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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Black Initiation House

I was pleased to sleep like a baby last night and wake with no alarm close to noon to find the Yorkie snoozing with me in bed, but the wife nowhere to be seen. I checked the iPhone for any sort of text messages, then got up and opened the house for the day, finally noticing a note that the wife had left indicating that she'd gone to lunch with Brian, then to the Mother In Law's place for an afternoon swim afterward. I got the newspaper off the front walk with the Yorkie, then fed her some lunch and dressed to go and pick up a little bite to eat for myself.

Leaving the house unsure of what I actually wanted to eat, I hit the Starbucks drive-thru to buy some time and review the options, which in turn gave the car enough time to start in with the 'low fuel' light, so I stopped for gas next and finally made my way through the drive-thru of a nearby Mexican food place and then headed home to eat and try to watch a movie off the To-Watch Pile.

Come On Back If You Want
Some More!
The wife got home as I was finishing my meal and about halfway through a first time watch of Black Belt Jones, which seemed to catch her eye, so I paused the film and we caught up a bit, then I related the fairly minor plot of the film to her and we both snuggled up on the couch to watch the rest of the movie together. The movie was truly amazing in that it's got a ton of corny moments, all of which informed the delightful homage movie Black Dynamite, and I was rather pleased to be able to place the theme to a certain podcast after hearing the theme here. It's interesting how incestuous that market is, with a ton of the same shows borrowing from the same fairly small pool of music for their rather distinctive sounds.

After the film wrapped the wife and the pup retired to the bedroom for a nap and I spent a short time on the PC in the Office to get a couple blog posts written for the past few days, then I decided to try to change gears a bit and squeeze in some reading time in the Library, since it's been something I haven't made the time to do in ages.

After about an hour of reading and some jazz on Pandora to pass the time, I surfaced to find the wife and pup getting up and about as well, so I poked around and eventually settled on a little double feature film set for our evening's entertainment. We kicked off the Scream Factory TV Terrors set with The Initiation Of Sarah, which is something of a riff on Carrie, with a girl in college being tormented by the sorority that accepts her 'normal' adopted sister, so when she ends up in the misfit sorority it's no big surprise when the house mother starts trying to groom her budding supernatural powers to take revenge on the rivals. It's a decent enough little flick, though TV 'Terrors' is taking it a bit far, but I guess for a late '70s TV movie it's about what you'd expect.

One Out Of Two Ain't Bad?
We paused in between films and I made some pasta to accompany the leftover barbecue from Thursday night, then we got back into the movies with something called Are You In The House Alone?, which starts off in the aftermath of some sort of attack, with a high school girl taken to the hospital where it's revealed that she was raped, then we spend the film in flashback looking at every man in her life with suspicion, because it was obviously someone within her social circle. The movie is a straight-up drama, there's never any hint of horror or the supernatural in this at all, so it almost plays like an After School Special intended to tell you to watch your ass around men instead of the Halloween-esque movie you might've expected based on the opening and the chaos of the house that we first enter. Oh well, I guess they can't always be winners.

Brutal!
We called it a night afterward and I put the wife and pup to bed, then hopped online and got something published for the day, heading to bed to read a couple more issues of Master Of Kung-Fu before bed, since I'd fallen out of that habit as well. Issues 26 and 27 were on the reading agenda this evening, then I started to wind things down with another chunk of Blossom by Andrew Vachss before finally crashing out for the night.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Sleep, Dinner, Then Art

After going to bed much later than I should've I slept for about an hour and change before the sinuses got the better of me, presumably after being in the outdoors for more than I normally would, so I was up and coughing and miserable by 6:30 in the AM. This pattern would continue for the rest of the morning, so by the time I finally got some sleep the wife had been up and back down and rejoined me in the bed, so we both slept a good chunk of the day away, which kinda sucks, to be perfectly honest, but what are you gonna do?

Once I finally surfaced it was well into the afternoon and it was pretty much time to start getting plans nailed down for the evening, so I spent a short time on the Interwebs getting a post ready to publish for the day since I wanted to at least get one thing done with my time, then I got Kno1 and Anastasia Beaverhouszen on board for dinner and art for the evening and hopped in the shower to get cleaned up.

We met our friends at Chili's on the Loop just because it was easier to find a chain that was open in the face of the patriotic holiday than any of the usual locally owned spots, and I was pleased to find the place not as packed as you'd expect. Anastasia noted the bar area was open seating, so instead of waiting around like schmucks for a table for a half hour we were seated immediately, then had a quick little meal before heading to our place to drop off their car. I drove us to the South side to check out the latest gallery opening that EL's brother was hosting.

The event seemed well attended (about an hour or two into the event) and we visited with some folks, checked out the art and watched a gal doing some graffiti-styled work outside on a long panel that'd been put together for the event. After some mingling and chat we finally said our goodbyes and made our way to Baskin Robbins for a little dessert item, then back to our place to chill. We visited and half-assed watched R.I.P.D. on cable with the sound down, finally seeing our guests off close to 10:00.

Where My Avengers At?
I put the wife to bed and went through the last couple days' worth of newspapers while watching an episode of Family Guy on Adult Swim, then headed to the Office to get a blog post written for the past few nights that I'd ignored, finally calling it something of an early night and going to bed to read for a bit in lieu of  staying up as late as I have most of the week.

I finished out the Avengers Assemble volume 3 collection that I'd been ignoring for quite some time, then crashed close to 3:00 in the AM, happy to have gotten some reading done and finally feeling like I might sleep a solid amount overnight.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Fourth Of July Kick-Off Party (Small Scale Version)

This morning I woke with no alarm, sleeping well past when I should've likely forced myself from the bed and finding it to be close to noon. When I start to sleep this late it's always slightly concerning just because it feels like maybe something is off in my equilibrium, making me feel like I'm avoiding life by digging deeper into the pillows for no real reason, as if I'm skating around depression or something. Or maybe I'm just over analyzing things. At any rate, I've been drinking more than I probably should this week and have been sleeping in later, not out of any kind of hangover mind you, just less interested in usual when it comes to getting anything done. This is kind of what leads me to believe there may be some sort of depression in there, but maybe I'm just feeling like the wife and I both have a week with less going on and I'm trying to take advantage of that?

Oh well.

The wife and pup were already up and joined me in the bedroom when they heard me stirring, so we lazed about for a short time, plotting out the rest of the day, which mainly consisted of entertaining a few people at the Mother In Law's house, where the pool sounded inviting to the wife and felt like a fun way to kick off the extended 4th Of July weekend for our friends.

I got out and about, picked up some hotdogs at the nearby Sonic, then visited for a few with the wife when I got home before she the the pup settled in the bedroom for the afternoon and I popped in the final disc of The Simpsons season nine and chilled in the den for the duration.

As we got closer to the evening I picked up the kitchen a bit and went through the mail, then spent a few on the computer to look at e-mail and threw on a new shirt, then loaded up our recycling to dump on the way to pick up food. The wife surfaced from the craft room and I loaded the last bit of stuff on the car so that we could head out. I dumped our stuff at the recycling station near the college, then we picked up a family pack of barbecue and headed to the MIL's place, settling the food in the kitchen since we weren't sure when people would arrive, then I had a cocktail and we visited amongst ourselves while listening to some music on Pandora, ran through the little jam box in the kitchen.

The wife had invited Brian and his boyfriend DM, though we kinda doubted we'd see DM since he worked late and had an appointment afterward, Anastasia Beaverhouszen and Kno1, and our girlfriend JH, who had seemed less than receptive to the initial invitation, so sure enough she was a no-show. We were eventually joined by Brian, who confirmed that we wouldn't see DM and then Anastasia and Kno1 rolled in, so we dug into barbecue and visited around the kitchen table, then finally headed into the back yard so that everyone could swim. Me not being a swimmer or having any real interest in water in general, I chilled on the edge of things and enjoyed another drink while we visited and shot the shit about whatever came up, which was a nice way to spend the evening, I have to say. The only downside to sitting on the periphery of things with a foot soaking in the pool was the wife suddenly noticing that my leg not in the water was almost black with mosquitoes, which is pretty fucking gross and will likely explain my West Nile Virus next week...

Yick.

We said our goodbyes after a little more visiting in the house, gathering our trash and whatnot so as not to leave a mess behind, then went our separate ways.

Back at the house I got the wife tucked in and made a final drink, settling in the den to re-watch a movie off the To-Watch Pile, just for the hell of it.

Grumbley Voice!
By the time it was all said and done, it was after 5:00 in the AM and I'd watched the first two Christopher Nolan Batman flicks, plowing through both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before finally calling it a night. Hell, I even paused in the middle somewhere there to make some late night mac and cheese, just because it sounded good.

I crashed hard, hoping to sleep for a nice little chunk of time and wake feeling at least mildly refreshed.

This would not be the case.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Stewardesses Wednesday

So last night I managed to sleep like total shit after I finally went to bed, and was even awake when the wife and Yorkie left for the Groomer and an early meeting shortly after 8:00 in the frigging AM, so that kinda sucked on a lot of levels.

I eventually woke late after ignoring then alarm to find the Yorkie and wife still out of the house, so I got the sleep from my eyes and the stiffness from my neck before I finally stretched and shook off the bed, heading to the front room to get things opened for the day and the house looking like people lived here and not Boo Radley.

Since we were well beyond the noon hour by this time, I dressed quickly and headed out to grab lunch and step into the local books music and video place for a browse, just to pretend that I'd gotten something done with my day before the sun started setting, y'know?

While I was browsing I happened to run into a guy I know vaguely from back in my retail days, so I visited with him for a few in the store's little comic section until I got a call from the wife about the Yorkie being done at the Groomer, so I said my goodbyes and split to go pick her up so she wouldn't spend the entire day trapped in her little travel carrier.

Debating my food options I headed across town to pick up the Yorkie, then we hit a drive-thru for a burger on the way home, during which time the pup simply chilled in her carrier. I've taken to letting her ride home in the carrier just because she always has a ton of stray hairs after the Groomer and they get everywhere, but she also seems more chill when she's in the contained environment instead of trying to find a way to get comfortable on my lap or up around my neck by the headrest of the driver's seat.

When we got home I said hello to the wife before settling in the den with my late lunch and another disc of The Simpsons, which ate up the afternoon in its entirety.

Yawn.
As we got into the early evening the wife started making dinner, which was to be a little chicken cooked in the Big Green Egg outside, kicking off her summer barbecue season, which turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself.

While she worked on that I started a movie called The Naughty Stewardesses off the To-Watch Pile, which proved to be decent enough sexploitation flick, but the sequel Blazing Stewardesses proved to be less 'so bad it's good' and much more 'so bad it's kinda shit', I mean, they even broke out the surviving members of a fucking vaudeville act who did a weird repetitive schtick of some of the worst 'humor' that I've ever seen. What passed for comedy in their heyday was likely awful and dated even in the '70s when this film was new, but watching it now was just  painful. Yikes.

Gothic!
We wrapped the movies just after 9:00 in the evening, so we caught a new episode of The Soup before I put the wife and pup to bed, then watched the third episode of Penny Dreadful before finally heading to the Interwebs for a bit and calling it a night. I have to say, I hope that the Penny Dreadful stuff manages to sustain my interest for the remaining, as I've heard a few mixed things about it as it's wrapped for the season and people are starting to do the same marathon of things that I'm half-assed attempting. Fingers crossed.

Nestled in bed, I dug further into the fifth Burke novel, reading a good chunk of Blossom before finally calling it a night.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

It's Kind Of A Kick-Ass Story

The wife and I were up and out to pick up her car almost as soon as the alarm sounded this morning, so I dressed quickly and followed her over to the Mother In Law's place to drop of the borrowed Jeep, then we headed to the dealership to grab her car so that she could meet the Older Nephew for lunch, something that they rarely get a chance to do. Once I dropped her at the door of the dealership, I hit the Loop and stopped into Starbucks to grab a tasty beverage, getting a wild hair along the way to see if Kno1 wanted to meet for a bite to eat, since it'd been awhile since we'd done that.

Careful, She's Set On 'Whore'..
He was agreeable and we made plans to meet at a Mexican food place near the Loop once I wrapped up some shopping at Best Buy along the way, so once I'd grabbed what I went in there for I hit the check out and was amused by the little check-out gals' interest in my purchase, because she hadn't even smiled in greeting up to this point, but she grabbed the copy of Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac vols I & II and examined it thoroughly while I was swiping my card, then even asked what it was about? "Anything you want it to be about, little girl..." I did my best to describe his previous works and indicated that I'm not sure what the film is about except how the sex lives of those pictured on the front might interact, but I'm expecting it to be kinda strange and confrontational. She seemed content with this description and surrendered the Blu-ray to my bag so that I could leave.

I met Kno1 and had a nice long meal (because the place was under-staffed and things took forever), catching up and visiting about upcoming vacation plans (theirs for Mexico, ours for San Diego again) and then we finally said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

I headed back to the house and got a blog post published, but afterward found myself feeling less than interested in working on the writing, so I eventually settled in the den with another disc worth of The Simpsons season nine, which ate up the afternoon entirely. The wife was home from her outing as well, so I visited with he briefly before I got lost in cartoons, but she was in for the day as well, so we just chilled and did our own thing for most of the day.

I was wrapping up my Simpsons viewing. Once that was finished and ready to roll we settled in the den for the night and I made myself a cocktail, popping in a movie that I though the wife might enjoy called It's Kind Of A Funny Story while we ate.

I Got In.
In What?
In Your Mama.
The film is about a young man (Keir Gilchrist) having suicidal thoughts who checks himself into a hospital, but is placed in with a motley crew of adults as well as a few younger people due to construction or some such throwing the groups together. It's here that Zach Galifianakis takes him under his wing and he starts to have the usual 'coming of age' type revelations while bonding with another patient, played by Emma Roberts. Overall it was a cute, sweet film, though possibly a little too on the nose here and there, but for us (not wanting a depressing gut punch ending) it worked out just fine. After the movie ended it was close to 9:00 in the evening and I started to look into another film, which wasn't really what the wife was up for that late at night, so I paused and put she and the Yorkie to bed after we picked up the kitchen a bit, then I headed back to the den with another drink and the Blu-ray of Kick-Ass for a re-watch.

Daddy, I'm Scared.
The plan was to give this a refresher viewing since the sequel had recently been recorded on the TiVo, so I plowed through that first, enjoying it well enough for what it is and not a whole lot more. The cast always surprises me somehow, even though I've seen it a couple times now - somehow I'm still surprised to see this or that actor turn up in supporting roles. The tone of the film is pretty well constructed, as they move from somewhat light-hearted scenes of someone playing dress-up to realizing that he's playing for real when confronted by truly shocking violence, and the decision he's left to make at that point of diving in with both feet or backing down for good. It's got a great cast and amusing moments peppered throughout - definitely worth a look if you haven't had the chance.

Game On, Cocksuckers.
Moving on to Kick-Ass 2, I would say that I was a little disappointed that at least one of these smaller roles was recast, because I missed Evan Peters in the role as one of Kick-Ass' best friends - not sure what was up, since the guy is working on American Horror Story most of the time now, maybe there was a scheduling conflict or something. The overall follow-up is okay I suppose, but lacked the initial pizazz that the first film had. I've heard largely conflicting things about the quality of the comics on which it's based, so I'm kinda curious to see if they might've lost some of the flavor in the translation from comic to screen, or if the director is just lousy, or if it's just the material not warranting a sequel, much as they creators may've wanted one for another cash grab.

I finally headed to bed late, skipping the writing in favor of reading a bit in bed before I crashed out.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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.