Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Television, Charity And Not Much Else

So today began with a whimper, not a bang, as I woke with sinus issues in the early AM and basically stayed awake, with only a few random bits of dozing to break up the misery. I was awake and aware of the Yorkie trying to nag the wife awake, but I gave her a little cuddle and settled her down again for at least another hour, sparing the wife an earlier morning than necessary. They would eventually get up and about an hour later at 9:30, which normally wouldn't have been something I'd notice, but since I was just dozing and not fully asleep I was aware of them in the kitchen, the wife on the phone, the Yorkie grousing at the occasional jogger, all that. I finally looked at e-mails and Facebook for awhile on the iPad, just to feel as if I was accomplishing something with my lack of sleep, then finally dressed for the day close to 11:00 and told the wife and pup goodbye.

Not The Fango I Was Looking
For, But At Least It's
Figuring some coffee might help (even if it was likely to give me more heartburn), I drove to the South side of town and picked up a beverage, then stopped into the local books music and video outlet to poke around just because I was feeling like having to stand up and focus on something might help me shake off the weariness of the three hours of sleep. I did end up finding a new Fangoria magazine, so that was cool, though it wasn't the one I'd been looking for, so I suppose I'll have to find that one online somewhere.

I finally grabbed a hamburger and fries, then headed home to eat and see what the wife and pup were up to. As it turned out, then wife had to run errands, so I was met by the excited Yorkie, who then ignored me while I ate, sequestering herself in the bedroom, presumably pouting that the wife and I had left the house today.

The afternoon was spent with the ongoing marathon of The Simpsons in the den, which was fine background noise as I was able to keep tabs on the iPad games and drift in and out of dozing here and there, with the lack of sleep leaving me a little delirious feeling if I'm being perfectly honest. The wife eventually returned and caught a short nap, as we had plans out for the evening and she wanted to be a bit refreshed.

The wife had been challenged to do that silly ALS Ice Bucket Challenge thing with a friend, so JA turned up in the afternoon around 4:00 to do that with her in the back yard, with me rooked into filming it in spite of thinking the whole production was a bit silly. JA arrived and changed into something less dressy for the occasion, then I filmed the two of them doing their bit near our back fence, making sure that I was holding the Yorkie, lest she be right under things when the water hit, which is exactly what she was about to do, standing under the ladies and watching me curiously.

The gals visited for a bit, then JA headed home and then the wife and I took turns showering before getting ready for the evening, which was a little event benefiting a local abuse shelter whose board the wife is president of this year, so I felt somewhat obligated to go in spite of preferring to sit at home and put out matches in my hair. Seriously ya'll - I was SO fucking tired at this point, in spite of a few little catnaps of ten minutes here or there.

We drove to Odessa to the Country Club, where we mingled with a ton of people I either didn't know, or don't remember, then sat at a table full of strangers for the third year running, which I find odd, quite frankly, just because after attending this damned thing for three years in a a row I feel as if I should know who someone is by now, dammit! Yet somehow, every year, we find ourselves sat with a new group of people who I have to either pick at for getting to know you info or studiously ignore, depending on my level of involvement in the evening. Trust me, being slightly delirious with lack of sleep didn't help this situation one single bit.

The live auction was once again done by some guy who isn't a professional auctioneer, but rather just a local guy who just loves the sound of his own voice, so he kinda wore on my nerves as he blathered through the evening, and even bid on and bought a prize package himself, out-bidding a high bidder by five grand, which I thought seemed like a sketchy move at best, and a dick move in a lot of ways, but I suppose it's all for charity, right?

We made our way home close to 10:00 or so, greeted the pup and I unwound slightly with an episode of The Simpsons, then updated the blog and headed to bed to read and chat with the wife for a few, finally turning out the light and crashing at midnight, something that almost never happens.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you

Monday, August 25, 2014

Movie Shame Noir

The wife was up and about today to get back into her normal swing of things with some e-mail and the like, so the pup and I slept in a bit, then rose with the alarm around 10:00 and got the house opened up for the day. After looking in on the iPad games I compared notes with the wife about her plans for the day, which were to include a noon meeting and then some errands in the afternoon. Since I knew the wife was heading out anyway I figured I might as well step out myself and grab a coffee, so I dressed for the day and gave her a peck on the cheek as she was about to wrap up her computer stuff, then I split to get a little jolt of caffeine.

Romance On The Docks.
When I returned I decided to forego the blogging catch-up that I should be paying attention to with a bit of Movie Shame Monday viewing, so I looked around on the My Movies app on the phone told me that I still have quite a few films from the '30s on the To-Watch Pile, so I selected the alleged Film Noir title Moontide and popped it in while I ate some leftover pizza from last night. The film stars Jean Gabin as a longshoreman type who falls for Ida Lupino (who can blame him?) but after a drunken night he's left suspecting that he might've accidentally murdered a man, which is something that his opportunistic friend is more than happy to play up as it threatens their life on the road as nomadic types. The film actually ends up being more of a melodrama than anything else, though there are some nicely atmospheric shots throughout (I think Fritz Lang had a hand in co-directing if the Interwebs are to be believed) and our two leads are just a lot of fun to watch onscreen. It was a good little flick and something I'm happy to have checked out.

Nikkatsu Noir!
The wife returned from her outing as I was going through the mail at the kitchen counter after the movie, so she and I caught up for a bit, then she may down for an afternoon nap with the pup. I spent a bit of time filing away a few movies in the Media Closet on the Guest Side of the house, then had just settled back in the den to watch a little podcast-inspired Noir, this time a film from Japan called Take Aim At The Police Van. It's an earlier film from Seijun Suzuki and follows a prison guard who is put on administrative leave after the van he's guarding is attacked and a prisoner is killed, so he follows the meager clues that he has about the night to find out who ordered this assassination and why.

I was a little bit in to the movie when the doorbell rang, which turned out to be the Older Brother In Law and Nephew dropping off the wife's car (which the Nephew had borrowed to take a driving test) and picking up the Jeep that they'd agreed to drop off at the Mother In Law's place. This activity woke the wife, who came and said hello, then they split and the wife piddled with some stuff in the Craft Room while I made myself a cocktail and finished the movie.

In the early evening I passed the time waiting on the wife to pick up some Mexican take-out with an old episode of The Simpsons since the FXX channel is still doing the Every Simpsons Ever run of the show, then we got into the series finale of True Blood, which ended on such a bland note that you can't believe that they made you wait this long, like they should've shown it last week and gotten it all over with in a two hour special for your troubles. The ultimate climax of things with Bill and Sookie just left a lot to be desired, and while this wasn't as much of a letdown as the Dexter finale, it certainly could've come across a helluva lot better in my opinion. Oh well, it'd been on a decline for several seasons, so I guess I should just be happy it's over and they didn't ruin everything I liked about it.

The Dining Room Is Full And I Feel
Sorry For Every One Of Them.
We caught up this week's episode of Hotel Hell afterward, which was an inn filled with the sobbing-est staff I've ever seen, with people bursting into tears at the drop of a hat, it was kinda weird. I made myself another drink and decided to stay up for a bit and watch more of The Simpsons marathon stuff after the wife and pup headed to bed, which ended up keeping me awake until after 3:30 in the AM in the den, watching that nonsense.

Electing to ignore the blogging for the evening, I headed directly to bed after I finally pried myself away from the television, but I would soon be awake again with sinus drainage, which would basically force me from the bed and keep me awake into the next day, which meant I got around 3 hours sleep tops, because I suppose I'm being punished for something.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kidnap Sunday

Well, I'd like to tell you the the Yorkie and I were up and about early and doing anything productive or useful, but I'd be lying to you, since I finally shook off the bed around 1:20 in the afternoon, which prompted her to yawn and stretch and bound up onto the pillow next to me for a good long cuddle before we got the house opened for the day. We grabbed the newspaper and I got her fed, then I spent some time in the Office with some clean up after leaving the room in a bit of a state last night after getting on a cleaning jag late at night. Once I got everything picked up and returned to a semblance of normalcy I got dressed and was going to go and pick up something for my lunch and maybe a coffee when I noticed that the pup was really following me around more than usual, which I tried to appease by spending a little time on the back yard with her, taking a general wander of things and hoping this would satiate her weirdly antsy behavior.

It did not, so I offered to take her with me, but my sing-song voiced "You wanna go for a ride in the car?", spoken in the same manner I'd normally ask if she wanted to go outside - man, that final word 'car' really seemed to queer the deal for her, as she backed up and edged towards the bedroom when I moved towards her. I guess the 'car' has taken her to one too many Vet visits or Groomer's appointments for her to fully trust it. I left her chilling in the bed after I assured her that I wasn't going to take her anywhere and that I'd be back soon. I'm not sure she fully bought it, but I had shit to do, y'know?

Starbucks took forever because I chose the wrong location even though I know they normally take twice as along as the other locations, but I just felt silly driving across town. I won't make that same mistake again anytime soon. I hit up another drive-thru for a quick sandwich for my late lunch and headed back to the house to eat and try to squeeze in a movie before the day got away from me entirely.

Pay Them!
Kidnap Syndicate wrapped up the last film in the second Fernando Di Leo boxset, and I have to say it might be my favorite of the set. It's an Italian take on Akira Kurosawa's High And Low, in that a kidnapping manages to wrap up both a wealthy man and a mechanic when the rich man's son is taken, but the mechanic's son tries to help and is grabbed as well. While our hero Luc Merenda can do little beyond wring his hands in frustration in the first half of the film as our wealthy businessman wants to barter with the crooks, he goes absolutely apeshit in the latter half, which proved to a nice and cathartic change of pace. The movie is a lot of fun and well worth a look if you have the chance.

In The Cloud! Like The Porn Pics.
I spent the late afternoon in the Office sorting some more stuff and putting a ton of Ultraviolet codes into the Flixster website to likely never use, but as I've said in the past, I'd rather have the option than the annoyance of the expired code, so I wanted to go through the stacks upon stacks of stuff in the Office to make sure that this stuff got used. Knowing that the wife wouldn't be in from her out of town trip until after 11:00 this evening, I also placed an order for late delivery of a pizza, as I figured that my late lunch would allow me to have a late dinner and leftovers for her if she wanted them after her long day of travel.

When I finally surfaced it was after 6:00 in the evening, so I made myself a cocktail and headed into the den to see what sort of Fox animation fare was on tap, just as a storm was blowing through the area, filled with thunder, a decent rain shower and pea sized hail.

While the sun was still out.

It was kinda freaky, to be honest.

The Yorkie was understandably freaked out and spent most of the night in a sort of antsy state, due to the last few little rumbles of thunder rolling through and reminding her it might start raining again.

Small, Round-Headed
The evening was spent with the normal animation, saving the other HBO stuff for later in the week with the wife, then I was into the last few episodes of The Ricky Gervais Show season two when the pizza finally turned up, only 45 minutes later than I's set the delivery time for, so I'm sort of glad the wife is coming in as late as she is, y'know? The Pizza Guy had the charm of a pile of rumpled laundry and mistook my reaching for a couple dollars that I'd set aside on a side table for me reaching for my own pen, which I found puzzling, but I got the pizza away from him and signed the receipt while the Yorkie growled at him and he commented on her attitude making up for her size. I said yeah, she's great, trying to get this asshole out of my doorway before ALL the mosquitos came inside and then he says thanks and goodbye, commenting to the Yorkie that he had a big black poodle who could make her life 'a nightmare', whatever the fuck that means, so I cocked an eyebrow at him and said yeah, great, thanks - be careful out there and shut the door in his face before he actually pissed me off.

I doubt I'd feel comfortable ordering from this place again if I slipped up and told this guy that I'd calmly stomp the guts out of both his fucking stupid poodle and his fat ass if he ever said anything like that to my dog again, so I'm glad I hadn't had another drink at that point. I seriously have no idea what that even means - make her life a nightmare? Is his dog somehow as fucking annoying as he is? Weird.

I ate my dinner and got word from the wife that she'd boarded her American Airlines flight, then had gotten off the plane after they'd announced some sort of pressurization issue, and then got word that immediately after she'd left the plane that the entire electrical system had zonked out, so that wasn't sounding good. We hung up hoping for the best and leaving her to charge her rapidly dying phone. I have to say once again what an absolutely dogshit airline this tends to be, as the last few times we've flown with them the plane has been falling the fuck apart and caused hours and hours worth of delays, yet I swear to God I've seen their bogus signs in the airports saying they're adding a new plane a week. I have no idea what hubs these phantom planes fly out of, as I've yet to set foot on one that doesn't feel just a step above a cattle car from Schindler's List, in both atmosphere and general appearance.

Close to 11:00 I finally called it a night and shut down the front of the house for the night, moving into the Office to listen to some music while going through a few more stacks of books and scanning things into the Good Reads app, which will be handy since I've been picking up a ton of graphic novels the past few months and I'm growing wary of duplicating anything.

The wife finally texted saying that she was waiting on luggage close to 11:45, which was a relief that she had arrived safe and sound, then she eventually turned up about 20 minutes later and we visited for a bit and took some time to snuggle with the Yorkie before finally putting the two of them to bed, with promises of a full report on her trip in the AM.

I headed to the Office to finish writing this post and call it a night, which ended up eating up a bit more time than I'd planned, especially since I've been sleeping so late and not feeling as tired until much later in the evening/early morning.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ricky's Extant Curtains

As seems to be the trend when the wife is out of town, the Yorkie and I slept in a bit today. I dunno if this is because we both wake later hoping that she'll be back or what, but I tend to sleep a helluva lot more when the wife is out of town than when she's here, regardless of whether she's in the house or out doing stuff. Odd, that.

We finally got up and moving after noon again today, opening the house for the day and fetching in the newspaper to see what was happening in the world. I dressed to get out and pick up something for my late lunch, noting a garage sale in the classifieds that might be worth checking out, though I wasn't sure they'd be around since it'd started at the crack of dawn and gave no cut-off time. I figured what the hell and Google-mapped the directions anyway, giving the Yorkie a helping of food and then heading out to see what I could find.

The garage sale didn't surprise me one but by being closed, what with it being well into the afternoon by the time I cruised by there, so I grabbed a coffee at the Starbucks near the Loop and then picked up a barbecue sandwich and some sweet tea for my late lunch.

Back at the house I ate while catching up on an episode of Extant, which is now hinting that things will be getting a bit more alien invasion oriented than I would've expected based on the concept, I figured they'd tease out what she might've been pregnant with for much more of the first season, but that's already a non-issue at just over the halfway mark, without being too terribly spoiler-y. It's okay sci-fi, but I'm not a huge fan of the genre, so I may be the wrong person to ask.

In the late afternoon I spent a good couple of hours on the PC in the Office, engrossed in the blogging stuff from the past couple days, whose posts I had all but ignored in favor of television and other dicking around. I also finally put the last few touches on the post from our return from San Diego, so I'm finally back to a point where the posts should be easier to deal with instead of notes largely comprised of simple sentences like "Went (here), did (this), then back to hotel", because those posts, while vaguely factual, are lacking a helluva lot of details that'd normally be easy to fill in, so I'm left to wrack my brains for the general feeling of the specific day and whatnot.

When I finally surfaced near 6:00 in the PM the Yorkie was giving me the antsy eye and looking around at the back door because there was a squirrel visible, so I made a cocktail and we wandered around out back for a bit, just to satisfy her curiosity and lessen my guilt over not showing her as much attention as she might normally want. The squirrel split and we took a long ramble around the back yard, then came back inside and I found a movie off the To-Watch Pile to check out. I elected to take the night 'off' from my podcast-inspired viewing and just throw on something simple, as I wasn't particularly in the mood to read subtitles this evening.

Stay The Hell Out Of Acting.
Curtains is a Canadian horror film produced back during the heyday of the slasher flick in the '80s and something I've always heard about but had never been able to easily track down to watch, so I was pleased to grab it on Blu-ray from Synapse Films recently and finally have it at my disposal should the notion strike me. The film has a ton of rather iconic images that've made the rounds on the various horror sites and in articles over the years, so it was cool to finally see them in their proper context, and the whole set-up of actresses in a remote location to audition for an eccentric director works really well, especially the crazy-looking mask that they put on the killer.

After the movie I heated up some leftovers from the stir-fry from last night, pausing to feed the pup her dinner as well, then I wrapped the evening with several more episodes of The Ricky Gervais Show on DVD until the wife called to catch up and say goodnight. We visited for a bit, then I finished the episode I was on and shut down everything in the den for the night, the Yorkie joining me in the Office while I worked on this post and other Interwebs projects before finally calling it a night and heading to bed.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Seconds Of Ricky

Today the alarm sounded at 10:00 and I forced myself to wake up and at least turn on the television, so that maybe having The Simpsons marathon on FXX blaring maybe I'd stay awake instead of ignoring the alarm and falling back asleep, which is what happened on Thursday morning. I looked in on the iPad games, checked e-mail and generally pissed away almost an hour before I finally got up and moving, which prompted the Yorkie from her little nest on the wife's side of the bed and down to follow me around the house to see what I was up to next. I do find it very charming that she seems to gravitate to the side of the bed of the person who is missing, as if to keep it warm for them when they return, but I'm sure I'm reading loads into that behavior.

We fetched the paper after getting the place opened for the day, and since I was planning on an evening of cocktails and maybe a movie, I started to think about both my lunch and dinner options, since I figured if I sorted them both out early I could enjoy a tipple without having to wonder if I'd want to get out and pick up the evening meal later and regret my cocktails. I finally decided to continue the wife and I's Stir-Friday thing alone, just figuring on leftovers for the following day, since the portion is rather substantial. I got my shopping list together and then headed out to hit up Starbucks first for a little eye-opener, then pointed the car towards HEB.

I found my items pretty quickly, then diverted over to the deli area and picked up some sushi for my lunch, since I figured I could kill two birds with one stone that way and just be home for the day.

"Who The Fuck Is Clive
Once I got home I settled in the den with a wild hair to re-watch the second season of The Ricky Gervais Show, so I popped in disc one and ate my sushi under the watchful eye of the pup, who I eventually rewarded with a bite or two of my rice for her troubles, then fed her a bit of her own food to finally settle her for the afternoon. I went through the mail, then finished out the first disc of the season and started to weigh my next distraction.

Since I'd been shuffling around some of the Blu-ray stacks in the bedroom and Office I spent a bit more time with that in the late afternoon, eventually getting distracted by the various Ultraviolet codes in several movies that I wanted to make sure that I made the time to open and download, just because I have no idea when I might actually use them, but I know for a fact that I'll be annoyed with myself if I let them expire, so I made sure to put them to good use. I also took the time to redeem the digital codes out of a few more Marvel comics, since I know those eventually expire as well, and by the time I surfaced from all this PC-related nonsense it was close to 6:00 in the evening.

The Yorkie followed me with a renewed vigor when she saw me starting to gather my various stir-fry ingredients, so we both spent the next 30-45 minutes in the kitchen, bumping into one another because she was underfoot and so damned afraid she'd miss out on something. I made myself a drink and started the cooking process, listening to a podcast on the little Jawbone speaker set in the kitchen, but in trying to turn it down I managed to hit re-dial on the phone (which was streaming the podcast) and accidentally called the wife, who called back to see what I needed.

Feeling kinda silly for interrupting her vacation and being in the middle of the cooking process, I told her I'd made a mistake, but we still spent short amount of time on the phone catching up on our respective day, then she let me go so that I could get back to cooking.

When the meal was ready I settled in the den with an episode of Extant off the TiVo, which is still proving to be interesting enough, then I grabbed another movie off the To-Watch Pile and threw it in so that I can continue my podcast-inspired week of viewing.

What Are Seconds?
Seconds is a film from John Frankenheimer that stars Rock Hudson as a man who leaves behind his successful but unsatisfying life to be re-born as a new man, a body used to fake his death and a new identity afforded to him by an extensive series of plastic surgeries. His real troubles begin when he tries to settle into his new life as an artist on the opposite coast, but still finds himself living too much in his own head, unable to let go of the past. It's an amazingly well-shot film told in stark black and white and filled with some great imagery, especially before he has the surgery, I'm happy to have finally checked it out.

The Yorkie followed me into the Office a short time after I shut things down in the den, settling into her little bed with a sigh, so I assured her that her mother would be back in 'two more night-nights', which I don't think she really understood, but made me feel like I was at least trying to keep her abreast of things.

We headed to bed close to 2:00 again, with me reading a few comics while she snuggled into her little blanket near my feet, seemingly content for the time being.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dreadful Blue Crossing

Today the pup did me the courtesy of letting me sleep in until well past the time the alarm went off, but she seemed to get the message and kept her distance, snoozing in her little blanket near the foot of the bed until I rolled over and gave her a little cuddle. When we finally got up she was happy to accompany me to open the house for the day and then we went to fetch the newspaper, with her furiously scenting the air as if something was on the wind. We headed back inside and I looked through the paper, then decided to step out and pick up something for my lunch, since it was already after noon and the body was starting to wonder what was up.

I dressed and fed the pup, then left her to keep an eye on things while I went to grab a coffee to get the sleep from my eyes, then maybe do some poking around. After Starbucks, I stepped into the local books, music and video outlet to check and see if they had the newest Fangoria in stock, which was another waste of time, then finally picked up some food and headed home to see what the Yorkie was up to.

I Don't Want Any Belongings,
Any Memories. No Friends, No
Love. Those Are All Traps.
While I was eating I popped in something off the To-Watch Pile to pass the time, more podcast-inspired viewing that I'd been putting off listening to a show because I wanted to give it another day in court. Thus, I found myself finally breaking the seal on the Criterion set of The Three Colors Trilogy by Krzysztof KieĊ›lowski, which starts with Blue, a film that I was under the impression that I'd seen before, but I'll be damned if anything rang any bells as the film unspooled. Juliette Binoche stars as a woman who must come to terms with the tragedy of losing her composer husband and their child in a car accident, and it's a nicely nuanced performance, with beautiful cinematography. I'm just curious which one of these films I've actually seen, I'm gonna guess Red, but who knows? It was way back in the VHS days and I really don't remember a whole lot about it.

All In All Not A Bad Guy - If
Looks, Brains And Personality
Don't Count.
In the late afternoon I spent time on the PC just piddling around with timewaster type stuff, then finally got the pup fed some dinner and stepped out to hit a drive-thru for a burger and settled in for the night. While I kinda wanted to try to squeeze in something else podcast-related, I instead decided to finally finish my re-watches of the stuff in the Coen Brothers boxset of Blu-rays, so I popped in Miller's Crossing for another look, and man, that movie holds up amazingly well. So many great lines, so many great moments, it's just a ton of fun and plays out like a color Noir film on so many levels. Great stuff.

I debated another film at this stage of things, but elected to finally wrap the first season of Penny Dreadful, which was okay, but honestly sort of last me in the middle of that first season, so I'm not too sure how much I care about watching anything else with these characters unless it gets super-fucking interesting next season right off the bat.

I finally headed into the Office to work on the blogging stuff for a short time, then finally fetched the Yorkie from her bed in the den, where she was still holding out hope that the wife might somehow turn up again and we headed to bed. I ended up reading for a bit while listening to part of the Every Simpsons Ever thing that's currently happening of FXX, where they're just marathoning the entire show from start to the current season 24 hours a day.

It's A Living.
I read the first volume of Zombillenium, which has a great animated style of art and follows a bunch of monsters at the titular amusement park, where the simply pretend to be humans in suits so as not to freak out the locals. It's got a lot of charm to it, and I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you have the chance. I've got volume two on the way, supposedly arriving this weekend. I know there;s a total of three, so I hope that NBM hurries up and imports the next one from France sooner than later, I'd hate to feel like I'm waiting around for the conclusion.

We crashed late, though I did make sure to set the alarm, as I don't want to piss away the entire day tomorrow.

Be seeing you.