B.W. did a more creative marketing campaigne and actually had people believing this was true footage that was found from missing documentary makers... That is, untill they saw the first scene of the movie.

The acting in B.W. was not good at all. It at no time put me anywhere near the position of "believing" the characters or the situation they were in was anywhere near "real". If I was lost in the woods and kept circling back to the same spot, I would NOT be stopping every 5 minutes to discuss the situation! I would be walking in one direction at a quick pace knocking down everything in my way until I reached safety or collapsed!!! I also think, given their situation, they were far from realistic emotionally on how they handled their plight.

Where I do give B.W. all it's points is in the fact that they did something new and different (a major reason I was concerned with P.A. since it basically is the same "style" of movie). They actually did a really good job pulling off what they were trying to do, especially when you add in all the "extra" stuff from their marketing arsenal. I did not find B.W. scary *This is where I have to take a moment and look at the word "scary". What one person deems scary another person thinks is stupid, silly or funny. Some people feel a "jump out" is scary, I do not. A jump out is startling and a movie scene that preps you for a jump out is suspenseful. B.W. did a TON of those scenes & did them very well! I remember being on the edge of my seat thinking to myself, "Don't open that tent... something's going to get you if you open that tent!" Sure enough they always opened the tent (they kind of have to, it's a horror movie)... yet nothing EVER happened. A lot of people were dissapointed with the fact that nothing really ever happens thru the entire movie (at least not onscreen). I say that is one of the great qualities of the film. It kept building you up for the jump out then dissapointing you (and sort of relieving you at the same time). This was an awesome tactic that was fun to experience... once.

I considered B.W. to be more of a creepy movie. Especially the ending. You go to the house and you see the little handprints on the wall.

Anyone who was paying any attention at the beginning of the film got it (I love it when a show doesn't play to the most ignorant viewer... They easily could have put in a line like, "OMG, handprints just like in the story that lady told us the other day" or something else that spoonfeeds the audience information they should have gotten themselves). If you didn't get it, you don't deserve to! Thank you B.W. for taking the high road on that one, since so many movies don't. I also found the standing in the corner very creepy as well.

Again, no explanation needed & thank you for not giving one... in that scene a line of any sort would have ruined the entire film.

I actually left the movie of B.W. with mixed feelings at the time. Immediately after viewing I felt a little robbed that nothing ever happened... other than me nearly having a heart attack when every time they went to open the tent (especially after the tent was being beaten on). The more I thought about it, the more I enjoyed it. I started to appreciate what they had done and actually really enjoyed it even more the next time I saw it. Before you get your panties in a bunch... yes, I did just mention the effect of the "in the tent" scenes and yes, I can see how that is "scary". I just feel overall the movie was more "creepy".

The biggest complaint I hear about B.W. was the movement of the cameras. I know the person who saw it with me had issues with this, but it really didn't bother me at all. Of course, I didn't mind Jar Jar Binks in Episode I either.

I was happy in the fact that P.A. was not actually the same as B.W. in how it attempted to "scare" it's audience. I did have a feeling that P.A. was going to go down the same road of B.W. and not have anything really ever happen. I had heard nothing happens till like the last 5-10 minutes of the movie. I was all ready to announce that the only good thing of P.A. was the ending that Steven Spielberg actually refilmed for the theatrical release. Now, I will say that I saw all three ending to the film... The theatrical, the alternate & the original. I must say that the original is the weakest of the three and not a very good ending at all. The theatrical ending is the most "scary" creepy and the alternate is the most "disturbing" creepy. I'm torn on which one I like the best, they both have their redeeming qualities.

original "boring" ending

from the better Spielberg theatrical ending...
she looks hot in a tank top & short

Again I am using the term "creepy" since I definately deem this movie in that category. It does set you up for many possible "jump outs" and it really never delivers on a single one (ok, at the very end with the theatrical version). It does, however deliver a lot more of "something" happening at various parts of the movie instead of simply "nothing".

The acting is far better with P.A. as well as the script & directing. The banter and dialog were far more believable, as well as the characters actions & reactions with what was going on. I do wish she would have done the on camera strip tease he asked for, the movie was rated R after all. No, it was not the best acting in the world, but it was far superior to many movies I have seen with a much larger budget. The effects as well... so simple and low budget, yet they worked very well with the concept of the film. Bigger budget effects could easily have taken away from the "realism" (if I can actually call it that, it is a movie about a supernatural entity) of the film.

I will say the beginning was slower than B.W. that had documentary footage about the Blair Witch at the start that gave a good backstory and was rather interesting with colorful characters being interviewed. P.A. was basically "Look, I got a camera and now I'm going to film everything since you say freaky things have been happening to you since you were 8". I'm not sure what they could, or should, have done differently... I don't think the slower start really hurt the movie at all.

I mentioned above how I was expecting a whole lot of nothing. This movie could have easily turned out to be a 90 minute version of "Ghost Hunters" where something "might" happen, but never does (because ghosts aren't real, sorry).

If you watched the trailer for P.A. they would have you think it would have you shitting your pants from fear

See, I think that one girl just dropped a turd!

I was actually expecting something somewhere in between. After watching P.A. I really think the audience reaction shots in the trailer were mostly all from the last 5 minutes, but there were some times in the movie when there were sudden noises and banging sounds & growls (or whatever it was) that could make you jerk a little. The creepiest part of the film, in my view, was right before the 21st night (the last night) when she is laying in bed and decides that it would be better to stay than leave. She closed her eyes and the eeriest smile comes across her face for just a moment... That was creepy. I knew the Spielberg shit was about to hit the fan!

This is right before the smile, you have to see it for yourself

The movie did get me in a couple spots... I was right back where I was when I watch B.W. the first time. When the entry to the attic was open my mind started going, "don't you go up there! Ok, you can go, but don't you stick that friggin' camera up there... I don't wanna see!" Of course, he did (once again, it is a horror movie after all) and nothing happened. Surprise! I actually enjoyed it all over again. The key is that they didn't use the same tactic over and over as with B.W. They did multiple things to trick the viewer into thinking something was going to "get them" and I almost hate to admit it actually worked.

B.W. preyed on people's fear of the woods, the dark, camping, isolation and being "trapped" inside a tent with who-knows-what outside. It is pretty easy to avoid camping (which I do). P.A. uses some other fears against it's viewer. The simple fear of the unkown & paranormal (another reason I didn't think I would find it "scary", tho I do enjoy shows with with superantural themes). P.A. can strike a chord with anyone since we all have to sleep and we like to think of our homes as a safe place, especially our bedrooms. It is down right creepy to think things are going on while you are sleeping (real or unreal). The thought of having someone break into your home is a scary notion. The idea of someone violating your bedroom and watching you while you sleep can keep people up at night. I think her saying how she could feel the breath against her was a great touch, as well as seeing her hair move when she said she felt like "it" was standing behind her. Those are the "somethings" I was refering to earlier. I think on average more people can get "creeped out" from watching P.A. over B.W. due to that alone.

The biggest "unrealistic" aspect of the characters actions in P.A. was in the ending. After 21 days of grabbing the camera at every little noise they hear and sound his girlfriend utters, he leaves the camera on the tripod when she starts screaming bloody murder? Now I know this is supposed to be startling him and he does a kneejerk reaction, but they say it takes 21 days to form a habbit... that's all I'm saying.

I was really expecting to be dissapointed watching P.A. to the point that the only reason I actually saw it was that I had already told so many people I would. I was expecting to be bored and unamused, certainly not entertained, until the ending. I really wasn't expecting all that much from the ending, either. I was truly all ready to say that B.W. wins by default since it was the "original".

I was pleasantly surprised to find the move very entertaining! It moved along at a decent pace, was well filmed and had a progressive creepiness, similar to the good old days of monster movies when you didn't get to see shit untill like the last 5-10 minutes of the film. The acting was decent and you could tell things were wearing on them. Katie Featherston (who played "Katie") out acted Micah Sloat (who played "Micah), she showed a good transition of being disturbed thru the film. (I must also note that it is a great idea for characters to use their real names, especially with movies that are low budget and they don't have a lot of experience. It is easier to remember cues & lines and wastes less film)

I still think everyone should see B.W. for the experience, but overall I believe P.A. was a superior movie. It was made better and had more substance. And yes, there is very little camera shake... he used a tripod for a lot of the film. If you actually believe in the "boogie man" then this flick may seriously scare you. This would certainly make a good date movie... and you would not likely have to deal with "I'm tired and I just want to go to sleep" that night ;)

Paranormal Activity Wins!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Fort Is Done!

The boys & I accomplished building the fort. Well, my 7 year old, Damien, packed about six or so bricks and then decided to start stockpiling snowballs while my 3 year old, Jett, ran around in the snow and kept trying to "brush the fort" with a metal dog brush. I didn't realize, when I had children, that I would need to take some architecture & design classes so someday I had the knowledge to accomplish building a snow fort that did not collapse on itself repeatedly. After the second wall implosion I tried a tactic on the construction and that seemed to work.

The one time I stood still and took a moment to catch my breath, Damien asked me why I was stopping. This is coming from the same kid who spent more time inside "warming up" than he did out. He did, however, continue stockpiling a stash of snowballs to pelt his mother with for about twenty minutes after Jett & I had returned to the warm safety of the home interior for hot chocolate. Hot chocolate & sandwiches done, I am now posting pictures of our winter masterpiece for the world to gaze upon with envy.

The Santa wind sock makes for a useful distraction for an unknowing target

High defensive walls with an offensive throwing window will surely put the enemy at bay

With the north border protected by the lawn furniture, I built a short curved southern defense shield

Damien building his arsenal of snow grenades

Note the reinforced interior base

Jett's major contribution to the construction

Now to just wait for Mommie (That is how she likes to spell it. She also doesn't capitalize proper nouns... good luck getting into a good school boys.) to get home and pummel her relentlessly!

Snow Days & Vasectomy Surgery

With both the schools & the daycare closed for the day due to weather, I'm sitting here truly feeling for the parents of young children who don't have the luxury of adjusting their schedule to compensate. What do you do in that scenario? Take a sick Day? That would just suck!

The snow is still falling as I look out the window. I'm glad I don't have to dig myself out from the hard packed mound of street sludge plowed up at the end of my driveway. I now have even further regrets to my insane decision late last night to hand shovel the drive in the first place... what was I thinking? I've got to quick having crack for breakfast! I got about 3/4 of the way done when the stupidity of my idea came crashing thru my thick skull. There is a snow plow attachment on the tractor which my wonderful father-in-law will be taking around sometime in the early morning hours to clear both his drive & mine. Why did his daughter marry such and idiot?

I'm letting the boys sleep in since when they do wake up their first question will be, "Is it a snow day?"

They will realize I'm lying to them if I say "no" but don't rush to get them dressed. With winter coming the boys and I have had playful banter of how we will finally use the snow brick makers that have been sitting in the garage collecting dust the past few years to finally make a fort. We have laughed at how we will gather in our fort a stack of snowballs to perform a surprize attack on their mother when she returns from work for the day, pelting her to oblivion. I must admit that in my fantasy there was even dancing around her submissive pose as she begged for mercy.

Not in any way near what our fort would end up looking like

The difference between my young boys and myself is that as an adult I can better seperate fantasy from reality. Don't believe me? Ask each of us individually about Santa Clause. See, I realize that even tho we all would enjoy getting out there and starting to construct our snow fort masterpiece, it would not be long before one of the boys was tired with that and wanting to go back inside. I would most likely follow in those footsteps seeing how I don't have snow pants or snow shoes and I would be, at some early point, cold and wet expecting to be found at some future point in a block of ice by rescue dogs.

I'm not going to even get into the mess of coming in. I will, however, point out the fact that about the time the other child wants to come in is the exact point when my first son will want to go back out.

Somewhere between dressing & undressing shivering children with wet snow gear I will be required by them to finish the fort construction and snowball stockpile myself. For the rest of the day (between meals, snacks, DVD changes, drink refills, bathroom helping & monster false alarms) they will be constantly asking me if it is about time for Mommy to get home so we can go back out in the cold to prepair for our battle, thus insuring I accoplish nothing today in the manner of real work.

All that being said, and before too many people read this and decide I deserve the "Worst Father of the Year" award, I will point out that I will do all this for them without complaint (at least not to them) because that is what you do. Who knows... I might have a bit more fun that I anticipate (especially if I nail Mommy in the kisser with a snowball).

Also, I don't want it thought that I have totally lost touch with the joys & excitement of being a child. I remember looking forward to finding out school was closed due to the snow. I used to try to dig tunnels thru the white powder & sled down the incline that lead from our back yard to an empty lot. Beyond that lot was a treeline that held many a day's adventure. I used to look forward to days when I didn't have to see the inside of my school or my teacher... maybe I would have thought differently if she looked like this:

or this

or this

or even this

but not this

Who am I kidding, I would have done her too

I guess what I am trying to say is that like most things in life there are aspects of it that won't be fun or possibly even flat out suck, but we have to find the fun in whatever we do and focus on the positive aspects. When we make the choice to become a parent (yes, it's a choice to become a parent. Granted, it is possible for someone to have put a gun to your head for the conception part of the process; nobody put a gun to your head when it comes to your choices beyond that point... Ok, maybe if you are Catholic) we are taking on a responsibility. That responsibility means that there are times when we miss out on what we want to do for the sake of our child's best interest. Sometimes it means we do things we never would do otherwise.

Not everyone is suited for this serious responsibility. Some people just don't want to take it on. There is nothing wrong with that and modern science has given us many options to avoid this situation. One of these option is the vasectomy.

I am done having children. I was actually done before my last one, but she tricked me! (I should have know something was up when she actually had sex with me three times within a single month, but I was too busy being happy that I had a use for an erection that didn't contribute to carpel tunnel syndrome) I had a perfect white trash record going on where each of my children was by a different woman and my latest wife had to go and have a second! (The gall of her!!!) It's not like I can go back and have another with each of the other mothers... and believe me, I wouldn't want to. Hey, I do my part in the avoidance of pregnancy. I wear tight underwear. I have been asked by numerous people why I don't get a vasectomy. Below is my perfectly logic reasoning behind my decision to not get a vasectomy.

It all started many years ago, long before the possible need for such surgery, as I was looking at a magazine (probably at a doctor's office... those sick bastards love to torture you like that. Where is the friggin Highlights for Kids, asshole!). There was an article on vasectomy surgery. I'm sure the article was intended to show what a great idea this was and how simple and easy the procedure is, but it actually had the reverse effect on me. I focused mainly on the photographs in the article (because reading is far too time consuming and difficult) that were taken during an actual vasectomy. They were basically step by step shots of a procedure being done. Those pictures were scary as shit!

Now for those of you unfamiliar with the procedure or what it entails, below is a "toned down" illustration. I didn't dare put actual photos here because I didn't want my blog to be the reason you vomited on your keyboard... ok, at least not from this post.

If you would like to view actual pictures or video of a vasectomy please visit vasectomy-information.com you sick, sick bastard.

I have a good rule here, no sharp objects "south of the border". I won't even let a girl go down on me if her teeth look too pointy. The photos I saw in that magazine (again, where's the goddamded Highlights!) had stuff getting yanked out (ok, the "yanked" part is a mental add-in based on my assumption that doctors hate me) and taped down, things getting clipped & cut, blood and implied pain. After long moments of staring in dismay at the pictures I had started to wish I was into football so I would have picked up that copy of Sports Illustrated instead. It did get me thinking about the difference between the doctor doing the incision across or up and down. I mean I figure there will probably be a scar, and you know how a striped shirt can make you look taller or fatter depending on the direction of the lines....

Seriously, that one article (ok, actually the photographs) were enough to keep me from ever getting a vasectomy. But just in case there was ever going to be a glimmer of a possibility that I would ever consider it, my best friend stepped in. A few years back he decided to get one done. He then decided that I should get one done as well. To further demonstrate his brilliance, he decided to call me the day after his procedure and in an effort to convince me it was a good idea... tell me about his experience step by step.

The first thing he tried to do was reassure me that it was simple and painless. He did this first by letting me know they gave him a "local".
Now, by definition of the term that would mean a needle of some sort in the general area (as he confirmed, nutsack). See "sharp object" rule above.

He then told me how they waited a while, then started the procedure. He did mention in passing that he had to stop them because he felt it, so they gave him a little more anesthetic and...
Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick! Hold on a moment. Let me just repeat that, "HE HAD TO STOP THEM BECAUSE HE FELT IT" Wasn't he trying to tell me how "painless" this was? What kind of sick fuck am I best friends with? there would be no more anesthetic, or procedure. My ass would be out the door by then!

He then went on to uneventfully finish his story. He did also mention that while I was on the phone with him he was laying on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on his crotch because it was sore.
Again with the pain!

I was also informed by him that he was instructed to manually discharge sperm about ten times and then come back in to get tested to make sure the procedure was effective.
I will admit here that although it is kind of nice to get a doctor's permission slip to spank the monkey, I would be so scared to touch for fear of damaging it or creating more pain... my best friend later confimed that it was a good idea to avoid getting an erection for a while (how do you do that? My kids are constantly watching Hi-5 and that one chick is hot) and he also told me that it hurt really bad the first few times he "discharged" (more pain, yipee!). Another point I must make is that if I went thru all this and then the final test results came back that the procedure was a failure (which is quite possible from my track record), I would be forced to stab the doctor in his scrotum with a sharp object.

Once again, what was intended to help reassure me and guide me down the enlightened path to vasectomyville did the exact opposite. Another of my fears were somewhat justified a couple years ago when we had a tremor (we actually do live on a fault line here in Illinois). I know if I go "under the knife" (such a pleasant term, yet honest in description) there will be a major earthquake. I don't want to have to explain how an 11.3 turned my 8.5 into a 3.4!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Shopping

I'm sitting here with my boys watching Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian.

The movie is cute (as was the first) and it gives you just enough information on the Smithsonian to really make me want to go there.

I have never been to the capital, much less the Smithsonian. That would be a great trip. I also want to visit the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia... ok, if given the choice I would go to the Mutter first.... come on, who wouldn't want to see the exhibit of Objects Swallowed and Removed or the big colon?

I would wait in line all night to see that... and that brings me to Black Friday

NO! I'm talking Black Friday as in the day after Thanksgiving. The day associated with the official start of the holiday shopping season (tho I think the real start is somewhere around Halloween).

Ever since I got out of the retail business I have loved going out shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I'm up in the wee hours of the morning to first hit the stores who offer their special deals online (hint, Wal-Mart), then I'm off to wait in line. One advantage I have is that I live in a smaller commuinty so I don't have to get in line till around 4am to typically be within the first ten in line (usually within the first 5). The down side is I am limited on what stores are in my area... but that's ok since I do it just for fun!

Yes, I do it simply for the fun of it! Ok, those of you cringing already had better head to the toilet because you may shit your pants when you read the next sentence... I typically have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving.
*Go ahead, if you didn't take my advice and now need to change your pants... the post will still be here when you get back. Unless you have a really crappy dial up connection and someone tries to call in and you don't have it set to turn off call waiting when you are online and it causes your connection to be lost. But, in that case, you not only don't deserve to read on... you also deserve to have crap in your pants*

Seriously... I usually have pretty much everything purchased by about mid November. The Black Friday ads are typically up online (BlackFriday.info) at the beginning of the month if not before, so you can plan ahead. I pick up things as I find them at a special deal (I'm not cheap... I'm frugal) starting mid to late summer. Of course there is always something one of my boys sees that doesn't come out till later in the year, but most of the time they are out by November. Actually, some of the really hot items may be unavail by Thanksgiving (tho that is not as typical as it used to be... Remeber Cabbage Patch Kids?).

Ugly things, aren't they?

I go out on Black Friday because I love crazy people!!! Believe me, if you want to see crazy people acting crazy then you need to go shopping when the doors open on Black Friday. Now, I don't mean the dangerous crazy like last year when the Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death. I'm talking about non-lethal nutbags.

I have a system that I typically follow of what store I wait in line at and then what order I go to the other stores. Since I really don't NEED anything I am in no hurry. (I have a routine I do about Black Friday shopping where I state I only go out to piss off the "real" shoppers) From time to time I break from my routine, if only to break the monotony. A few years ago I decided to go to the Wal-Mart that is open 24 hours just to see how that goes...

With the 24 hour Wal-Mart they simply put out skids of merchandise and wrap it with cello wrap and at the "start time" they cut the wrap and people go for it. Instead of a long line at the front door people group up around the items they want (or at least the most important item they want, unless they are idiots... ok, I was talking Wal-Mart, right?). I entered the store about and hour before the "big event" and was given a map of the sale items and their locations in the store. At the top of the paper I was handed was an actual map of the store with locations of sale items that were numbered. At the bottom was a numbered list of the items. Now, I would think anyone with any level of education (I'm including Kindergarten) would think that a map of this sort should have some form of logical flow or system to it. For example, the items at the bottom could be listed alphabetically or the numbers at the top could start in one spot and go in some order across or around the map... I could not find any rhyme or reason to this friggin' map! Hey, I tried... really hard!!!

After tossing the map aside, I wandered the store looking for something inexpensive of interest to me that I wouldn't mind picking up for one of my boys. I came across a skid stocked full of Star Wars lightsabers that were in the ad for $5. How could I go wrong with that? You can never have too many lightsabers... I actually have a Mace Windu replica that I don't even let the boys look at (I've thought about displaying it in my office). I counted the lightsabers on display; there were five or six boxes each containing ten lightsabers per box. I counted the number of people standing at the display with me; there were six of us total. I did the math in my head and decided that the likelyhood everyone there was going to grab ten or more lightsabers was minimal. I didn't care what color I got, as long as there was one for me I would be happy.

The clock was closing in on us and an employee came over to get ready to cut the wrap. I could sense the other shopper's ass cheeks clench from the looks in their eyes. I decided to just stand back and watch supply and demand unfold before my eyes. After what seemed like very slow last few minutes the employee started to cut. I don't believe he got as far as to cut a full inch off the wrap before the other five shoppers leapt at the skid (literally... a leap was the actual motion each of them made). There was wrap flying, arms flailing and I swear I heard grunts. In a flash it was over and the cling wrap flowed in the breeze as the other shoppers scurried to their next attack. I calmly looked to both my left and right and when I saw the coast was clear I took my time and picked a nice red lightsaber from the remaining fourty some that were left. I actually couldn't contain my chuckles as I strolled the store watching people act like they were gladiators battling vicious beasts for their very lives.

Why would I not want to experience this annual event? It is a joy of life that that brings us back to some of the most basic tribal urges... and it's funny as hell to watch!

I prefer to do my typical waiting in line outside the store for two or so hours. It is a lot of fun to talk to the people (ok, typically myself and one or two others spends the entire time joking with and/or making fun of the others in line). I've met some really interesting folks waiting in line on Black Friday. Below I've listed a few "helpful hints" for anyone wanting to try the Black Friday shopping experience. I know, it would have been helpful to publish this before Thanksgiving... piss off! I'm doing it early for next year.

1. Plan your day- Get the ads early online at BlackFriday.info or a similar website and map out what you are after at each store and what order you are going to hit the stores based on what items are most important to you.

2. Get there early, really early. Realize the coolest & best stuff (electronics are typically the hottest sellers) will all be gone in the first few minutes. A lot of stores even hand out "vouchers" for the hot items that are in limited supply to the first few people in line. If you are after the cheap laptop or the portable DVD player you had better be within the first ten or so people in line. In some areas that means you have to get in line in the evening (or even afternoon) of Thanksgiving day!

3. Bring a fold up chair. There is no shame in sitting down! It can be a long wait. I have seen people bring blankets to sit on, but I prefer my nice folding chair.

4. Dress warm. Even in the mildest of Novembers it is cold in the wee hours of the morning. I recommend two pairs of socks. FYI- you can never go wrong with a Columbia coat. I've seen girls wear skirts in line... but I've also seen girls put out for a Big Mac meal.

5. Don't care. This is probably the most important thing I can say. If it really matters if you get the special deal or not you are setting yourself up for a possible emotional crash really early in your day. Yeah, we would all love to get the $2 MP3 player, but don't set your self up so that if you miss out you need therapy till next Black Friday! It just isn't worth it.

I'm sure there are tons more advice I could give, but those are the basics. If you don't listen to me then you deserve to be cold and disappointed.