Tag Archives: Keanu Reeves

What If Mermaids Take Over Our Jobs?

If you google “will mermaids take over our jobs” you will, in fact, find a slew of mermaid job opportunities.

I thought it was important you know this. Because Professional Mermaid is a thing.

Mehgan Heaney-Grier trying out a new style of swim fin in the waters of the Florida Keys. (Creative Commons)

Mehgan Heaney-Grier trying out a new style of swim fin in the waters of the Florida Keys. (Creative Commons)

I was recently out to coffee with a friend who had heard about a documentary (later outed as a docufiction) called Mermaids: The Body Found. It aired on both Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. You can see film clips about mermaid sightings, their evolution, and history here.

Or you can look on YouTube and find the whole thing – but I’m not responsible, related to, or acquainted with whoever put it there.

I think the show’s worth a watch, if you can get past the narrator referring to them as “underwater apes”. That’s as bad as calling a tyrannosaurus rex a “big lizard.”

But this story gets better.

During its US premiere, Mermaids: The Body Found received 1.9 million views, the largest the network had seen in six years.

A vast majority of those viewers missed the teeny tiny, somewhat hidden disclaimer behind this mockumentary, and believed that shit WAS REAL.

As a result, thousands of people started writing letters to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration demanding action.

What if the mermaids started eating all our shrimp and caused a food shortage?

What if they were after OUR JOBS? 

mermaids doing various jobs, working at a computer, using a power drill, checking a patient's heartbeat with a stethoscope

Artwork by Heather Hertzel

Okay, timeout.

In what bored, cubicle-trapped mind, would you fear that of all the possible things that could possibly happen, MERMAIDS swarming the workforce, overtaking your career, would be something worth writing an angry letter about?

Like a pack of mermaids are gonna scuba their way inside the nearest factories and corporations and start mass applying for jobs with 401k plans?

Or like, you’ll be in a video store with your family, looking for a movie to watch, when suddenly the clerk shouts out from her tank behind the register that ‘Free Willy’ is her pick of the week and she highly recommends it?

Do you know that only 36% of the population even voted in the last federal election?

We can’t remember to vote for the bi-pedal humans that LEAD us, but we’ve got time to get pissed off about mermaids?!

Wait for it, it continues to get better.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration got so many letters that they issued a statement. And in that statement, they said that mermaid migration leading to infiltrated job opportunities was not a concern of theirs as 1) mermaids aren’t real and 2) if it ever DID happen, it’d be a problem for immigration, so please stop writing them letters about mermaids.

This is too rich. I mean, this story is like eating a decadent cheesecake. Or a crab cake. Either way, I want another bite.

While researching mermaids (and finding the definitive proof they exist, but I don’t have time to talk about that today), I also found these gems.

  • Plan your next vacation at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park – Home of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids
  • Check out Tears of a Mermaid, the short film starring Hannah Fraser, who works to promote education and conservation of ocean life. She took a unique approach to not just deep dive, but dance, with one of the deadliest ocean predators, the Tiger Shark.
  • Another ocean conservationist and entertainer is Mermaid Melissa. You can even hire her for parties!
  • Watch the trailer for Funny or Die’s latest Sophia Coppola film, The Little Mermaid

What do you think? Are mermaids real?
And will they take over our jobs?

*****

Last but not least, this week is the final #Keanuthon countdown.

We had a great time watching The Matrix last wednesday. Hop on the hashtag #Keanuthon to see all the fun!

This week we’re watching Constantine, one of my favorite Keanu Reeves movies. He plays John Constantine, a man who has “been to hell and back.” He’s on a mission to prove himself. Co-starring another favorite actor of mine, Rachel Weisz, together they team up to solve the mystery of her twin sister’s untimely death.

I hope you join us for one more round! I’m looking forward to it!

Hubby and I are thinking of hosting a scary movie marathon in October.
Interested in joining us for a #ScreamingScreening?

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My Serendipitous Run-in With Keanu Reeves

I met Keanu Reeves last week.

By now, if you read my blog, or follow me on any social media account, you’re well aware that my husband and I have been hosting a Keanu Reeves themed movie marathon all September long called #Keanuthon. I’ve been live tweeting the films with friends and followers every wednesday.

#KeanuthonBonus

So when we serendipitously ran into and MET Keanu Reeves last week, I guess people wanted to know the story.

To begin, we unknowingly kicked off #Keanuthon on his birthday. 

Some luck!

And on the sunday before we were to watch Speed, my husband and I decided to go hiking. This usually doesn’t end well for us as you’ll see here and here.

At the end of our hiking trip, we decided to grab a beer and then get dinner because it was still the weekend after all, and beer is delicious.

Do you believe in signs? Cause this is the part where shit gets crazy.

The first bar we went to was near the bluffs we were hiking in, but when we got there we learned it was closed. Like really closed. The place was condemned.

Okaaaaaaay…

Our second stop was to a new brewery in town, which neither of us had yet tried. Also closed. (Not also condemned.)

At that point, we got out of the car and decided to walk around downtown and just bum til we found a place. So we find a bar we’ve frequented aplenty, buy our drinks and head upstairs for a table by the window.

Now, we’re in the bar approximately a half hour, chatting about our hiking trip, making future plans, blah blah blah, when I look across the street and start watching this guy standing outside a restaurant.

“You know, my contacts are a bit dirty, but that guy looks like Keanu Reeves,” I said.

“Oh yah,” said Joe, turning around.

We stare at the man. We watch him take a drag on his cigarette and run his hand through his hair.

“It’s uncanny,” said Joe. “Even his mannerisms.”

“Huh,” I agree, nodding.

We go back to talking about whatever else we talked about.

Once we finished our drinks, we headed out to get dinner down the block, but the Keanu Reeves lookalike was still outside. We started to wonder…

Joe suggested we cross the street “for a better look.”

Mid-street crossing I was in the mindset that this was just an extreme lookalike situation, and I bet he gets asked this all the time, but I’m going to ask for a picture because I’ll tell him about #Keanuthon and how funny it would be if I posted that I met Keanu Reeves (but it was just a lookalike).

Understand that at this point I’m walking up with full confidence. 

And when we’re 3 feet away…

*laughter* “That’s really Keanu Reeves,” Joe said. 

Everything after this happened SO FAST. I halted in my tracks. I thought Joe was pushing me forward, he thought I was pushing him forward. The REAL Keanu Reeves heads inside the restaurant and I hear Joe say, “We’re eating here.”

The entrance to the restaurant has a few stairs down to the floor and again, we’re pushing one another.

All Joe can say is “It’s really him.”

And all I can say is “BUT WHY???”

Why is the REAL Keanu Reeves inside a restaurant in my city when we’re in the middle of hosting #Keanuthon???

We walk further into the restaurant, past the bar, looking around for confirmation. Surely others are freaking out like we are. It’s KEANU REEVES, Duuuuuuuuuude!

Nothing. There’s no response.

The bartender directs us to the hostess desk for a table. We ask the hostess if we can sit in the bar.

“Can we sit at THAT table?” my husband asks. She nods.

You guys, we sat at the table NEXT TO Keanu Reeves!

There’s no chair for me, so I walk a few tables over to move one and slide it to our table, right next to Keanu – who turns and looks to ensure I have plenty of room to fit.

HOW SWEET ARE YOU, KEANU?!

We get our menus and we’re both acting like crazy people, giggling and muttering “BUT WHY?”

Joe keeps telling me to “make my move.”

I’m feeling like a creep, but I figure it’s now or never and I gotta just say hi and that I’m a fan and we’re hosting this marathon. (And that I’m NOT an axe murderer.) 

I literally turn in my chair and tap Keanu on the shoulder. He’s a foot away or less. He turns around, extending his hand, and says…

“Hi, I’m Keanu.”

HOLY AJF;AII$%@^%!!!

I lose it again. I’m laughing. I can’t believe I’m in real life right now. I’m shaking Keanu Reeves’ hand and laughing.

I pull myself together enough to say that I’m a fan and that, it might sound crazy, but my husband and I have been having this movie marathon with all of his films and we’re live tweeting his movies.

I also show him the #Keanuthon poster I made on my phone so he believes me. 

“You’re doing what?! That’s crazy” Keanu said. “What films are you watching?”

I read him the lineup.

Keanu: “Constantine! Nice!”

Jess: “That’s my favorite one!”

Keanu: “You should do one of the weird ones. You should watch A Scanner Darkly.”

Jess: “Ok. This is just so crazy. Could we get a photo? No one’s going to believe this.”

Keanu: “Yah, let’s get a photo.”

More Examples of How Lovely Keanu Is

I introduce Keanu to my husband and we ask a friend of his to take our photo. Afterwards, I’m totally ready to slink away. I’m stunned and fangirling and don’t want to take up any more of his time. I don’t even look at the photo, I’m just grateful for what has happened.

KEANU TELLS ME TO LOOK AT THE PICTURE AND SEE IF I LIKE IT!

It ends up looking really hazy for some reason. I show it to Keanu.

“Let’s take another one. Here we’ll move this way. Jess, you get in the middle.” Keanu is allowing us a second photo op and he remembered my name!

Soooooo, long story short, that’s how we got this baby.

Jess Witkins Meets Keanu Reeves

There you have it. That’s how I met Keanu Reeves. And he was wonderful. As he always is

(Oh yah, I did ask him why he was in town and he was here for S & S Cycles – there was a conference or show going on and he’s into motorcycles. So I wished him a great trip. And a belated happy birthday.)

With that said, #Keanuthon is going strong with a bonus feature this week.

Today at 4pm CST we’re watching A Scanner Darkly (requested by Keanu Reeves). 

This is “one of the weird ones.”

It’s an animated movie set in the not too distant future and tells the story of an undercover cop who gets too close to the world of mind-altering drugs. Reeves costars with Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder.

Fun Facts: 
  • the filming of this movie took 23 days, while the animation took 18 months
  • Robert Downey Jr wrote all his lines on post-it notes and stuck them around the set so he could read off them, then they were edited out during the animation process
  • In Arctor’s kitchen there is a drawing of a head in a box next to the phrase “Time to thaw Walt out!”. This is a reference to the urban legend that animator Walt Disney had himself cryogenically frozen.
  • This is the highest-grossing digitally rotoscoped animated feature, grossing $7,659,918.

Also this week…

We’re watching The Matrix on wednesday night at 8pm CST.

Co-starring Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Hugo Weaving, Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a computer hacker who’s about to learn about multiple realities.

Fun Facts
  • It took the actors six months of training and four days to shoot the opening action scene
  • In the first half of the movie, half of Keanu’s lines are questions, averaging roughly one question per minute
  • For my literary nerds, the room that Neo is in at the beginning is room 101, and is a tribute to George Orwell in 1984, where room 101 is where a prisoner gets placed to face their worst phobias

Tune in and live tweet with us using #Keanuthon to follow the fun!

#KeanuthonBonus

30 Questions Before 30

I turn 30 next month.

I’ve moved on from childish behavior like eating Cheetos for dinner. Now, I am a sophisticated adult who eats Cheetos for dinner…with a glass of wine. And with better clothes, because I shop at Stitch Fix.

Afro Hair 4

Thanks for the “fashion advice,” Mom.  NOT.  

I’ve surpassed the emotional roller coaster that this new decade has been inducing. I’ve let go of “do this by the time I’m 30” deadlines. And now, I’m looking forward to it. I think 30 is going to be a great year.

I still feel the need to document my life thus far though. A lot of change and growth, and loss and love, has happened in my 20’s and I want to acknowledge it. I’d been thinking of doing some kind of 30 facts before 30 post, when lo and behold, blogger pal, Liz from Be. Love. Live shared her own 31 Questions theme. And since she invited others to join in, I’m doing just that.

Here’s 30 Questions Answered Before I Turn 30.
  1. Where’s your cellphone? If not in my hand, then it’s right next to me. I have a problem.
  2. Where’s your second half? After making us a scrumptious breakfast this morning, he is out for a run, letting me work in peace.
  3. Your hair? Is messy. I let it air dry. But the color is my natural red.
  4. Your mood? Excited. It’s going to be a good day.
  5. Your plan for today? To catch up on writing assignments and then go hiking with my bae. 
    Out for a Stroll
  6. What’s the best you know? Best I know of what? I know I like red ales and Leinenkugel’s Red is a great one. I think David Sedaris’ essay Six to Eight Black Men is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. I think sharing that story about that time I pooped my pants has made more people come forward and share their own shitastrophies, and that makes me like each of them a bit more.
  7. Your dream last night? I didn’t dream last night, or if I did, I don’t remember it. But last weekend after Joe and I binged watched Season Five of The Walking Dead, I dreamed that I was out scavenging for food and shelter all night long. I was exhausted the next morning.
  8. Your goal in life? To publish my book, and to make people laugh.
  9. The room you’re in? The kitchen, at the table by the window. The most common space I write in, and where Joe often catches me.
    Writing
  10. Your hobby? Blogging, reading, hanging out in coffee shops, doing improv, talking in weird voices, shocking my mother…

    worlds largest latteHobbying like a boss. 

  11. Your fear? Bugs.
  12. Where would you like to be in six years? Celebrating the six year anniversary of you asking me that question. 😉
  13. Where were you yesterday evening? At home with the hubs, watching The Grand Budapest Hotel.
  14. What are you not? I am not coordinated. Please don’t throw balls at me.
  15. Something you wish? I wish I had some chocolate. Like now.
  16. Where did you grow up? In a small town in southeast Wisconsin.
  17. What was the last thing you did? Watch Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen: Toad in a Hole. This girl makes me giggle.
  18. Your clothes? I’m rocking my Dolly Parton tshirt.
    Dolly Parton tee
  19. Your TV? Is a host to many epic marathons such as #Keanuthon.
  20. Your computer? Is a multi-holiday gift from my husband after my old one died. It’s a MacBook Air, and I still don’t really know how to use it. For the love of God, why can’t I just double click on things??!
  21. The best thing you own? My journals. Those notebooks hold my soul.
  22. Do you miss anyone? I miss my family. I miss the members that passed on too early. I miss friends that are kindred spirits despite living across the country.
  23. Your car? Is a 2004 Nissan Sentra, and her name is Dionne.
  24. Something you’re not wearing? Socks.
  25. Favorite store? It is quickly becoming Etsy. And does Stitch Fix count? It is a store, but you don’t go to it, it comes to you.

    Where my book nerds at? Etsy is the greatest for gifts.Where my book nerds at? 

  26. Your summer? The highlight was our annual summer vacation and road trip to Tennessee where we ate copious amounts of barbecue, listened to lots of live music, and visited with friends and family. Additional highs include storytelling at the Old School Variety Show, co-hosting part of the Film Freaks series with the library, and joining an improv troupe.
  27. Do you love anyone? Yah, there’s this boy I like.

    It’s the one on the left. 

  28. Favorite color? Green and turquoise.
  29. When did you last laugh? I laughed watching that Hannah Hart video. Did you watch it? Go watch it. She’s so silly.
  30. When did you last cry? I cried watching The Walking Dead because some of my favorite characters were killed off. I won’t say who, but it’s sad.

Feel free to copy these questions and share your own responses.
Thanks for tuning in! 

*****

BTW

It’s mid-month of #Keanuthon and this week’s classic is Speed. One bus. One bomb. One Keanu to save the day!

Co-starring Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, and Jeff Daniels, Keanu plays a cop that has to rescue a group of strangers trapped on a bus that can’t go less than 50 mph. If you already feel like one epic joy ride isn’t enough, rest assured, there’s a Speed 2: Cruise Control – which takes place on a boat. Unfortunately, Keanu isn’t in that one.

We’ll be live tweeting the movie once again on Wednesday, September 16th at 8:00pm CST. Join me and friends or follow along using #Keanuthon.

Get ready for rush hour! 

Also this happened last night. What. Are. The. Odds? 

Jess Witkins Meets Keanu Reeves

Now, even KEANU knows about #Keanuthon. 

Prepare Yourselves, #Keanuthon is Coming

The Husband and I have been planning to have a movie marathon for months now. A themed marathon. A celebrity-themed marathon.

A Keanuthon. 

We all have our celebrity crushes and idols. My husband’s is Keanu Reeves.

And Jane Fonda. But we’ll host her party later.

So, we’ve decided to host a #Keanuthon. A Keanu Reeves themed movie marathon for the month of September!

BEHOLD…

#Keanuthon

Here’s the scoop. 

Starting September 2nd, we’ll watch one Keanu Reeves movie every wednesday. And we’re going to live tweet the movie using the hashtag #Keanuthon. Find me on Twitter @jesswitkins and let’s talk all things Reeves-related.

Feel free to dive in the fun using whatever your favorite social media hangout is, just use #Keanuthon so we can find you.

At the end of the month, I’ll share a wrap up post featuring the funniest and best tweets and photos from #Keanuthon.

So tell all your friends! Head to the movie rental store (AKA: Netflix), and get ready for #Keanuthon!!!

It’s all starting with Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Spread the word! #Keanuthon starts in one week! 

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