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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Daddy-Doggie Weekend Day One

The wife left today, so the weekend of the Yorkie and I left to our own devices begins here.

With the dog acting so weird about her food of late, in addition to being freaked out that the wife isn't around, it should prove interesting to say the least. The dog has been put on a new food by the 'second opinion' vet, which she evidently likes, as she's been begging for it to the point that she's eating an entire can in a day, something that's normally prescribed for a 20 pound dog.

She still weighs 4-5 pounds. Well, at least for now.

We've begun to try and wean her back from the constant snacking, but we were so happy that she was eating instead of moping around ignoring food and starving that we just indulged her a bit much.

Nate Rocks, And I've Always Loved This Image
I started watching the complete series of Six Feet Under last night, as I've grown accustomed to watching a few episodes of something before I go to sleep and had that sitting around still unwatched. I've seen the first two seasons multiple times, but aside from the last episode, which I broke down and watched, I've basically boycotted the show until I can watch it in the proper order. I've of course picked up small details here and there, but I didn't have cable after the 3rd season or so and lost any sense of what was going on with the show.

The wife and I got up this morning and I checked e-mail and made some coffee while she showered and did a small load of laundry to get ready for her trip. We picked up some sandwiches and ate lunch with the Mother In Law, who was on a tear as usual about the Middle Sister and the Idiot Brother In Law. The details sketchy, the gist of it was that the MIL and the Middle Sister were both pissed off because the Idiot BIL had decided that instead of making his son's lunch today, he would come by at the allotted hour and bring him a hot meal instead of a sandwich. He then forgot to do this, so now everyone is pissed off and the MIL wants to go over there and yell at him and all I'm just wondering is why the Middle Sister can't get off her dead ass sitting at home and take him a Lunchable or what the fuck ever. The kid only eats when and if he wants to, which is annoying anyway, as they let him waste all kinds of good food because he doesn't want to sit still and eat a meal, but why is this such a big deal?

Yes, her husband is an idiot for forgetting his son, but suck it up and deal with it instead of sitting at home pissing and moaning about it.

And I don't ever want to come off like a big fan of the Idiot BIL, he's a total schmuck, but this kid has two parents, y'know?

Have I mentioned lately that I'd like to get sterilized so as not to have any children that this family could fuck up by osmosis?

The wife's ride, Scrawny McTall came and picked her up, I wished them both a safe journey and they headed out to pick up one other girl and then go to the airport.

I spoke to Macguffin on the phone for the better part of an hour or more, then finally decided to get to work.

I listened to the newest Dead Lantern Splattercast first, then squeezed in a new SModcast afterward. They're finally putting out new episodes of that since the new Smith film is wrapped, so that was amusing as always. I got two really solid hours worth of work done, I'll definitely get this first project finished tomorrow, but I'm of course a little disheartened because I'd normally be finished at this point, but this thing is a monster. Oh well, I wasn't bitching when the other ones came up shorter than usual, so I guess I can't start when there's extra work if it all averages out in the end.

I took the Yorkie for a walk late in the day since she'd been so good and quiet all day, I thought an outing might cheer her up. Once we got home she ate her food and I made myself a little cheese plate with some fruit for supper, since I wasn't really all that hungry.

I watched another film out of the Alain Delon set, I'm finally in the home stretch with that, so I think I'll start writing up some of the basic thoughts about each film, then give it a final pass once I get the last movie watched tomorrow. The Gypsy was what I watched tonight, with Delon sporting a strange mustache that reminded me of Franco Nero. This film featured the most involved plotting I've encountered in the set so far and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Quasi-Productions

There's so very little to report today, but I'd be lost if I ended the day any other way than in front of a computer, bathed in the glow from the screen.

I got up this morning as the wife was heading out to a meeting, checked e-mail and then went to get a haircut. I chit-chatted with the Hairdressers a bit, then picked up a sandwich for lunch and headed home.

We're still having issues with the garage door, which wants to open properly about every third time or so normally, but generally gives you a big pain in the ass to get in and out. I'm going to schedule the overhead door people for next week to come out and see what's up. So far it eventually goes up, and never has any issues going down, which sounds a lot like I'm talking about my dick now that I'm reading this in print, but I can assure you it refers to the garage door. I want to catch the problem before the cars become trapped or locked out for good. I love technology.

A Boring, More Likely...Back at the house I ate and watched a TiVo suggestion called A Haunting recorded from some channel we never really watch. It was fairly boring, though I do find a great deal of amusement in the disconnect of the re-enactment footage people from the actual persons that they interview later. I'd been watching this cute little brunette getting spooked for about 15 minutes or so, then they flash to an interview with this broad who looks like she ate the other girl. I suppose their budgeting doesn't allow for much in the way of casting beyond the fact that they need someone with dark hair, boom, we're done, let's move on.

I got a lot done today, and would normally be close to finishing the first project I'm working on, except for these two both being a lot more involved than usual. Oh well, I got several things listened to while I worked, a week or two old Indie Spinner Rack, a new (Cool) Shite and a bizarre Ricky Gervais episode that popped up a few days ago.

The wife had a short evening meeting, so the Yorkie and I took a little walk.

Her meeting was actually even shorter than she'd thought, so when she arrived home early, we heated some leftovers and settled in to watch another one of the films in the set I'm working on to review for the other site. The Widow Couderc is about a fugitive who romances an older woman (an extraordinarily unattractive lady whose name escapes me, but she looks like Walter Matthau had a child with Kathy Bates) while he's also stringing along her niece. Another slow burn from this set, these melodramas may be wearing me down.

The wife leaves tomorrow for her trip to San Diego at noon. I'm not sure how the Yorkie is going to handle it, the last time the wife was out of town the dog slept on the couch each night, waiting to see when she'd come home. This will be a long weekend, I just have a feeling.

There's a few new things up over at the BSL if you're interested, I don't know if I mentioned the last few things I've written over there.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Quasi-Productive

That's bound to be what's carved on my tombstone, I think it sums up most days of my life.

That or "I told you I felt sick.", that'd make an amusing epitaph as well.

I got up slightly earlier than I have been lately, because I'd really like to get my work schedule back to normal. I checked e-mail while the wife showered and got ready for her day, then popped in the iPod and got to work on the second project I wanted to prep.

I listened to the latest Night Of The Living Podcast while I did so, their second anniversary episode, which was kinda surprising to me, since I recall listening to their first episode one morning way back when I was still working at the flower shop. Funny how time flies.

The wife split for her meeting after telling me about her plans for the morning and early afternoon. I got a call from Macguffin inquiring about lunch, so I got dressed and worked until he got here. We had a quick bite then stopped into Barnes & Noble for some coffee.

Mac got a call from his wife, who was sounding pretty ill at work, so he encouraged her to go home and rest. We made a quick stop for me on the way home, then Mac headed back to his house to check on his wife.

I finished the new NOTLP, then started a new Destroy The Brain while I started graphing the first project. Both of these projects are longer than the normal stuff I've been working on, so I expect they'll take at least an extra hour or so to finish.

The wife had done grocery shopping on her way home, so I helped her unload all that and then wrapped up what I'd planned to get done work-wise.

The wife was working on a project of her own, addressing a bunch of stuff for a baby shower she's helping to host, so I checked e-mail again to give her time to finish.

She started supper and I chilled and watched a Simpsons re-run, then we ate and I popped in the final disc of the Buffy The Vampire series. The wife has wandered in and out while I've been watching these, and as such had requested that I save the final episode to watch with her. I really enjoyed the way the series wrapped up, though I was sad to see a few characters I liked better than others die, but that's about par for the course for my luck. An interesting series to be sure, I can see why it has such a following, and I'm glad to have been able to plow through it in large chunks rather than teasing it out in the original seasonal format.

I took the Yorkie for a late walk since she seemed very restless while we were trying to watch the show.

The Idle Rich Seem Very SuspiciousThe Alain Delon five film set I've got to review for Pop Syndicate is still sitting around taunting me, so I popped in the next disc of that and the wife and I watched the next film, Diabolically Yours. Viewed with modern eyes, this early 'thriller' (in the loosest sense of the word) seems pretty slow moving, but it was an interesting watch to see what the leads are up to while dealing with the amnesiac Delon. I still have three more films in the set before I can sit down and write the full review of the whole package, I'm going to try to get that sorted out over the course of this week.

I actually think I'm going to cut this short at this point, as I also wanted to try and write a few things up for the BSL while they are fresh in my mind.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Thirty-Five

The wife and I spent the day doing as close to nothing as possible, not a bad way to spend the weekend, considering she'll be out of town for about 4 nights this coming week.

Kudos, You Elderly Genius YouWe picked up some Chinese for lunch and read through the newspaper. The local paper has been eaten up with a series of articles about a local family and the woman who surrogated their new child. I'm happy for them, but I can't believe that this has been front page news on several occasions lately. You'd think they were pioneering science or something by the way people have carried on.

The wife and I retired to the bedroom and watched a couple things on the Blu-Ray player, including a flick from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead was recently released on DVD, and directed by Sidney Lumet, who is in his early 80's. I feel that I have to note the advanced age, as I'd normally guess that one reaches a saturation point in the approach to any artistic endeavor by a certain age, but this feels as fresh as if some young upstart director made it. The film has a very interesting narrative approach that continually retreads several days before and up to a week after a botched jewelry heist, slowly painting a larger picture about the characters and their motivations. This was a really great film, I'd recommend it highly.

Oh and a PS: I was surprised to find that it features Marisa Tomei completely nude in a few scenes, which ain't a bad thing at all. It also features a nude Philip Seymour Hoffman, which isn't good for anyone, but Tomei's ta-tas mostly make up for it.

Afterward I watched The Orphanage, and then wife ended up catching a nap. The Orphanage was a good little ghost story, involving what has become the customary mystery elements of the lead trying to figure out exactly why the ghost is haunting a particular location. Good stuff, give it a rental, or if you're a ghost story fan, just go ahead and buy that mother.

We watched our usual Sunday evening stuff on Fox then a new Desperate Housewives before calling it a night.

The trailer search this week seems pretty scarce, as only shit like What Happens In Vegas or that fucking Zohan film with Adam Sandler seem to be popping up lately, which makes me believe that God truly hates us all. Here's what I was able to cobble together.

Alan Ball
has his directorial debut with Towelhead, which looks to be another American Beauty-esque deconstruction of the American suburbs. This time around Aaron Eckhart looks to be the older guy creepily obsessed with a young girl, and there appears to be a lot of examination of racist issues.



Next up, I'm plugging something that will no doubt draw numerous confused Google searches my way, a sex-comedy called Young People Fucking. It's directed by Martin Gero and while the trailer looks intriguing, I don't know how groundbreaking it'll be. I'm hoping for a few laughs and maybe a titty or two at best.



Last but not least, we have something I'd tried to use a few weeks back only to find out that the embedding had been disabled at YouTube because God forbid someone promote a film for them, but tonight I ran across a clip that wasn't nixed. Dying Breed sends people into the Australian bush looking for an allegedly extinct tiger, where they run afoul of cannibals who need food and breeding stock. Directed by Jody Dwyer, the film appears to reiterate the old adage, STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THE WOODS. What don't these people get about such a simple message that we've learned time and again from countless horror films?



Be seeing you.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sleazy Saturday

Tonight's soundtrack to the writing is made up of the rather eclectic selections provided on a new Psychobilly Fury. Donny has returned at long last after a half year of being MIA, I hope this means he's back for good.

I got up late today after being up late last night. I'm still making my way through the final season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, with only 7 episodes or so left. I tend to watch one or two each night after I finally go to bed, which accounts for why it's taken me so damned long to slog through the entire series. I have to say that it's been a pleasant surprise that aside from one season that generally bored me, the show tends to be pretty decently written (if you can ignore the 'too cute for its own good' dialog that threatens to permeate the show) and gives a good amount of character development over the course of the series. I also like the fact that they manage to have the same actor pop up years later as the same throwaway character they played in the second season, the comic nerd in me appreciates the continuity.

The wife and I went for a late breakfast/lunch at IHOP. The dining experience was okay, but the real entertainment was the family(ies) that came in with their countless spawn and filled the FOUR booths around us with the few adults and all their offspring. FOUR BOOTHS. Stop fucking these poor women already, you have enough children. God and damn and Christmas.

It's like they had a bet going with China or something.

And after about 30 minutes of listening to these assorted adults and all their children interact, I felt like I might want to hit the drive-thru vasectomy place across town just to be safe myself.

We went into Best Buy because it was close and I'd successfully talked myself into buying The Orphanage on Blu-Ray, as I expected to do. The wife's got a birthday coming up early next month and had expressed interest in a Nintendo DS for the little Brain Age games they have, so I offered to buy it for her as an early gift. This works out well because she has to go out of town in the middle of next week and will have a new toy to play with while she's sitting around bored in an airport.

I spoke to Robbb in the midafternoon, made plans for he, our friend the Dachshund and her girlfriend to all come by this evening after they had dinner.

The wife caught a nap, I got fished into Broken Arrow on cable for no other reason than I hadn't seen it since I watched it in the theater 12 years ago and it was mentioned this week on Cinema Diabolica. Weird coincidence, that.

I took the Yorkie for a walk since she was feeling better today, leaving the wife playing with her new toy.

Everything's Sticky!Once we got back from the walk, the wife and I went and grabbed a couple sandwiches from Quiznos for dinner. Back at the house, I popped in a DVD I'd bought awhile back to watch while we ate. I'd recently found the Synapse Films 42nd Street Forever collections bundled together at Best Buy for only $15 for the first two volumes and had grabbed it because I'd come close to paying that for one of the volumes on more than one occasion. We watched the whole thing, which features a great series of the most lurid trailers I've ever seen, crazy exploitation films, softcore sex romps, gory horror, the works. This is a great little collection, the wife was very amused. An interesting factoid: as sleazy as the box art promises the DVD to be, all of the films are listed on the back of the box by name, save for two or three with the word 'nigger' in the title and one with 'rape', those trailers account for the vague "...and more!" exclamation at the end of the product description. Gangsta GangstaNo amount of marketing wizardry will spin either wording I guess, but having watched the trailer for Boss Nigger starring Fred Williamson, I would really like to see it now. This turns out to be timely, as it will be released in June as part of a collection of grindhouse films under the alternate title Black Bounty Hunter.

Serendipity? Possibly.

Robbb and the girls never showed, unless they managed to drop by in the 20 minutes we left to get food, but I would assume they'd call if they missed us.

Of course, I'd also assume they'd call if they decided to blow it off altogether, but whatever, the wife and I enjoyed our sleazy trailer fest alone and then called it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

My, Those French Certainly Are A Randy Bunch...

The Yorkie is responding well to the new food and medicine, if seeming a little bit droopy this morning.

The wife had two morning meetings to attend, which left me free to check e-mail and goof around online. I grabbed some lunch and watched a couple of re-runs of South Park on the TiVo while I ate.

I started the latest episode of Cinema Diabolica while I ran to get my food, realizing that a comment from T Van in reference to their show meant that they had asked not in general for voicemails, but specifically for one from whoever writes Dear Bastards, which surprised me. I don't see that happening, as I despise the sound of my recorded voice, but I'll have to shoot them an e-mail by way of acknowledging the mention.

I popped in the earbuds and worked for a bit after lunch, finishing up the Cinema Diabolica episode while I did so.

The wife had come home while I was working and I asked if she wanted to watch a flick with me when I finished and she got off the phone; she was up for it. I decided to dig into the five film set of French films I have on hand to review for Pop Syndicate, so we started off with a film called The Swimming Pool (La Piscine) from 1969. It's about growing tensions among a group of the idle rich staying at a villa, love triangles develop, etc. The whole thing is a slow burn, but surprisingly watchable considering the full two hour running time and the lack of any really huge revelations.

More Like Angels With Busy FingersThe wife had made plans for us to see JH this evening, so after the film was over, I hopped in the shower and got ready for that. We went and had dinner at a little Mexican place over in the South side, then dropped by JH's new place so she could show off her new digs. We also picked up a movie she'd gotten in from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux, a French film that she'd seen a trailer for and added to her queue kinda blindly, thus she had no real plot outline to give me.

Exterminating Angels
turned out to be kind of interesting, but ultimately left me a little cold when it was all said and done. The idea is that a director tries to cast a film that will push the taboos of mainstream cinema, the casting process involves him coaxing several women into overtly explicit sexual situations and lesbianism, which is all well and good, but aside from a lot of diddling, there's not a lot going on beneath the surface. There are the titular angels, fallen ones, who appear only visible to the audience and quietly influence elements of the director's life, generally for the worst. A pretty average film, slightly more explicit than the typical soft-core fare.

Our guest split, the wife and I played with the suddenly full of energy Yorkie for awhile to tire her out for bed, then I hopped online to play around with this crap yet again.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Second Opinion

The Yorkie was still acting weird this morning, so the wife decided to take her to the new vet we'd been considering for a different perspective.

I got up and was just kinda bumping around the house all out of sorts with both the wife and the dog out of pocket. I checked e-mail, made some coffee and then the wife got back from the vet with some breakfast, so we talked about her impressions of the new vet and ate. She seemed to like him well enough, and said that the dog would have to stay there for the day so that they could observe her and see if she threw up or anything.

I called the clowns who do the lawn and informed the guy who answered the phone that no one called me back yesterday, which was frustrating to put it mildly. He assured me that he'd have our guy call me back immediately. Five minutes later I have the guy on the phone, he apologizes, I run through our grocery list of complaints, he gives me sincere assurances that they are working on things, but are amazingly shorthanded right now, which is of course the common story locally. The oilfield has simply sucked up all the help, because who wants to do their normal job when they can make an extra $5-10 at least working in the oilfield? His normal crew of 16 guys currently consists of 4-6, depending on whether or not anyone has quit this week. I concur that this is a common story, but suggest that since we pay a flat and rather exorbitant rate, perhaps they can at least do us the courtesy of calling if they aren't going to make it each week, and if it continues we'll definitely need to discuss a pro-rated fee.

I close with the fact that if his company responded to my wife calling that he and I wouldn't even be talking, but they've made it abundantly clear that they react to a man's voice bitching on the other end of the phone a helluva lot quicker than they do to a female. This is just a common story, the wife calls, gets the run around, then I call, poof, five minutes later there's someone calling me back to see how they can help. It's a very weird/sad sociological fact, but we've encountered it time and again, even when I'm calling about shit that my name's not even involved with.

Realistically, I know that I'm more of a prick than my wife is about things, but why is that the only thing people respond to? After she's called them with more than once and had zero luck in getting called back, I'll call and open with "Can you tell me exactly how much we're paying you to not do your jobs?" just to set the proper defensive tone with them.

The wife had a couple of her usual meetings in the late morning, so I sent her on her way and popped in the earbuds to get to work. I listened to the latest Dead Lantern Splattercast and this week's Night Of The Living Podcast while I got the first project ready to graph.

More Tarantino Jibber Jabber Than You Can Shake A Girl's Foot At, If That's Yer Fetish...I was feeling pretty restless, kinda worrying about the dog in the back of my mind, so I invited Macguffin over to watch the TiVo'd Grindhouse extravaganza which has turned up on cable recently, trailers and all. He said he'd come over later, so I dicked around online for awhile as the lawn guys came and mowed, doing a decent job of it, which was mighty thoughtful of them, since we probably won't see them for three weeks or some shit.

The wife and I had some tie between her errands, so we caught up on our days, then she went to do her thing and I chilled and waited for Macguffin to show. He brought his Chihuahua Toby over with him, so the three of us started the flick. The wife came home with Bella and the two dogs played a little bit before settling down and relaxing.

The wife went to make an appearance at her oldest nephew's little league game while Mac and I finished the film. Amusingly, she actually made it back before the movie was over, but hey, it is about a 3 hour long affair, trailers and all.

Mac split, the wife and I had another one of the quick fixin' dinner things she'd picked up, some kind of cheese meatloaf that you pop in the oven for an hour or so and presto, dinner is served.

We made some sandwiches and watched My Name Is Earl, The Office and 30 Rock before calling it a night, as everyone seemed wiped out. The Yorkie seemed pretty tired, as the vet's office always leaves her rattled. She came home with a different kind of food since he thinks she may have some kind of food allergies, which would explain why she keeps being able to eat a type of food for 'X' amount of time, then suddenly it seems to make her ill. We also got some medicine to give her and are supposed to collect a stool sample. Personally, I always thought that's why he makes the big veterinary bucks, the privilege of playing with my dog's poop, but the little canister he gave us to collect it with seems pretty easy to deal with, so whatever.



I close tonight with a clip from O Brother, Where Art Thou? because I listened to a new Hellbilly Wreckhouse this evening and Bibb ended the show with this song and it's been stuck in my head for about a fuckin' hour now.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Uncertainty Is Gradually Wearing Me Down

I don't know what sort of scene I will need to make with the lawn people, but it's become apparent that calling them up and stating a simple complaint like a rational human being gets me nowhere. I called them this morning, stated my various beefs and was assured that the 'property manager' would call me back, since the evidently have THREE different crews that come by the house over the course of the week: to mow, do the flowerbeds, and sprinkler service, respectively. They all answer to one guy, who can't be fucking bothered to call me back this afternoon, so I guess I'll need to lead with something shitty to get their attention tomorrow.

In a 'more bad news' quasi-related note, the television in the den was experiencing a weird vertical rolling yesterday that seemed to get worse, then better, then worse again all evening, so I woke up expecting to have to call Best Buy and start that whole bitching process with them as well, but when we turned the thing on today, there was no issue whatsoever. This also falls in line with the Yorkie who acts sick one day, then fine the next, which doesn't really allow the chance to show anyone the problem because it's gone when you have someone to show it to.

The weather today was overcast and threatening rain, though none ever fell. The wife and I drove to Odessa to swap out some software for her new sewing machine. I had no idea that there was any such an animal as a sewing machine that requires software, but there you go. I believe it also has an ATM in the side of it as well.

We picked up Macguffin for some lunch, then hit the sewing store and wandered around the antique store next door. We dropped Mac back at his house and headed home.

On the drive back the wife asked if I was okay, kinda out of the blue. I suppose I've been kinda quiet the past few days, which I chalk up to the weird weather and some drama going on in the lives of some friends who I really have no way of helping, other than to listen to them and hope for the best. I think that and the various house related frustrations over the past few days is wearing on me a little bit, evidently more so than I realized, as the wife noticed my change in behavior before I really did.

Stay The Fuck Out Of The WoodsBack at the house I decided to blow off the idea of working today and instead popped in one of the two discs we have in from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux. This was when I saw that the television looked normal and was both annoyed and relieved simultaneously, as I figure the problem will rear its head again at a more inopportune time. I watched a little film set in Ireland called Shrooms, which features the standard group of 'friends' who all seem to hate one another and decide to go into the woods to do mushrooms and get slaughtered by the local spookshow horrors that run about the forest.

Something I've been thinking a lot about recently as I've been watching more horror films is this: Why is it that no group of friends in a horror film seem to actually like one another? I've never in my life had occasion to spend a lot of time with people I don't want to (save for the in-laws, but what can you do?), and I'm a little confused by the plot point in countless films being people who seem to have nothing in common yet somehow end up taking a fucking road trip together. I've never been desperate enough to go on a trip that I'd sign up to sit beside my polar opposite for an extended period of time, trading barbs and possibly fisticuffs. Does this actually happen? Do people really do shit like that or is it a contrivance for the cinema?

At any rate....I watched the film, it was fun and is probably worth a rental for the slasher fan, and then I wrote a quick review for it and submitted it to Skincarver.

The wife had an evening meeting at 7:00, so while she did that I decided to take the Yorkie for a walk since it was cooling off outside. That went well, she seemed pretty energetic and excited about being outside, but spent the rest of the evening kinda drooping around the house. This leaves us wondering if she's trying to get ill again or what, which is maddening, since we always seem to be fretting about the dog like that. I've never owned any animal that could get sick so easily. Hell, when I was raising a child with an ex-girlfriend I wasn't this nervous about illness, and that was raising a fucking BABY for Christ's sake! I may have to start drinking again.

PS Avoid Anyone Who Seems Normal, Quiet And Well-AdjustedThe wife still at her meeting, I popped in the single Blu-Ray film that Netfux had deigned to send this week, The Invasion. A perfectly serviceable little thriller, I was impressed with the varying elements of creepiness even though the film felt like it moved along possibly at almost too brisk a pace at times, but I suppose that's better than dragging along about how the infection spreads.

The wife came home, we watched a TiVo'd Ghost Hunters from earlier in the evening and then called it a night.

Tomorrow we begin the fight again.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday Comes Late

I can't shake the nagging feeling that the traditional day of the week that people dread was Tuesday for me this week. The entire day I felt at least a little off my game, even when spending time with good friends, it all just felt a little off.

I got up a little earlier than usual, and while the wife showered I fed the Yorkie and took my customary handful of vitamins and sinus medications. I checked e-mail and then got started on the last project, since I had tentative plans with Robbb about lunch and wanted to try and finish this stuff before we went to eat.

The Yorkie managed to throw up a little again, more of the weird foamy stuff she does from time to time. We checked with a vet about walk-ins, just in case she got worse or anything, since we still want to get a second opinion overall about the dog, because she does seem to get ill almost like clockwork.

I listened to a new CHUD Show, which was pretty funny as always, and actually a little longer than they usually run. That gave me about an hour and a half working in the latest project, and then Robbb called and we made a plan for the lunch thing. He met me at the house and I threw on clothes while the wife left for a noon meeting, then he and I headed out to eat.

After a quick bite, we hit a Starbuck's drive-thru and while waiting in line I got a call from Macguffin, who was curious about lunch. I dashed those plans since we'd already eaten, but talked him into coming over to fuck around for a bit anyway, so he agreed to meet Robbb and I at my house. While we waited on Mac to arrive, I started working on the graphs again, chatting with Robbb as I did so.

Macguffin arrived, we all visited a bit and I kept plunging ahead with the stupid graphs, anxious to finish them once and for all. Robbb split to get to the gym early today, Mac waited me out with the graphs, then the wife finally arrived home as he and I were preparing to leave so that I could see the Bossman and get paid.

The wife had brought home a late lunch for herself, so we left her eating and headed to the Bossman's house. I made a point of telling him I was out running errands with a friend of mine who was in the car, yet he still managed to keep me there about 15-20 minutes yammering about this or that. I swear to God, the man really needs to get out more often.

Sure, It's Allegedly Spooky, But Is It Worth The Big Bucks?I watched Mac eat a late lunch, then he and I hit Best Buy so he could look for a new Portishead CD that he's looking for this month and I could get a refund on some coaxial cables we'd bought and not needed for the Mother In Law's new DVD player last week. The Portishead was a no go, it comes out next week, and I eyed The Orphanage on Blu-Ray, but I'm still having a helluva time justifying the $30 sale price on new release Blu-Ray stuff, so I passed. I may talk myself into it later in the week, but it just seems so exorbitant right now.

We made a stop at my bank to deposit my check and then went back to the house. We'd left the lawn guys doing their typically half-assed job, these fuckers didn't even show up last week, and then today all they did was blow all the leaves out and gather them up. They didn't even mow the back yard. I'm going to be calling to piss and moan about that tomorrow, as we pay these fucks a fairly significant amount of money and they barely do shit anymore. The wife is actually getting a list of complaints and grievances together for me to run through with them, that's how bad the service has become.

The Yorkie hadn't eaten anything today, but she hadn't thrown up again either.

The wife had a meeting this evening that turned out she didn't have to attend, so she picked up a burger for dinner and came back home. We watched a flick called Undoing which I had on tap for the Pop Syndicate folks, and I was pretty underwhelmed by it. A pseudo-noir story set in Koreatown in Los Angeles that kinda plodded along too much for my tastes, the film isn't bad per se, it's just not all that engaging either.

That's Why You Knock It Against The Wall And Get Some Attention...The Yorkie finally ate her food, and then expressed interest in more (she nudges her dish around the kitchen, making noise like Snoopy, it's kinda funny), so we were relieved by that. She and the wife played a little bit after she ate, so she seems to be feeling much better after being kinda droopy most of the day.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

I Finished Planting The South Forty...

The wife and I both slept in this morning, then I checked e-mail while the wife started some laundry and checked her own e-mail on the laptop. I was sort of hoping she'd forget her previously stated plans to possibly go and hit a garden center today, but to no avail.

We decided to run a few errands along the way, so we ran by the veterinarian's office and got some food for the Yorkie and then went to one of the many garden centers in town. The wife was enamored of the mixed plant basket look, which was what we'd done last year in the two urns, so I selected some stuff that I thought would play well together and we loaded it all into the trunk of the Maxima. I'm glad that trunk could fit the bodies of a family of four, we certainly get a lot of use out of it.

We headed home, as I was eager to start the planting process and get it over with. I called the Bossman along the way, just to let him know that I had some stuff done, but wanted to wait until I finished the other one before we got together. I also had a sinking feeling that this whole planting thing might drag on more than I had anticipated and I didn't want to get pinned down to a specific time in case I was elbow deep in potting soil when he called.

I started taking all the old soil out of the urns, then re-planted them with the new mix of stuff, begonias in the center for height and some other different green plants for color. I took the remaining goodies out front and cleaned out the little pot of dead and dying stuff to get it ready for the new. I quickly began to realize that this pot was much larger than I had originally thought, so I talked to the wife and asked if she wanted to go and pick up some more stuff to sort it out.

NOt Sure If This Is The Same Stuff, But You Get The IdeaWe ran a few more errands along the way, including Barnes & Noble for a couple books she wanted to look for. We hit a different garden center, found some pricing on the huge mixed baskets she had in mind for the tree out back, but decided to wait on that since the sheer size would possibly take up all the room in the car. We ended up going in a different direction altogether with the front, buying a topiary constructed of ivy for the center of the pot, and then some multi-colored ground cover type stuff to surround the base with for a change of pace.

We picked up some lunch and ate, then I headed out to the porch to get that all set in place. It looked good, but I did run out of potting soil mid-project, so I will have to add some soil later in the week.

Grow, My Pretties...That finished, I went into the back yard for the final project, which was a flat of English Ivy for two pots near the garage, which I hope to see trail up the wall and the poles near the pots. I don't know that this will ever happen, since the pots are obviously at the mercy of my own infrequent watering, but I'm crossing my fingers on this one. The English Ivy I'd planted at the old house was finally taking off when we bought this place and decided to move, so I never really got a chance to enjoy the fruits of my labor, and those had soaker hoses in the beds. These poor little plants may be completely fucked, as I have a bad habit of forgetting to water plants in the house, much less something outside that I don't see every day.

The wife was on the phone when I finished up, and since I was already kinda sweaty I decided to go ahead and take the Yorkie for a short walk. She seemed fine at first, but was losing steam fast, so we only made a few blocks and looped back to the house. I think it might've been a little hot for her, as it was late afternoon. I may try to do this again tomorrow, but later in the evening when it cools off a bit.

I checked e-mail again, then finally sat down to try and get some work done. The wife had told me that the Mother In Law was going to come by for a bit, so she ordered her some food to be delivered. The wife and I passed, since we'd ate a late lunch. I got an hour's worth of stuff done, listened last week's Dead Lantern Splattercast while I did so. This was in spite of the MIL's arrival, which is always loud and blustery, so I was proud of myself for getting anything done with that kind of distraction.

The MIL spent an hour or two with us, then headed home and the wife and I headed out to get a dessert item.

We watched one of the films I have to review for Pop Syndicate, another Spanish horror-ish film called Human Beasts, starring Paul Naschy. It was okay, though the plotting is a little thin and while I was expecting a horror film, this turns out to be more of a crime thriller than anything else. I'll be writing the review this evening, and I have a collection of 5 French films on deck to try and dig into this week. I'm actually a little apprehensive about that one, as the review is supposed to be about the set itself, so writing capsule reviews of five films, then an overall rating may be a tad tricky.

The Yorkie threw up a little bit while I'm been typing this out, so I'm of course concerned about that, as any indication of that tiny little dog getting ill is enough to put me on edge. I wish to Christ we could go a couple months with no dog health issues. I guess the spooky part was that before we'd figured out that her food was making her ill, but now she's on a different food and all has been well for awhile now, so if this new food is the problem I have no idea what the hell we should do.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Thirty-Four

The wife was up earlier than I was today, making a few phone calls and catching up with folks after a long week. I finally woke up, lay in bed with the Yorkie for a bit, as that's basically the only time she wants any loving, the early morning. Any other time, she acts as if laying with you and being petted is a big giant pain in her ass. It's like owning a cat.

Possibly The Busiest Day Of My Week, Ironically...The wife and I decided to get out and pickup a few necessities, milk and sodas from the convenience store, then grabbed some lunch and headed home. The dog acted as if we'd been gone for a month. Maybe it's not like owning a cat.

I decided to take a day off from watching anything with the intention of reviewing it for either website, and instead got some work done on the two projects I've had gathering dust for the better part of a month. Y'know, the stuff that I'll actually get paid for...

I did that for the better part of two hours, finishing one and getting a good chunk of the second one penciled in. I paused to do a load of laundry and then put that away, then decided to see if the Yorkie was up for a walk.

We went for a quick 20 minute stroll, though she lost some steam in the last block or two and the walk again became taking the dog for a drag. I wouldn't get so annoyed by that if she wasn't wound up like a top wanting to play every night at 11:00, when I'm trying to write and get this shit done so I can go to bed.

The wife had a porkloin in the slow cooker, so she started getting the side dishes ready, and then we settled in to eat and watch the usual Fox animation stuff and a new Desperate Housewives, which has been fairly interesting since its return. What can I say, I have my trash television fix back each week, so I'm happy.

I find myself kinda scrambling around looking for trailers this evening, as there's sweet fuck-all popping up new that isn't getting round the clock TV spots. Here's what I was able to cobble together.

The Spirit has a teaser finally, and as with all of the stills from the film that have made the rounds on the web, this looks like director Frank Miller is making his own version of The Spirit. He seems to pay only a nodding acknowledgment to the source material, of which he is a huge fan, but he's obviously making this his own in every possible fashion. I suppose the approach is possibly like that of his drawing a Spirit story, in that he wouldn't ape Will Eisner's art style to do it, so why would he do that in the look and feel of the film? I don't know what to make of it, as I've never read more than a few issues of Eisner's original material, but I know this is obviously pretty far removed visually from Eisner's version of things.



Next up, we have the next indie darling that everyone is talking about, so check out the trailer for The Wackness before the backlash sets in. The film is set in NYC in 1994 and looks to be something of a coming of age tale as a young guy (Josh Peck) deals drugs and romances that cute broad from Juno, y'know, her best friend with the huge smile. It's directed by Jonathan Levine and also stars Ben Kingsley.



Finally, another Sundance success story called Hamlet 2. It stars Steve Coogan and Catherine Keener and is directed by Andrew Fleming. The trailer looks pretty bizarre, and I did find a few bits very amusing, check it out:



I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

No New Tale To Tell

Very little happened today, and the precious little that did will now be stretched thin to try and make this post interesting.

The wife and I had plans to try and pick up some plants to throw into the little urn out front, the three urns in the back yard, and possibly a hanging basket or two for the tree limb that hangs ever so low and would look great with some color draping from it. Lemon PartyWe had talked earlier in the week about going to a garden center this afternoon and seeing what was available, but then this morning the wife seemed very not into the idea, presumably all the shopping and dragging around yesterday had soured the idea of more fooling around outside the house.

I'm the kind of guy who can always do less, so I was totally down for not fucking with it today and instead suggested picking up lunch and chilling. We grabbed some food and then settled in and watched some television, some of the 30 Rock season one I'd picked up earlier in the week.

Like Groundhog Day With A Shitload Of Death...I watched a flick from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux, which the wife seemed interested in at first, but eventually slept through most of. The Deaths Of Ian Stone was another film released as part of the After Dark Horrorfest, and like Borderland turned out to be a pretty decent film, not at all what I've come to expect from this series. Ian Stone finds himself dying horrible deaths again and again, only to awaken in a new life, the only common thread seeming to be a girl named Jenny who is always in his life in some form or fashion. Shadowy creatures called Harvesters reveal themselves and kill him in each new life, as he begins to have memories of his past lives and try to piece together what's going on. It's an interesting blend of a few different films, and I liked it quite a bit because it makes the repetition make sense in the context of the film.

I wrote a quick review for the Big Suck Loser site and submitted it, something I've been trying to do more of recently. I've developed the habit of watching stuff and then putting off the actual writing until that evening or the next day, which ends up getting blown off completely at times. I want to try and force myself to write while the film is really fresh in my memory, just because I know that I'll end up procrastinating until it gets ignored altogether.

The Yorkie and I took a little walk, she wasn't that into it at first, so I decided to cut things a little short to keep her from losing her steam completely.

Type, Your Dirty Vixen...I started watching more of the 30 Rock stuff, indulging my Tina Fey crush while the wife piddled around with her sewing machine some more. She's been reading through the little owners manual and and tinkering with this function or that, it's very amusing, like a kid with a new toy.

Brian had made plans to visit this evening, so he dropped by around 6:00, watched some 30 Rock with us, then the wife popped in a manicotti she'd bought earlier in the week. It's one of those simple dinner idea things, where you just pop it in the oven for 'X' amount of time, and viola, dinner's served. We had that and a salad, then I drove us to get a little dessert item at the ice cream place.

Brian watched some more television with us, then split around 9:00. The wife and I watched the end of the first season, then called it a night.

Well, sort of. She went to the utility room to play with the sewing machine's various functions and I started trying to make my day sound interesting.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Tell Me More About Your Carpet

Today was to be the day I finally got out from under the lingering specter of possibly having tuberculosis, so I got up early and got ready to go get this over with. I was of course completely early in getting my shit together, so I listened to the last CHUD Show podcast while making a pot of coffee and drinking that to wake my sorry ass up.

I went to the allergist, they gave me a clean bill of health so I wished them a good weekend and split.

The wife had asked me if I wanted to go running around with the Mother In Law, Grandmother and her this afternoon, and I agreed, figuring I've put off the work for this long, what's another day going to matter in the grand scheme of things? I got back to the house before the wife got back from her various morning meetings, so I called her to let her now that I was going to take the Yorkie for a walk before we went out for the afternoon. The Yorkie seemed to really enjoy the walk, and we got home and the wife and I caught up a bit while going through the mail.

Skincarver had sent me the second release from the Disease Foundry label he's been toying with lately, which I got a chance to listen to this evening. The artist is called Season Of War, and the music is moody and atmospheric, dark old skool Industrial, if it sounds like your cup of tea, give the man a click and your credit card information. I called him and caught him on his cell while at work, so he and I caught up a bit in between me congratulating him about his new endeavor and raving about the fairly slick DIY packaging.

But Is It Stain Resistant?!?The MIL came by and picked up the wife and I, asking if one of us wanted to drive. I volunteered to do it, since I'm more familiar with Odessa, which was where we were headed. We picked up Grandmother and I drove us to Odessa, because Grandmother is pissing down her leg to replace the perfectly good carpet in her entryway with something else darker or more stain resistant, as she feels that the carpet she has now does nothing but get dirty as people traipse in and out of her house. The MIL is also in the market for something to replace her bathroom carpeting since her two dogs have taken certain liberties with it time and again. The wife and I didn't give a shit about carpet and were strictly along for the ride.

The carpet people's service was completely in their ass; one woman from a desk across the store kept yelling questions or interjections at the people who actually got off their dead asses to help the MIL and Grandmother, which I thought was a weird way to do business considering they aren't the only carpet place in town. Amusingly, the MIL also started giving them static about carpeting she had this place do 20 years ago which "has never looked right", which I find to be a ridiculous thing to stir up, considering the amount of time that's passed.

Once the ladies got the measuring guy scheduled and a few samples to double-check against their own lighting in their homes, we finally split for the next destination.

The wife has it in her head that she's going to start sewing. Sewing what I'm not entirely sure, perhaps she's interested in monogramming all my socks or something but the upshot is she wants a sewing machine and the Oldest Sister suggested a store in Odessa as the best place to shop for one. The MIL was planning on buying it for her as an early birthday gift, so they got the full scoop on the two top of the line machines while I wandered the store considering stealing shit just to entertain myself.

The MIL purchased a sewing machine for the same money you could get a decent used car for, which almost had me on the floor, I had no idea how expensive that shit could get, and then I loaded it up and we went for an early dinner.

Red Lobster was near empty since we were eating at about 4:30, which was perfect for me and we had a great meal. Towards the end of the meal, the MIL asked how my friend Macguffin was doing, and I indicated our close proximity to his house, saying that we could stop by for a minute and say hi if she wanted. I got Blancodeviosa on the phone, and then spoke to the man himself, indicating that we would just stop by since the MIL and Grandmother were fading fast, say a quick hi and bye if he wanted to meet us in his driveway. He and Blanco met us with their Chihuahua Toby and we chit chatted briefly before heading back home.

We dropped off Grandmother and her sample carpet, which she seemed pleased with in the entryway, so thank Christ for that.

Fun fact: Grandmother had brought one of her bodice-ripping romance novels with her, for fear that she'd be left in the car and have nothing to do. This woman has never been made to 'wait in the car' at any point since I've been in this family, I have no idea where she got such a squirrelly notion that we'd abandon her in a hot vehicle like a shitty pet owner does when they go shopping, it's just hilarious how mistreated she thinks she could be.

I'm going to put her ass in the trunk on the next road trip.

Can You Feel The Sarcasm Kick?Grandmother safely delivered home, the MIL had apparently gotten a second wind and asked if we could go to buy her a new iron, so we drove back across town to do that. She picked up that and a few other odds and ends up, then I suggested Best Buy to the wife, since she's wanted to buy the Juno soundtrack since we watched the film. The MIL got a wild hair and decided to buy some movies to watch on her new DVD player, so she loaded up with about 11 DVD's while we looked around. I was happy to get my Reward Zone card scanned in association with her rather large purchase as well, since it's a few more bonus bucks back to me eventually, and then we headed home finally.

I unloaded the sewing machine and the wife's purchases, then we settled in and watched one of the films I'm set to review for Pop Syndicate.

I've never seen a lot of Spanish horror, so I was happy to check out The Dracula Saga, which turned out to be a pretty decent little Gothic thriller. There's surreal imagery and atmosphere, and a hilarious scene in which a cat is meant to startle the viewer by popping in from stage left, but instead made me laugh aloud and rewind the film, as it's obvious this cat was literally thrown into frame by someone off camera. A fun little film, I'll be writing that review later tonight.

We watched an episode of The Soup, then the wife started playing with her new toy in the laundry room, which has a nice little desk area perfect for sewing and I headed off to the web to get this stuff out of the way.

Be seeing you.

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