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Friday, November 30, 2007

Waiting, Decorating, Whores, Shopping and The Theatre

Hoo haw, what long fucking day it's been.

Woke up at 8:30 to give myself some time to wake up before Anastasia Beaverhouszen showed up to grab me so that we could go and do our first decorating gig of the day. The caterer showed up early to start setting up the serving pieces for the wife's charity brunch thing, turns out that the caterer is actually a second cousin of mine, which amuses the wife to no end but also makes me remember why I have nothing in common with most of my family. The funniest thing was when I realized who she was and said non-chalantly "Oh yeah, she's my cousin", which threw the wife for a loop, since she didn't think I had any family here locally. I assured her that I had thought so as well, until I ran into the woman in question's mother a couple years ago, who told me that their entire clan was now living here, which I noted and promptly forgot, since we have nothing in common and no real reason to know one another aside from some shared blood somewhere back down the line.

Anastasia arrived, we visited for a bit and then loaded up the Yorkie to get her out of the line of fire of this party, we dropped her off at the Mother In Law's house, and then headed over to our first job.

We're locked out. Our guy obviously having forgotten to leave the door open for us, Anastasia spent about thirty minutes chasing around after him on the cell, even getting what we thought was his alarm code that would let us in through his garage that ultimately proved useless. She eventually got a call back from him saying that he could meet us in 30 minutes, so we went and got some coffee, but not before noting a maid leaving the neighbor's house and getting into a fifty thousand dollar SUV, which we both found a little disconcerting.

Once we finally got into the house, we hit things hard and got it done in about two and a half hours, setting up his tree, decorating his two mantles and swagging a garland over a large mirror that rests against a wall in the formal living area. This would've taken slightly less time but we had to replace two strands of lights that were dead.

Leaving the house, we locked the door behind us and tucked the key under the mat. I spotted a new odd sight exiting the same house from which the well-to-do maid appeared earlier and had to nudge Anastasia to get her attention, lest she miss it.

Easy On Those New Legs...Can I Get A Table Dance?A young guy, possibly somewhere between high school to college aged from the look of him (and I admit to being a poor judge pf that sort of thing) was walking a girl out to the Cadillac parked in front of the house. The young lady was tall and skinny as a rail, wearing a pink skirt roughly the size of a Wendy's napkin, fishnet hose and thigh high stack heel boots that made her walk like Bambi on his unsteady new legs. I think this ensemble was topped off with a white half-shirt and jacket, but I honestly missed the top half of the uniform when she turned around to get into the car and I noticed with dismay that I could see her fucking ass hanging out of her skirt, fishnetted buttocks and all. What the fuck is going on at this house? I'd expect to see this type of whorey outfit coming out of a crackhouse or a shitty apartment complex late on a Saturday night, but we're talking about mid-afternoon in a good upper-middle class neighborhood, it was quite surprising to say the least.

This looked like a rich high schooler skipping his afternoon classes to run to the local strip club and pick up a dancer to screw before driving her back to work for the late shift or something equally fishy. Weird.

We hit the MIL's house, heading upstairs to start looking around and gathering the stuff we'd use for her tree, which we then had her maid and groundskeeper bring downstairs from the attic while we got the MIL settled down long enough to talk seriously about what she wanted done. Each year the decorating gig changes, what rooms she wants done, what she'd like to see on the front door, etc., so we wanted to get a shopping list going before we just jumped in whilly nilly.

Once we got a good idea of what we'd need, we headed out to do some shopping for grapevine garlands to decorate the front door and some greenery swags for the area above a window in the formal dining room, as well as some boxes of lights that would get us started on the front porch.

The shopping was somewhat successful, though we're still having a pain in the ass tracking down the grapevine garland, presumably because everyone else is working on similar projects right now. We picked up the Yorkie from the MIL and headed back to our house.

The wife's friend Scrawny McTall and her husband had invited the three of us to go and see the local theatre version of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella with them and a few other couples, so we all started getting ready for that, unfortunately skipping the little mixer thing they'd arranged beforehand due to how late we were running from the days' decorating. So late were we that they sat us without even asking for our tickets, saying that they would find us at intermission and see who's tickets we were using.

The production threw me a bit, as I will always have Disney's Cinderella in my head. There was also the smoke machine that kept farting out little bits of smoke long after the magic of the tale had transformed the mice to horses which was quite amusing, but the most inspired casting was most certianly the prince himself.

Just Jack Princess!I'm not a naive person, I completely expect the presence of homosexuals in the world of theatre, but did you have to cast the nelliest one you could find as the prince that all the women are swooning over? The idea is there's a big strapping male that all these broads are about to snap their pelvises in half, they're opening their legs so fast for this dude, yet the guy playing that alpha male role couldn't have been any gayer if he had had balls resting on his chin for the duration of his performance. Christ, it was like watching Jack from Will & Grace try to butch it up, it just wasn't working for me.

Oh, and a quick PS: The Theatre Nazi did indeed run us down at the intermission to find out whose group we were a part of and asked us to find our host and have them tell her that we indeed were with them. I almost gave her cash for the tickets just for the pleasure of telling her to fuck off and leave us alone. Yeesh.

We drove-thru some food for a late supper, then picked up Anastasia's car and the Yorkie from our house, and went to the MIL's place to eat and visit until it got late.

Tomorrow Anastasia and I will tackle the MIL's house and see if it's going to take a second day or not. Anastasia's already planning on staying overnight a second night if need be, which is cool but also frees up the MIL to get as crazy as she can with what she wants us to do over the next couple of days, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Working with her can be easier if there's a specific time frame involved, but we'll see how it goes.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Can Somebody Please Get These Ho Ho Hoes Out Of My House?

Slept late, same shit different day there.

The wife and I had a quick lunch before these folks from her charity project were to show up and set up for the actual event for Friday afternoon. The idea here is that this fundraiser raises money for a local school for mentally challenged kids, and the hook is that most or possibly all of the items sold are things the kids have a hand in making. The wife, unlike most board members or volunteers has no connection to the school (in that we don't have a niece or nephew that attends there), but just gives her time because she's cool like that. She rocks.

I was expecting maybe 3 or 4 women to show up to place their merchandise on our tables and their own folding tables, with possibly a few Christmas decorations strewn here or there by way of decoration. What ends up happening is that 3 cars and a van descend upon our little home and about 6 adults and 5 or 6 students from the school come boiling out like an overturned anthill. Jesus Christ, having been involved in a career that involved setting shit up for parties and making the most of your time, I get so frustrated when I see these charity things with no direction that turn into such a clusterfuck at the drop of a hat. Yeesh, you had three or four of these women trying to decide where to place tables, the kids all trucking in boxes of their wares and the wife and I standing by in silent dismay.

Rolling our eyes at each other doesn't count.

A couple of these women kept asking my opinion about things, since I used to decorate shit for a living, but there was that one lady who thought she knew what she was doing, so I didn't feel like telling her off, since we just met and all. After I'd been asked more than a few times I made a couple of suggestions which went over well, but I generally tried to stay out of the way. If it's one of those 'too many chiefs and not enough Indians' situations, I can't be bothered to fight with the pecking order, because I generally don't give a shit about it. Our role was that the wife offered to host it in our home, the set-up itself wasn't any responsibility of ours.

This wannabe bosslady lost any respect I could've had for her when I told her that she should move some of their decorations around because they looked flat; she'd bunched all the same colors up together in one room. "That's a good idea, we should trade one of the red ones out with one of those white ones outside." I can almost respect someone who at least sticks behind thier dumbass opinion, or will at least fight for it, this chick folds when a suggestion is made, get the fuck out of here!

This lady also asked if we had a broom, because she'd sweep up after them since they were finally finishing up. I started sweeping a little myself, just because I'm just a helpful little fucker, and then she tried to turn on a random lamp that we never use because the table it's on is in a corner directly under on overhead spotlight.

"Oh, there's probably not a bulb in there, sorry." I offered, and she replied "Well, maybe you can get one in there before tomorrow."

I put the broom down for her to use when she swept my floor and walked away. Motherfuck anyone telling me when to change a bulb in my own home, especially when she doesn't actually need to use it.

She mentioned it again about ten minutes later to the wife, which pissed me off so I cranked the dial on the overhead spot, making her squint a little and said that I bet we'd be able to see the trinkets on the table just fine. If the bitch brings it up tomorrow, I have the wife coached to explain to her that if she mentions the fucking lamp again, that I will personally bring it to her home, shove it up her ass, and then strangle her with the Goddamned cord.

This was a nice light test run to get me back in the mood to decorate the houses we have to do tomorrow, and I actually feel kinda excited to decorate the house for Christmas sometime this weekend.

Probably The Two Best Reasons To Watch This FilmThe wife had a completely different charity function this evening, which I had elected to bow out of, so the dog and I chilled out and watched Aeon Flux which had been on the TiVo for a month or so. It was alright for as little as I remember about those cartoons on MTV from back in the day, but nothing I need to run out and buy to re-watch again and again.

I figured I'd knock this mother out early so I can be up and at 'em tomorrow morning for the Christmas decorating that Anastasia Beaverhouszen and I have scheduled for ourselves.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sinus Whining

I don't generally get a lot of headaches, but the changing weather has inspired a bit of weird drainage that had me short of breath with chest congestion and a helluva lot of sinus pressure this morning.

We had a side table for the entryway delivered this morning by the same broken English speaking guy who tried to deliver the wrong furniture to us awhile back. The desk we'd been using as a side table had to be moved into one of the rooms on the guest side of the house, so the wife and I worked it around for awhile, eventually getting it into the library and calling it good.

Feeling pretty shitty after dragging that desk around, actually wheezing a bit, I messed around with the TiVo a little bit and talked with the wife about what we have going on the rest of the week. She has several non-profit commitments laid out for the rest of the week, one of which actually takes place in our home, the set-up is tomorrow afternoon and then the actual event is a brunch on Friday. The annoying bit is that the wife will basically be available to let the folks in to set up and then she has to be at another meeting, leaving me to either trust these people alone in the house or stick around and risk getting rooked into helping them set things up, which is about the last thing I want to be doing tomorrow.

Especially if I'm still feeling as lousy as I did today.

My head bugging me and feeling slightly feverish, we spent the afternoon hanging out on the couch, which was just awesome. We finally watched the last flick we had laying around from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux, License To Wed. It had its moments, but I have a real hard time getting very amused by the Meet The Parents type of humor of some poor guy getting screwed over again and again by happenstance and misunderstanding. I suppose I could never be the quiet 'bite your tongue' kinda guy in those situations and would have to start screaming at people rather than trying to smooth things over, so I find those type of movies kind of stupid.

I popped in the new Futurama movie Bender's Big Score, which was a lot of fun, I liked that they had numerous call-backs to episodes of the show and since I was enjoying it so much, I was of course interrupted when the Mother In Law dropped by randomly because she was in the neighborhood.

The MIL had spent an afternoon dealing with Grandmother, who is apparently feeling sickly now that her Thanksgiving company has left, and was a grouchy pain in the ass all afternoon from what the MIL was saying. I suppose she just needed to vent a little or something, but I was pretty frustrated when she started in about going for some supper as well since I was obviously in the middle of a paused movie.

The Little Hand Says It's Time For The Old Double Dip!She ended up bringing food for her and the wife, and our friend Brian also decided to drop by for a visit. I wasn't hungry, so I tossed back some more Advil and re-started the movie, as I hadn't been really interested in having company this evening. After I finished the Futurama film I popped in Hot Fuzz, which I'd picked up in the new 3 disc fuck-off special edition double dipping set that came out this week. The company left somewhere around this point and I reiterated how lousy I felt by way of explaining why I hadn't really been bothered to visit and make a big show of playing host. The 3rd viewing of the movie was great of course and looked great on the new television, and I popped in the second disc and looked around at some of the extras before calling it a night.

I'm tired kids, my head hurts and I'm sure staring at this screen is doing me no favors, so I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I May Need To Retain A Priest

The Power Of TiVo Compels You! The Power Of TiVo Compels You!
Can anyone tell me if it's kosher (so to speak) to tip them? Also, do I need the set of the young one and the old one, or is one okay by himself? Man, I wish I knew more Catholics.

Talking of The Exorcist though, maybe I need the "I kick ass for the Lord!" priest from Peter Jackson's Dead Alive flick instead, he seemed like he'd be fun to hang around with.

Today we'll be digressing from the daily minutiae style writing I bore you folks with every single day of our miserable lives and focus instead on the odd quirks of this new house.

I've written at length here or there about the numerous issues we've had since we've moved in, be they cable, electronic, or simply the hassles of getting repair people to call you back. I've come to believe that this house functions as some sort of Bermuda Triangle for all things technological, as anything we brought with us from the old house has developed issues after the move, the cable gets shut off randomly, and the electricity in the far side of the house has recently wavered just enough to flip all the clocks and fuck with the TiVo, but not enough to actually throw a breaker and reveal the source of the problem.

The electrician called early this morning and announced his impending arrival, so I drug my ass out of bed and started coffee while waiting for him to arrive. I explained the issue to him, but only after I banished the Yorkie to the bedroom to yowl and bitch and wake the wife. Since the unit in question kicking on and presumably causing the problem was a gas unit rather than electric, he thought that something might be loose at the breaker box, because the unit cycling on wouldn't involve enough power to do anything to the lights. He took off that cover and tightened everything in case something had come loose over the years. Since the day in question that we encountered the issue several times was the same one that it snowed so much, his theory was that the electrical grid for the city might've been re-routing things and causing the problems for the general area, which of course seems plausible, but it's hard not to jump to some kind of horrible conclusion with all the other technical issues we've had since moving in here.

For example:

The computer to this day still loses the damned signal to the wireless keyboard if left sitting idle for any period of time, something it's done since the first day we moved into this house, for no discernible reason.

The cable was randomly shut off for no reason at all, I'm guessing human error somewhere down the line.

The utter clusterfuck of wiring tot he surround sound system that proved too complicated to allow us to use it for the first two months we were living here, finally re-wired professionally a couple weeks ago.

And most recently:

Last night I pop in one of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer discs to watch before I went to sleep because I'm getting into it lately, sue me. I can hear Samuraifrog's derision all the way from Chicago...anyway, I pop the disc into the very same player the others play fine in, there's no sound. I pop it out, walk it into the den, sit through all the animated menu bullshit and find out that there's no problem with the disc, the thing plays fine, sound and all. I go back to the bedroom, pop in the disc that I'd watched the previous night, which I know for a fact played fine on this machine, same deal, no sound. I unplug all of the cables, from both the player and the television, re-connect everything, there's still no sound. I'm thinking oh well, at least it was only a $40 off-brand player, so it's easily replaced, but I finally unplug the player from the wall altogether and plug it back in.

*Poof* There's suddenly sound. I have no idea why this stupid machine decided to drop the sound, nor why it randomly got it back when unplugged, but it just goes on the long list of weird technology-related issues we've encountered since moving in here.

Finally, this morning, after the electrician has wasted his time and mine to say that perhaps we need to re-program the thermostat and tightened a bunch of stuff that apparently didn't need tightening, I go to get dressed for the day. I turned on the television back in the bathroom area for some background noise while I shower, only to find out that for no apparent reason we now only have basic cable on that machine, which is supposed to have the same extended package of crap we have on the other rooms of the house.

Seriously. Everything that comes into this house that plugs into a wall seems to go batshit crazy eventually, and I can't figure out why. It's like we have gremlins or something, and they only effect things with plugs. I'd almost be relieved to find all the dishes moved out to the counter one morning, at least I'd know that the poltergeist has moved on to a different shtick.

I suppose they're having too much fun with this one.

Be seeing you (assuming we still have an interweb connection).

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Pushing My Luck As Usual

Today was the day I had planned to jump back into the graphing for at least a chunk of the day, but here's the grocery list of reasons why that didn't happen.

We got up around 10:00, the wife puttered in the kitchen and made plans to meet Morris for lunch at 11:00. I checked e-mail and then got dressed so that we could head out to meet he and his mother. We happily avoided the lunch rush and were on our way before the place completely filled up.

Morris was going to run his Mother back to her apartment and then come by to say goodbye to us and the Mother In Law before he headed out. Back at the house, I ran several loads of trash out and started sorting through the mail, bills and birthday cards that'd piled up since last week was so hectic. I got a couple bills paid and sorted put who all I need to send thank-you cards to for birthday related items, I'm still debating Blather and her husband, who were kind enough to give a giftcard when they came, but have since annoyed the shit out of me. Okay, she annoyed the shit out of me, her husband is only guilty by association. Decisions, decisions.

Once I got a few bills paid I realized that I could probably just fuck around comfortably for a few more days and not really feel any financial crunch, since I have a couple of decorating jobs planned over the next week or two, so I figured I'd take the afternoon off.

We'd had an odd call from the Geek Squad people early this morning, so I was in the process of returning that call when Morris dropped by. Since I was on perma-hold, bouncing back and forth from hold on either the computer side and the home theater side of their network, I sent Morris and the wife ahead to the MIL's house while I crossed my fingers and hoped this call could re-schedule a visit from the install guys. After being on hold for 12 minutes or so I was directed to call my local store to schedule another visit, so I was at a loss as to why they called.

I drove to the MIL's house and asked the wife what their message this morning had actually said, only to find out that it was just them making sure the install went well, one of those bullshit customer service calls that many companies do to make sure no one pissed in the corners while they were in your house. So I still need to talk to someone else tomorrow as I'd already planned to do.

We're on a list for the electrician to come out and check on the damned thermostat on the other side of the house, which was of course cycling on and off all day with no incident, which I'm guessing is just another effort by the inanimate objects around us to make us look bad.

We got Morris on his way shortly after 3:00, I swung past the post office to mail a couple things and then we headed home. The dog was wiped out from her visit to the MIL's dogs, so she and the wife crashed for awhile and I headed to the den to dig through some of the stuff on TiVo.

Did These Two Ever Meet On The Show?I watched the first disc of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer season two into the early evening, only pausing it to run outside and gather up a small load of firewood since the weather is looking less grim for the rest of the week. I figured we might as well take advantage of the cold temperatures while we could. I popped out to pick up some supper later, and then we settled in and watched the latest Heroes, building ever closer to next week's climax. I'm liking it a bit more now that things are happening, though I'm curious if the payoff will be worth the wait.

I'm out kids, I have errands and other shit to do tomorrow before I need to commit to actually getting busy earning some cash.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

TVLand Part Thirteen (Or: Buffy The Vampire Sunday)

Ignoring movies today in favor of the small screen, I chilled out with a birthday gift from the wife.

We got up mid-morning, noting with more than a little frustration that the chill in the air has the heating unit that kicks on for the guest side of the house somehow making the power flip each time it cycles on, so we'll need to get that looked at first thing Monday. This wouldn't be so frustrating except that it completely screws with the TiVo, since the cable box doesn't automatically pop back on, leaving the TiVo recording a black screen for hours on end until one of us notices what happened.

I went outside into the still falling snow and grabbed the Sunday paper, soaked to the core in its protective bag as it always is during any inclimate weather. I guess the bag is strictly for ornamental purposes, it protects from none of the elements. The weather was kind of odd, the snow melting, but still falling in fat flakes for most of the morning and afternoon. Nothing really stuck, but the weight was enough to drag down a small limb in the front yard that I'll need to see to tomorrow.

I hauled in a large pile of wood so that we could get a decent sized fire going and keep it going all day, I figure we might as well enjoy whatever brief winter we might get. This would also help to keep things warmer in the den, as we'd decided to turn the other heater down low enough to keep it from kicking on and ruining the television set-up again and again all afternoon.

The afternoon was wasted on the couch with the first season of a show that Buckaroo Banzai wanted to get me into quite some time ago. Back when he still lived here, he was talking up the Buffy The Vampire Slayer show to me, and since I knew a few other fans, I let him loan me a couple seasons of it on DVD. I watched these back at the old apartment, as this was in the time before I knew the wife, and at the time I didn't even have cable and was spending most nights painting of watching movies on DVD. The fresh television series came in handy, filling the space of about a week or two in short marathon sessions each night, and I think I may have even worked in some Angel somewhere as well, since I think Bucky owned that too.

Many Heads, One Voice?Long story longer, this was a series that I enjoyed well enough, Sarah Michelle Gellar is easy enough on the eyes, and something I wouldn't mind checking out in its entirety, so I threw The Chosen complete series set on my Amazon wishlist and never ordered it, because as intriguing as the show was, I never really had the burning desire to commit the bucks to checking it out. The wife decided that of the stuff on my list, it was the one thing she thought I'd never spend money on myself (Good call on her part), but was obviously interested in, so she grabbed it for my recent birthday. I watched a few episodes the other night and decided to plow through the rest of the first season this afternoon.

The wife and Morris went out to brunch, and I elected to stay in, as I'd been dreaming of a day when I could do nothing but chill at the house since this past Wednesday. They offered to bring me something back and I made a pot of coffee and dove into some Buffy.

What can I say, it's a cute, fun series, and I can see why Joss Whedon gets the fans he does, but I also notice, on this second viewing that at least during this first season (although I remember it following throughout the seasons I watched) that the characters all seem to have the same smart-assy voice. It reminds me a little of Tarantino's writing dialog that sounds as if he's speaking it, in that all the characters have the same fast-paced banter that no one really speaks like in real life, with no particular quirks or inflections to make it their own. Actually, check that, the kids all have the same basic voice, the adults seems more developed as individual characters, but for the most part the dialog between Buffy and her friends has the same flavor from person to person. The show seems to have the same caliber of writing thus far as a sitcom, even if the sitcom is riddled with pop-culture references and fairly clever verbal interplay.

This isn't to say that it's not enjoyable, while it can get a little too cute for its own good on occasion, I think I'll enjoy the overall ride. I feel kinda odd, because that sounds like I'm bagging on the show, which isn't really my intention, I just don't know if they writing is as clever as everyone on the net seems to think it is.

Morris and K came back and we all chilled for the afternoon, Morris turning out to know a little of the show's background, which kinda surprised me, I accused him of being a closeted nerd. We watched the rest of season one before he and the wife got out again to pick up some dinner, and then we ate and watched some Simpsons and Family Guy.

Morris called it a night, heading home to visit with his Mother some more before he leaves tomorrow to head back to Dallas. The wife and I watched Desperate Housewives, which was typically tawdry and soapy, building towards the writer's strike imposed climax next week, and then dug into the latest Dexter. I like where they're going with this, and there are only three more left this season, so I'll be happy to see how things turn out just before Christmas.

This coming week looks to be hectic, I know the Mother In Law wants me to decorate her place for the holidays ( a gig I'd much rather bow out of if I had my druthers, but I don't think that's in the cards unless I choose to just be rude about it), the wife has a few charity things late in the week, and of course we still need to have the entertainment system seen to as well as the damned heating unit on the far side of the house.

I feel weird, because when I worked a 'real' job I juggled way more commitments than this, and now a quasi-full plate has me stressing in the back of my head about how all this shit will get done. I think I'm getting slow and fat in my old age. Fat, anyway.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Brown Saturday?

I don't know anymore, forgive me, what little creativity I had for this thing has long since left me.

The wife and I both slept in, as she can sleep like a bear in winter and I made the mistake of staying up late last night watching television and reading into the wee hours.

The mail was already on the doorstep so while the wife took a shower, I drug the mail and the newspaper into the bed and opened a package that'd arrived, some DVD's I'd ordered around my birthday to take advantage of some coupon. These will be added to the pile of stuff to watch and eventually write about over at the BSL, assuming I ever get back into that habit.

I took the wife's order for lunch and dressed, braving the crummy weather for some food. It was supposedly going to be raining and snowing all day, but all I encountered was a hint of mist while I was out and about. Back at the house we chilled with the food and watched one of the newly arrived discs from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux.

Only A Guy As Pretty As LaBeouf Could Be A Peeping Tom And Still Pull This Kinda TailDisturbia was decent enough as Rear Window for the younger set, I don't know if I'd buy it or anything. We have License To Wed up next, just because my curiousity got the better of me.

While watching Disturbia, the wife got a call from the Mother In Law, who wanted to go out to eat on the busiest night of the week, two days after Thanksgiving, which of course thrilled me to no end, since I love crowds so much.

We finished the movie, dressed and headed out to the restaurant, arriving early to get on a list which we knew would have at least a short wait. The other invited parties showed shortly thereafter, Morris and his Mother, as well as the MIL, Grandmother, and a set of Aunt and Uncle who are in from out of town for the holiday. The clusterfuck begins immediately as we're all still saying hello to each other and the MIL shoots past us and is at the counter trying to get on the waiting list again for another table of eight. We warn her off that and settle everyone down to wait. Ten minutes in the elderly are already getting antsy and asking how long we've been waiting, which had me rolling the eyes at the wife. She turned to her mother and said "Mom. It's the busiest night of the week, Thanksgiving weekend, there'll be a wait. Stop." This kinda shut that down for awhile, and we had the distraction of it starting to snow outside, as the weather forecast had been threatening all day.

We finally got seated, started the whole ordering rigamarole and I noticed that every time the MIL brayed towards our end of the table, the people seated behind her startled slightly, which quickly proved entertaining as well as annoying for the course of the entire meal, watching these people's heads turn in place like owls every so often. This is one reason the MIL can be a handful in these type of crowded situations, she's going to make damned sure she's heard over the din of a busy restaurant, which can come across as fairly obnoxious. The meal was great, I actually ran into a guy I worked with about 7 years ago, he seems like he's doing well, if still waiting tables. Unfortunately he wasn't our guy so we didn't have a chance to shoot the shit much, but maybe I can catch him when the place is less busy.

Close, But The Pic In Question Was Just A Box-Shot Of The Women Involved...Actually Kinda Creepy, The More I Think About It..The weirdest thing about the whole evening (aside from the blizzard blowing snow horizontally outside) was that the MIL and Grandmother became obsessed with a large scale photo that was a puzzling shot of three cheerleaders, shot from mid navel to the ground, caught in mid-kick. For no apparent reason this completely captured their imagination, and they were convinced that they needed a photo (!) taken of it so that one of them (probably Grandmother, who was something of an artist in her day) could paint a large canvas of it. I'm sitting across the table, rather unimpressed with what amounts to an average photo of three women's (clothed) crotches and wondering if these two had picked this evening to go off their meds or something. They were even going on about having my wife snap a picture of the stupid thing for them in the middle of this crowded restaurant, although they thankfully let this idea go once the entree's were served.

Jesus, never a dull moment, y'know?

We said our goodbyes and braved the weather to head home and chill. While the wife fed the Yorkie I went around the side of the house and grabbed an armload of firewood so that we could have a little fire in the den and watch some TiVo. We watched Capote (surprisingly engaging in spite of being a pretty slow moving film) and watched our fire do its thing before calling it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

I feel like I'm losing my verve for writing these things late into the night recently, and taking the easy way out last night and going to bed after hunting and pecking for about an hour instead of the usual two or three I might spend between writing and dicking around online certianly doesn't help.

Here we go:

Slept in a bit with no intentions of joining the insane masses in the feeding frenzy of commerce at the crack of dawn. Maybe that's a young man's game, but it's never been worth whatever discount was possible to get in exchange for my time at some unGodly hour.

Morris came by around noon, he and the wife compared notes about their agendas for the day, then we headed out to a little Italian place downtown for lunch. The wife needed to go to Odessa to pick up something she'd had engraved for one of her non-profit things, so we drove over there to pick that up. While we were in town I tried unsuccessfully to get Macguffin on the phone a couple of times, but figured he was probably taking a much deserved rest, so we headed back.

We stopped on the way back home at a random tractor supply place that had some dog items that Morris wanted to pick up for his dog that he will be getting soon, once it's weaned.

Once we got back to town, K and Morris kept at me about where I wanted to go, and I finally said we could pop by Best Buy since we were out and about, which turned out to be a decent excursion, as I picked up the Six Feet Under series set for half price, as well as that silly Crank flick because I enjoyed it for what it was and figured it'd look and sound great on the new television set-up.

Maybe It's The Public Sex Scene That I Find So Intriguing About This Flick...We dropped in on the Mother In Law, had some pumpkin pie and visited for a bit, then headed back to our house. Morris and K both wanted to lay down for a nap, so they built a fire in the master bedroom and slept for about 4 hours or so. I popped in Crank and watched it, digging the clarity of the picture on the new set, and then I decided to give the ony film I have in right now from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux a spin.

Antibodies is a German thriller about a captured serial killer who has some sort of connection to a small town constable (sheriff? what are they called in Germany, anyway?) due to an unsolved murder in his quiet little town. The film honestly spends too much of its time drawing you in one direction so that it can slip you a twist ending in the end, but was still worth a look if you're a fan of films in which the killer and pursuer play that always entertaining cat and mouse game that lets the killer unnerve the cop to the point of breaking.

Once the two sleepers awakened, I dispatched them for supper and we built a fire in the den, ate and watched some television until around 11:00 when Morris split and the wife and I called it a night.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Indeed

Today we did very little, I touched base with Macguffin, who warned me away from the drive over, as the weather has gotten oddly snowy for once in our weird winter here in the desert.

Assured that he was doing okay and set for turkey via a family connection, I decided to let him rest rather than making the trip over, also assuming that Bucky and Pookie would be over there at some point to check in on him since their hotel was in his neighborhood.

Jive-Ass TurkeyThe wife prepared a handful of items that she and the Mother In Law had settled upon, then we transported that, the dog and ourselves over there for a quiet meal with the MIL and a friend of hers and us, all the other in-laws had made other plans, which was really nice.

After a few hours, we dropped off a couple plates of food with the Middle Sister and her Idiot Husband at their house, then headed home for good.

We settled in, cranked the heat and watched a marathon of Ghost Hunters episodes, pausing only every so often to grab a snack or to answer the phone. I spoke to Bucky, who was over at Mac's house, as I expected, so I figured they got some time to catch up. I'll head over there tomorrow to see how things are going, see if he needs anything.

We closed the evening out with about three episodes of Hotel Babylon, which ended its season in a strange spot, I'll be curious how the show continues next time.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This Must Be What A Turkey Feels Like

Today sucked from the moment the wife's Blathery friend dropped off the 2 year old at 6:15 until we got home about 20 minutes ago.

The kid was pretty laid back I must admit, and while the wife got settled onto the couch with her and some cartoons, I was actually able to go back to sleep, intermittently startled awake by various sharp coos and cackles from the den area.

My cell finally woke me for good shortly before 11:00, and I got up and returned Buckaroo Banzai's call. We made lunch plans while I checked e-mail, and since the wife was laying down for a nap with the kiddo, I dressed and split to meet them at a sandwich place. I made one final call to Macguffin to see if he was available for lunch, as Bucky hadn't been able to raise him on the phone. I got his step-daughter, who told me that he was in the hospital and had suffered a mild heart attack.

She wasn't sure of specifics like room numbers and his condition, so I went ahead and let her make a few calls to find out for me and went ahead and met Bucky and Pookie for a quick bite. We ordered and then I made the call back to find out where we needed to go to see him, we ate, then dropped off my car at the house, let the wife know what was going on and then headed to Odessa.

We missed the CCU visiting hours by minutes of course, but were able to glean from the nurse that he had an exploratory thing planned in an hour, and that we could wait and try to speak to a doctor there and see what his condition was. I believe we also were able to discern that he was coherent and not in any dire straights at the moment. We waited out the hour and followed them downstairs to the lab, where we eventually found out that his heart had no blockages, and that there was no damage done by the attack, which was presumably stress-related. At this point the next set of visiting hours had rolled around and we headed back upstairs, finally granted an audience, but only two at a time were allowed in, so Bucky and I followed the posted procedures and washed our hands thoroughly before heading into his room.

The story finally made clear, we found out that a persistent pain all day yesterday had had both his wife and mother badgering him about going to see a doctor, until he finally relented, driving himself to the hospital last night in an effort to keep Blancodeviosa from abandoning her plans to spend the last days of her grandmother's life with her and try to fly home on Thanksgiving day.

I swapped out with Pookie to let her see the man for a bit, and then I went back in, making sure that he was going to call us when they released him later today, regardless of the hour, as he didn't need to be driving in his weakened state. I called Blanco to let her know that everything went well, since Mac was pretty weak and wasn't being encouraged to move at all after the procedure he'd just went through, and she was relieved to hear it, I left her to pass that news on to his mother.

On the way back to my house, I related all this to the wife, who had also dealt briefly with the Best Buy people, who surprisingly called us back today, but apparently wanted us to experiment with leaving the doors shut some more, which of course had the same inevitable effect it did over the weekend. They also mentioned the idea of installing a fan, which is kinda annoying, as I'd have much rather that they just go ahead and do it rather than experiment with what I was pretty certian was a foregone conclusion. I also found out that Blather's grandmother had come through her surgery fine, but that she wasn't picking up her kid quite yet in an effort to hang around and give the other people at the hospital a chance to go and grab some lunch, which I found to be mighty cavalier with my wife's time.

Once we got back, we basically hung around the house waiting for her to return for her child, and I gave Pook and Bucky the tour of the house. I got a call from Macguffin, telling me that he was going to be released at 6:00, and that he'd really appreciate someone picking him up and someone driving Blanco's car back to the house. This put me even further on edge, and I kept urging the wife to call Blather and put the screws to her about when she would be there, as she was already 20 minutes later than she'd finally told her she'd be, which meant we'd been in possession of her child for about 12 hours at this point. The wife finally called and found out that she was leaving the hospital, having gone to pick up her son and then needing to drop something off to one of her family at the hospital, but rather than having them meet her out front, she fucking valet's her car and goes up to the room as if she has all the time in the world. As the wife is hanging up, I lost it, asking bluntly why the fuck she wasn't here yet, which I later got the impression she heard.

When she did show up a few minutes later, we'd already packed up all the playpen, toys and carseat that she'd left this morning, and personally I found her to be pretty tight-lipped, but it's not as if I was really talking to her either, so maybe I'm reading into things. Fuckit if she did hear me being pissed off and get her little feelings hurt, she had no reason to not have her child in her possession by that time.

We loaded up and headed back to Odessa, God Bless Bucky and all his driving today. We waited a bit for Mac, then got the car collected and got him home. The four of us ran some prescriptions to the pharmacy, although the doctor had left his name off one so we had to dispatch the step-daughter to wait that one out while they verified with the hospital that it was indeed his. We picked up some food and ate, visiting for awhile, and then we split, leaving Mac to rest.

After Bucky and Pook dropped us off, the wife and I headed out to HEB to grab a few items for tomorrow that they were sold out of, so we bought approximate items and then came home to do stupid shit like write this stuff or head off to bed for some much deserved sleep. Betcha can't guess who chose what?

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Frustration From All Sides And I'm Still Going To Hell

Okay, between delivery guys, the wife's blathery friend and the Mother In Law, today was pretty much just a giant pain in the ass where nothing was really accomplished.

The wife and I had to be up early because we had a broken English speaking truck driver who had six items to deliver to our house today, and wanted to be here around 8:00 AM. We both got up and stood around yawning while he and another dude started unloading what we assumed was the furniture for the front formal living and dining areas. As soon as the wife saw a blue couch she began to get alarmed and went out to speak to him about it before they got too far into things. As it turned out, the only thing on his truck that was actually ours was a single item, a painting for the entryway, which we gladly accepted delivery on and then sent him on his way to re-load the ugly blue couch and get it off our lawn.

We both went back to sleep, and when I woke up, it was almost one in the afternoon. This meant that we were creeping into the next delivery guy's window of 1:00 to 3:00, so we decided to wait him out and then go run a series of errands the wife had lined out for us.

This motherfucker finally comes rolling into our block at 3:20, right as the lawn guys show up early to get this week's visit in so they can take the Thanksgiving holidays off after tomorrow, and the MIL drives up to drop off some potatoes or some shit that the wife is supposed to be cooking for Thanksgiving. This flurry of activity turns everything into a complete clusterfuck, as the lawn guys are trying not to blow shit into the front door as I'm helping the delivery jackass lug these two mirrors inside, and the MIL is just sitting in her car watching the whole fucking thing like it's a television program with a silly grin on her face until the wife yells at her to get the hell out of the car and come inside.

Add to this the stress that the blathery friend's grandmother is having a second mastectomy tomorrow, which means that Blather now wants my wife to allow her to drop off her two year old at 7:00 in the AM, to be watched after for an unspecified amount of time.

What none of these people seem to understand is that I don't have kids for a reason, y'know? The Sister In Law, Blather, they seem to be under the mistaken impression that I just haven't had the opportunity or something, but kids really stress me out, especially since we're not really set up to deal with them. It's a very unfortunate situation that her grandmother is going through, but perhaps she should take things like that into consideration when she travels with her infant, rather than assuming that we can drop everything to "watch her on Wednesday", which is how this has been presented to us. Watch her for how long, exactly? 5 hours? 8? I don't want to be trying to find something in this house that will pass for a bedtime story if Blather decides that she can't bear to be away from her Nana.

God, I'm a horrible person, but the wife's getting sick and I don't even like the woman that this poor child fell out of, so it's making it really hard to be sympathetic about all this. I can guaran-Goddamned-tee you that if the roles were reversed this bitch wouldn't even return our calls if we needed something, it's very much a one-way street with her and always will be.

Not to mention the fact that I'd rather see my child left with rabid wolves than this woman, my distaste for her has become so extreme.

Bah.

Anyway, once we got all this shit sorted out, the MIL out of the house and the two mirrors unloaded from the truck, the wife and I finally set out to run the errands she had from this morning. Best Buy proved to be less than gung-ho about when they would be able to look into the visual issues we're having, I suppose that means that the check must've cleared already. The soonest we'll 'probably' hear something about scheduling a visit is Monday, (which wasn't a real surprise, considering the coming holiday) but what annoyed me was that their program for scheduling such visits has apparently been down for over a week, which doesn't exactly inspire much faith in them as technology leaders, I have to tellya.

Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D...It Actually Makes That Capital G Song Sound Decent...Since we were already in the place, I picked up the new Nine Inch Nails remix album,
Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D, or YearZeroRemixed of you don't spend a lot of time hanging out with Johnny Mnemonic and understand 'leetspeak' as it's apparently called. Haven't really had a chance to give it a spin yet, but I'm hoping for good things. I also grabbed the Gorillaz new CD, D-Sides, D-Sideswhich we actually listened to in its fucking entirety while waiting in the line at the Walgreen's pharmacy drive-thru for around 45 minutes to pick up a prescription for the wife.

Seriously, I think I would rather be in a line at the fucking DMV or possibly Auschwitz instead of the one at a Walgreen's. I don't know if everyone else who goes to the drive-thru is willing to wait while they take the hour or so to fill their Prozac scrip, but our time at the window was literally 5 minutes once we got to the window, while everyone before us seemed to be about 10 minutes plus. I don't know if everyone else was paying with unrolled change and a lotto ticket, but it's just puzzling why it takes so long and then we blow through so quickly when finally given the chance.

Once we finally got home, the wife crashed out on the couch, since she's still fighting a sinus infection and fell asleep immediately. I popped in another Johnny To film, Election, which was less quirky and a lot more straight forward Triad drama, which was interesting, although I was a little bored during the middle of the film watching the two mobsters vie for control of their group, considering the sheer number of characters to keep track of. It ended well though, so it redeemed itself in my eyes.

We're supposedly entertaining some out of town friends tomorrow evening, which is assuming we're not still raising someone else's child when evening rolls around.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Have You Been Hitting The Gym?

I started the day on the phone to Best Buy to get someone to look into the whole picture issue on the new television, which, as with any phone message leaving experience of late, ended with no one returning my call today. I figured fuckit, I'll be in there to pick up the new Nine Inch Males remix thingy tomorrow morning anyway, so I can just wait and unleash my rage in person.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the wife was doing her usual Monday morning returning of phone calls and the like, so I checked e-mail and then started getting the next set of stuff ready to work on. I popped in the earbuds and listened to last week's Dead Lantern Splattercast while I did so, taking a break when the wife came in to ask if I was interested in some lunch.

She grabbed some burgers and we ate, then she split to go and do the pre-Thanksgiving shopping with the Mother In Law. While she was tied up with this, I dressed quickly and dropped off some letters at the post office and then went to grab a specific item the wife had mentioned wanting as a possible Christmas gift. I know how she works, and if you don't strike while the iron is hot she'll just twist off and buy the damned thing herself, so I had her assure me she'd stay away from anything she's talked about recently. While out, I also priced an item I've had in the back of my mind as a possible gift idea for her, and found out that it was of course sold out here locally, because God hates me.

I headed back home and hopped online, taking the easy way out and I now have the two items I was pricing this afternoon headed to my house even as I type this. The local economy can blow me.

The wife got home from her shopping ordeal with the MIL, but at least that's finished and we're done with grocery stores for this week. She hit the bed for a nap and I finished up what I was working on, listening to a portion of last week's (Cool) Shite On The Tube and then I joined her, laying down myself for about an hour.

I was up and about before her (I think she may have another damned sinus infection brewing, so her energy level is even more in the toilet than usual) so I was looking around on the TiVo, seeing what it had been up to when she headed out to a couple of evening meetings. I decided to load up the Yorkie and take her for a drive-thru of Taco Bell just because it sounded good in that weird way it sounds good every six months or so.

You Rent A Film Expecting This Guy...I watched Running On Karma while I ate, pausing periodically to give the dog a few nibbles. The movie is directed by Johnny To and stars Andy Lau (of Infernal Affairs fame) wearing a fairly realistic but still comically off-putting muscle suit while playing a former monk who now makes a living as a male stripper and competing as a bodybuilder. This was something I'd added to the Netfux queue quite some time ago when I was loading up on some other films by the same director, so I had no idea what to expect when I popped this one in tonight. I'd seen a couple of other films by the same director/lead team, Running Out Of Time and Fulltime Killer, both of which feature Lau in more handsome leading man type roles, so this was quite a WTF? type of moment.

Actually, wait, check that, even as I typed that last sentence I seem to recall seeing Lau in full-on drag in Fulltime Killer (There used to be a picture depicting this to the right, but some asshole fuckface at Photobucket decided that it violated their terms of use, so now I've got nothing, sorry), so I guess we've established that he's certainly not shy about looking a little silly for a role. The movie features some almost comic wire-fu, but if you're willing to strap in for the ride it's a really great looking film that eventually reveals a bit of a deeper meaning when examining the efforts one might make to fight karma and fate.

The flick was ending as the wife got home, so we watched the recently TiVo'd Heroes, which was pretty compelling compared to the rest of the season thus far. I was surprised to hear the wife express the same thing I was thinking though, that this felt like season one all over again, what with Claire being the big focal point near the season climax. As re-tread as that might feel, I was just happy to see things happening faster and becoming more interesting, even if it means the show is about to disappear due to the writer's strike. Talking of the strike, I was relived to read somewhere last night that the current season of Dexter has supposedly been wrapped in anticipation of the strike, so I won't be left hanging with that one.

We have a slew of errands and expected deliveries tomorrow, so I'm out kids, I need to get some rest.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cinematic Sunday Fifteen (Or: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things)

The birthday gathering last night went well, although I think I did manage to wake up with a hint of a hangover this morning, or at the very least a headache, which rarely happens to me.

Most of those invited made their appearance, with a few surprise no-shows, and even a couple folks that I didn't particularly want to see popping in. The wife had a friend in town (presumably for the Thanksgiving holiday) who is all about her, which makes her an exhausting person to spend time with, especially since K is always getting drawn into what she can do for this girl. She kept calling around the end of the week, and the wife knew she'd end up having to spend time with her, so she was invited to the party against my better judgement just to get it over with. Plus, we're figuring it'd be easier to deal with her in a group dynamic rather that one on one where I might have to throw a beer bottle at her head. I think she managed to only mention her attorney and withholding sex from her husband one time apiece during the course of their visit, which was an improvement over the last time we saw her during the summer.

I always feel bad for her husband, who seems like a decent guy and seemingly does nothing except try to keep this bitch happy, but if he doesn't know any better, who am I to assume he should get out? Maybe he's happier in pain or something. What I do find annoying is how this woman contantly makes reference to the gaggle of children she thinks K and I should have (because she has two herself), and various comparisons of her own relationship with ours. I particularly find the last one offensive, because it theoretically paints my wife as a conniving quasi-bitch who would use sex to manipulate anyone and would sue me into oblivion should our marriage ever fail, and would also mean that I'm some poor schlub who should just shut the fuck up and capitulate to the whims of my wife lest she crack the whip and withhold the elusive pussy from me.

Sorry lady, that's not the nature of my relationship, and I resent your attempts at painting my marriage to be as manipulative and one-sided as yours appears to be.

To be perfectly honest, they arrived late in the evening, and after about ten Guinness I really had no problem putting up with her ass, so the evening went well even with all her blathering.

But there are always other complications, aren't there?

Remember the 12 hour ordeal that the Best Buy guys went through on Friday? Well, towards the end of the night, I turned off the stereo (which had played in the background while we played some Wii Tennis) and put the television on the normal cable channels, at which point we noticed a weird rolling set of lines on the brand new television. We'd just played the Wii a bit, and saw nothing of the sort, the problem only showing up in relation to the signal originating from the cabinet full of components, which was like a convection oven when I opened it to investigate.

Long story short, even with the cabinet doors open this afternoon, a variation of the rolling lines problem popped up, this time vertical rather than horizontal, starting in mid-afternoon once the wife had the television on for around four hours or so.

Obviously the components are generating too much heat for the area they're in, so we're going to see what these guys can do for us on Monday. If this means spreading them out on the other shelf of the cabinet, great, but I fear that won't make any difference, since they'll still be in the same space, only spread apart slightly. One option that occurred to me is that the topmost shelf isn't used for anything, so perhaps the doors for it could be removed and replaced with a speaker front or something else that'd allow for heat to pass out of there, and then vent the thing to the lower level, hell even if there's couple little fans (like you'd use to cool a computer) to pull heat from there it'd at least still keep everything hidden. There's got to be some way of dealing with this, because we've basically just spent a huge chunk of change to have to leave these doors open and still have this issue, which is REALLY frustrating.

I slept late today and was checking my e-mail in the early afternoon when the Mother In Law dropped by. She was having a bad day and wanted to get out of her house for awhile. She had the idea in her head to go and eat a late lunch, but of course the first I hear of it is when I walked into the den with some leftover pizza I just heated up, the Sunday paper to look through and a glass of tea, so she abandoned the lunch idea, opting for some leftover snacks from last night's party platters. I insisted that we could still go out if she wanted, but she wasn't having it. Instead she snacked for awhile and then she and the wife went to get their nails done. The Yorkie and I retired to the bedroom at this point and watched Ocean's Thirteen, since the den television had started acting funny at this point. I really dug the Ocean's quite a bit, I'm sure it'll grow on me with repeated viewings, it's become like an old shoe, worn in and comfortable with all the running gags and character interaction.

The wife came home and finished the movie with me, then she went to pick up some supper for herself, since I'd had the late lunch and she'd never really ate properly, and then we did the usual Sunday night routine, the usual Fox animation stuff (a Simpsons that featured comic creators Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes as themselves) and then a new Dexter. The Dexter show is getting increasingly tense, which is an interesting experience to feel so sympathetic for the character who seems to be getting boxed in further and further, despite his crimes.

And now here we are once again, Googling 'trailers' to see what I can show you.

Amusement is to be released in April of next year and is directed by John Simpson and according to the brief description I found is about three women menaced by someone bearing a grude from their childhood. It appears to feature a clown in the last few moments of the teaser, a sure sign of evil if ever there was one.







Next, we have a flick featuring my man-crush Ryan Reynolds doing the comedy thing again opppsite Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Suckshine fame, telling the story of how he met her mother, one of three women played by Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks and Rachel Weisz. The trick of course is telling a ten-year old the story and keeping it family friendly, which doesn't always work, as the trailer implies. The film is called Definitely, Maybe. It looks cute and will be tugging at your heartstrings next February.







To bring things back to horror and close on a less soft and fuzzy note, we have the film Teeth, which is supposed to get a limited engagement in February of next year, which means most of us will be waiting it out on video. Directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, it tells the story of Dawn, a young girl who develops a set of teeth in her vagina. I don't know what else needs to be said, if the hook doesn't grab ya, I certianly won't be able to sell you on things. Here's the trailer:





That's it for me, Back to the normal grind tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Partaking Of The Par-Tay

Where's My Fucking Cake?
I'm taking the day off kids, I have to run errands with the wife and pick up stuff to feed the guests we invited over so that they don't revolt and kill us. Later this evening I've decided it'll be nice to head to bed rather than the web once we've shooed everyone out this evening.

We have the veritable 'who's that?' of local society coming over to celebrate my 33 years on this planet, for which I have nothing to show but a pile of DVD's, a Yorkie that will mind about 35% of the time, and a wife that loves me for no apparent reason.

Life is good.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Solitary Confinement (Or: What Do You Mean One Of The Damned Cables Stopped Working!?!)

What a long day of doing nothing it's been, but it was completely worth it.

I slept somewhat poorly, so when the dog started in about the lawn guys I was doing my damnedest to ignore her and stay asleep, but then I heard the wife answer the phone and say that we'd be ready for whoever was on the other end, which meant that the Best Buy installation guys were on their way.

It's shortly after 8:30 at this point. I was still trying to get the sleep from my eyes when the doorbell rang. I let the three guys in and got some lights on for them, and started letting them know where the stuff to install was. I gave the little tour of where the speakers involved were located and the attic access in the china closet, then left them to get started.

The wife had a meeting and gathered up the dog to drop off at the Mother In Law's, leaving me to dick around online and field any questions or concerns that the install guys might have.

I was surprised by how quickly I got bored with the web, so I dressed, ran out the trash, and did some dishes. There was a brief period when the installation guys were concerned that the existing wiring on the speakers that were already in the house wouldn't be able to run through the desired component that they needed them to. This passed quickly when I remembered that each set of speakers in a given room all have their own volume control which somehow solved their dilemma. The wife came home, bringing lunch and we ate and visited for awhile, then she had to head out to help out at another charity decorating job, which I was happy to miss.

I ended up back on the web, as the den was a no-fly zone with the guys cutting into the wall to pull cables and mount the television. The head guy assured me that when you walk into a house and all you see is the television on the wall, no components visible, it looks quite 'baller', which I was amused to hear coming from someone not in the process of recording a rap album. I suppose I was flattered that he thought I looked hip enough to have a clue what the fuck he meant by that, so I thanked him for considering my stoopid fresh lifestyle and headed back to the office area.

I was really bored with the web and Googled solitaire, and ended up playing that for a bit. The installation guys finally took a late lunch around 2:00, and since we were out of coffee this morning, I was really feeling my restless night last night, so I lay down in the bedroom and slept pretty hard for the hour they were gone. The doorbell woke me, I let them back in and they started in again, so I fired up the solitaire and played for another hour or so.

The wife came in and found me in the same position she left me in, looking for that elusive red jack.

She crashed in the bedroom, since there's not a lot to do when your living area is unavailable.

I played solitaire some more, humming the Statler Brothers.

The evening started to creep up on us, and around 6:00 I went and closed the front curtains since it was dark outside now and turned on the porch lights. The television was on the wall by this time, but the color was weird, and they were chasing that problem, which eventually was discovered to be a faulty video cable, which meant that the clutch of wires that'd finally been fed through the wall from the attic had to be separated and the offending wire replaced. Due to the cramped quarters in the wall, that only took about an hour of trial and error to get set right, then the started cutting the hole in the wall for the final center channel speaker.

Remote. Friend. Secret Lover.One of the guys programmed the ninja cool Logitech Harmony Remote, which is so space-age it comes with its own computer program and USB cable that you plug into the computer to set up. I fully expect it to bring me a beer if I asked it to directly, it's that intelligent. This remote now runs the television, TiVo, cable box, stereo and surround sound, and has a powerful enough signal to allow those components to be hidden away in a closed cabinet. It's powered by a small sliver of uranium, but who really cares about the potential cancer when you consider the sleek nature of the entertainment set-up?

I haven't finished reading the little instruction manual, but I believe it also functions as a light saber with which I can cut open my dying tauntaun and survive the winter if need be.

It's that cool.

These guys worked in our house for a solid 12 hours with no complaint, which I was really impressed by, because I know exactly how stressful that kind of day-long pain in the ass project can be. They even helped me move the old monster television that still works but is being retired out to the garage storage.

The wife and I grabbed hamburgers and headed to the MIL's to pick up the dog. We ate and visited for a bit, then headed home. The wife and I played with the new toys for a few minutes and then I left her to noodle around with it a bit more and I headed to the web to post a short and sweet note about the nothing that happened today. The new set-up is amazingly cool, and I'm glad that the wife pressed for it, because I personally balked at the price, but she was willing to spend the cash, and the set-up is indeed pretty freakin' sweet.

Be seeing you.

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