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Monday, June 30, 2014

Samson Shame Monday

Pulse Pounding Kung Fu
Action!
Last night I came to bed with a couple more Master Of Kung Fu issues off the pile, breezing through #'s 24 and 25 before finally settling in to finish reading Hard Candy by Andrew Vachss. This novel is Vachss at his best to me, with terse, staccato bursts of text, sporting a lean and mean delivery that wastes no time. The novel is rather short but follows three different cases without giving anyone short shrift and ends on a solid, bleak note that brings the Burke character back to himself after the events of the previous book. Great stuff.

The wife had plans this morning to drop off her car at the dealership for an oil change or some such, so I'd set the alarm for 10:00, about 30 minutes after she was to deliver the vehicle, figuring if she needed a ride or anything else she could easily get me on the phone. Otherwise, they would drop her at the Mother In Law's place, where she would borrow a vehicle for the day to get around in. I got up and moving, opened the house for the day and looked in on the iPad games, then nailed down lunch plans with EL for our alternate Thai place.

We met around 11:30 in a packed restaurant (where everyone took their own vehicles, it was hard to even find a place to park, much less sit), so we caught up amid the chaos and then headed over to his house so that I could check out a painting he'd been working on and confirm with his wife that I was still interested in the painting of hers that we'd seen when we visited the gallery, but we just need to figure out where it's going to live first. I showed EL and AGL the little collage project that I've been piddling with, along with the other completed one from last year that I think will be in inspiration for the next step, which they seemed to like well enough, then I left them to their afternoon and split, stopping into Starbucks on the way back to the house.

The wife and pup were unloading groceries when I got in, so I helped with the last of that and putting stuff away while she and I caught up on the day thus far, then she and the Yorkie settled in the bedroom to relax. I moved into the Office and spent the next hour or two on the blogging process, getting a post published, then banking several more for the rest of the week and polishing up stuff from the first week of June, when we were spending time in Austin and Kingsland. Thankfully, I'd taken fairly intense notes, so it was mainly a manner of correcting grammar and a few typos instead of wracking my brain to recall what the hell had happened, which is never a fun way to work.

C'mon, Tell Me That's Not
An AMAZING Poster.
I spent a few minutes here and there gluing more stuff into the collage thing, then finally knocked off around 5:00 as I was hearing the wife stirring in the bedroom and moving to the kitchen to start looking at what she was making for dinner.

I made myself a cocktail and left her to that process, since it was a simple tenderloin and baked potatoes, so me in the kitchen would be more in the way than anything else, then grabbed a movie to watch in the den. Black Samson is a movie whose trailer had caught my eye numerous times, but I'd yet to get around to watching because it was hidden in a set of four other 'urban action' films, so I finally popped that mother in to see if it lived up to the wild stuff in the advertising. I can happily say that it was a lot of fun, though it might end a little too conveniently, but it's still a great ride. It features a lion casually hanging around in a night club, Samson beating the hell out of guys with a large Biblical-looking walking stick and a climax that mirrors 300 in some ways, with villains driven into a small area to take cut their numbers and abilities down to size. Fun flick.

You May Still Be Here, I
Don't Know That I Will Be.
We ate while finishing up the movie, then moved on to this week's episode of True Blood, just because it's nice to stay caught up and not have a ton of things to plow through later, then we caught the premiere episode of The Leftovers, which is a show from Damon Lindelof of Lost fame, based on a novel that I've not read. The upshot is the world 3 years after a good chunk of the population has disappeared in a 'Rapture' style event, leaving everyone wondering what the fuck happened and trying to maintain a semblance of normal life with their jobs, school, etc. The confusing thing for me was that I assumed a group of folks who don't speak and merely smoke and observe everyone were meant to be people who've come back and don't acknowledge their previous lives, but an Interweb acquaintance told me that this was not the case, they're just fucking weirdos who stopped living their previous life and started doing this instead, which makes even less sense than what I was expecting, so I dunno how much I can commit to this show beyond the first season unless it gets super-duper engaging all of a sudden.

Her Yard Was All Concrete.
Like Mine Was Once.
I put the wife and pup to bed, then made myself a final cocktail and watched the first two episodes of Penny Dreadful, which proved to be intriguing and left me curious to see where it goes, much more so than the other show, so I'm pleased to have another six or so on the TiVo for this first season of the show. Now as far as finding the time to marathon through them while they're fresh on my mind, well, that's another feat to pull off...

I finally headed to bed around 1:30 in the AM, foregoing the blogging in favor of starting the next Burke novel, so I plowed through about 50 pages of Blossom before finally calling it a night.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simpsons Sunday And Not Much Else

Darker And Darker...
Last night I went to sleep late after making some major headway in the already rather short novel Hard Candy by Andrew Vachss, so I feel as if I'll be wrapping it up tonight if all goes well. I slept with no alarm, but after finally crashing around 3:30 in the AM it didn't surprise me that I slept in today until noon. The wife and pup greeted me as I got the house opened, with the wife hitting me up about a recipe that she was wanting to make for dinner, but with the sleep still in my eyes I have to admit that I did my damnedest to talk her out of it, just because the whole process sounded like a pain in the ass, involving a random grocery store trip, etc. She seemed a bit frustrated by my lack of interest, but I argued that she'd had a long week, so why not just relax and enjoy the weekend, then let us go shopping when we're fresh and ready to tackle something new next week?

We chilled in the bedroom with the pup for a bit and half-assed watched part of a Dukes Of Hazzard episode that was on television just because...nostalgia, y'know? Man, that show looks like a total piece of shit now, but I loved it to pieces when I was little - I'm scared to actually sit down and try to watch it with my full attention, lest I decide that I must have been a special needs child who somehow grew out of it.

I finally got dressed and placed an online order for some food, then headed across town to pick it up while the wife and pup crashed out for a lazy afternoon nap. The food wasn't quite ready when I got there, so I unfortunately did have time to run into an ex co-worker from the flower shop, who wasn't ever a prize pig to begin with, but looks like she's aged 20 years in the past 8 years or so - alcoholism is a real motherfucker, I suppose. Conversely, I'm sure she's thinking "Man, he got fucking FAT.", but oh well, I don't look 20 years older than I am, so I'll take it.

I headed home and let the wife know that food had arrived, then I made myself a plate and settled into the den with the first disc of season nine of The Simpsons, just because it felt like the day was half over when I was first aware and awake, so why not just take a day and chill with silly shit? I worked my way through the first disc, then paused to make sure that everything was set to record for the evening before I popped in disc two.

The wife and pup surfaced eventually and we visited a bit as the show unspooled, while she snacked on some leftovers and I looked through a few catalogs that were lying around from earlier in the week's mail, then we finally got into the evening's Fox animation stuff, which is currently all re-runs, then finally got a bit more serious with the series finale of Californication.

I have to say, I'm happy to finally write this one off, as it's entertaining but superfluous in virtually every way, even in how it ended, with an impassioned speech that would have felt equally at home at the end of the first season, where it should've ended, and then poof, it's over.

We wrapped the evening with another excellent episode of Halt And Catch Fire, which manages to serve as a sort of history lesson each week in that the reference enough specific people or terminology that I'm curious about that I spend all of the commercial breaks reading aloud to the wife from Wikipedia or another source about this or that figure in the history of computing and what their effect was on the world at large.

The wife was wiped out and headed to bed (which surprised me after her afternoon nap) so I tucked her in and then fed the Yorkie her late night meal, complete with some carrot trimmings as a little treat, then I glued some more stuff into the collage project before finally heading to the Interwebs to get this post started.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tabloid Saturday

With nothing really on the agenda for today I slept with no alarm last night and finally shook off the bed today near noon, around 11:45 or so. The wife and pup greeted me warmly, having been up for a few hours at this point, then I got the house opened for the day and looked in on the iPad games before we started to form a plan for the day. The wife had made tentative plans to see the In-Laws because the Mother In Law's Beau had a gift of some kind he'd grabbed for the wife and we were supposed to go pick that up, but since they're also leaving on Monday for the lake we figured we should say goodbye, etc.

The In-Laws had stepped out for a late breakfast, but we made plans to pick up lunch and then stop by there to eat and visit since they'd likely be getting home around this time. We chose a drive-thru adjacent to a local restaurant where a man had entered the kitchen last night and fired off a gun in what was supposedly a robbery attempt, only to be shot down in the restaurant itself by an off-duty cop. The place looked understandably empty, hell, it might even still be a crime-scene at this point for all I know. We headed over to the In-Laws and met them just as they got home, settling in their kitchen.

We visited and caught up, then the wife got her present, which turned out to be a gold rooster pin with a sapphire eye that''d turned up on some auction site that the Beau frequents, so he picked it up for her. Fun stuff.

We eventually said our goodbyes and headed home, stopping along the way for a coffee since I knew that the wife was headed to a nap and I wanted a tasty beverage while I worked on the blog for a bit.

When we got home I put the wife and pup to bed for a bit and then finally settled in the Office after going through the mail and sorting out a couple of recently arrived eBay purchases - that Master Of Kung Fu set creeps ever closer to being complete, which will leave only the Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu to look for, which was a black and white magazine that Marvel started based on the popularity of the series. I think I may've owned one issue of it from a used bookstore way back when, but that's long gone now. Unfortunately, they aren't as common on eBay as the regular series, so that may be a bit of a pain in the ass to try to track these down. Oh well. Hobbies.

Specialized Features.
The afternoon was mostly eaten up with the blog, while I got several posts ready to publish and something new up for the day, then I finally came to a stopping point, started a bit of laundry and then showered, since I knew we were supposed to have dinner plans of some kind this evening. When I got out of the shower I swapped out the laundry for the dryer and then dressed for the evening, trying on another shirt out of the little stack of new stuff that'd come in recently from some catalog shopping the wife and I had done. Pleased with my outfit thus far, I made a drink and worked on the collage stuff a bit more, finally getting back into that habit before settling in the den with the bonus features on the Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts disc. The extra interviews and whatnot were interesting enough, but since they seemed to be from numerous tapings they weren't leveled out at the same volume, which made them a little hard to listen to at times because I was hate-fucking the volume button on the remote.

Brian arrived just shy of 6:00 for dinner, having had some plans fall through with family and made plans with us on the fly, so we visited for a short time, then I drove us to a Mexican food place on the South side that we hadn't been to in quite some time. The food was good and the place was quiet and nearly empty, so we were able to visit and catch up quite a bit. After the meal we stopped for ice cream and then headed back home to chill. We flipped around to a few little songs and whatnot on YouTube, eventually settling on a movie on Netfux Streaming at the wife's request.

Oh You Crazy, Crazy Broad.
Tabloid was suggested by the Middle Sister and turned out to be quite intriguing, even if most of that was just because of how coo-coo fucking crazy the subject of the documentary seemed to be. Joyce McKinney is a former beauty queen and model who came to some amount of infamy in the '70s when she (allegedly?) kidnapped and molested a Mormon missionary, who was apparently a guy she'd dated before he disappeared on his mission, leading her to find in England and snatch him! Her version: they had a little honeymoon and were gonna be married. His (likely coached) version: she grabbed him and forced sex on him, etc., then he got away and back to his faith, the poor fellow. The one thing that becomes clear as the film goes on is that she's pretty fucking nuts and it didn't start last week, she's been that way for a good long time and anyone dealing with her back then probably knew it as well.

After the movie Brian split and I spent some time folding some towels while the wife gave the Yorkie a late night snack, then I tucked them into bed and headed to the Office to write up this post and poke around the Interwebs for a bit.

Be seeing you.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Graphic Suicide Possession

The Lawn Guys were out in full force this morning about an hour before the alarm was set to go off, so I lay there for a bit listening to the Yorkie bitch and grouse at them in the front room, then I finally got back to sleep just in time for the alarm to startle me awake. With the wife out of the house for most of the day (yet again) I looked at e-mail for a bit, then fell back asleep for a bit, finally surfacing close to noon after it was all said and done. The Yorkie was still snoozing with me, so I gave her a little snuggle, then we got the house opened for the day and I looked in on the iPad games before firing up the PC to see what was up in the world.

In my efforts to play a bit of catch up on the blogging I made certain to get a post published, with another planned for the evening, then I got dressed and grabbed the newspaper off the front porch, where the Lawn Guys had evidently tossed it, giving the garage sales a peep to see what was up. I thought one sounded kind of interesting, so I got dressed and called ahead to a Chinese place across town, then headed out to grab a bite to eat.

When I got home I gave the Yorkie a little rice for her troubles, as well as a little of her own food, then settled in the den to watch a little something off the TiVo. I settled on a little 30 minute Suicide Girls show that's been on there forever, which was decent enough, though I have no idea what it was supposed to be - a pilot for a show that went nowhere? An odd one-off special that they did? IMDB has no info whatsoever about a Suicide Girls show on Showtime, so I'm kind of at a loss.

After the show I put away my leftovers and stepped out to check out an estate sale that was a total bust, but gave me yet another tour of a house in town that you could tell was owned by an elderly person just based on the furniture and knick-knacks, which is always telling as well as slightly depressing, because you wonder if they're selling all this shit because they're now dead, or of they've just downsized to a retirement home, neither of which is particularly preferable.

I grabbed a coffee at Starbucks on the way home, then was surprise to arrive as the wife was getting back from her day. We caught up, which involved her and the rest of one of her boards firing an executive director today, amid accusations of sexual harassment and the like, and I have to say I was quite proud of her for the way she handled things. The guy aparently tried to stall and ask for documentations (which he should already have) and the wife said that he could find it online, please leave. He tried to ask about other shit and she reiterated we're done here. No. Please leave.

This all happens in the aftermath of them working at trying to fire the guy for several weeks, hell, months at this point and he's had a habit of confusing the situation and stalling around for more time for this or that, so I was quite proud of the wife for saying enough, this shit is over.

Ouch.
The wife went through the mail and then spent some time piddling around in the Craft Room while I wrapped up my Interweb nonsense, then the wife and I slowly migrated to the den to watch something off the To-Watch Pile. The wife mentioned maybe something else in the true crime or documentary since we'd been on something of a run the past few nights, so I dug around for a bit and eventually threw in Graphic Sexual Horror, which is a documentary about a rough bondage site that was eventually shut down by the Homeland Security folks. The site was formed by a guy who was a former professor at Carnegie Mellon and featured some truly rough shit, if the videos in the documentary are to be believed. All I came away from the film with was the confirmation that I will truly never understand certain elements of human sexuality and that the main guy was someone who started out happy to have people to 'play' with, then eventually became something of a diva as it were, with his attitude seeming to be that he was paying these women enough that they shouldn't ever be uncomfortable enough to use their 'safe word', which was largely frowned upon on the site by the other users. Crazy shit.

I Can't Exist By Myself Because
I'm Afraid Of Myself, Because
I'm The Maker Of My Own Evil.
After the movie we shared my leftovers from lunch and then got into a film that I'd blind-bought recently called Possession, which has received a number of positive reviews in the little podcast community I tend to run with, so I figured it was time to give it a go. Sam Neill returns from business abroad to find that his wife (Isabelle Adjani) wants out of the relationship and has been having an affair, which leads into some truly freaky and strange territory as he investigates and falls deeper into his obsession. The movie goes into some horror film areas by the time it's all said and done, but overall it's actually rather hard to define in a specific genre, because it's an odd drama/suspense/horror mash-up filled with some disorienting camera-work and well worth a look. I think this will hold up rather well on the re-watch, just because it leaves a ton of stuff up to your interpretation.

I put the wife and pup to bed after the movie, then hopped online with a final cocktail and got this post written in between other poking around on the Interwebs, then finally called it a night to head to bed and finish looking through this month's Previews to see what I need to order.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blind Woman's Bling

Waking with the alarm this morning I found the wife out and about for yet another full day of nonsense, so the Yorkie and I had a little cuddle, then I opened the house for the day and she and I fetched the newspaper off the front walk. She scented the air furiously, so I guess something must be blowing around in the neighborhood, for her to take such heavy notice of things. I looked in on the various iPad games, then spent a short time on the Interwebs in the Office, getting something ready to publish for the day and looking ahead at the next couple posts that still needed a helluva lot of polish before they would be ready to see the light of day.

Apparently I was feeling super-duper lazy about a month ago and the writing really shows, as the notes are terse little one sentence lines about dates, times and places, with no 'flavor' whatsoever, which I now have to punch it all up a great deal. Oh well.

I decided to get out and grab some Mexican take-out for lunch, and after a quick scan of the newspaper, also make a stop at a garage sale that just so happened to be on the way, so I dressed and left the Yorkie to keep an eye on things. She seemed cool with that, though I don't know how effective her watch will be from the bedroom...

The garage sale was a bust, filled with only ladies clothing and a ton of Barbie stuff and what have you, with the hinted at 'DVDs and VHS' being kids videos instead of anything of interest to me, so I hit up a drive-thru for some lunch and headed back home. Along the drive the iPhone's podcast app started acting buggy, stopping randomly here and there, even if I hadn't touched the device, so I started to wonder what kind of hassle that was going to be to fix after I had my lunch.

The Yorkie had finished her own food, which freed her up to watch me with a lizard-like unblinking vigilance for the entirety of my meal, but I did treat her to a few nibbles of tortilla, so I guess it all paid off for her in the end.

You're Too Filthy Even For
A Yakuza.
The last thing I'd been listening to was a GGTMC episode that was about to review a Teruo Ishii film called Blind Woman's Curse, which sounded like something I'd blind-bought cheap locally, and sure enough, I was able to locate it on the To-Watch Pile, so I popped that in while I ate and was fairly impressed with it. The story follows a female Yakuza boss who is beset from all sides by trouble, from a blind swordswoman and her hunchbacked servant to the rival gangs. It's a decent little flick, though aside from a few visual flourishes here and there I don't know that there's a lot to set it aside from other films starring the same lead (Meiko Kaji), so I could see revisiting Lady Snowblood over this one if push comes to shove.

I spent the late afternoon in the Office with more blog stuff, then had settled in the den to watch the bonus material on the Dirty Hands documentary and enjoy a cocktail when the wife texted regarding dinner after her final meeting. I put in my order for food and was soon joined by the wife to finish out the special features stuff, then we moved on to another movie off the To-Watch Pile, since I've been feeling very aware of how many movies we have stacked up around this place unwatched.

Oh Just Die, You Little Hangers-
On...Yeesh.
The Bling Ring was a blind buy cheap at the local books, music and video outlet and since I figured the wife might be amused by the subject matter I popped it in next. The story is based on a group of kids in Hollywood who started using news stories about celebrities to plan burglaries of their homes, eventually getting caught after they bragged about it one too many times and finally encountered a house with a security camera that was turned on. I have to say, I was mostly put off by the story, because it's just about this series of over-privileged and under-supervised kids (okay, they were roughly 18-20, but they behaved like idiot high schoolers) who saw nothing wrong with trying a door to see if anyone was home and just casually grabbing whatever caught their Magpie-esque vision. I had zero sympathy for any of them and am just shocked that they could do it so easily. These celebs have these multimillion dollar homes and don't even lock a door or turn on a security system? People are weird.

We moved on to the season premiere of True Blood, which we were finally able to finish and I still barely care about the show, so I guess we'll ride it out for the final season just to see what they do with it. We wrapped the evening with the new episode of The Soup, then the wife and pup headed to bed. Once they were tucked in I spent about a half hour scanning stuff into the iPhone app to stay current on my DVD/Blu-ray collection, then headed to the Interwebs to write yesterday's blog post and then call it a night.

I spent about an hour looking through the newest Previews before I finally crashed for the night, falling asleep around 2:00 in the AM.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bernie Hair Jon (Or: Bank, Car Dealership, Movies)

The wife had another full day today, though this one ran from freaking 8:00 c'clock in the AM until around 5:00, which I know sounds like nothing at fucking all for the casual reader with a straight job, but for the wife and her volunteerism (or my lazy ass) this sounds like a helluva long sentence that you regret signing up for, y'know? As I've said a thousand times before: it's a weird life.

I woke with the alarm at 10:00 this morning and dozed for a few on the bed, then shook off the bed and got moving, as I had a certain agenda that I wanted to run through since I had the time. First and foremost was the banking issue, since the bank I've used since before the wife and I even met has been purchased by Frost Bank and had a changeover this past weekend, so I was keen to step in there and make certain that I had a reasonable amount of cash in the bank and that checks were ordered, etc.

Amazon sales continue to happen, so I got a Blu-ray ready to mail and then got dressed for the day, fed the Yorkie and then headed out.

I dropped off the recycling on the way, since our plastics have been fucking and multiplying behind my back, then stopped into the bank to see what was up and when I could expect the new checks, etc., especially in the face of a few recent Paypal eBay transactions. I was genuinely concerned that I could end up overdrawn before this was all sorted out. The little gal at the front desk was helpful, but of course she wasn't a local (a situation where I'd expect that she'd be a total shithead and obstinately useless) and I was soon on my way with checks ordered, routing numbers and info on how to set up online banking and a debit card ordered that I'll never use. Whee!

After the bank I pointed the car towards the Nissan dealership, feeling brave and hoping that I'd have a similarly positive experience regarding the cosmetic damage that was done to the Maxima when we had that blow out in Austin a few weeks back. Unfortunately they seemed a bit baffled by the parts involved, only able to locate the part number for one of them, which was around $165 for the parts, with no idea about the labor, but they took my number and said they'd call me later in the afternoon when they found out about the total.


Trust Me, If A Woman Ain't Happy
With Herself, She's Gonna Bring
Nothing But Pain To Every Fuckin'
Body Around Her.
I hit up the nearest Starbucks and then called in an order for some Thai food at the alternate place, making my way back across town to pick that up and headed home to see what the Yorkie was up to. I gave her a bit of my rice and mixed it with her food, then settled into the den to watch a little something off the To-Watch Pile, which I'd picked up via Swap A DVD to check out before listening to the Projection Booth guys review it.

Good Hair is a film that sees Chris Rock taking a comedic look at the business of black hair, digging into what people are willing to do for their weave, the toxic chemicals involved and where the hair itself actually comes from, which kinda surprised me. The film was a lot of fun, but as I was wrapping it up the Yorkie's weirdly needy behavior started to agitate me, so I finally said to hell with it and stepped out to grab a coffee or something, because I couldn't stand to sit around the house with the damned dog looking at me expectantly.

I Never Actually Touch My Cock
'Til I Find The Right Clip.
I ended up stopping into the local books, music and video outlet, where I was able to pick up the new issue of Previews, as well as something that I'd missed ordering from Things From Another World, so that was kinda cool. I made my way to Starbucks, then headed back home and settled into the Office to work on the blog a little bit. I'd been in there for about 20 minutes when the wife finally got home from her long day out, so we caught up a bit on our respective days, then she and the pup chilled in the bedroom to look at e-mail and whatnot while I tried to get a few things done on the Interwebs.

When I finally surfaced the wife and pup joined me in the den and we got into the leftover sandwiches for our dinner as I popped in something off the To-Watch Pile that I figured the wife would enjoy. Finally breaking the seal on the Blu-ray of Don Jon, we settled in for a surprisingly funny movie about a porn-addicted Jersey Boy and his attempts to change his behavior to woo what he thinks is the girl of his dreams. The film is written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and actually ends on a much more sweet and poignant tone that I was originally expecting, so that was a nice little turn for things to take. I'd definitely suggest checking it out if you have the chance.

They're Making It Out Worse
Than It Really Is. He Shot Her Four
Times, Not Five.
We paused for bathroom breaks and I made myself another cocktail, then we got into Bernie, another selection off the To-Watch Pile that I suspected the wife would really enjoy. The story of a small town mortician who eventually becomes very important to a wealthy woman before (admittedly!) murdering her, it's all the more strange because it's based on a true story, and the townspeople portrayed in the film are actually people who knew those involved! It's an interesting little tale, and really nails the feeling of small town life from start to finish. Another great film and something I'm happy to have finally gotten around to checking out, as I was shocked to realize it was a 2011 film.

I put the wife and pup to bed, then spent a short time scanning a pile of movies into the iPhone app so as to better track the collection, then I moved into the Office with a final cocktail and worked on the blog for a bit, getting sidetracked here or there with some chat with SL via Facebook.

I finally crashed out around 3:00 in the AM, reading a bit more of Hard Candy to wind down.

Be seeing you.