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Friday, February 29, 2008

This Must Be What Turtle's Life Is Like...

Oh em eff gee.

Do you ever get stuck in the house with one of those friends who doesn't know when the party's over? That's the tight-lipped false smiling situation we've been held hostage with for the past three hours, so I'm starting this bullshit late yet again.

Driver, Sneaker Enthusiast, Hanger-On...But first, let's go over the beginnings of the day, and the post title itself. Turtle is the character played by Jerry Ferrara on the HBO series Entourage, and he functions primarily as the driver for the group. I did a shitload of driving today, for three different sets of friends and loved ones, and it was a weird feeling, although I actually do quite enjoy driving most of the time.

I hadn't set my alarm today, so I woke early when the Yorkie was barking at the wife while she showered, figured that I would get woken later by my phone and went back to sleep. I wake at 11:45 when a couple of our lawn guys are standing right next to the master bedroom window chatting away in Spanish, the Yorkie vigorously attacking the kitchen window from the other corner of the house that looks out on them. Annoyed that I'd overslept and that the guys seemed to be agitating the dog by just hanging out in the corner, I got up and sleepily took my handful of vitamins and pills in the kitchen. Once they caught sight of me they seemed to be suddenly done with whatever they were working on and split pretty quickly. I can only guess that they either happened to finish, or were just hanging out and milking things until lunch, annoying the Yorkie in the process.

Robbb called to see if I could take him to pick up his vehicle when he got out of work at 4:00 in the afternoon, which I agreed to,and then called Macguffin on a wild hair to see if he wanted to have some lunch. He was game, so I got dressed and headed over to Odessa, where I picked him up and we had some Mexican for lunch, then grabbed Starbuck's afterward. We were on the way back to his house when Robbb called, saying that he was getting out of work early, at 3:00, which gave me about 20 minutes to get back to town and get him.

Mac agreed to do a ride along and we dropped off coffee to his wife at the house and let her know what's going on, and then left town. Aside from a near miss with a woman in my blind spot when I merged onto the Loop outside of town, the drive was uneventful, but Holy Christ, I've never come so close to owning a Cadillac before in my life. We picked up Robbb, drove him across town and dropped him off at his car dealership so that he could get his vehicle, now with that fresh 'new-fender' smell.

I hit the drive-thru at Baskin Robbins for Mac so that he could get another coffee drink, and then took him home, turning right back around and heading back to Midland. I knew that the wife should be finishing up with her charity thing around the same time, so I would like to get home and catch up with her for a bit before we had to go out to dinner, plans that'd been made without me earlier in the day.

I beat her home by about 10 minutes, we kicked off our shoes and lay in bed visiting for about an hour before Brian came by at 6:00, then went to pick up the wife's friend Blather, who was in town and unfortunately quite unavoidable. Holy shit kids can this woman hold court about all things her; she can go for hours about what she finds the most intriguing in the world, and it's all her, 24-7. Jesus it is exhausting, but I knew there was no avoiding it, so away we went. We took my car and picked her up from the relatives she's staying with. I was alarmed to find that she was slathered in some scent so cloying and sweet that I had to crack open the fucking sun roof immediately and hope to suck some of it out before it made my eyes water and my nose run. I'm very sparing with cologne, and I despise it when women marinate in that shit, it's just obnoxious, especially in close quarters like a car.

We had dinner at the Italian place downtown that everyone in town seems to favor that always leaves me feeling like I'm out of the loop. It's not bad food, it's just not all that great either, and it's crowded on any weekend, so I just don't get the appeal, it must be at least 40% nostalgia or something to account for the mass appeal it has to natives of this area. I just wasn't introduced to it at the right point in my life for me to enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to.

We made our dinner guests go birthday shopping for the wife's nephew afterwards, so I drove us to Best Buy, where we looked for a little hand-held gaming system that we thought a 6 yr old could handle. They were sold out of the one we wanted, except for pink ones, so the wife picked up a game for herself and we hit the checkout. I found myself annoyed by a teenage/early twenties looking kid who was eyeballing our entire group with more than a little passing interest as we walked up. I'm not sure what his deal was, but I found myself just staring him down at one stage for no other reason than because I was already in a pissy mood and I didn't like him taking what I took for a smug inventory of us as we walked up. Fucking alpha-male bullshit, if I'm over thirty and end up in a fist-fight in a retail store because some idiot is gawking at me, maybe you should just shoot us both in the head, throw us in that dumpster out back, y'know? Jesus.

We ended up at Toys "R" Us, who had an assortment of colors, so we grabbed it and a couple games and a gift bag to put it in and we were done with our only errand of the evening.

A conversation in the car led us to Starbuck's for coffee, and then no one had any better ideas for what to do, so we somehow ended up back at our house with Blather in tow, Brian getting suckered into dropping her off when he left. I tried to avoid this, even taking a route that put us right by her Grandparents house where she's staying, but she didn't take the fucking hint and the wife was on the phone at the time and was unable to start saying any kind of goodbyes that'd give a proper finality to the night.

Our Guest Was Less Doubtful, More Annoying...Back at our house I played with the TiVo a bit while the other three visited, I yawned, I fidgeted and even went so far as to go and change into my lounge clothes to give the impression my evening was over, but I'll be Goddamned if we didn't have that broad here yammering about her life, ex-husband, current husband, children, family and anything else under the sun until about 11:30 at night. Everyone was yawning except her, even the fucking Yorkie, I shit you not.

Take a hint.

Fuck me in the guest ass, get the hell out of my house!

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another Impromptu Guy's Night...

I'm actually starting this a bit later than I usually do, so I may try to keep it brief for once in my miserable life...

First off, since I've run the other I'm Fucking_____! parody videos, I figured I should give Kevin Smith his due (a day or two late, this has been around awhile) and throw this one up as well. Poor Elizabeth Banks has a confession to make about her career that's not safe for your job, church, or for viewing near children or small animals.



Now on with the day:

The wife had to be up early for one of her charity things, so I got up with her and started piddling around on the web with e-mail and shite after sending her on her way. About an hour later my alarm finally went off, so I turned it off and made some coffee, determined to get some headway made on the two projects I currently have in my possession.

I popped in the iPod and listened to last week's Night Of The Living Podcast while I worked on the second thing, which is set up differently than the ones I've been used to working with and may represent a gigantic pain in the ass to deal with, but realistically it's always going to be better than a 'real' job, so I just kinda shouldered through. By the end of it, marking off footages to be graphed later, it was actually seeming to go pretty easy, so maybe the adjustment won't be as much a of a problem as I first thought.

I went and got my hair cut in the early afternoon, visiting a bit with the Hairdressers at the salon, making the usual noise about needing to get together, and then split. I drove across town and picked up a late lunch for the wife and myself, then headed home. She was putting the finishing touches on some signage for tonight's event, so she finished printing that and we ate and caught up on our days. She was expecting a possible late night with her event, so she caught a late nap and I worked some more, this time on the first project, the more familiar one, listening to the latest Night Of The Living Podcast, which got me fully caught up with the show.

The wife split for her thing around 5:30, so on a wild hair I called Robbb to see if he was up for some dinner, and he was actually in the process of making plans with his boss J, since they were both about to get out of work and had had a long day. I made plans to meet them at The Outback at 7:00 and debated the weather and my clothing choices, deciding eventually that fuckit, I was comfortable in my shorts and t-shirt, and could crank the heat in the car if it got too terribly cold after the sun went down. We're still on that weird cusp of not having spring here in full, so it gets fairly fucking hot during the day and then you may actually need a jacket at night, it's all very Goddamned annoying.

We had a decent meal at The Outback, I'm still sticking with salads and chicken in an effort to try and reign in my fat fuck loser tendencies and lose some of the weight I've been diligently packing on since being in a nice stable relationship, since I've been really lax in working out in any form and have ate all sorts of lousy foods in the past four years. When I got so ill the past weekend, I barely ate for about three days, so I'm trying to keep that trend going and eat smaller meals comprised of better foods instead of the usual shit I've been subsisting on.

After dinner we ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings, since the fellas wanted to have a beer and there's nothing really resembling a decent bar to hang out at in this town. My kingdom for a pub, y'know? All the bars in this area are more pick-up joints and dance clubs rather than a place you can chill and have a few and actually be able to talk. We dicked around with a little trivia game they offer, and drank a few and shot the shit for awhile, and I suddenly realized it was well after 10:00 in the evening, so I had to call it a night. We wrapped our tab up, Robbb springing for my Guinness like a sport, and we went our separate ways, and now I'm here, cataloging the minutiae of the day for your bored interweb trolling.

If you need anything else, there's a couple new things up over at the Big Suck Loser.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Deserve's Got Nothin' To Do With It

Listening this evening to the latest episode of the Dead Lantern Splattercast, which features their 1st Annual Splatcademy Awards as I type this tonight.

I desperately need to try and write something for the Big Suck Loser, since it's been laying pretty dormant this month. Thus, I may try to keep this post short, especially after last night's marathon rant post that amused no one but myself.

I grabbed lunch today with Robbb and his younger sister in the early afternoon, then went back to the house for a bit before heading back out to a follow-up visit to the allergist the wife wanted me to start seeing. Everything checked out there; I'm breathing better with the nose clear, and the chest was also clear as a bell, so I won't be back to see him unless I have some issue until August, which is cool with me.

Ladies, All Of You Were Wonderful In The Film...I watched a TiVo'd version of Volver that'd been on the box since I believe late December. It turned out to be a really great, straight-forward drama, which kinda caught me by surprise. The other films I've seen by director Pedro Almodovar have had more of an arthouse, transgressive feel to them, where this was much more of a straight up drama about two sisters and what happens when their mother's ghost turns up in their lives, wanting to finish things she felt were left undone. Penelope Cruz is good as the older sister, as is her cleavage. Actually the cleavage should have second billing in the credits in my opinion, and the rest of the cast do very well in their own right. Not as over the top as something like Dark Habits, nor as convoluted and arty as Bad Education was, it's actually a very accessible film by an important director you should check out.

I'll Come Back And Kill Every One Of You Sons-O-Bitches!The wife had a quick meeting in the evening, and then she and I watched Unforgiven, which she'd never seen and I hadn't watched in quite some time. I was really blown away all over again by the film, it's just so perfect in the way it approaches the genre and all the expectations you have of a western. Clint Eastwood is perfect as William Munny, a retired outlaw trying to live out a decent life with his children when he's fished back in to help an inexperienced young man kill two fellas who very richly deserve it. The film looks amazing, the landscapes are breathtaking and the gritty violence is always perfectly shot.

We called it a night after that, and the wife headed directly to bed, since she's tied up with several meetings all day tomorrow. I'll personally be trying to get some work done at long last, since I've been dicking around a lot lately and am very much behind in what I should be getting done.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Psychotic Cry For Help?

And it's not the blog.

Ba-dump bump.

And fuck you for thinking that.

So It's Now Turning Into A Ghost Story?  Interesting...Not a whole helluva lot happened today, so we're going to concentrate on the evening and another grueling family dinner. I should note that the fact that I've been reading the Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis probably doesn't help my disposition towards the whole thing, since his detached characters tend to spend most of their time cataloging details and faults when involved in similar situations. This left me feeling somewhat aloof and amused with the evening rather than as annoyed as it could've possibly made me.

Today was Grandmother's actual birthday, though the party was last Friday, and she wanted to go to Red Lobster, which meant a 15-20 minute drive to Odessa. The wife and I left our garage at 5:39, the meeting time arranged being 6:00 PM at the restaurant.

We got there shortly before 6:00, got the table, ordered drinks and committed the menu to memory while we waited for the rest of our party to arrive. They finally trickled in and the Chinese fire drill of getting them seated commenced, since there's always issues about where Grandmother wants the Uncle to sit in proximity to her, and the Mother In Law as to where she needs to be. The MIL came over and hugged my neck, the concept of 'personal space' was painfully raped out of my brain as she grabbed me in what I'd almost describe as a headlock and spoke to me (about nothing in particular, certainly nothing secretive that required the close quarters) so close that I fear she would've licked out my contacts were I forced to wear such vision correction devices. We finally got her settled and looking into this crazy new thing called a menu, and got everyone's drink orders going.

The drinks came and we ordered food. It is now 6:52 in the PM. Holy shitballs, this is going to be a long night.

The Waitress Was Cute, But I'd Give Anything To See Her Saddled With A Shitty Costume Like This...The appetizers arrived, as did my bowl of chowder. We munch on that and at some point during this I find out that the Middle Sister is apparently too good to come to this dinner (she and her family didn't attend the party last Friday either), yet has sent along a food request for she and her family that she expects the MIL to hump back to town for her when we're done here. Brass plated balls on these people, I tellya.

The Uncle goes to smoke and runs into someone who is married to a woman who lived in the next podunk town over from wherever he and the MIL lived briefly as children. Is that clear as mud?

This guy is married to a woman who lived in the town over from Bumfuck, New Mexico where the MIL's family lived in during their childhood, and they exchanged pleasantries and moved on. The Uncle relates this 'hey, small world' bullshit story to us, and the MIL now wants to meet these people. Seriously? You want to go and interrupt their dinner to talk about some tiny shithole town they're probably giddy to be rid of way back there in the past? Fucking hell.

They're gone for what feels like a really long time, the salads come during their absence and we start in on ours, amused at how much the MIL is 'bonding' with these total strangers.

They finally return, the meal is in full swing by this time, entrees are arriving and the MIL explains that she thought she might've known, if not the woman in question, perhaps siblings or some such. My immediate questions are Yeah? And? So? What? but I keep that to myself and just chalk it up to her weirdly manic depressive behavior of late.

The wife and I are postulating a theory that perhaps she is indeed manic depressive, as she has an almost drunk quality at times, zipping around, crazily speeding on to the next thing, or just a little blah, wanting to hang at her house and do nothing. What's puzzling is the sudden range it's developed, it used to be much less of a marked difference in behavior, I can only assume the divorce is causing her to 'need' things to be busy and upbeat more, thus the near psychotic energy and erratic behavior.

We all finish our meals as the MIL talks and talks and talks, which means we're all finally sitting around twiddling our thumbs a bit finally, waiting for her to finish her Goddamned shrimp so we can get the fuck out of here. The tables around us seriously turned over at least once while we sat there, people came in, were seated, ate and left and another bunch came in while we slogged our way through one meal with the MIL yammering on about this or that and not eating her damned food.

A birthday cake is suddenly brought out for Grandmother, which I'm fairly certain was a last minute wild hair on the MIL's part, as I saw her conferring with the hostess as they came in. The cake they brought out was one of the ones they serve their individual desserts from, which are like 6 layers of cake tall, and it was just obnoxious. I have no idea what that cost, but holy shit that was a lot of cake, and even pre-cut (as I'm sure it arrives to them) the Uncle had a helluva time cutting it for the already over stuffed family. The wife and I took a slice to go, as we were both full, and the Uncle requested the box the thing came in to transport it home, since the was less than a quarter eaten or gone at this point.

The table next to us was checking it out, and the MIL offered them a piece, which they shooed away, joking about how large it was, they'd never finish it, etc.

Ha ha, the end, right?

We payed out, and everyone started getting up, putting on jackets and gathering purses, and the next Goddamned thing I'm aware of, the MIL has gone over to their booth and started chatting them up. Then she's sitting down at the table next to this man, across from the two women he's with, and while I have no idea how those people are all connected, isn't it there a very good possibility that one of these broads is going to assume that the MIL is hitting on her significant other? And why the fuck are you bothering these people? This is the kinda thing drunks do in a Denny's at 3:47 AM, wandering from booth to booth 'making friends', or more realistically annoying the shit out of people while their trying to eat.

I've got our leftovers and am headed towards the exit, the MIL's group has already headed to the car, and my wife has to go and say goodbye to her mom. I hear the MIL start fucking introducing the wife to these people and I finally walked up and said "Hey, me and the food are going home..." and she said how nice it was to meet them and split with me, saying that she was sorry, her mother fished her in and she didn't want to be rude.

I assured her I wasn't angry, just wasn't about to stand in the aisle of a busy restaurant to be introduced to a bunch of fuckers I'm never going to see again in my life just to humor the MIL, so I didn't mind being the rude one. So that's how we left the MIL, sitting in a booth with strangers, telling them God knows what, we hit the door and waved to the others sitting patiently in the car outside and headed to our own car.

I was relieved to see the MIL's car behind us at the first light leaving town, so we knew for a fact that the Uncle and the MIL were leaving behind us, rather than keeping those poor people cornered in Red Lobster for the rest of the night.

The drive home gave us time to think this whole process over, and we've decided that the MIL is currently starved for human contact, or more accurately human contact outside the family structure that she's retreated into the past few years. This seems to be the only explanation for her cozying up to anyone who says more than two words to her in a public place.

I may be the worst possible judge of this type of thing, because while I am generally a nice person and will try to open doors for people and be polite, I really don't care to know anything about them once we're past that door portion of the evening. There is no 'me and you' at that point, let's both get on with our lives, so am I crazy in thinking the MIL is losing it a little by being so chatty with anyone who'll stand still long enough for her to strike up a conversation? Is it not slightly insane to end up at two stranger-filled booths in a restaurant over the course of your own meal?

You tell me folks, and please, show your work.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Idle Hands, Devil's Something...

I'm fairly unmotivated to do this one tonight, I don't know why. I started reading a new book this afternoon, so that might have something to do with it.

First off, in reply to Sarah Silverman's video awhile back in which she confesses in song to fucking Matt Damon, Jimmy Kimmel fired back last night with a video of his own about an affair of his own, the video starring most of Hollywood in cameos. Check it out:


That said, here's what happened today: Macguffin called about having lunch, so the wife and I got ready to do that while he drove over. I drove us to a restaurant that evidently no longer exists that we'd finally decided to give a try, I guess a lot of other people felt the same way about trying it out "one day".

We had a quick bite, then dropped the wife back off at the house to work on a little project she had while Macguffin and I hit a few stores. He bought nothing, more interested in pricing Blu-Ray players and comparison shopping, but I found a paperback copy of the last Bret Easton Ellis book Lunar Park, which I'd never bought in hardcover, so I grabbed that.

Such Beautiful Sights To Show YouIn an unrelated note, save that it's a book by another author I've been a fan of for a long time, I received a 20th Anniversary Edition hardcover copy of Clive Barker's The Hellbound Heart in the mail today from Amazon. I'd ordered it in early January, as I'd missed the cut off date to pre-order it from the small press that printed it and figured Amazon was a timely alternative. Almost two months later it arrives, go figure. Barker had to walk it here or something, I suppose.

Mac split pretty soon after we got back to the house and the wife was grabbing a nap before her long ass meeting she had to go to this evening, so I made myself a cocktail around 4:30 and started reading the book. I actually plowed through the first two chapters, around 60-something pages in no time at all before I had to stop and go grab a sandwich for supper.

I watched a little TiVo's Simpsons while I ate, since there's not much on TV on Monday, I've managed to miss an episode of the Sarah Connor Chronicles, so I'm giving up on that, it wasn't all that fascinating anyway. They might've lost me when they introduced David from 90210 as something other than cannon fodder to get wasted by Summer Glau.

I decided to try and get the blog taken care of early, just so I can try to read a bit more in bed before I crash for the night.

Will The Real Bret Ellis Please Stand Up?Ellis' work seems to always grab me, I really love the detached emptiness of his characters, they always seem to be drifting through an increasingly bizarre area of the nihilistic worlds he portrays. Lunar Park is actually narrated by the author himself, and promises to mix fiction and reality as it recounts his career up to this point, leading into the events told in the book. I feel as though I'm going to now be spending some time scouring the web (Okay, going to Wikipedia) to compare and contrast the events detailed in the first chapter versus reality, I'm curious how much that portion was fictionalized, if at all.

I'm out kids.

Read a book, read a book, read a mu-fuckin' book.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscarmatic Sunday (Or: Everyone Else Is Blogging It So Why Can't We?)

I don't generally watch the Oscars, in spite of the enormous amount of movies we tend to view, possibly because I tend to go from genre to genre or personal interest in a film or director at my own pace rather than one implied by an awards show. Hell, we haven't seen a single contender for anything this year, based on the general slate of things.

This year I got a wild hair to give it a look, though I see us pausing that turkey several times so I can fast-forward through all the bullshit songs I don't care about, which I recall are usually numerous.

We watched the tail end of the E! coverage of the Red Carpet crap, which involved Ryan Seacrest asking oddball questions to the random celebs they corralled. We missed an altercation with Gary Busey, I'm sure I can turn that up on the web at a later date to see what they're referring to.

Flipping now to the actual ABC coverage, just to see what's up on the 'real' channel...

7:10 PM: Holy shit, they're letting Regis of all people bother celebrities...this will be even more grating than Seacrest.

7:16 PM: Amy Adams sings? I think she's pretty, but her look is more suited to classic film noir than contemporary cinema. I've always thought that she's cute, but who cares, y'know? Plus she made that shitty Junebug movie.

7:22 PM: I really like Ellen Page, I look forward to the day she can play her own age in any given film rather than a 'tween.

7:26 PM: Just a few minutes out, Regis wandering out from backstage and pointing and naming celebrities like a rube on Star Tours. Holy shit, I say, holy shit.

7:30 PM: Showtime. Animated intro is cute enough, now show me the Stewart.

7:41 PM: The monologue was funny, my favorite line was probably in reference to Obama as possible president: "Otherwise the only way we're going to see a black president is if there's a movie where an asteroid is about to hit the Statue Of Liberty. How else will we know it's the future? The shiny suits?"

Oh, and by the way, I have to tell you up front that I will not be posting all the winners because I don't give a shit and you can find it anywhere else on the web, so good luck finding out who won for Best Costuming. They just swept the crowd and I have to ask why Cate Blanchett smiling always looks like she has a pinched nerve in her back or something? She and Rene Zellweger should have squinchy faced kids together.

7:48 PM: Clooney introduces the first of many Oscars montages, which has some funny clips in it, some of which actually ring a bell somehow, which is weird since I don't really watch the show, maybe my parents watched it more than I remember when I was young.

7:50 PM: Stewart mocking movie viewing on the iPhone, great stuff. "Lawrence Of Arabia looks better when it's in widescreen (Turns phone) Oh, hey, those are camels!"

Oh Patton, What's For Dinner?
7:55 PM: Best Animated Feature goes to Ratatouille by Brad Bird. I still want to check that out, if only for the Patton Oswalt voice work.

7:57 PM: Holy balls, are you kidding me? That lousy Norbit movie was nominated for a fuckin' OSCAR for putting Eddie Murphy in a series of fat suits!?! Oh, they didn't win, perhaps there is a God after all...

8:09 PM: Why the hell is The Rock, oh excuse me, Dwayne Johnson presenting at the Oscars? Have they run out of real actors and actresses?

8:11 PM: Sweeney Todd wins Best Art Direction. I'd like to see it one of these days. Can you believe I write for a movie site?

8:18 PM: Javier Bardem wins the Best Supporting Actor, possibly opening the floodgate for the No Country sweep of the show...

8:23 PM: I receive a strange text invitation in Spanish amid another Oscar montage from someone I've never heard of. I'm tempted to reply, but don't want to get drawn into a weird broken English instant messenger conversation.

8:28 PM: I think I scare off the IM guy with a bit of English text, but then he seems to keep popping up in Spanish, so I give up and reply in terse one word English reponses, as I have no idea who the fuck this is or how he got my IM handle.

8:30 PM: I think they gave away something for Best Short Film while I was dicking around with Estaban from Brazil or where the fuck ever....now Sienfeld is assing around as an animated bee to introduce a bee film montage and present the Best Animated Short.

8:35 PM: I want Alan Arkin to narrate my life, I love his voice....Tilda Swinton wins Best Supporting Actress, man that gal is androgynous....there's no joke here, just the obvious observation. Yikes.

8:44 PM: Jessica Alba giving a rundown of some Technical Awards...I may need to go and grab the power cord for the laptop, as I know it's going to croak out on me before the night is over.

8:48 PM: No Country wins for Best Adapted Screenplay, the Coen Machine chugs along. And as a quick aside, the nominated Away From Her looks like the most depressing film I could ever dream of watching, the wife specifically asked if we could never see it, as it might ruin her.

8:53 PM: I just don't care about the Best Song nominees, and how damned many of them are from the film Enchanted, anyway? Christ.

9:02 PM: Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill posing as Judy Dench and Halle Berry, arguing over who's supposed to be who, funny stuff. Oh, the Bourne Ultimatum wins for something....Hill and Rogen continue their mock arguement over identity as they present another award...Bourne wins again for something else sound related...one of these sound gentleman looks extraordinarily like a homeless man I gave money to once.

9:13 PM: Ellen Page loses Best Actress to Marion Cotillard, I kinda figured it'd go to something 'heavier' than Juno. Oh well.

9:19 PM: Let us all take a moment to mourn for Colin Farrell's evidently dead barber, as he otherwise would look more well-kept for this event, I'm sure.

9:22 PM: Jack Nicholson hits the stage, introducing the Best Picture montage for the previous 79 years.

9:28 PM: Rene Zellweger looks like she's done nothing but hit the benchpress recently, taking only a quick break to cut off all her hair, which is a strange look for her, squinchy face and all. Bourne Ultimatum gets another tech-type award, it's doing pretty well for an action/thriller.

9:32 PM: Nicole Kidman presents an Honorary Oscar to Robert Boyle, the montage of his work is interesting and diverse. North By Northwest and Private Benjamin, talk about one extreme to the other.

9:45 PM: I still don't understand Patrick Dempsey's appeal to the general public. An Austrian film won Best Foriegn Film a few seconds ago and now I'm sitting through another song presentation from that Goddamned Enchanted film. Moments like this are why I don't own guns.

9:48PM: Song finally over, bile at the back of my throat, John Travolta dances out to announce the winner before I take my own life from having to listen to another song. And hey, the song from Once wins, take that, all seventeen nominated songs from Enchanted! Suck it.

9:58 PM: Hey, they let the gal who did the Once song that they played off before the last commercial break actually come back out and do her thank yous, that's pretty awesome. Cameron Diaz is presenting Best Cinematography, which goes to Robert Elswit for There Will Be Blood, a movie I look forward to taking in, possibly in the theater in the middle of next week.

10:01 PM: Hillary Swank and her teeth come out to introduce the memoriam portion of the show. It ends with Heath Ledger, the one I felt strangely effected by myself.

10:08 PM: Amy Adams again, looking like a 40's moll and presenting the Best Original Score Oscar. Atonement wins, I'm indifferent and searching for links for the post in another Window and refreshing Cinemaslave's Live Blogging of this event.

Wearing Her Million Dollar Shoes
10:15 PM: Documentary something, I'm barely paying attention at this stage, still digging for links and waiting to not hear Tom Hanks' voice.

10:19 PM: An impassioned speech from the winner for Best Documentary, I'm happy for the director, whoever he was. I just don't watch a lot of documentaries.

10:23 PM: Indiana Jones comes out to announce the nominees for Best Original Screenplay, I'm rooting for Diablo Cody just because I think this might be the one narrow shot she could have to be on that stage. Yay, she wins and is teary and cute as shit, tats and all.

10:31 PM: I would ride Helen Mirren like the Kentucky Derby, that Silver Fox that she is....oh, and I understand she's presenting an award as well...

This Is Oscar Country...
10: 34 PM: Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor over my own personal fav Viggo Mortensen. Oh well.

10:42 PM: Scorsese and his eyebrows comes out to present for Best Director after the typical montage, and the Coens win for No Country For Old Men. The TiVo tries to cut their speech off by changing to record a new Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I narrowly avoid this.

10:45 PM: Best Picture, man they're really trucking along now, we must be near the end. No Country to no surprise. They shoulda just let the Coens stand there while they read the nominees.

I'm beat, these awards shows are kinda silly anyway, but I enjoyed playing around here while pretending to care about this one.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oh, My Trembling Eyebulbs...

Relax, the title has nothing to do with the stomach issues that had me on the verge of madness the past day or so, it's more in reference to all the visual entertainment the wife and I took in this afternoon, at long last gloriously alone and without dozens of people calling.

I went to sleep at my usual time last night, around 2:30 and slept straight through until 10:00 this morning, a nice change of pace from the previous night of misery. The wife was piddling with this or that, but she finally settled shortly after noon. I was feeling decent enough to brave some real food, so I ate a small Caesar salad and some chicken nuggets, figuring that'd be fairly easy on me compared to a 'real' meal involving something more spicy or several courses or side dishes.

The food settling okay, we watched some of the stuff that'd piled up on the TiVo over the week, including two Girls Next Door, a new Ace Of Cakes and another Cathouse special. I think I may be losing the small interest I had in the Cathouse program, as I feel there's very little I can learn from the whores themselves, and all of the ones I thought were kinda cute have evidently rotated out of the show, leaving a bunch of scrawny, kinda skanky looking women and that creepy Air Force Amy broad who just gives me the willies. She always seems to be on something when they speak to her, the cadence of her speech is strangely disjointed compared to the movements her face makes, which coupled with the fact that she looks like a drag queen makes her all the more hard to look at for an extended period of time.

Watch Out For The Aging Pfeiffer...I popped in a film from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux, Stardust. Based on a novel written by Neil Gaiman, which I know for a fact I read at some point, but completely escaped me when I sat down to watch the film beyond the basic setup of a guy seeking out a fallen star to prove his love to the ungrateful wench he's somewhat puzzlingly smitten with at the beginning of the film. A fun little fantasy film, I really dug it and would probably give it another look at some point had I bought it, perhaps I can look forward to an eventual Blu-Ray release.

Oh, talking of Blu-Ray, I forgot to mention that the wife and I watched 3:10 To Yuma the other night on the Blu-Ray player, and that standard definition disc looked amazing on the hi def television. I'm not a huge technophile by any means, but the higher quality picture was pretty noticeable within the first few scenes, I'd been curious to check it out with a newer film, and this one worked out great, since outdoor scenes tend to look a lot clearer on this television even from a lower quality signal. The film was alright, I think I enjoyed the performances more than I did the actual storyline, which ended on something of an odd note for my tastes. I understand where they were going with it, just felt the actions seemed a little too easy in the context of the rest of the film.

But that was a few nights ago, back to this afternoon: In the continuing saga of 'us versus the poltergeists', the film that the wife wanted to watch this evening, Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive, turned out to be an edited version of The Hulk on TBS or some other such bullshit. The other film was supposed to be TiVo'd off the Independent Film Channel in the middle of last month, but the TiVo had done that annoying thing where it misses one of the numbers when it's changing channels to record something and ended up on the wrong channel, recording the wrong show. This of course figures into all the other electronic issues we've had since moving in here, the damned thing just behaves strangely.

Oh, and the new Kitchenaid microwave is still making this hellacious grinding noise and flickering the inside light every other time you use it. Anastasia Beaverhouszen thought she'd found the issue with that last night, but it was doing it again this evening. The really weird thing is that it happens with no rhyme or reason, I used it for 5 minutes, nothing, then the wife pops in something for a minute and it starts doing it. You pop open the door, start it again, it's fine, then starts grinding and flickering. The next time you use it, it does nothing of the sort. I don't get it, we're calling the company tomorrow to see what's up, I may be irradiating myself each time I heat popcorn, and that's just fucked up.

Lick My Plate, You Dog Dick!Since we couldn't watch Eaten Alive, I popped in another Tobe Hooper film instead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, starring Dennis Hopper chewing scenery as best he can. A pretty silly sequel, I was a little let down with this one, in spite of the larger budget and presence of Dennis Hopper, who's usually interesting to watch. He disappears for weird stretches of time, then pops back in chewing scenery and then he's gone again. Bill Moseley is great as the Viet Nam vet freakshow Chop Top, and I kept seeing Leatherface doing what looked like a weird hip shake kinda dance rather than him waving the chainsaw over his head, it reminded me for all the world of a Saturday Night Fever move, no shit. Funny stuff, unintentional I'm sure, but since the film was pretty blah I was looking for whatever I could to entertain me at that point.

We finished off a night of cheesy horror with the old Amicus version of Tales From The Crypt, which was, like the comics its based of, good predictable fun. I have to say that even though the thing only has a 90 minute running time I still felt a few of the stories dragged on a bit, weird since I was at first thinking how odd it was that they'd try to cram five different stories into an anthology piece. Usually they feature no more than three on average, so five seemed to be stretching it to shoot for five, but I found myself kinda looking at the time a few times as the takes wore on. At least one of those times I chalk up to the story itself, I mean how many ways can you re-tell the Monkey's Paw story, right?

Over the course of our movie fest I braved a few more solid foods, including a bowl of Easy Mac and a Hot Pocket, all of which seems to be settling nicely. My stomach muscles are still very sore though, I don't think that'll work itself out for several more days, but I'm thankfully on my way to normal. P.S.: Why do Hot Pockets need a fucking website?

In a final poltergeist note, while watching the last film, I noticed that the motion sensor in the corner of the den lit up, which it does when someone walks by of a certain height. I was petting the Yorkie on the couch beside me, so I did that again, nothing. I waved my hand overhead, it doesn't trigger the sensor. I shifted around on the couch, the thing doesn't light up, it usually takes a full size adult walking into the room to trigger it, but no one was behind us, the wife was on the love seat and I hadn't moved from the couch.

I'm not saying we're haunted quite yet, but it's just weird.

Be seeing you. Possibly in the Weekly World News.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

More Than Anyone Could Ever Want To Know About The Illness...

I've never been in such constant pain in my life, I don't have the slightest idea how some people live each day without topping themselves.

I know How Reagen FeltI was up on and off all night long, although I was just dry-heaving between 2:00 until around 5:30, the problem was that my stomach was cramping the entire time, which made it almost impossible to get comfortable enough to get to sleep for even a short period of time.

At some point during the night I recall sitting there on the toilet, clammy, sweating yet freezing, my head in my hands and feeling that I'm at least still partially asleep, and I have a panicked moment that I forgot to put up the toilet seat in my delirium.

I had finally decided that the stomach was so completely empty by about 4:00 that I needed to try and get some kind of food into me, just because the lack of any food in my system had me kinda clammy with low blood sugar, or who knows, maybe that was the bug in my system. All I know is that my nose was like an ice cube and I was sweating the whole time.

I was able to start keeping literally a few swallows of Carnation Instant Breakfast and a sip or two of water down around 5:00, and I kept waking up due to stomach cramps and general discomfort, so I would take another sip or two of Carnation and water, then go back to bed where I could finally be warm. Each visit also took me by the toilet, but nothing was happening there, just the stomach cramps.

The stomach cramps passed finally around noon today, though my stomach is still amazingly sore, presumably due to twisting and stretching this way or that at 2:00 AM to try and work the gas through a little faster, it's as though I did a couple hundred sit-ups and then went to sleep.

I only got up briefly to drink some more of the Carnation, and visit with the wife a bit, then she had to leave for a meeting, so I just went back to bed. The afternoon came and went, I tossed and turned and slept the day away. I was supposed to go with the wife to Grandmother's 89th birthday this evening, and the last time I woke up was around 4:00 in the afternoon. I thought I would sleep another hour and then shower and go, not eat or anything, but at least make an appearance. I woke up at 7:30 this evening, the party at least halfway over. Rats.

I got up and finally finished the last few gulps of the Carnation I started drinking this morning at 4:00 or so, and also decided to brave a peach smoothie we had in the fridge, since I had almost produced something solid on the last trip to the bathroom. I know, eew, right? I told you in the fucking title it wasn't going to be an easy post.

The wife and Brian came home after the party, around 8:30 or so, and they caught me up on what I had missed at tonight's party. Neither of the Sisters had come, the Uncle had a snootful and the Elvis impersonator the Mother In Law brought in from Little Rock, Arkansas was a big hit. Anastasia Beaverhouszen and her hubby Kno1 popped in to visit a bit, which made me happy, I would have hated to miss seeing them entirely.

Our three guests split around 10 or 10:30 and the wife went to bed. I watched a bit more television, since I'm obviously not tired at all after sleeping all day. I made a bowl of soup at 11:00, just to see how something fairly simple settled, and then headed to the web to tell strangers more than they really wanted to know. I also popped a couple of Advil finally, to see if that'd knock out the small hint of fever I still seemed to have, and who knows, if it helps the stomach /muscle soreness, great.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Quiet Day To Decompress

Or not.

I feel awful, stomach issues again plaguing me, I'm again not sure exactly why, though I'm leaning towards dinner.

The day started off so much better, we slept in an hour later than usual, and I made some coffee while the wife did her online stuff. She went to the kitchen table to pay bills and I hopped online to look at e-mail and the like, sipping my coffee.

After noon I picked us up some lunch from the Thai place we like, and we ate, then I ran an errand to look for a specific magazine while the wife caught a short nap in anticipation of her attending her Niece's volleyball game in the late afternoon.

Somewhere in the middle of that I spoke to Macguffin on the phone for the better part of two hours, catching up.

The wife called from the game to ask if I wanted to have dinner with the Mother In Law, the Uncle, the Aunt from out of town, and Grandmother, and I agreed, mentally kissing my planned evening goodbye.

Dinner saw them late, the MIL showing up with one of her Grandchildren in tow, which she'd taken a special side trip to pick him up, making her even later and leaving the wife and I sitting there for 30 minutes waiting on them and picking at an appetizer. The meal was the typical 2 hour family ordeal, I finally suggested that we get the check because I felt lousy while still sitting at the table. We headed home, I fought what I thought was gas or a need to take what felt like the dump of a lifetime for the better part of two hours before finally throwing up my burger and feeling slightly better, though even as I type this I'm not a 100%. I took a Zantac and a Gas-X to see if that would take the edge off, but no luck so far.

Shit, my lower back even hurts from sitting in weird positions leaning forward to hopefully shift the gas around.

I'm miserable, more tomorrow.

PS: Just threw up again, dry heaves this time...maybe we're finally hitting bottom.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dallas Deposition Day Four

So I'm starting this post around 11:00 in the morning, and here's what's happened so far:

We've gotten a call from the front desk saying that we can stay in the room we're in for another night, meaning we don't have to move down to another room, which is great.

I called my friend Shioda about meeting us for lunch and left a voicemail for him.

The Mother In Law calls us to say that she's now changed her mind and wants to leave this evening when she gets back to the hotel, and is supposedly packed and ready to go. I wish to God that one thing we planned to fucking do this week happened like we had intended. It might help if the MIL would stick to her story once she's made a decision about something.

More later, as the annoyances accumulate....

**********************************************************

It's now about 12 hours later, and here's how the shit went down:

I got a call back from Shioda, who wasn't overly keen on the idea of driving into Dallas to meet us (he's out in Fort Worth and had just eaten a late breakfast), which was actually a little annoying, since I was hoping to see him and had made a point of trying to find out if his schedule worked into our time there, but whatever...this too shall pass. It occurred to me later that he might have thought I wasn't going to hang out with him, but just meet for lunch and then send him on his way, which wasn't the case...who knows, maybe we can work something out another time.

The wife and I drove out to Addison to meet Morris for lunch at a place called Snuffer's, meeting the grouchiest fucking waitress I've encountered in quite some time. She took our drink order in a bored Daria monotone and then brought them to the table while we waited on Morris to arrive. I asked if I could have a straw and she says "They're right there." indicating the napkins she'd placed them on top of, all in the same monotone voice, never even hinting at a smile to give us the impression she wasn't mentally butchering us with a handsaw.

"I guess we must have shit on our faces again.." the wife noted, laughing in spite of being slightly taken aback by the indifference.

The food was good, and we had a much nicer, friendlier girl as our actual server, which was a nice change of pace from the stone-faced witch who took our drink order. If you fucking hate people, waitressing may not be your bag, y'know?

We said our goodbyes to Morris, since we were now planning to leave that evening rather than stay around for another dinner with him. The wife wanted to hit Willow Bend for some shopping, since we were already out that way. Halfway there, we get a call from the MIL telling us that she'll be done and back at the hotel at 2:00.

I suppose it was just as well that Shioda hadn't drove in to meet us and all that jazz, it would've only thrown the afternoon further around to involve another person into this madness. We ended up turning around and heading back down the tollway to the Palomar, where we explained the situation to the front desk, then went up and packed up both rooms while we waited for her and her attorney to arrive. The front desk people were way cool about the on-again, off-again changes we'd had to make during our stay, I can't say enough good things about this hotel, they really rock. The bellboy helped us get everything downstairs and then I loaded the car that we'd had them keep close by, poking more stuff into the trunk this time so that the MIL could spread out in the back seat if she needs to.

We put the Yorkie on her leash and milled in the lobby waiting for the MIL and her attorney to arrive. The change of schedule was in response to a pretty serious offer from the Husband, which was serious enough to make her attorney back off and reassess the situation, so there'll be more of this type of meetings in another month or so, once they examine the offer more closely.

This worked out great, as we got the gist of that situation, gassed up the car and then hit the road around 3:00 on the afternoon, which would let us avoid all the rush hour traffic that I'd been kinda dreading. The MIL was in rare form and talked at length about everything all the way home, which was somewhat stressful as I'm zipping through traffic and she's leaning between the seats shouting at me because she can't hear very well from the back seat due to road noise, bellowing about how happy she is with her lawyer. Apparently he's Jesus Christ, Superman and possibly Santa fucking Claus all rolled into one, I mean, he really hung the moon to hear her tell it and I'm trying to not get the Lexus sucked into the wheelwell of the semi next to me as we're veering through construction, which makes it hard to give a fuck about her lawyer.

We stopped in Bumfuck, Texas at a Whataburger so that the MIL could use the bathroom and get something to eat, since she hadn't been fed in about four hours. She has no blood sugar issues, so I'm not sure what's up with the weird food schedule she's trying to get into lately, but it seriously cramps the style of my typical trip. I like to try and make that Dallas drive in a straight shot, since the dog wigs out when the car stops, I guess the road noise keeps her still otherwise, but when we stop she thinks we're wherever we're going and wants out. I hate to get her all worked up just to stop and fuck around, so the wife and I usually make a point of filling up the car and pissing before we head out, but the elderly are harder to deal with in that respect.

We made great time, I was speeding like I was trying to lose Jackie Gleason or something, there were no cops out at all and we zipped along doing 85-90 most of the way, so the trip was only a little over 4 hours long, we were back in town around 7:30. I won't say that the MIL holding court about her Husband and her attorney the whole way back was an influence on this, but it didn't help my lead foot one bit. I know it's what she's going through right now, and what's on her mind, but holy shit, I was ready to slam the car into reverse doing 90 just to see if we could talk about that instead for awhile and change the subject.

Safely back home at the MIL's house, the wife and I loaded up our stuff, got the MIL unloaded and then went home. I was annoyed to find that the wife left the one small bag of my stuff in the MIL's trunk. She apparently didn't hear me when I told her what was left in the car, so we started bickering over that and I left to run over to Grandmother's, where the MIL was, so I could retrieve my purchases from her car.

The Uncle walked outside with me, and I explained the situation, and that I thought the week had gone well, he assured me that she'd not stopped talking about it since she hit the door.

"Yeah, she didn't stop talking about it the entire drive home either, so enjoy the night shift on that one my friend." I said, and then split. I grabbed some takeout for myself for supper, and the wife had said she didn't want anything, but I grabbed her a peace offering of a brownie and a lemonade and headed home.

We made up, both obviously being on a short fuse after the shenanigans of the past few days, and then watched Ghost Hunters International before calling it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dallas Deposition Day Three

We got up around 9:00, the wife heading over to make sure the Mother In Law was up ahnd running. I actually fell back asleep for a bit, getting up around 10:30 and dressing. The MIL came by on her way downstairs to meet her attorney and said goodbye. The wife and I started planning our day, since she was free to run around.

I had made tentative plans to get together with Corinthian last evening to possibly see a movie, but I also knew that he had to be at his job tonight for an overnight inventory, which would mean that he was sleeping in as much as he could. With this in mind I figured the wife and I should just go about our shopping agenda and if we heard from him, cool, if not, at least it meant he had gotten more sleep.

We left the hotel around noon, and headed down Mockingbird to a pharmacy so that the wife could get the MIL a cheap curling iron, since me rushing her to leave on Sunday had caused her to forget to pack hers. We got that and a few other odds and ends, then went into the Horchow Finale store and Barnes & Noble in the same shopping strip.

I Root For Mister Wilson...The wife bought a handful of books, and I found the first volume of the Dennis The Menace archives for one $4.00, not a bad little bargain, I have to say.

We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, a place I'd never eaten before. The ambiance was kinda weird to me, as the name of the place conjures images of Willy Wonka to me, but the actual decor is fairly upscale, in a manufactured, cheesy Vegas kinda way. The food was good, I had a couple of cocktails and a pulled pork sandwich, the wife enjoyed a chicken sandwich and we shared a piece of cheesecake. We headed to the Container Store next door and looked around, and the wife got a call from the MIL who was now in mid-deposition.

The whole idea of the mediator was that the MIL wouldn't have to see or deal with her soon to be ex-husband, and what the fuck happens? She and her lawyer walk off the elavator and there's the soon to be ex, along with his entire legal team. Jesus Christ. She handled it pretty well, but c'mon, someone should be handling these people better than this, y'know?

Spooky CoffeeThe wife and I went to look around the Knox-Henderson area, hitting Z Gallerie, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. I picked up the mug in the picture to mix up my coffee drinking a little bit, it's pretty cool. We also stepped into the Apple Store just to check out the new Macbook Air, since we won't have the chance with no Apple Store out in the sticks where we live. The final straw for the shopping was the one store we stepped into whose name escapes me, but they sold nothing but little cutesy tchotchkes and gag gift type crap, the entire store was stuffed to the gills with it. The woman asked if we had any questions, and I damn near asked if they actually had an air conditioner they planned on turning on before summer rolls around, because it was disturbingly muggy and hot in that place.

We headed back to the Palomar around 3:00, unloading the car and heading up to the room. The wife slept a bit and I popped in one of the Netfux movies I brought with me if we had a lot fo free time. I ended up dozing off during the flick, though I did get woken up by a call from Robbb, and then finally from Corinthian, who said he was on his way. He arrived around 6:00, waking me again, I was surprised that I was asleep so easily.

The wife still asleep, I visited with Corinthian for awhile, then the MIL arrived and we caught up with her about her day, getting the first inkling that we may indeed be staying overnight Wednesday night as well. This was much as I expected, since I knew she wouldn't want to leave at 6 or 7 in the evening tomorrow night, so we let her call downstairs and see what she could finagle for tomorrow.

Corinthian drove the wife and I to meet Morris for dinner, which would leave him free to leave when he needed to and be at his job by 9:00 for the overnight. The restuarant we'd planned to eat at was puzzlingly closed, so we went around the corner to Kitchen 1924, which was a great dinner, although Corinthian had to leave mid-meal to be where he needed to. We said our goodbyes, since we weren't sure if we'd see him tomorrow or not, given his funky schedule.

We hopped in Morris' Jeep and went back to the hotel, where the MIL was snacking on room service and hanging out with the Yorkie watching Fox News. She'd explained the situation to the front desk, and we'll be staying an extra night, she'll stay put in her room and the wife and I will move to a smaller room downstairs for the night, then we can split early Thursday morning.

The wife and I decided to take advantage of the jacuzzi tub in our current room since we're moving tomorrow so we took a dip, and then she headed to bed while I sat down to write this, the strains of Adult Swim in the background to keep me company.

Be seeing you.

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