Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Blah

Unlike last year, where we actually threw a fairly successful party on New Year's Eve, the wife and I elected to bow out of the entertaining business, mostly because I'm still feeling under the weather and we had let the week of potential planning completely get away from us.

Today was the day I'd decided I'd try to see a doctor about the ear/throat thing that's been bugging me for almost a week. Imagine my surprise to find all of the minor emergency and walk-in clinics closed except for one. The wife and I walked into the standing room only waiting area, she tried to thread through the crowd to the window to inquire about the wait time. More people immediately pressed in behind me, trying to shut the door against the cold, the wife looked over her shoulder at me and I announced "Nevermind honey, I think I'll just die instead..." while waving her back towards the door.

If I had a sucking chest wound the wait might've been worth it, but I'll be damned if I'm sitting around possibly catching something new just to get an antibiotic. I'm sure I can suffer through another day or so and hit a shorter wait on the 2nd.

You Poor, Poor BastardBack at home with the usual over the counter remedies, we watched the rest of the second season of Arrested Development and vegged out on the couch. Our houseguest gloriously absent at long last, it was cool to just chill and enjoy each other's company without knowing someone was soon going to be dropping by. The show continues to kill me, particularly a couple of karaoke scenes with an aunt and uncle singing Afternoon Delight with their nephew and niece, respectively, only to realize the racy implications of the lyrics mid-song as the uncomfortable audience begins to turn on them. Great stuff, well worth checking out, I think I'll be grabbing the third and final season later in the week.

'The Girls Next Door' Doesn't Really Describe The Neighborhood I Live In, I Can Assure You...The wife made a great supper, we had some beef tenderloin, a potato dish and a salad and watched some more television, including a new Girls Next Door, it's strange to me that all other television is in re-runs now but they seem to have discovered a key to a vault at E! that contained about half a season worth of the living Barbies doing silly shit.

I'm tired kids, I'm off to check out a few of my usual online haunts and then probably call it an early night. Tomorrow's post will be a different take on a year in review from what I did last year, because frankly I'm taking an easy out and doing a cut and paste job with it.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cinematic Sunday Nineteen

I woke up feeling worse than I have so far and made the decision to see a doctor in the morning, this is for the birds. My ears are now getting stopped up and the throat sees no change, it's time to bring in the big guns instead of simply limping it along on the cold and flu remedies.

The wife had some shopping plans with the Mother In Law in the afternoon, so I watched the rest of the first season of Arrested Development, which was awesome. I can't wait to dig into the next season tomorrow afternoon while I take down our Christmas decorations, assuming I feel up to it.

The wife out of the house, I dug through some of the special features on The Evil Dead disc, which was pretty interesting, and then visited with the MIL and the wife when they came back to the house around 4:00. The MIL was headed over to the Grandmother's house, so the wife decided to take that trip with her, so I put on the Rob Zombie Halloween re-make, just to check out the commentary track and see what was different about the 'director's cut' from what I'd seen in the theater. I stand behind the original impression of the film, it looks good in spite of being hideously flawed in both plot and character, I wish he'd drop the stunt casting of bit players in every single role and not make every single character some cousin-fucking white trash 70's throwback. I think it would be a decent film had it not been a part of this franchise, and nothing on his commentary track addresses any of the criticisms he got about the film, nor explains his particular reasoning for doing the film the way he did. The majority of it is chatty about the actors involved, tricky shots and that sort of thing, but doesn't cover anything really juicy about the production.

The wife got home around 6:00, we ordered a pizza and Brian showed up with his own take-out shortly before the pizza arrived. We ate and watched some television, just the Fox animation re-runs and chit chatted about the day before I decided to head off to the web and get started on this thing.

Tonight's trailers are getting into somewhat slim pickings, especially since there's not a lot coming out in January and the writer's strike slowing everything down.

The Ruins is based on a novel by Scott Smith and finds a group of friends who head into the jungle to visit a remote archaeological ruin and find themselves at the mercy of some ancient evil that lurks within. Check it:

Next up is something that a quick search of the blog reveals that I've never really talked about, possibly because I figured the rest of the web was doing very well for it on their own. Cloverfield looks interesting, there I said it, there's a giant monster(s?) rampaging through New York, I'll give it a look.

Finally, I'll close with the recently teased film Coraline, written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Henry Selick. Coraline, voiced by Dakota Fanning opens a strange door in her new home and finds herself in an alternate fantasy reality. Check it:

I'm out kids, I have a busy day for the first time in about four days planned tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hell Is Other People And Other Arresting Developments

One step forward and two steps back seems to be the rule of thumb around the house lately.

I feel slightly better most of the day, but the feverish feeling wants to pop back up as the evening sets in, and the sore throat is just there, lingering. I'm giving this until Tuesday, which will be a week of over the counter bullshit and then I'm going to see a fucking doctor, this is getting ridiculous.

Brian was still milling around until around noon today, which I think I'm getting to a saturation point with, thankfully he'll only be with us for a few nights more. He was nice enough to buy dinner last night, but the inconvenience of having someone else around a lot of the time is just annoying after about the first few days, and he's been spending more time here lately as his family related gatherings have dwindled since Christmas came and went. I'm thankful that Sunday is our last evening with him around, since they put whatever relative that was bunking in his bed onto a plane Monday morning.

Once we got him out of our hair, I was feeling pretty spry and decided to get out of the house for the first time in several days, so I mailed a few bills, hit a drugstore for some more orange juice and then grabbed us some lunch at a drive-thru. The drugstore reminded me of why I have been at home for days on end, aside from the whole feeling like shit thing: There's not a shitload of bovine America milling around here. God, that place must be where people who have no purpose go to die, the entire store was filled to the brim like a train to a deathcamp. Maybe they were all waiting on their Prozac scrips and would soon snap out of it, but Christ it was depressing to have to thread through them while they stood there staring at the products on the shelf and evidently waiting for death's sweet embrace.

I Feel Your Pain, Sir, I Feel Your PainWe ate and I popped in the next disc in the Arrested Development season one set. It's interesting to see small throwaway characters or actions that end up playing a larger role later in the episode or series, I'm really impressed with the writing.

The wife caught a nap after we'd watched a few episodes, so I took the time to pause and hop online to write something else for the Big Suck Loser about the Mystics In Bali flick before the memories of the insanity faded.

The wife and I finished the disc of Arrested Development, then I popped in the movie I'd been kinda itching to see again since I bought it a few weeks back, The Evil Dead Ultimate Edition. I was pretty sure the wife had never seen the movie itself at all, so I just put in the basic widescreen version, no commentary or anything for her benefit, just to see if she'd like it. I think she might've been a little put off by the splattery bits at times, but she made it through to the bitter end, so that's something. It's been my experience in the past that the gross-out stuff bothers her more than outright violence or dismemberment, which personally I find puzzling and for which I blame her steady late evening diet of true crime shows, they've obviously desensitized her to things.

I had a wild hair to make some pancakes for supper, so I did that while the wife made a few phone calls, then we settled down and ate a nice little meal. Brian turned up close to 9:00, and we watched a few of the episodes on the third disc of Arrested Development before calling it a night.

I started looking around the web a bit and listening to the latest episode of (Cool) Shite On The Tube while I did so, and now here I am, typing this boring stuff again.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Movies, Movies, Movies, Couch.

Still nursing this damned sore throat/achey thing along, although the fever seems to have left the building finally, which is a nice change of pace. The day was spent with a few DVD's and a helluva lot of orange juice.

Here's the highlights, if you can call them that:

I did indeed finish the Hatchet flick last night, there was at least one jump scare that caught me completely by surprise, and my startled twitch nearly woke the wife sleeping next to me. A fun flick, I knocked out a review for it this morning, which is now up for your perusal over at the BSL, along with a few other things.

The furniture that we'd evidently been waiting on the warehouse to build from scratch for the past few months finally arrived for the front formal living area, and it's quite luxurious, I'm very happy with it, the wife made great selections. What having it in the room does unfortunately is make the slight color change that needs to happen on the wall that much more apparent, but we can wory about that after the first of the year. We've both actually been thinking about the library in the back of the house, which will also need to be painted before we start buying the bookcases, so we have a couple big projects for the spring.

Seriously, A Flying Head Trailing Organs...What The Hell?I watched a terrifically bad film in the early afternoon, recently released from Mondo Macabro, an oddball Indonesian film from 1981 called Mystics In Bali. Badly dubbed and featuring an American woman who becomes possessed by a Leyak witch, she finds her head pulled off her body (!) and flying around trailing organs (!), eating babies to draw their power to the witch. And do I even have to mention that the special effects are terrible? A fun flick, worth a few laughs, but don't expect anything vaguely noteworthy from it besides the silliness of the K-Mart Halloween aisle special effects.

Possibly The Best Lit Scene In The Latter Half Of The Film...The wife joined me for the next flick, Turistas, which was in a holding pattern on the TiVo for a month or more now. Not as much of a Hostel rip-off as I'd imagined, but the characters are all typically annoying party animal types intent on boozing it up, and the villains have a half-assed noble idea behind what they're doing with all the kidnapping and organ harvesting. The biggest beef I had was that the latter half of the film involves an escape during a rainstorm, in the dark, in a jungle. This leads into underwater caves that are only illuminated with a few flashlights, so trying to tell what action is happening can be pretty frustrating at times. A possible rental at best, but nothing I'll be running out to buy.

The wife grabbed a nap later in the afternoon and I watched another TiVo'd film, Zombie Honeymoon, a film which Skincarver had reviewed very favorably awhile back. The concept is one sentence simple: A couple on their honeymoon stumbles upon a zombie on the beach, husband becomes zombiefied and spends the rest of the film feeling his humanity slip away while his wife struggles with whether or not she can stick it out. I don't think I got into this one as much as Skinny did, but I thought it was an interesting take on a story that's been done many times before. Normally the love the characters felt for one another would fall by the wayside in a more action oriented film, but this one concentrates on how much the two care for each other and spends a lot of one on one time with them. I'd say give it a rental just for something different, just don't expect a typical zombie film.

This evening we watched the first disc of Arrested Development season one, a show I've never seen a full episode of. I'm of course loving it, I'd heard nothing but great things about it, so I'm not surprised at all. We plowed through about six episodes in a row and I'm itching to get into the next disc as soon as we have the time. Great stuff.

Tired now kids, I'm hoping that tomorrow the throat thing gives up the ghost and I can get on with my life.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

What The Hell Did They Throw Away?

I found myself awake at 7:20 this morning when the garbage man took what felt like five minutes of slamming the dumpster around to empty it. I can only assume this was because the neighbors behind us had crammed a complete dinette set and sleeper sofa into there over the holiday weekend, because it took him fucking forever to dislodge whatever he'd found. Basically wide awake, I got up and took some more medicine, noting that the cold medications I've been routinely tossing back have dried my mouth and nose out completely, but the sore throat remains peskily resistant, possibly worse from the dryness.

I checked e-mail and dicked around on the web for an hour or so, then went back to bed and slept until noon. The wife was headed out to visit some random cousins of the Mother In Law who were in town for the afternoon, I begged out of that, still feeling pretty blah, and heated up some leftovers for lunch.

I ate and watched some television, including the TiVo'd Extras series finale, which was pretty decent, although the whole uncomfortable comedy that Gervais seems to thrive on was taken here to the point of it simply being unpleasant at times rather than embarrassingly funny for the people involved. Don't get me wrong, there were moments that I did laugh out loud, but a lot of the time I was simply wincing as people are treated really shabbily by their friends.

The wife came home and we chatted for awhile, then she got online to check her e-mail and shop for some odds and ends. I paid a few bills and balanced the checkbook, clearing off the corner of the kitchen counter that I'd let pile up with mail. I sorted that stuff and filed it away, then popped in a movie that'd arrived in yesterday's mail from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux.
Flashing The McNabs? Gimme A Break, They Can't All Be Gold...
Hatchet was something I'd heard mixed reviews for, but they all ranged from okay/average to really great, no one really hated the film as far as I can remember, and I was really enjoying the mixture of bloody horror and comedy, several scenes actually made me laugh, which is a good sign, and Mercedes NcNab's gratuitously nekkid breasts don't hurt things either. The only problem was that I started the flick too late in the afternoon, and the wife had a friend coming by this evening for a visit, so I ended up stopping the film about 30 minutes shy of its conclusion. I fully plan on popping it in the player in the bedroom to finish watching before I go to sleep tonight.

We visited with her friend for awhile, then they picked up some take-out for supper and ate, with Brian showing up about the same time they got back with the food. We heard about his day and then broke open the ninja-cool Scrabble board the wife had got me for Christmas and played a few games of that before calling it a night.

I'm out kids, I've gotta go use another Zicam nose swab and see what happens with this Victor Crowley character.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Better Late Than Never (Or: We'll Tear Your Christmas Apart)

Here's an odd little anecdote:

I had ordered a book for myself, as one does around the Christmas holidays, and the expected delivery date was for December 24th. The day came and went with no parcel on my front porch, and I checked the delivery status via the UPS tracking system and found out that the package was allegedly delivered at 2:38 on the day in question, supposedly left on our porch. I triple checked our porch area, and since there's no real bushes to hide something in, I was forced to face the obvious, that the package was either delivered to the wrong house or that someone had lifted it. Hoping that the thing would turn up from an honest homeowner, I figured I'd wait until the 26th to try and contact UPS and try to claim on the missing item. Today I found myself feeling pretty lousy, so I blew off the calling process, as my throat is pretty sore from drainage or something and I'm running a fever, but I did wander by the front door a few times to see if some kind soul dropped the thing off. I found nothing.

Wanna Buy A Fuckin' Box?Until around 6:00 in the evening, when the elderly man who lives next door walked over with the opened package, explaining that his wife had opened it without reading the mailing information after it'd been delivered to their house by mistake. I guess I should just be thankful that they weren't fans of The Hellraiser Films And Their Legacy, y'know? I'm sure that was a helluva thing to show up on Christmas Eve on their little elderly doorstep, but then they certainly weren't in any hurry to deliver it to me, now were they? The wife suggested that the gentleman and I should get together and form a discussion group about it, since he'd probably taken time to skim through it over the past few days...


I woke up feeling sicker than when I went to sleep last night, the pattern of whatever it is that's bugging me is a fever and sore throat that dissipates almost completely when I'm Advil-ed to the gills, but it comes back with a vengeance (say, overnight), so I woke up feeling like I was near death. The wife had gotten up about 45 minutes before I did, and she and Brian were visiting while she cleaned up the kitchen, the Mother In Law was still asleep. I started gulping down drugs by the handful, as I'm hoping to stave off whatever this is with over the counter stuff. The wife got a voicemail late, telling her that the family was getting together for an impromptu lunch before the Father headed home, so she was basically rushing out of the house to hit that before a previously planned lunch with a loser friend of hers that I kinda hate. Brian took this as is cue to split, and the MIL was just getting up so I helped her load up her dogs and got her on her way home before crashing on the couch and popping in a Family Guy DVD to watch while I waited for the fever to subside.

Macguffin, who was celebrating a birthday today called around 1:00 to let me know that he was feeling under the weather with stomach issues presumably due to some dicey leftovers he'd eaten, so the plans we'd made for me to come over and give him his birthday gifts were scrapped. I assured him I felt in no condition to be driving around anyway, so this was just as well and we'll reschedule at a later date when we're both not praying for death.

The wife came home mid-afternoon and brought me a sandwich and my requested bottles of orange juice. I dozed on the couch with the Griffins in the background for most of the afternoon, until Anastasia Beaverhouszen and hubby Kno1 popped in for a visit. We hung out with them for around four hours, picked up some Chinese and having dinner along the way before they headed home to their own bed.

Brian came by shortly after 9:00, and the wife helped him set up his preferences on his new laptop that he'd received for Christmas. We called it a night around 10:00 and I headed off to the interweb to type this out and listen to a new Hellbilly Wreckhouse while the wife went to watch TV in the bedroom with her friend for awhile.

I feel pretty decent right now, but nowhere near a 100%, I hope I can shake this off soon, the painful swallowing thing is driving me nuts.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Where Are You When I Need You, Murderous Santa?

The wife and I were awoken this morning at 7:00 AM by the Yorkie, who refused to stop growling at whatever noise she'd heard, presumably Santa leaving our yard or something.

Wishful Thinking, Really...We gave in and got up, I started making breakfast and did a load of dishes while the wife made a little cinnamon bread concoction that she makes for the holidays. Brian got up and split for his family holiday, so the wife and I did our own gift routine shortly after we ate breakfast. She was very happy with the stuff I got for her, which made me really happy, and things were really nice with just the two of us for awhile.

Then of course we had to start thinking about the family Christmas bullshit, which was immediately depressing for me. I think I may be just about family'ed out. The wife has seemingly made peace with whatever issues she and the Mother In Law got into last night, but personally I'm still annoyed about that whole situation. The wife cooked into the early afternoon, then I loaded her car with her food items and she headed over there early to help her Mother cook. I watched a David Cross DVD the wife got me for Christmas for awhile and then took a shower, missing a call from the MIL in the process. When I returned it I find out she wants me to rush over to rebuild a vased arrangement of flowers she had into a fucking centerpiece, with no real tools to do so, which annoys me to no end, as if anyone gives a shit about a centerpiece. Not to mention the fact that all the colors of the stupid arrangement were those of a spring arrangement, which doesn't really scream Happy Holidays. The resulting arrangement looked pretty much like shit and I made repeated attempts to not have any ownership applied to the work when the MIL kept telling everyone how nice I was to do it for her. I just love being at someone's beck and call. Bah.

The big family production gift routine was pretty painless, and the Middle Sister loaded me up with a bunch of puzzling shirts with things like the little ghosts from Pac-Man or the Atari logo on them. They'll be something comfy to sleep in, but otherwise I suppose that it is the thought that counts, as the saying goes.

The wife somehow decided that it'd be a good idea (without my input, mind you) to have the MIL spend the night with us since she felt lonesome in the big house on Christmas by herself, which of course means we have her dogs underfoot as well, which is yet another annoyance to fucking deal with. I know that the sore throat I'm developing along with at least a tinge of a fever isn't helping my abilities to deal with this, but Goddamn, how many fucking people do we have to have staying with us who have perfectly good homes that they could be in? I can at least sorta understand the MIL in spite of my annoyance with her behavior of late, but Brian is just here to avoid a couch or air mattress. Anyone wanna lay money this is the week he picks to read this shit and hear me badmouthing him? My luck never fails...

Bart's DoodleMacguffin and Buckaroo Banzai dropped by with the Chihuahua/Pomeranian pup and watched The Simpsons Movie with me, then they split and I'm left here in the web while the wife is in bed with the two houseguests, watching the MIL's beloved Fox News and staining my television with a right-wing agenda of bullshit.

I was spoiled quite generously by the wife and to a good extent the in-laws as well, but I really, REALLY miss the days when the only animal underfoot at night was my own and there weren't any other people telling me that they planned to sleep in tomorrow and that I could go about my own business and not worry about looking after them.

Oh, thank fuck for that, I'd hate to have to worry about someone else!

I'd be even less likely to worry about them if they weren't here at all, but that may be the impending illness talking.


Be seeing you.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas The Night Before Christmas And Who Really Gives A Shit?

This will be fairly short because I'm tired and interested in bed more than blog.

We had the family lunch/gift exchange with the Father and the in-laws not including the Mother In Law today. It was pretty laid back, and no real odd exchanges happened, certainly nothing noteworthy that needs to be chronicled here. We watched the kids open their gifts, ate lunch and visited a bit, then split to run some extremely last minute errands the wife had.

After shopping Wal-Mart, an experience that wasn't as soul-crushing as I expected it to be, we headed back home where the wife proceeded to wrap all the gifts that she'd bought for the MIL to give to the grandchildren, and then we loaded all that shit up and took it over to the MIL's house around 5:00.

Fa La La La La La La La Blam!Once there for a bit, the MIL managed to say something pretty shitty to my wife, as they tried to decide what to do about the grandchildren's stockings. The MIL flat out said that she was waiting for K to get the stockings put together for her, since she's always helped her get Christmas together and has now run off and got married and hasn't been around for her this year. What the fuck? I don't recall having any grandchildren, why the fuck is it my wife's responsibility to shop for, wrap and now even stuff stockings for them? This of course hit the wife the wrong way, and she's kinda crying and upset, so I'm trying to talk her down about it for a bit and then some unexpected company shows up, so we end up basically hiding out in the front living room talking this out while the MIL entertains in the other part of the house, wondering aloud several times where we've gotten off to.

Fuck me in the manger.

The Uncle and the Grandmother eventually show up, and we finally wandered back into the other part of the house, I'm just wanting to fucking leave at this point because my wife looks like I've just told her I've been fucking other men but we should try to stay together for the holiday just for appearances, what with her red nose and teary-eyes. The guests left (Thank Christ) and the MIL of course wants to talk to K about what is bothering her, which I walked out on because I didn't want to hear it and be rude myself. The Uncle and I went out to the garage and had a beer and exchanged similar annoyances with the way things are being dealt with this holiday season, before coming back in to see how things were going. The MIL had backpedaled about what she said, swearing up and down that she had been kidding, but I heard the tone and it was without any real tone of mirth, I can assure you.

The wife spent the rest of the night looking alternately sad or annoyed, particularly when the Middle Sister popped in and mentioned several times how put out she was with having their Father staying with her, which I know for a fact had the wife grinding her teeth in aggravation.

The MIL kept insisting that the wife was feeling sick, which was really annoying me personally, since no one among the in-laws ever wants to 'own' anything: the MIL pissed her off and hurt her feelings, if she still seems distracted, well, she must be sick, it can't be residual hurt feelings, right? Give me a fucking break.

The wife had talked about staying until around 10:00, but around 8:30, between the MIL's reiterations of how sick she must be, and her disinterest in visiting with anyone around the table, I badgered her into leaving, but the moment we were in the damned car she made a crack about how she would've brought her own car, because I'd been aware of how long she wanted to stay over there.

This immediately pisses me off, as she'd sat around for the past four hours or so looking alternately teary, annoyed or dejected, and now she's pissy with me because we didn't put in our arbitrary community service hours spent at the MIL's house being miserable? Fuck that noise.

Back at the house we eventually talked it out, I explained my annoyance after we left, she explains her feelings over her Mother's well-being and how she deals with things, and we end on a teary, unresolved note, since the basic problem is the wife's emotions over actions of someone she has no control over.

Merry Christmas, can I use your hankie? I love that the lunch with a potentially hostile parent was no big deal but the normal safe haven of the MIL's house becomes a nest of vipers like flipping a switch.

Jesus, the holidays blow this year. I've said it before and I'll say it again, our lives would be amazingly simple without the family to cock it up for us.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cinematic Sunday Eighteen

I find myself starting this one pretty early, since we have our friend Brian coming to stay with us for a few days due to overcrowding at his house from out of town relatives, and Macguffin dropping by for a visit with his new puppy.

The wife and I were both up past 4:00 in the morning, unable to sleep, just shooting the shit and comparing notes on the various family dinners from the past few nights. I slept in and then made us a late breakfast which we ate while looking through the newspaper. The wife had some half-assed plans about going out and running a couple of errands, but they fell by the wayside when I started some laundry and wanted to wait for it to finish before we left. The wife decided that she'd rather chill today and pack everything in tomorrow afternoon after the midday family scene we have planned, which was cool with me and I finished my laundry and wrote another review for the BSL while I waited.

The wife knew that I'd bought a cheap copy of Cujo around Halloween, and was baffled that I had never seen it before, so she was pulling for us to watch it this afternoon. We popped that in and gave it a look, I have to say that I found it to be a decent adaptation of the book, but was annoyed at the ending change that gave it a less downbeat feel, but whatever, it's Hollywood. I also have to note that this conforms my plans to only own dogs that I can kill with a single kick if they get rabid and try to attack me. God forbid, if it's between the Yorkie and me, I'm walking away from that one.

Macguffin and his new puppy came by for a visit, which was interesting to see how Bella related to another dog, especialy one actually smaller than she is. They had a few tense moments, but once the little Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix named Toby found out that he couldn't bite Bella without consequence, they got along pretty well. Later in the evening, Mac and I picked up some food that the wife called in, and we had a nice supper and visited for awhile before he and his pup headed back home.

The wife and I watched some television that had accumulated on the TiVo and chilled out for the evening to wait for our houseguest to show, which was scheduled for around 10:00.

Brian arrived from his relatives late, we got him settled and I left he and the wife chatting while I headed to the office to finish this off, listen to the newest Destroy The Brain and get this posted sooner than later.

The trailer search gave us the following:

The Signal is a film directed by three different people, which gives different perspectives on how an electronic signal drives everyone insane. The three directors involved are David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry and I turned up two different trailers for the film, the first that looks like little more than a teaser:

The second one sems to give more of the syle and flavor of the film, I particularly like the way the music that is used gives a certian elegance to the images.

Next up we have the trailer for the new film from Guillermo Del Toro, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. It again stars Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones and looks to be a lot of fun. July is still a long ways off, dammit.

Finally we have a trailer for an original CG film based on the Resident Evil franchise that I heard about via the recent Reel Horror Podcast. It alleges to take place '7 years from Raccoon City', whatever the hell that means, I'm guessing 7 years after the events that took place there, and there's still zombies doing that zombie thing, I think in an airport. Resident Evil: Degeneration looks fun and pretty well animated, give it a look.

I'm out kids, we have the Christmas Eve family massacre planned for tomorrow afternoon, more on that as it develops.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Unusually Large Areolae And Yet Another Family Dinner

Today was spent at the house, trading calls about how this evening would be spent, because nothing in this family is ever very easy.

The Older Sister and the wife made plans to have dinner at a specific restaurant this evening several days ago, and let the Middle Sister know the plan, as she's currently housing their Father. This was monkey-wrenched by mid-day today when we found out that the preferred early dinner hour wasn't going to happen, because the 1st choice of dining was booked until 8:30 at the earliest. After a few false starts, including finding out that they Middle Sister's land line was down and that she was only available via her cell, which she wasn't very good about answering, the sisters decided on a new location and called her with the details.

This secondary plan fell through within a few hours, and a smaller place across town was chosen, a little off the beaten path, but by this time the Middle Sister had stopped responding to phone calls, which is exactly what you do when you're trying to plan a family gathering, right?

Fuck me in the Christmas goat ass.

Meow, KittyIn the midst of this I watched a movie in the afternoon, something that had turned up from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux. All The Colors Of The Dark is a film by Sergio Martino, which stars the gorgeous Edwige Fenech and her surprisingly (don't click unless you want to see nipples, kids) large areolas as a woman who falls in with a Satanic cult while suffering from delusions related to a recent trauma in her life. A nicely shot Italian thriller from the early 70's, I was rather amused with the jazzy soundtrack and the surreal freak-out scenes, especially the use of the color filters and the cheesy Satanic ceremonies. Fun stuff, I've seen one other film by the director, The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh awhile back, and it was interesting enough for me to add this film to the queue, I may be going back for more Martino soon, especially if they star Fenech, who cameoed recently in Hostel II as the art teacher at the beginning of the film.

Her Vice Isn't That Strange, If Yer Into Leather...The wife and I ran a few errands for the Mother In Law in the late afternoon, basicaly picking up a few gifts that she'd had gift-wrapped, and I hit Barnes & Noble for a gift for Macguffin's upcoming birthday, then we headed over to the restuarant to meet the family.

The trick was that the Father had wanted to go by the MIL's house (hell, technically I suppose it's still half his since they're not divorced yet), and the MIL had vacated so that he could come by and gather up some clothes, books and whatnot. The wrinkle in the plan was that the door was left locked, as one generally does when they leave the house, and the Father had no key, so someone was dispatched to let him and the Idiot Brother In Law in so that they could load up whatever and then meet us for dinner. The Middle Sister decided she wasn't into it, which was annoying but whatever, so the Idiot BIL showed up about 45 miutes late with the Father and the Nephew. Dinner was fine once everyone finally showed up, and again nothing shitty was said, somewhat to my dismay. I feel like I spend every family get together like this waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never happens and it's kinda annoying at this point. I want to just get into it and get it over with or have people act fucking normally instead of tip-toeing around like they seem to do.


Afterwards we dropped by the Grandmother's house and visited with her and the MIL and the Uncle who's in town for Christmas, then headed home finally.

I think we actually have tomorrow off entirely from the family, which will be a nice change of pace and allow me to not be planning my day around other people's plans that will most likely fall through.

We watched a Martha Stewart Christmas special thingy where she shows you how to complicate the fuck out of your life by making a bunch of shit that you can buy pre-made for about a dollar more. So fuck Martha Stewart, I'm not spending the month before Christmas covered in Elmer's Glue and glitter just so I can say that our ornaments weren't made by Chinese labor camps, er, factories.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Family Dinners And Palpable Tension, These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

I did sweet fuck all today, there I said it.

I'm writing this to the tune of the latest two episodes of the Reel Horror Podcast, who've returned at long last after a six week absence, and it's nice to have their bickering back in my life. I've truly missed it.

The wife slept poorly last night as her new medications took effect, coughing a lot and tossing and turning, even going so far as to move to the bedroom down the hall so that she wouldn't wake me. This of course had the opposite effect, because the Yorkie heard her moving around in the bedroom at the end of the hall and instead of going to investigate like the vicious guard dog she thinks she is, she sat at the end of the fucking bed and woofed and growled and generally worked herself up until I couldn't sleep. Annoyed at the dog, I finally picked her up and took her into the other room where she slept the rest of the night with her mother.

The lawn people came and went this morning, in spite of a totally different crew having been here yesterday afternoon, and the lawn looks great. I hope that them being here twice this week isn't a weird way of saying that they're done for the year or something, because we still have a good number of leaves that haven't fallen due to the mild winter we've had this year.

Have Stake Will TravelI got up late and listened to the wife on the phone with various folks while I checked e-mail and then picked up trash from the party last night, running out some trash and then getting with the wife to make some lunch plans. The plans were that the wife was going to go out with her Mother for some afternoon shopping, so I called in some take-out and went to hit the post office before I picked up my food. I ate and watched some more of the 3rd season of Buffy while the wife got antsier about her afternoon with the Mother In Law. She and the oldest sister had made plans to have a dinner at her house, which would include all the daughters, son in laws and grandchildren together pretty much for the Father's benefit. This was scheduled for 6:00, but the wife was getting nervous since her Mother was running late and she had no idea if she'd be done with her errands in time for this dinner. I suggested that she should perhaps put the foot down with the MIL, because she'd already blown off the luncheon with the Father yesterday, and we probably should make the appearance for at least of few of these dinners, y'know?

I spent the afternoon on the couch and the wife called around 5:30, saying that they were on their way to the MIL's house, would I meet her and then she and I could just go to dinner, which was a decent plan and would save the MIL the drive back to our place, since she'd picked the wife up, albeit an hour and change late.

I helped them unload the groceries and then we headed to the Sister's house, beating the Middle Sister and her brood, as well as the Father. He arrived shortly after we did, announcing that the Middle Sister was blowing it off this evening. Kind of a dick move to not even bother to call, but whatever, we said our hellos and watched as the Father gave his grandchildren a few little odds and ends kind of gifts he'd brought with him. The kids gave us a tour of the decorations that they'd done in their respective rooms, and then we settled down to eat.

The conversation was mainly directed around the antics of the energetic Nephew, which worked out fine for everyone, as it gave the Father little chance to throw out any sort of barbed comments to the people at the table, which I understand is historically his modus operandi. I personally spent the evening weighing up what he said and how he behaved, because he's been out of the picture living in another state since the wife and I have been together, but everything I've heard about his behavior is that he is notorious for cutting one to the bone with his words. I personally haven't had any of this particularly directed my way, they few things he's said that were even remotely barbed I pretty much threw back at him with direct answers or comments of my own and he dropped it immediately, which I found interesting. I've just heard lengthy conversations amidst the family that always painted these tense dinners where everyone walked on eggshells in fear of something hateful coming out of this man, so I lie in wait for a direct attack just to see what he'll do if I ask him "What the hell do you mean by that? What would possess you to say something like that at a table full of people?" I'm very much of the "You wanna get nuts?!? Let's get nuts!?!" mindset when it comes to casually shitty behavior like that, so let's dance.

This evening I spent my time listening carefully to what was said, pretty much on the offensive if he had anything untoward to say, but he was surprisingly pleasant. All in all it was a pretty painless experience, and the Father made some weird transitions in conversation here or there, for example passing around a collection of photos of him and some cronies hunting, or him honored at a business luncheon. This is all well and good, but it felt more like an effort to show off that he has been spending his time having fun while his family has been here in Texas not visiting him. This may not be the case, but it just seemed strange that he happened to have this assortment of pictures with him, and not in his car mind you, but something that he brought in the house with him. The devil's advocate in me wants to wonder if this was a legitimate attempt to simply catch his family up since he rarely sees them, but it also smacks of a "See, I don't need you to have fun"kinda vibe at the same time, so who knows?

We split after some dessert, headed home and watched the final disc of season three of Buffy, which was enjoyable and I believe the last one that I've seen before, so I think everything from this point on in the series will be new to me.

I'm out kids, there'll probably be another family thing tomorrow night, so I'm sure I'll have more to yammer about.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Party Of The Second Part

I'm actually starting this thing a lot early, as we have another non-profit related Christmas party that the wife has volunteered us for this evening and I don't know if it will drag on and on like the last one did, but I figure I'd get a jump on this just in case.


Okay, I'm back now, but it's about five hours later.

The day itself was pretty low-key, the wife headed off to the doctor's appointment that she'd finally made after I badgered her relentlessly about how lousy she's felt for over a week and a half now just taking over the counter stuff. Ooky, Kooky, Etc.She split while I was still checking e-mail, so afterwards I picked up the house a bit in anticipation of the party and then chilled on the couch, actually falling asleep for a few moments while watching an episode of The Addams Family until the wife got back home.

She and I were supposed to go to a luncheon for the people who work for the family's company, which the estranged Father is now in town to attend, but she decided to bow out of it, since she had been to the doctor and felt kinda crappy. This was way cool with me, since I don't have any deep abiding desire to go to the lunch anyway, I barely know the folks involved, and the less time the wife spends around her Father the better, as he'll probably just pop off with something shitty for no real reason.

Since she'd decided to blow off the lunch due to illness, we of course went out to lunch by ourselves and then did a round of grocery shopping for a few household odds and ends as well as items for the party tonight. We'd decided to go with a bunch of little snacky foods, more dessert items than not, although we had a shrimp platter and some veggies that could be dipped in a spinach concoction. We unloaded all this crap back at the house and tucked it all away, then the wife decided to take her new set of medicine and catch a nap, so I chilled with the last movie we had from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux.

The Stitcher was a low budget film I recall being chatted up while we were at the Texas Frightmare Weekend back in June, and I'd dutifully added it to the queue way back then. I may have recently bumped it up the list by mistaking it for David Arquette's film The Tripper, but whatever, it was a movie I was curious to see eventually anyway. To be honest about the movie, it was pretty silly and campy, and a lot of the acting didn't really grab me in this story about friends away at a lake house who run afoul of a murderous lunatic in the nearby woods. I looked into the extras menu and found out that the film was shot by a crew of two women, who wrote, cast, catered, did everything for the entire production, which actually gave me a different perspective on the film. I won't say that it's a good movie, what with the acting chops and style of the film being similar to that of a lot of those shot on video softcore porn flicks that pop up on latenight television, but I have to give the ladies props for being able to pull off what they have with such a small crew.

I checked the mail and was happy to see that the Horrorhound magazines I ordered last week had arrived, but of course the package was slightly molested, because why wouldn't be? It's only a package of several not easily replaced genre magazines, why would that arrive without at least one corner all fucked up? The creasing to the corner of one issue was minimal, but it's always annoying to buy something that you don't even receive in new condition. Grrr.

The party this evening turned out to be pretty fun, actually. Brian arrived early and kept us company while we set everything up. I was a tad annoyed to notice that the executive director of the orginazation was the last person to show up. If I had someone hosting a party for the organization I run, I'd feel obligated to show up a bit early, see if I could help out, but not this guy, he just wanders in whenever. What a jackass.

This group of people were a lot more outgoing than last weeks' group, and we had a nice time visiting and going through one of those white elephant gift exchanges, which everyone pretty much took as their cue to start packing it in. We had a few stragglers that hung around and chatted with us for awhile, but we were cleaning and washing dishes by 9:30 this time around.

I'm tired and full of Guinness and desserts, so I'm off to bed.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Workday, Looking Out And A Cute Redhead

Lucky you, I don't have a lot to go on about today: no celebrities have offended me and aside from a few errands, I actually did very little today.

I got up early, checked e-mail and then finished the second set of graphing I had to do, listening to the latest Dead Lantern Splattercast while I did so, which covered a series of Christmas themed horror films. While I worked on that the wife left to go to her niece and nephew's Christmas program at school, which I was assured later was quite cute.

I put in a call to the bossman about dropping the recently completed stuff off with him, and then decided to find something to eat.

I heated up some leftovers for lunch and watched some television with the wife, TiVo'd Simpsons re-runs and some Christmasy Food Network special until she decided to move to the bed and get a nap in before the Mother In Law came by to get her in the late afternoon to go and run errands. I watched a few more episodes of the Buffy disc that was still in the player, and then the bossman called me back, telling me that he was returning my call because he assumed I wanted to get together, since his wife deleted the detailed message I left for him.

That whole family is strange, I tell you.

I threw on some clothes (I'd been Hef-ing it in my pajamas up to this point in the afternoon) and headed over to his place, got a check and some new stuff to work on. I deposited the check and headed back home, the wife never even knew that I left.

Is Nice! Betcha She'll Never Tire Of Those Fucking Jokes, Eh?She went to run around with the Mother In Law around 4:00, so I popped in a movie from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux. The Lookout was an interesting film about a guy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) with memory issues who works as a janitor at a bank getting hustled into helping out a group of thieves who plan to rob the bank. The film was written and directed by Scott Frank, this being his first film directing, although he was apparently involved the screenplays for several films I really enjoyed, including Soderbergh's Out Of Sight. A good film, the cast works well together and Isla Fisher is cute as Gordon-Levitt's love interest, but I suppose she's generally cute as anything. Shit, look at that picture, she's even cute as hell when she's full of a bouncing baby Borat.

I wrote a couple of reviews for the BSL, although I'm not sure when they'll be up, as Skincarver is quite busy as the year wraps up. I figure if they don't make it up in the next week or two, maybe they'll just get saved up and completely switch up what's on the frontpage.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Can You Please Slow Down On Your Rutting?!?

My little personalized news crap that I set up on the Google homepage is mostly entertainment related, because why would I want to know about what's going on in the real world, right? I log in tonight and it reveals to me that Britney Spears' 16 yr old sister Jamie Lynn is now pregnant, presumably not to be outdone by her older sibling in the race to repopulate the trailer park from whence they came. I'm now going back to the Google homepage to try and discover why this was relevant to my life in their eyes, as they're obviously using the term 'entertainment news' very loosely.

Oh yeah, and fuck Wesley Snipes in his tax evading ass, I'd be more sympathetic to his cause if he'd made a decent movie in the past five or six years.

I was supposed to meet Robbb for a late breakfast/brunch kinda thing this morning around 10:30, so I got up early and checked e-mail, dressed and then headed that way a little ahead of schedule so that I could grab some Starbucks beforehand. We ended up meeting his boss at the restaurant, which was cool since having an extra person around to chat with helped to distract from the fact that the food was kinda so-so and that it took them a helluva long time to brown a couple of sausage patties and make some scrambled eggs.

Robbb's boss split for work and he and I headed out to do some shopping, as I still needed to finish out my Christmas stuff for the wife. I bought a fucking pile of DVD's (for both myself and the wife for the holiday) at Best Buy. Your Magazine's Suffering Will Be LegendaryI felt like splurging just because I think I'm going on a self-imposed buying strike after the first of the year (call it a resolution of you want) just to get some stuff watched and make sure I'm getting the money's worth out of what I already own. Lately I've just been buying a lot of 'what the hell' kinda stuff and I'd like to curtail that a bit for a few months. We also hit Barnes & Noble, where I found the newest Horrorhound Magazine, which was a pleasant surprise and features a big article about the 20th anniversary of Hellraiser.

We hit another store which shall remain nameless lest the one time that the wife actually reads my stupid blog it manage to spoil one of her Christmas surprises, and then I dropped Robbb back at his house.

I'd missed a message from the wife, which told me that she was at her Mother's house, so I dropped by there and poked some silk poinsettias into a wreath that the Mother In Law had been sweating about on her front door. We visited a bit and then I headed home before the wife so that I could stash the new gifts away before she came in.

I Forget How Many 'Dips' This Release Counts As...It was midafternoon by this time, so we heated up some leftovers and had a late lunch while watching some more of Buffy season 3, which is still proving entertaining, and I opened a few of the DVD's I picked up so that I could check out the packaging. I grabbed the latest edition of Evil Dead which was released today, because I've never actually owned the original film, just the two sequels, for whatever reason. I'm kind of happy to just now be buying this fucker, considering the multiple (I think I can recall at least 5 different versions of this film alone) releases that've been churned out since the DVD format has become popular. The three disc set looks to be pretty complete and I love the packaging.

I popped in the earbuds and listened to the rest of the latest (Cool) Shite On The Tube while tackling the second project I had started last night. I got a huge amount of that finished, I may only have another hour and change worth of work to do on it tomorrow before it's finished. Go me.

We rounded out the evening with a little more Buffy and then the wife headed off to bed, still stubbornly fighting with her cold/flu/sinus symptoms. I guess she won't be happy until it turns into walking pneumonia or something for the Christmas holiday. Although that would get us out of the stupid in-laws routine....hmnn.

I suppose there's always a bright side to everything, isn't there?

Be seeing you.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Workday And Dental Pain

First things fuckin' last, here's the Dark Knight trailer I couldn't find on YouTube last night for the Cinematic Sunday crap I usually waste time with at the beginning of the week:

I think the trailer looks awesome, I'm very excited to see this next fucking summer when it finally trickles into theaters.

Fuck Calgon, Dewar's, take me away. I had to visit the orthodontist this afternoon, which involved the 'activation' (as I believe they called it) of the two teeth that had been hiding behind others up 'til now, so they grabbed ahold of those fuckers with the little rubber bands this afternoon. That managed to give me a tension headache in the ten minutes it took me to drive back home. I must also digress with a comment about the orthodontist who always insists on trying to shoot the shit with me with both his hands in my mouth up the wrist, I can only guess he doesn't really want an answer to those questions, now does he?

I worked on and actually finished the first project this morning into the early afternoon, listening to the latest Night Of The Living Podcast while I did so, and then checked out a few more SModcasts to get caught up with my listening finally.

After the orthodontist, I had plans with the wife to do the grocery shopping, which we'd put off for some time now and would now have to be a mammoth undertaking. I took my handful of Advil for the headache that'd sprung up and we headed out. The recently renovated HEB is quite the adventure now, and for whatever reason even more crowded than it used to be, I don't know if they're somehow stealing Wal-Mart's thunder or what, but there's certianly seems to be more people underfoot than there were before this whole remodel happened. We eventually got out of there, in spite of a 15 minute wait at the meat department while the apparently waited for the fucking cow to grow from which they cut our tenderloin, and we got out the hell out of there.

We unloaded and put away everything back at the house, then I made supper, and we watched some TiVo'd Fox animation stuff, Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. while we ate. I eventually left the wife watching something Christmas-related on the Food Network and I got another hour's worth of work done on the next project, listening to part of the latest (Cool) Shite On The Tube while I did so. I noticed the teeth beginning to ache more and more while I worked, so I eventually took a third helping of Advil for the night and decided to go the old fashioned route and poured myself a hefty Dewar's on the rocks, which actually cut right through the basic tension of the teeth in about thirty minutes. A second and third followed, to a terrific reception.

Not a bad way to end the day, I hope I sleep well now that I'm properly anaesthetized.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cinematic Sunday Seventeen

The wife is still feeling pretty blah due to whatever flu/sinus/cold stuff she's been fighting for the past few days, so she was on the couch under cover of blankets and full of over the counter medication for most of the day.

I got up late and made some much needed coffee, I'm starting to get my days and nights a little reversed, going to sleep later and later, then sleeping away most of the day, which is pretty frustrating if you want to do anything really productive. We had some coffee and read through the paper, then she had to get out and run a mailing she'd been working on by the offices of one of her charities.

We had some lunch when she got back and watched some more of Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 3, which have been an interesting experience, watching as different trends show up, writing-wise. It seems as though the first four or so episodes of each season are spent reflecting on the past season, until a status quo is re-established and we move forward with the characters lives. I'll be curious to see if this continues into the rest of the series, which could feel a little predictable if it does.

The wife napped a bit in the late afternoon, so I got some work done, listening to the latest Destroy The Brain while I did so and part of an older SModcast, a show which I've gotten really behind on listening to. Destroy The Brain had a few interesting news items, one of which I'd ran across myself last night: At long last a widescreen version of Lynch's Lost Highway will be released early next year on March 25th, which is something to look forward to for those of us who have never owned the elusive film and have just caught it occasionally on cable.

The wife was feeling better after her rest so she decided to make supper rather, so I helped her cook a couple of steaks and we had dinner and watched a bit more Buffy before settling in for the main event of the evening.

Unfortunately the grand finale (or grand finally, as it felt) of this season of Dexter was a bit anti-climactic, which kinda makes me sad, honestly. The first season's payoff was so well done, you of course have high hopes for this season, regardless of the corner the character is painted into, but this just felt like it was the middle of a regular episode rather than the climax of 11 episodes worth of buildup. Don't get me wrong, there wasn't necessarily anything that felt forced or rang untrue for the characters, per se. The solutions just felt more convenient than dramatic and you're happy with it, but only because it means there'll be a new season if the studios ever pay their writers what they deserve.

And now it's off to bed with the wife, safely tucked in with her NyQuil and a Zicam swabs for her nose to try and quell the sneezing before she ends up looking like a Christmas wino with her red nose. The honking from that general part of the house tells me that the swabs may not be working yet, or that my wife is slaughtering geese by hand. If it's geese, I hope she keeps the feathers; we may be in the market for new pillows in the spare bedroom.

As to the usual trailer search, let's see, shall we?

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is something I've read at least one so-so review about, but had yet to see an actual trailer for, so I tracked that sucker down this evening. Allegedly the tapes of a serial killer as he takes out his victims, it's obviously very Blair Witch flavored, but I'll reserve judgment until I actually see the film. The jumpy nature of it looks as though it could get old though, to be perfectly honest about what you see in the trailer.

Next up we have Marc Caro, half the team behind City Of Lost Children, with a film called Dante 01, a film about a man infected with an alien power who arrives on a prison ship and promptly begins to lose control of said powers, which drive the crew and prisoners to violence and madness. I wasn't able to find a subtitled version, so all you have to go by are the visuals on this one, check it out:

Finally, we'll close with something else I heard mentioned on the old Destroy The Brain, the trailer for My Name Is Bruce, in which genre icon Bruce Campbell is called upon by a town in need of help with a supernatural force, only to have them realize he's not quite the same man they know and love from the films he's made. It looks like fun and seems to have a sense of humor about the whole set-up, I'm really curious to see it now.

I'm out kids, there's a lot of errands to run with the wife in the AM.

Be seeing you.

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