Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Inadvertent Horror Trend Of Late...

Robbb was leaving town today for a trip to Seattle, and I'd made plans to give him a ride to the airport. The wife, who will be president of one of her organizations next year had a meeting most of the day as a result of her presidency, some kind of leadership thing. She was already out of the house by 8:30 this morning, so I was still snoozing when Robbb called me shortly before 10:00 to verify plans.

I got up, checked e-mail and dicked with Twitter a bit more, that may've been a mistake to start playing with, but whatever, I can always shitcan it if I end up spending too much time with it. The way I figure it, since it is a public thing (I haven't set anything to where only friends can see it) maybe frequent blurbs mentioning the blog address will drum up some more disinterested people to wander by here.

When Running A Restaurant, You May Wanna Invest In At Least Three Of These..I dressed and went by Starbuck's for a coffee to kill some time on the way to pick up Robbb at the allotted time, then headed to his place. He was happy to head to lunch earlier than we'd planned, so we met his boss J at a burger joint located on the way out of town, where we ordered and then waited about 35 minutes for three hamburgers and fries to be served to us. I don't know if the kitchen crew is just inept, or if they have a single George Foreman Grill back there cranking out 2 patties at a time that takes them so fucking long, but we were on our last leg by the time the damned food came out. J headed back to work and I ran Robbb out to the airport and sent him on his way.

Heading home, I called Macguffin since I hadn't spoken to him in forever, bullshitting with him on the way back into town.

I'd been home only a short while when the wife came home for the day, which was nice. She and I watched one of the flicks I have to review for the Pop Syndicate folks, the new Woody Allen film called Cassandra's Dream. It was a pretty decent little flick, though I found the ending a tad rushed, still a solid little crime drama, worth a look.

I wrote a quick review to submit to them later tonight while the wife took a short hour long nap, the early morning catching up to her.

We went over to the Grandmother's house at 6:00, to meet the Mother In Law there for dinner and possibly a movie if they felt like it. The MIL had brought the Helen Mirren version of Elizabeth I over and after dinner I opened it and started to remove the disc. Mind you, this is something I've done thousands of times, removing DVD's from their packages, hell probably thousands of time THIS YEAR alone, and the disc promptly snapped in half rather than come free of the little plastic center peg. I was stunned, I've had a disc bent almost in half before, but nothing has ever come close to actually breaking. She was cool about it, said she'd exchange it and fib about it being packaged that way, but without a receipt I don't know if that's possible, since she bought this at least a month ago. I felt awful about it, and I see me just replacing the DVD the next time I'm in Best Buy.

The movie a no-go, we kinda called it an early night and headed home. The wife and I watched a TiVo'd episode of The Soup from last night, then popped in a flick from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux. The Beast Of Bray Road was a weirdly campy little flick that was obviously produced on a limited budget.Don't Be Fooled By The Cover, It Has It's Moments... I know the company name (The Asylum) at least in passing, but couldn't remember in what connotation. Having just now done some Googling and dug up that DVD cover, I'm relatively certain that I added this to the Netfux queue whilst searching a specific term like 'werewolf', because there's no way in hell that this cover would've ever sold me on the idea, it just looks too silly. The movie was pretty corny, but it actually made the wife and I laugh in the right spots, and there's plenty of goofy moments to heckle as well. It seemed like every guy in this film was fairly buff, and most of the women looked like strippers, and not those top shelf Vegas strippers with the freaky implants, but the kinda grungy ones that are still a little hot, but kinda skanky as well. You know the kind I mean.

But I digress.

The film was corny fun, I'm actually going to try and write a review for the BSL later in the weekend, but it also got me thinking. Between the short films I watched as a double feature last night (which were from a company called Low Budget Pictures) for review on the other site, and things like Teeth and Blood Car, which we watched over the past few weeks, I've noticed an odd trend coming to the surface. I've been watching a lot of horror with a comedic slant recently by no real design, that's just how it's happened to come along. It's Not The Wheat Grass!I wouldn't actually mind owning both Teeth and Blood Car, just because I watched them almost back to back and wouldn't mind giving them another look at some point.

Blood Car
in particular gets big points for all of the unexpected moments, especially the chick's line about screwing in a car, something about "...being up above everyone else, tackling dick like a princess.." That line just killed the wife and I, it was so out of the blue and weird. Hell, even stuff like The Cottage is riddled with humor, so I'm really not sure how long this has been going on.

I feel like I may need to check out something a bit more straightforward and disgusting, if not just downright scary simply to cleanse the palate a bit after all the tongue in cheek stuff we've been through recently.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

A Sort Of Busy Day

The wife had stuff to do on the computer for her charity project this morning, so I actually forced myself to limit my time online strictly to checking e-mail, though I admit to logging in over at Facebook to accept a friend invite from someone and getting caught up adding silly shit to that for about fifteen or twenty minutes. It's funny to me, the social networking sites, as I can waste so much time on them if I want to, but once I start asking myself why I'm doing it I feel a weird buyer's remorse and guilty about fucking around with it. I still copy and paste this crap each night over at the Myspace, but I think only an average of 50 people even pop in there over the course of a week, so I don't know why I still bother, habit I suppose.

In a related note, I decided to look into the Twitter thing as well, since I evidently have so much free time.

Watchoo Talkin' Bout, Willis?Since the wife was online, I got my game face on for work and made a pot of coffee, drinking a Carnation Instant Breakfast while I waited for the coffee to perk. I popped in the earbuds and listened to last week's Rue Morgue Radio while I started working, then listened to a new Stomp Tokyo episode, which was surprising as those guys have been MIA for awhile. The wife went to run up to the office and offered to grab a sandwich on her way back, so I put in my lunch order and finished up the first project I was working on. I also took a moment to snap that picture of the Yorkie, sporting what I feel is her best sidelong look, where you just fucking know she's judging you somehow. She sits on the chair behind me while I work, slowly sliding into the space between the chair back and cushion, just waiting for me to do something. Bella feels like a supervisor waiting for me to fuck up.

I took a break since I was at a stopping point and wrote part of a review for the Pop Syndicate site, then hopped off the computer to have lunch and visit with the wife a bit since we were both between things. We went through the mail, which included next month's issue of Rue Morgue arriving surprisingly early, it's taken until the middle of the month sometimes for it to trickle in down here, so I was quite happy.

The wife did some more computer stuff, then split for a nail appointment, I finished the project I'd been working on and decided to call The Bossman since it's been almost a month since I'd seen him. I dropped it off to him and got a check for it, as well as another project to work on, then hit the bank to deposit the check. While I was at the bank it occurred to me that I was supposed to take a check by to my hairdresser, because I'd forgotten the checkbook last night when I saw her. I drove by there, Happy to find out she'd forgotten as well, I'd feared she was cursing my name since 10:00 this morning. I gave her the check and then headed home.

The wife still out at her nail thing, I finished up the review I wrote earlier, polishing it up a bit and tracking down the teaser for the new Kevin Smith film Zack And Miri Make A Porno, which was supposed to go live at midnight last night and was something I figured I'd just wait to check out sometime today. It's funny, vulgar as one might expect, so don't press play in your synagogue unless you want mighty Yahweh's wrath.

The wife came home and puttered about for awhile before her meeting this evening, I watched a few TiVo'd Simpsons until she split, then I made a sandwich for my supper and decided to check out a little double feature thing I have to review for the Pop Syndicate peeps. A low budget affair consisting of two films that run about an hour each, plus bonus material, I dove in and found myself going to drag the laptop in so I could do a little research on this film and company, because I wasn't quite sure what the hell I was watching. I still need to get my train of thought straight to review it, because it was somewhat entertaining, but certainly not my cup of tea, so I need to figure out exactly how to express that in a review without seeming like a dick. The films were kinda Troma quality, which just isn't my thing.

I'm off to see how much I can coach my words without feeling like a kindergarten teacher.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Workday, Podcasts, Hairdressers, and Dinner

I seem to be struggling this week to find the proper balance between the actual paying work and the fun stuff, like writing reviews for our site and the other one, so the past few days have felt kinda off for me. I've gotten a lot of work done on this first project, but have had no time to write anything for our site, and while I've written several reviews for the other guys, I've still got a small stack of stuff to go through. S'funny, none of this is 'real' work per se, but it still has managed to stress me out a little.

After rising a little late this morning, I got a start on the graphs while the wife phone-conferenced with one of her charities about something. Popping in the iPod, I listened to a couple of older Smodcasts, trying to get caught up on those. I decided to take a break and check my e-mail, then offered to pick up some lunch for the wife since had had another call to be on in a few minutes.

I'm fairly behind in my podcast listening, so I took the iPod along in the car with me and listened to this week's Dead Lantern Splattercast while I drove. I was happy to have done so because the Goddamned drive-thru was backed up for days, and it ended up taking just shy of an hour's round trip to get us a 'quick' bite to eat for lunch. The wife had to wolf hers down before rushing out to a doctor's appointment, a follow up to make sure she was back to a 100% after being sick last week.

I worked some more while she was gone, listening to about half of this week's Night Of The Living Podcast while I did so. The wife came back with a clean bill of health and decided to lay down for a bit, I eventually knocked off from the graphs to rest my eyes and lay down with her.

Whoever Said This Was A Clever Action-Packed Ride Is A DickI watched the end of a movie I started last night, but decided I would DVR and finish later. I now regret that decision, even though I kinda knew this film was a dubious choice at best. I'm a big Nicholas Cage apologist, as I love the guy in a lot of roles, but he's been on an almost steady slide towards 'who gives a fuck' for a good number of films now, and it's just depressing as hell to me. You Need Better Roles, Hon... I kinda thought that Next looked silly even when I saw the trailer in the theater a year ago, but figured what the hell, it's on cable, it's stars an actor I like, plus co- stars Jessica Biel with her little pointy nose and bodacious booty, so what's the harm? The film wasn't even all that bad at first, entertaining enough certainly, but then it begins to slip off the rails as Cage takes his ability to see 2 minutes into the future into further levels of ridiculousness, and then there's the film's final twist that doesn't even offer the audience dinner or a reacharound for what it just did to them. I plan to actually take time to review this for the BSL, just because I was so annoyed by it, and spoil the hell out of the lousy ending.

NO, Seriously, WTF?A quick aside, as I haven't mentioned it and the news has been out for a week or more: Nic Cage is set to star in a re-make of Abel Ferrara's grim drama Bad Lieutenant, in the role originally played in all his full frontal sobbing glory by Harvey Keitel. This is strange enough news, except that mad German Werner Herzog is the director attached, making this worth keeping an eye on just for the bizarro casting and creative minds behind it, as we know Herzog is a little nuts, so perhaps he can coach Cage back to the WTF? excesses of films like Vampire's Kiss or Wild At Heart. Keep hope alive!

The wife and I hadn't spent any time with the Hairdressers lately, so we had made appointments for 7:00 this evening, with plans to go eat with them afterwards, so we went to the salon shortly after I finished throwing up once the movie ended. Dinner was at the Thai place, as they will be closed the entire months of June and July, as they take an annual vacation back to the motherland. This being the case, we needed to get our fix in this week and took advantage of the restaurant's semi-close proximity to the salon.

The wife and I headed home afterwards, the hour growing late and both of us feeling like we had things to get finished before we sleep. She headed off to bed to go over some of her non-profit stuff and I to the web to get some writing done for once in my miserable life.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nice Boiler Room, Now Where's My Checkbook?

I'm finally getting the money's worth out of iTunes and the iPod Agador Spartacus again, which is a nice feeling. I've listened to more stuff the past two days than I have all of this month it seems. I got through the last three episodes of (Cool) Shite On The Tube last evening while I was writing, and then I was up with the dawn today for more.

The wife has been on Grand Jury for a while now, which met today, so she was tied up most of the day with that.

Yikes!I checked e-mail and then popped in the earbuds and listened to last week's Cinema Diabolica, which was a joint production with another show called Outside The Cinema, who I've heard of but have yet to listen to. I've got a pretty good idea I'd like them, but I also know that I have very limited time alone with the iPod as it is, I don't want to just end up downloading a bunch of new shows to never get around to listening to. This show was all about the Nazisploitation genre, which gave me a few ideas about stuff to try and track down just for the puzzling novelty of it.

I got a good little chunk of work done while I listened to that, then I had to check on the laundry that I was doing, as I had lunch plans and was waiting on a specific shirt that was in there.

I met my friend the B for lunch, she and I had lade plans over the weekend for her day off. We caught up on our lives, the respective spouses and her child and her stepchildren, spending almost two hours in the restaurant shooting the shit.

I headed home and visited with the wife, who'd finally got loose from the Grand Jury folks, and then I left her doing some stuff online and I got back to work for awhile, since I knew she and I had plans for the late afternoon. I listened to the last two episodes of Destroy The Brain to get caught up on that show again and got another little block of work done.

The wife and I had been invited to take a tour of the newly renovated hospital, specifically because they've begun a capital campaign to raise funds to build a new tower and renovate their heating and cooling systems. The two women in charge of this board are both people the wife respects and has dealt with on other committees, so she wanted to at least try to make an appearance at this thing, because we've canceled on them on at least one other occasion. This was another one of those odd moments where the entire room is about 20 years our senior, and I'm the only male in the room who isn't balding and gray, which I pointed out with some amusement to the wife. I wondered to her if the idea of asking us here was the philanthropic reputation she has in town for all her volunteerism, or was her family wealth the real draw.

Presumably both, and they think she's a soft touch because she serves on so many boards.

We had plans to meet the extended family for dinner tonight, before the grandchildren and their parents scatter to the four winds for the summer, so we only caught a small portion of the tour of the hospital before we had to excuse ourselves. I now have a very clear picture of what the boiler room looks like at our local hospital, and even a pretty good recollection of the odd smell it had. We raced across town to meet the family for dinner, which was surprisingly quiet and without incident, though the three daughters all seemed to think that their mother was acting funny, which could be either stress from this never-ending divorce or some type of medication, or a combination of both.

I had already been thinking about taking a night off from the whole film watching thing, as I'm feeling a little reviewed out right now, so we caught the new Ghost Hunters, which was pretty interesting, especially after I'd slogged my way through that Paranormal State crap last week.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Workday, Podcasts, Remedial Baristas, Funny Movie, NEXT!

Today, briefly.

Got up mid-morning, checked e-mail, did the usual interweb routine. The review I wrote last night for the nice folks at Pop Syndicate is up for your viewing pleasure, check that out here if you care to, then rummage around their site for assorted other goodies.

The wife was out of the house for most of the day, various errands and meetings taking up her time, so I made myself a sandwich and then took my customary handful of pills, all the vitamins and antihistamines that try desperately to keep me alive.

I popped in the iPod and listened to several podcasts while I got some real live no foolin' work done for once in my miserable life! I heard the last two episodes of Indie Spinner Rack, and last week's Night Of The Living Podcast while I prepped one project entirely, and then started in on the actual graphing process.

The wife came home mid-afternoon and was online for awhile, doing various rat-killing that she's been putting off for awhile.

I eventually took a break from the graphs to run by the post office and mail a few bills since I missed the mail ma'am when she came by this morning. I also dropped by Starbuck's to get a tasty beverage for the wife and myself, which turned out to be a major mistake. I should have known I was in trouble when their speaker gave up the ghost when I drove up to order. The person ahead of me orders with no problem, I drive forward, suddenly we're fucked and can't take my order. After I sat there for about five minutes, some little slip of a lass pops up in my window to tell me that I'll need to drive forward to order, startling the shit out of me as I was listening to the iPod with headphones and waiting for the drone of the orderbox, not watching for some young girl to ninja her way up to the Maxima.

I watched as she affixed their crudely fashioned "we're fucked, please pull around" sign to the order screen and then drove around the corner to place my order. I got the wife her tall caramel Frappuccino, a venti for myself, and decided to try a tall Starbuck's Doubleshot on ice, because I'm in the market to change my standard coffee beverage. The guy tells me that they have no lids for the venti sized drink and I ask that they forego the whole whipped cream routine, as it'll be easier to manage sans lid. Moments pass and then he proceeds to hand me a beverage piled high with whipped cream, because motherfuck me for having a special request.

"Oops, we forgot..." he begins, but I ignore that, figuring that I can deal with it, but when they hand me the Doubleshot dripping coffee down the side of the cup, obviously overfilled and forced out when the lid was put on, I have to give the guy a quizzical "Seriously, fuckstick?" look.

He looks back at me blankly.

The growing line of cars behind me look forward hatefully, and I give up and drive away, covered in leaking cups and whipped cream, assuming this is all obviously my fault for leaving the fucking house.

I got some work done back at the house, the wife and I eventually calling in an early dinner order to the Thai place. I picked up our food and we watched a few Simpsons re-runs off the TiVo while we ate.

Talkin' Bout My Girl...The rental throttling pricks at Netfux had sent us Blood Car recently, so we popped that in and were both really impressed with it. What a funny little movie, I was very amused to see Anna Chlumsky from My Girl all grown up, every bit as cute as the various reviews of the film had said she was, and the camp silliness of the film really grew on me. The film's plot is simple, in a near future the gas prices have made driving obsolete and one guy tries to build a wheatgrass powered engine. He inadvertently finds out that blood is the secret ingredient and splattery hijinx ensue. This was a great little film, I'm going to try and review it later this week for the BSL, keep your eyes peeled.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Tomorrow: The Busiest Day Of The Week

If only because I did nothing today.

I got up late and made coffee, then enjoyed a couple of cinnamon rolls that the wife had made with that while I checked e-mail. The wife was in the middle of a cleaning project that looked to be stretching on for the foreseeable future, so I spent a good amount of time poking around the web and drank most of the pot of coffee.

I ended up helping the wife with the last few things she was sorting through on the guest side of the house, then we chilled and visited a bit while I cleaned up a few things on the TiVo.

I watched a comedy special featuring a comedian named Drew Hastings, who I actually wasn't familiar with but had received to review for the Pop Syndicate site. Speaking of them, the last three things I reviewed for them can be seen here, here and here, if anyone cares to read even more bullshit that I've hunted and pecked out in the past few weeks. The special was really funny, I was pretty impressed, I may try to find some clips on him performing on Youtube and post them later in the week, he had some great bits.

Maybe I Have A Thing For Grouchy Women With GunsLater in the afternoon we also watched something else I'd signed up for, Untraceable, which I kinda expected to be stupid at varying turns, but wanted to see just because it starred Diane Lane, who I have a puzzling thing for, I'm not sure what's up with that. I just find her hot in that older woman kinda way, sue me. The film was okay, but I did have some issues with the idea that the person finally revealed to be the killer is such a genius and able to operate as he does, since the actor has so very little presence in the role. I'm also bothered by the fact that someone can virtualy do virtually anything with a computer from anywhere in the world, as if there's no security whatsoever and the FBI (!) can't do a thing about it. I just find it hard to buy that someone can hack the onboard computer in your vehicle, unless they live in the computer world that Hackers created where information slides by you in full day-glo technicolor.

The wife cooked some ribs for dinner and we ate that along with some potato salad we'd picked up when we did the grocery shopping. The rest of the evening ended up being taken up by a series of Family Guy re-runs on TBS. Oh, and TBS's broadcast signal has to be the worst on basic cable, everything is washed out and shitty looking, but I flip over to the upper tier of channels to the high def counterpart and it looks fine. How annoying is that? You basically have to pay for the high def block of channels to even get a watchable signal from them? Perhaps it's just our local cable provider, but it's been this way for at least a few months now, a shite state of affairs if you ask me.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Thirty-Nine

There's not a lot to really talk about today, so let's see if I can just plow through this fuck and get it over with, shall we?

I was in bed early for me last night around 1:00, and I knew the houseguests tend to be early risers as both of their jobs are in the educational field, teaching and administration, so they are always up at the crack of dawn. This left me sleeping funny since I didn't want them just hanging around the house bored waiting for us to wake up. I got up around 9:00, Kno1 was already awake and reading a book off our entryway table, so I started coffee and went to grab the paper from the front walk. He was set to wake his wife, Anastasia Beaverhouszen and get her going in a few minutes anyway, so he went to do that while coffee perked. The wife heard the movement in the kitchen and joined us, started getting out the little fruit plate and some muffins we'd bought yesterday to feed them for breakfast.

Yum Yum, Bitches!The four of us sat around and snacked on the muffins and such, finished the pot of coffee and then our guests started getting ready for their day. We'd not had any solid plans, so the wife and I weren't sure if we'd be entertaining them today or not, but they had decided to visit Kno1's parents and spend the afternoon and night with them. Anastasia and I went over a few details of the wedding she's scheduled to do in June, and the what that will entail. She's brought me on to help her because we already have the working relationship going and while the wedding is for an interior designer's daughter, she didn't want to have to try and train new help at the last minute. Once we had the general ideas about that laid out, they grabbed their showers and packed up their overnight stuff, and we sent them on their way.

There were a few things I was interested in that Circuit City had in its flyer this morning, so they wife and I went by there and picked that up, a couple of season's worth of Will & Grace, a show I haven't watched in a long time, even in re-runs, but always makes me laugh. They had the first 6 seasons on sale for $13 each, so I picked up the two I didn't have, since their normal stickered price was about $35 apiece. We picked up some lunch and headed home.

We ate and I watched a TiVo'd Simpsons, the we actually both caught a nap in the late afternoon, finally getting up around 6:00. The weather here was weird all day, cloudy and threatening rain, the overcast day looked as if it was already nightfall about 3 hours early.

The wife and I watched The Car, a late 70's flick starring James Brolin as a sheriff fighting against a driverless car that keeps turning up to attack and kill the local townspeople like a sleek black land shark. Fun stuff, though they kept trying to shoot for character development when I wanted them to just keep running people down. I don't give a rat's ass about the deputy's alcoholism, let's see him splattered on the hood of the car, shall we?

We eventually made some chicken salad sandwiches for a late supper/snack and then called it an early night so that I could head off to the web and get this turkey finished.

Trailers for this evening include:

From the director of the excellent film A Tale Of Two Sisters comes a Korean Western called The Good, The Bad and The Weird. I don't know a lot about the plotting, but the trailer looks interesting visually and I really dug Ji-Woon Kim's earlier film ans well as his contribution to the 3 Extremes II anthology film.

Next there's a Spanish language trailer circulating for the new David Fincher film The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. It stars Brad Pitt as the titular character, aging backwards throughout the film, which is based on a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film hits in December and I'm very happy to see another Fincher film after the magic that was Zodiac, which redeemed him from the blah Panic Room, which is a film I'd still like to give another look at some point, just to make sure, y'know? Here's Benjamin:

Finally we have another one where you can just sit back and soak in the visuals, another trailer for Timur Bekmambetov's Wanted, this time around it's in Russian. This new trailer has some nicely bloody and violent moments, and makes me want to see this even more. This director certainly knows how to shoot an interesting-looking action sequence, I hope the film is as fun as these trailers lead me to believe.

I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lunch, Groceries, Visitation, Dinner And Channel Surfing

The wife was up before me this morning, I slept in late after being up until around 3:00 putting the final touches on a couple of reviews for the Pop Syndicate site, something I knew I probably wouldn't have a lot of time to play with later in the weekend. The expected houseguests were set to arrive mid-afternoon, so the wife and I decided to grab a bite for lunch and then do the grocery shopping.

We ate, an uneventful lunch for us, though the birthday party for the pregnant woman at the table behind us managed to spill a glass of water directly on the pregnant birthday girl herself, which kinda quieted the restaurant as everyone held their breath and prayed that it wasn't her water breaking. The ice was a big clue.

We did the grocery routine, which took longer than expected because it's Memorial Day Weekend and we were shopping with the rest of the population of the town. It didn't help to run into the sister of the wife's ex-fiance, who wanted to play catch up for the past year or so that it's been since the wife had seen her. Normally I wouldn't care (okay, maybe it'd be a little annoying) but with our houseguests scheduled for the afternoon, I eventually had to check my cell for the time, kinda giving the wife the clue that we needed to wrap it up.

We checked out and then I noticed I was on empty, so we filled up the car in anticipation of driving the guests to dinner and around town this weekend. We unloaded the groceries, and once we had everything put away we took a few select items the Mother In Law had requested over to her house. She had plans to bring a dish to a dinner the Uncle was having out at his place this evening, so we chit chatted a bit, then loaded the Yorkie back up and headed back home.

Anastasia Beaverhouszen
and her hubby Kno1 arrived shortly before 4:00, so we visited with them for the better part of an hour and a half, catching up on the past few months worth of friends and work stories. Anastasia has recently purchased a scooter to ride to and from work back in their hometown in an effort to save a few bucks on gas, so we decided to race across town to the only dealership locally that sells scooters or accessories before they closed at 6:00.

We caught them just before closing, Kno1 looked at a scooter of his own, the women looked around to no avail for some interesting accessory items, I deflected the salesguy's attentions as he tried to talk me into owning a scooter as well, my reasoning being "I'm frankly not so keen on the idea of being one with the elements."

Or, Barring That, A Steakhouse Of Our Choosing Across Town!It was creeping towards the dinner hour afterwards, so we hit up a steakhouse across town, then went into Barnes & Noble (yes, again, 4th time this week) because our guests don't have one in their town. I wanted to get a coffee, so they browsed a bit before we finally headed home. We chilled some more, flipping around the channels and watching bits of a couple different films while we visited, the end of 300, then the middle and end of Transformers before coming back to the middle of 300 again. Anastasia was getting tired and I knew the wife was calling it a night soon, so I watched up until the first major battle in 300 and then Kno1 and I called it a night ourselves.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Tackling The Review Material

I got up after the wife was well out the door, she had several morning errands to attend to, so the Yorkie and I slept in a bit. I fed her, then checked e-mail a bit, the usual morning routine.

I eventually decided to step out and grab some lunch, so I called in an order with the Thai place and went to pick that up. I came back home and watched the last few episodes of the Paranormal State set I've been working my way through, so I can now write a review this evening for the folks at Pop Syndicate. I stand behind my initial impressions of the show, it's somewhat interesting, but gets a little to over produced and heavy handed to be taken very seriously. I can see catching the odd episode here or there, but I don't know that I'd really break my balls to make sure I stay current on the series, which was evidently been picked up for a season two.

I finally caught up with Anastasia Beaverhouszen on the phone, she was in Fort Worth taking her school kids on a field trip for the day, she confirmed plans for the weekend. We'll get to see she and her hubby Kno1 over the weekend, possibly both Saturday and Sunday night, as they're off on Monday, so that's cool to know. The wife and I will hit the grocery store tomorrow morning to ensure that we don't have to make some weird run with our houseguests at 11:00 o'clock at night on Saturday for any random items that the normal house should stock.

The wife finally got home from her running around and we chilled for an hour or two, watching some random television and catching up on the day.

Everyone Loves A Scandal, Especially Rich Women And Catty Gay MenBrian came by around 6:00 and we went to have dinner at a steakhouse, then went to Baskin Robbins on the way home for a dessert item. I gave Brian the pick of the stack of films I have to review, and we ended up watching The Walker, a new film by Paul Schrader that stars Woody Harrelson as a confidante of a group of upscale Washington D.C. wives who finds himself implicated in a murder when he attempts to protect one of them when she discovers the dead body of her lover. The film was interesting, but the plot was actually kinda dull, the acting manages to rise above the story every now and again, especially Harrelson's Southern gentleman, but it ends up being somewhat anti-climactic.

We watched The Soup afterward and then called it a night. Brian headed home and the wife and Yorkie went off to the bedroom to crash and watch Lock-up or whatever other true crime stuff the wife runs across when flipping channels.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones And The Sweltering Wrap Party

The wife had errands and meetings this morning, so I got up late, fed the Yorkie and then checked e-mail and poked around online.

I heard from Robbb who I'd made tentative plans with today, who had to run an errand of his own but agreed to give me a shout in the afternoon once he'd got his stuff sorted out. I decided to tackle the one thing I'd been meaning to do all week and try to shop for the wife's anniversary gift, which is coming up in about 2 weeks.

I had a specific item in mind, and I'd thought about trying to go with an antique one, just because I thought owning one with a little more character would be fun, so I hit the local antique stores to see what was up, and they all let me down to varying degrees over the course of the afternoon. The worst was that they not only didn't have what I wanted, but that their buildings were so unGodly fucking hot I began to fear that I would pass out before I was able to slog through each and every last booth full of useless discarded shit that they still think someone will pay them $1.00 for.

There was a lot of interesting items scattered about, and the little antique mall I ended up spending the most time in was this rabbit warren of cul de sacs and rooms that led to other rooms that led to the outdoors at one point, but no further. I found myself alone a lot of the time in these strange rooms with all this crazy creepshow ephemera and it started to wig me out at least slightly. Mannequins staring with vacant creepy eyes, old black and white photos of Satanically ugly families forever immortalized and then permanently discarded to the bargain bins, and the unsettling feeling that the owner somewhere in this very building thought I was stupid enough to spend my money on even half this crap. I wandered the entire building, never finding the item I wanted, feeling the sweat cool on my back each time I passed near one of the sporadically placed air conditioning vents. I passed several fans that were set so far up on shelving that they blew air at the ceiling rather than at customers, and eventually stumbled upon a backroom garage area full of recovered items from houses, porch poles and the like, which was cooled by two swamp coolers set on wheeled bases.

I finally gave up and retreated to the safety of my sweltering car, blasting the air conditioning until I felt human again. I picked up some food for a late lunch, during which I spoke to Robbb and made plans to meet him at the house. I made my way home and ate, then Robbb dropped by and visited with the wife and I for awhile. The wife wanted to catch an hour nap before the party she and I were scheduled to attend, so I invited Robbb along on my search, now widening the hunt from an antique item to a brand new one.

We hit four different stores, each of them telling me what I'm trying to buy is basically a seasonal Christmas item, which annoys me for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the item itself has NOTHING at all to do with Christmas, but apparently that's the only time anyone buys them as gifts. Fuck me in the giftbag. There was a final store someone had suggested at one of the places we came up empty handed, so we tried that as a last ditch effort, and I was surprised to find that they not only stocked the elusive item in question, they had several to choose from. I made my purchase, then we headed back to the house.

I'd tried to get Robbb to attend the party with us, and though he wasn't interested, he'd pre-purchased evening tickets to the new Indiana Jones flick, so we agreed to meet he and his Boss J at the theater at 7:00.

Lizards Walk Among Us!The wife and I went to this party, which was an okay experience, it was just the wrap up for the art festival from the previous week, but the couple hosting it are obviously two of those lizard people from the old sci-fi show V, because there wasn't a stitch of air conditioning to be had in their home. I began to long for the swamp coolers on wheels from earlier in the afternoon as I sipped my cocktail and tried to focus on the conversation I was having with the hostess and not the beads of sweat I felt roll down my back periodically. I was dressed in a light short sleeved shirt and shorts, it wasn't like I had a three piece suit on either, maybe these folks were afraid everyone would stay late if they felt their house was even vaguely comfortable. Seriously folks, if you have people over, how's about turning the AC on at least a smidge, that ceiling fan isn't cutting it anymore and the cheese on the buffet is sweating like a whore in church.

The wife whispered to me that this was why she didn't mind hosting this type of thing, the sheer ability to control your own environment, and I have to agree.

Next time we do one of these things, I'm cranking the AC down to 50 degrees so we can spend the evening checking out everyone's fripples.

We met Robbb and J at the theater, settled in for Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. About halfway through the first action sequence, the wife whispers to me, kinda sarcastro: "I wonder how much of this is a stunt double?", which I'd been wondering myself, as there's certainly a lot of shadowed face and back turned to the camera when Harrison Ford is supposedly beating so much KGB ass. The final verdict was that Robbb and J were both pretty underwhelmed, the wife thought it was alright and I felt somewhere in the middle, just because it's a big dumb summer blockbuster, there's most likely going to be some cringe-inducing shit in there, it's just the nature of the beast. I liked it okay, but it's definitely 4th in the level of quality when compared to the other films, new CGI tricks be damned. That was something even the wife groused about, as there's a chase scene that just looks fake as hell as LaBeouf stands between two moving jeeps and sword fights with Kate Blanchett.

Oh well, I told Robbb we're now even for me paying for him to have to sit through Van Helsing when it was in theaters years ago. God that movie sucked.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Test Driving The New Threads

How Does It Feel? Suck Suck SuckThe lawn guys show up early this morning, which really fucked with my head because the typically come on either Tuesday or Friday, so I woke up pretty groggy, listening to the Yorkie bark at them and thinking that it's the weekend already. I was still pretty sleepy, because I got a wild hair last night and read the new Palahniuk book in one sitting before bed. Snuff is a fairly slim volume, about 200 pages, so I blew through it from 12:30 and 3:00 in the morning. It was a light read and the subject matter is typically over the top (a 600 man gang bang) for Palahniuk, although I have to admit that his twist (as is his habit in most novels) wasn't as shocking as others have been. It's something you may see coming, if only from being familiar with his writing style and how certain details are dropped that the reader is expected to keep track of for a later payoff. It's a good book, I'd certainly recommend buying it.

The wife went to run an errand in the morning, so I got up and checked e-mail and poked around online a bit. She surprised me by popping by the house between her errand and meeting a woman for lunch, so I got off the computer to let her check her stuff and dressed for the day. I called in a lunch order to the Thai place and split to pick that up, telling the wife to enjoy her lunch since I expected she'd be gone by the time I got back.

I picked up my food and then settled in back at the house to watch the second disc of the Paranormal State set while I ate. I'm trying to go ahead and check out the set in as large a chunk as I can so I can get it reviewed.

I watched a few of those, then noted the time and went to pick up the hemmed pants and sport coat from Men's Wearhouse, chatted with my new best friend there about movies for a few minutes, then decided to grab a coffee while I was out. Back at the house I went through the clothes we'd bought yesterday, selecting the shirt and tie I'd be wearing this evening. I threw the shirt in the wash and left it in the dryer while I showered, then touched it up with an iron and attempted to tie a tie for the first time in my life. I got it after about four tries ( I was a little pleased with myself, sue me), finally happy with the way the knot set around my neck and we went to the Mother In Law's house to pick her up.

The niece's graduation from her little private school was this evening, and we'd been asked by the MIL to come and get her for it. We had to wait around about 20 minutes for her, which was irritating, but I used the time to wander the ground floor of the house trying to get the brown shoes that I never wear broken in a bit, but to no avail. We finally got the MIL dressed and we headed out.

The private school had the ceremony in their gym, so we all found our seats in the rows of uncomfortable folding chairs and settled in. The ceremony was fine, but they did this kinda long-winded production about the presidents, each graduating student giving a short little factoid about a president. A former student who is a senior at a local high school this year spoke to the kids about how they need to make good decisions in the coming years of public school, as they world outside their little private school bubble is full of distractions they generally don't encounter here, like sex and drugs.

I kinda rolled my eyes at that one, I mean, he went to school here, he should know these kids all come from enough money to buy them out of all kinds of trouble, but that bitter thought may have bubbled to the surface because my back was now killing me because of the shitty chairs we were cramped into. I left the gym feeling like someone hit me in the lower back with a length of pipe.

We drove the MIL around the corner to the country club that the reception was being held at, with a catered dinner served buffet-style in a tent outdoors, where there was to be a video presentation celebrating the graduating class. The MIL was at the table for all of five minutes before she said that she wanted to leave. I stifled my scream and asked her if she was serious.

She didn't really feel like being there, she's tired and there were too many people crowded around, none of which she particularly wanted to visit with (poor you, this is about your fucking Grand-daughter lady, not you and your socializing), and she'd just had it. This screwed the wife and I good and proper, as we were driving her car and now had to drive her home and then either blow off the party entirely or race back and try to catch up. We ended up coming back, parking a world away and traipsing back just moments before the video thing started. We decided to skip the dinner and instead got some tea and commiserated with the Older Sister, who was of course annoyed that the MIL had left so abruptly. I don't blame her, as it's just another case of there really being nothing in it for her.

I mean c'mon, I honestly couldn't give a fuck less about this whole thing, but I figured it'd mean something to the parents if I attended with the wife, and maybe the niece notices and is pleased, but even if she doesn't it's no skin off my ass either way, yet the girl's own Grandmother can't be bothered? Please.

We grabbed fast food on the way home afterward, and the wife mentioned again that the safe bubble of a private school is a strange way to go with your kids, something that she and I both experienced ourselves before attending public school. I joked that I wanted to tell the kids to enjoy the pampering and party and video celebration, because a public school is going to care sweet fuck-all about all that type of shit. You're now going to spend the next 6 years of your educational career trying to not get bogged down by the slack-jawed imbeciles surrounding you fucking up the grading curve and possibly trying to have intercourse with you. Good luck.

We watched a couple of the Paranormal State episodes while we ate, then called it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

At Least I'll Be Set If We Ever Have Kids...

The wife's niece is graduating from the little private school she's gone to her entire life tomorrow, then presumably let loose in the public school system next year. The wife and I are set to attend the graduation shindig they're throwing for the kids at one of the country clubs, so the wife and I went this afternoon to invest in something dress casual for the event.

I'll Need A Young Priest And An Old PriestWe've been shopping Men's Wearhouse for that type of thing, as our guy for all the wedding formal stuff was so cool with us, we'd picked up a suit there (I believe) around Christmas of last year. This guy even remembered my sizing from that last round of stuff, I was quite impressed. He hooked us up with a couple different options for the sport coat and slacks combo, and really impressed me when he recognized the Exorcist image from my shirt (I dress to impress when shopping for upscale clothing y'know) and he and I got to talking about movies. His wife used to own a video store when they were first dating, so he's seen a shitload of films as well, really a fun guy to chat with, a great salesman and possibly a dying breed.

We made plans to pick up the pants tomorrow afternoon once they'd been properly hemmed, then the wife and I went to grab some lunch.

We stopped in Barnes & Noble (that's three fucking days running, I may have to fill out the application if I go in again this week), I grabbed the new Chuck Palahniuk book that came out today, a slim volume called Snuff. Here's another faux-porn trailer for the female lead of the book, this time around we have The Twilight Bone.

We headed home, the wife chilled before her evening meeting and I hopped online to check e-mail and write a review of that awful movie we watched last night. I ended up catching a short 30 minute nap with the wife before the evening Simpsons re-runs came on.

She went off to her meeting and I decided to get started on the next thing to review for the Pop Syndicate folks, the first season of A & E's show Paranormal State. It's a very average Ghost Hunters type show, though they don't stress the science aspect as much as the Ghost Hunters folks seem to, which leaves me rolling my eyes occasionally, but whatever. BPRD In Tha House...Now These Are Warriors, Dammit!I think it's because elements of the show are done in such a cryptic and heavy-handed manner that it's hard to not snicker a little bit; for example, their version of an EVP session is always conducted at 3:00 AM and referred to in typical fashion for this show as Dead Time. How can you not get a giggle, right?

Plus the host's narration refers to them as warriors during the opening credits, which always leaves me waiting for the B.P.R.D. to come bursting in, but it never happens.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

That Was One Movie, Here's Another...

The plan I had to get anything done today quickly went out the window as the wife and I both slept in longer than we'd intended, and since she had the day free we decided to just waste the day away by ourselves. I checked e-mail while she showered and then I got ready and we decided to grab a bite to eat for lunch.

On the way out I noticed that the mail had come, including a pile of stuff for me from Pop Syndicate for review, so I now have a lot of stuff to look over for their site in the next week or two. We looked through the mail a bit and then left to have lunch.

We ate and were happy to find the restaurant fairly empty even though it was only 1:00 in the afternoon, it was nice and calm rather than filled with a large loud group. We grabbed some coffee on the way home, then the wife chilled on the couch and I started looking through the movies I'd gotten in the mail and checking out the condition on a book I'd ordered from an Amazon Marketplace seller. Evidently 'like new' means something completely different to a lot of people, but whatever, I got a hardcover copy of Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill for about the same as a mass market paperback would run me, so I can't bitch too much.

Julian Gives Good Head And Is DeadFlipping channels I ran across Less Than Zero on cable and got fished in, I feel like I'm on this strange Robert Downey Jr. kick ever since seeing Iron Man awhile back, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang about a month before that. I've always liked the film version of Less Than Zero, but for some reason I really noticed the departures they made from the source material upon the re-watch today. Bret Easton Ellis' characters just don't have the same types of emotions that were shoe-horned into those of the film, and it felt kinda disconcerting to watch as they seemed to well up with emotion again and again. That's kinda what appeals to me about his fiction, the characters feel somewhat empty, floating through these fabulous lives, ultimately feeling nothing, very uninvolved and made up more of their possessions and obligations than any real human emotion. The film doesn't really reflect that very much, save for a few scenes with Blair talking to her father through a closed door on Christmas Eve, as he's basically too busy banging her new step-mother to talk to her, and Blair doesn't really want to see him and is more comfortable to speak through the door and wish him a happy holiday.

Add to that Andrew McCarthy just being so fucking boring in his role as Clay and I would almost write this off except for Robert Downey Jr.'s performance. He makes Julian interesting and charismatic even as he's ruining his life and those he touches, and even though the film has a downbeat ending, it still manages to overly sanitize the book's even more depressing finale. I still have a special place in my heart for the film, regardless of how de-fanged it became in the translation from the printed page to the silver screen, just because it was something I ran across when I was much younger and really enjoyed, only to read the book a few years later and see exactly how much they'd changed it. The book is so ambivalent about everything that happens in it the reader is left baffled by how disaffected the characters are, but the film becomes this hour and a half anti-drug special as Clay tries to get all his friends straight.

I'd equate this to how I feel about The Crow, another favorite book of mine that's been adapted to film, although in the case of that one I read that book long before the film was even a gleam in some Hollywood exec's eye. While the film bears only a passing resemblance to the book, but if taken on its own merit isn't a bad story at all. I just find the source material much edgier and stronger than the films that followed.

I spoke to Robbb in the afternoon about possibly getting together for lunch, for which he had to pass, but we'd made dinner plans, so I waited for him to get off work and come by the house.

The wife had an evening meeting, but was going to hurry home so we could go and grab a bite, so I chilled with my new book while waiting for them to arrive. Robbb got here first, we visited and waited on the wife, then went to eat after she finally made it home. I also asked Robbb if he wanted to hang out for Movie Night, since I had a big stack of stuff to go through, and he seemed game.

When I Say Stay Out Of The Woods, I Mean Spain Too...We grabbed coffee after dinner, then came back here and watched The Backwoods, a film starring Gary Oldman and Paddy Considine as a couple of friends in a period piece set in the 70's in Northern Spain, where the two guys and their wives run afoul of the locals in the woods. It felt very Deliverance-y at times, but then it ends on the lousiest note I could imagine. I felt like the script supervisor must've just said fuckit and not shown up the last day of shooting, because the end of the film is utter dogshit, and kinda made the preceding 90 minutes pointless. Avoid the film.

We called it a night since it was actually much later than our normal night, Robbb headed home, the wife and Yorkie to the bedroom and I to the interweb.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Thirty-Eight

The Yorkie let us sleep as long as she could stand it, then started licking my hand and nudging her way under it, which is the sign that it's time to get the fuck up, regardless of what I might think about things. I got up and took a piss, then fed her, noting with groggy annoyance that she wasn't even in the kitchen waiting on her food, but rather back in the bed, rousting the wife out of her slumber next.

Rise And Feed, Baby!I checked e-mail while the wife made a few phonecalls, then I retrieved the paper from the driveway and thumbed through that until the wife was done on the phone.

We made lunch plans, then dressed and went to grab a bite with everyone else in town, all of them getting out of church and scrambling to a restaurant at the same time. We popped into Barnes & Noble on the way home so I could get a coffee and then tried unsuccessfully to pin the Mother In Law down to whether or not she was going to be at home so we could stop by and visit her. We eventually gave up on that idea and headed to the house instead.

More Crazy Hillrats...The wife was planning to chill for the afternoon, then head downtown to help the charity event wrap up around 4:30 or 5:00, so I popped in the other flick we had in from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux to relax with for the afternoon. The wife caught a nap while I watched The Cottage. This film was a helluva lot of fun, starting out as a bumbling kidnapping film, then slowly morphing into a Hills Have Eyes type of horror film. The whole film is filled with dark humored moments and several nicely timed jumpscares. It stars Andy Serkis sans any kind of CGI, which may be a first in cinematic history given the creatures he's known for playing, and features the gorgeous Jennifer Ellison as the kidnapping victim, a blond bombshell who repeatedly head-butts one of her assailants into submission with her hands tied behind her back in an early scene. Damsel in distress, my ass.Jennifer Ellison...Now THAT'S A Fookin Guinness Ad!

It's a good film, though you can certainly nit-pick it apart because of the various genre staples it employs, or just chill out and enjoy it, it's a fun way to kill an hour and a half.

The wife split for downtown, I hopped online for a minute, then Macguffin came by, wanting to know if I wanted to run by Barnes & Noble with him. I decided not to tell him I'd already been there a few hours earlier, threw on some shorts and we headed out. He found a book he was chasing and we browsed a bit, then headed back home. He split for Odessa and I got a call from the wife regarding dinner.

Under her instruction and the idiot-proof directions on the label, I put in another of the dinners we'd picked up awhile back, chicken enchiladas which needed an hour or so to do their thing. I let that cook and watched some of the Fox Animation stuff until the wife came home. She made a couple quick side dishes, rice and beans, then we ate while finishing up the Fox stuff and the season finale of Desperate Housewives. The Housewives surprised me a little, neatly wrapping up several storylines and jumping the series five years into the future in the last five minutes or so of the show, a move that will be permanent when the series returns, and losing several regular characters.

We called it a night a little later than usual, as the Housewives was a full two hours, and I headed off to the web to hunt and peck this junk.

Trailerwise, I first wanted to open with choice snippets from Mark Kermode's Iron Man review, with a fan made YouTube mashup that made me laugh.

Now down to the coming attractions:

The X-Files: I Want To Believe is coming out in July, and while I've never been a huge fan of the show (long story), I will probably check out the film, as I recall the original movie being enjoyable. I do like Duchovny's laconic delivery in most everything I've seen him in, so what the hell, right?

Then we have a little bit of the funny with a redband trailer for Tropic Thunder, which stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. as actors filming a war film who find themselves in the middle of actual military warfare. Downey plays a black man(!), which is enough of a draw for me just to check that out, but the trailer looks pretty amusing all the way around.

Finally we have a documentary about live action role playing (Or LARPing) called Monster Camp, which looks to examine another aspect of nerd culture the same way that Trekkies did years back. I was never a gamer at all, nor do I have any interest in dressing up in costume, so this is definitely another one of those things that I just don't get, but I know I'll end up seeing this film eventually out of morbid curiosity. I suppose it's always interesting to see how much more into their thing other folks get, just because the whole comics/music/movies thing is such a huge part of my life, but I'd never commit to a weekend in a relatively public place dressed up as Wolverine or something, so this sort of thing is puzzling to me. Check it out:

I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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