Monday, June 30, 2008

Movies, Errands, Houseguests, and Booze

I'm writing this very late into Tuesday morning, having opened the blog window earlier in the evening, so forgive me when I try to be brief in an effort to get to bed before sunrise.

I got up with my alarm at 9:00 this morning, started coffee and checked e-mail for a bit. I checked in later to find our guests up and about, so I offered them a cup and then headed back to the office for a bit more face time with the interweb.

The wife left to get her allergy shot and then go to a meeting, I chilled with our houseguests for awhile and then was surprised to find the wife back early. Her lunch engagement had fallen through, so I suggested that we go and grab a bite ourselves and hit my bank to deposit the check from the wedding work from this past week. Our houseguests were planning on running several errands themselves, getting the car serviced and whatnot, so they left on their own with vague directions from us to find a lube center, and the wife and I headed out in the opposite direction.

We had a Mexican dinner after a quick stop at the bank and then headed back home.

Featuring The Gorgeous Cheryl Hines...The wife went to the web to look around and I popped in a movie I am supposed to review for the fine folks over at Pop Syndicate. I've been feeling bad because the last thing I sent them was a solid week ago at this point, so I started The Grand this afternoon, and man what a great flick that turned out to be. It's presented like one of Christopher Guest's faux-documentaries, but is written and directed by Zak Penn, and was a great watch, well worth checking out for a really smartly written comedy.

I made tentative plans via phone with Robbb to have dinner with us this evening, then I decided to try and get through at least one of the films laying around from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux, so I grabbed one of those to watch next. Battle Warrior is touted as being a Tony Jaa film, but features him in 5th billing and he's merely a henchman of the film's main villain. Everything about the film screams low budget, not the least of which is the murky picture that looks as though it was lit by a 40 watt bulb in the darkest jungles of Thailand.

came by as the film ended, we visited with him for a good long while after the introductions were made, then made a decision about where to go for dinner. We had a nice meal across town at a Chinese restaurant, then hit a liquor store and headed back home. The wife has a meeting with one of her non-profits in the morning, and I'd joked that she should print out her stuff for it this evening rather than waiting until tomorrow morning and the last minute, something which she took me up on.

I entertained and visited with the guys while she worked in the office for an hour or more, then headed to bed around 10:00. Ultra, Patch, Robbb and I all sat around drinking and chatting about this and that until the small hours of the morning, then I finally had to call it a night after I walked Robbb to the door. I left Ultra and Patch nursing a final drink and looking around on the laptop at the kitchen bar to come to the office and peck this out quickly.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Forty-Four

Slept like the dead for the better part of 10 hours, then got up late this morning. I go out and retrieve the paper and begin the process of making coffee. I hop online while that perks and check e-mail of which there is precious little, this being the weekend and most normal people spending time with their families. I do notice that some stranger from abroad is very willing to make my genitals bigger for a very reasonable sum, but delete the e-mail anyway.

I'd traded e-mails with Macguffin about possibly bringing our houseguests over to Odessa to meet him and visit a bit if he was up for it, so I got a call from him around 11:30, curious to see if we are indeed coming by today. I assured him that we will, but since our guys are sleeping in, I don't know when that will be exactly.

Patch was up when I next went into the kitchen, thumbing through the newspaper, so I offered him coffee, and he and I chatted for a time before Ultra joined us. I suggested the Odessa jaunt to them, and they seemed agreeable, heading off to jump in the shower and get ready. I dress myself and tell the wife the plan, so she starts getting ready herself and I go back into the kitchen to find the guys already waiting for me.

They weren't able to figure out the shower in the guest bathroom on the passenger side of the house, which I find slightly alarming, as I've never had occasion to use it myself and can't even give easy advice about it. The three of us go back and look it over, I'm as dumbfounded as they are, finding no buttons to push or pull out, nothing like I've had in my own home or any hotel I've encountered. The wife finally lends her expertise and shows us that the faucet twists a certain way to trigger the shower option, something I've never seen myself. I'm just happy to know that the damned thing actually works, I was beginning to fear that it was just ornamental.

We drive to Odessa, the guys meet Macguffin and his pack of dogs, then we head out to a Mexican restaurant, which I eventually recall to be the site of a slightly infamous dining experience that Mac and I had several months back, when our table was adjacent to that of a particularly vulgar and rather disgusting group of women. This works out perfectly to my mind, as I wanted to give Ultra a nice little snapshot of our lives and the area, so what better way to do that than to take him to a place I'd spoken about so vividly here in the blog?

Macguffin suggested roping in on our friend El Vox, who had made somewhat tentative plans to get together with him later in the afternoon. We decided to send the Brits to his door with a cock and bull story about going door to door selling Jesus or Hustler or what have you, and then headed to his house. Vox took the uninvited invasion by 5 people in good stride, which was cool of him. We visited for awhile about this and that, mostly tales of the guys' travels and comparisons of their home environment to ours. We eventually took our leave so that he could get back to his quiet afternoon, stopped for a coffee at Starbuck's and then dropped Mac back at his place.

We headed back home and Ultra took advantage of the quiet time to get caught up on some writing for his own blog while Patch and I sat down and watched Black Snake Moan on cable. The wife was in it for about halfway, but fell asleep. We also caught the tail-end of Hot Fuzz and then settled back on the Sci-Fi Channel for some more bad straight to video action. The Brits seem to really enjoy something that they can really take the piss out of, so we watched something terrible starring Stephen Baldwin and Face from the fucking A-Team of all people that shoplifted the entire plot of Armageddon without so much as a kiss on the cheek afterwards.

Having been exposed to what felt like dozens of Long John Silver's commercials while watching the movie, I'd suggested that as a dinner option, and since out guests were agreeable, we elected to not find out how Earthstorm ended and drove to the restaurant and waited in the drive-thru. And waited. And waited.

We finally creeped forward and placed our order. And waited.

Eventually a guy came out and asked if we'd already ordered, we assured him that we had, becoming more alarmed at this point because we'd been in the line about 30 minutes at this stage and saw no sign that the cars ahead of us were ever going to leave. The lights began to get shut off outside the restaurant. They were obviously closing up, and I'm certain that we annoyed them by being there, but when we arrived 30 MINUTES ago, they were still very much open, so stop crying and give us our damned fish, right?

The suburban that'd evidently congested everything had 6 (SIX!) bags of food handed out to them, finally driving away, then car ahead of us got their stuff and left, then we pull up and they ask us what we ordered again, because some sort of epic clusterfuck had happened between the order box and the window and they'd lost all of our information. We placed the order again, I tried in vain to sneak in an extra drink for myself, but they were out of sweet tea because God hates me. They then proceeded to ask what drinks everyone else wanted, even though the meals they ordered didn't come with drinks. They took advantange of the ignorance of the employee, just desserts after we'd wasted 45 minutes of our lives on their lousy fish joint.

We drove back into the garage a solid hour after we'd left, and were generally unsurprised to find that all of our orders were completely wrong, missing shrimp, chicken planks, extra fish filets, everything was fucked up, but what do you do at that stage? You can either eat the incorrect meal or drive back and throw a brick through the window, and I personally wasn't feeling that destructive or industrious.

The wife headed to bed after she ate, the guys and I visited a bit more over another bad Sci-Fi Channel film in which Casper Van Dien fights against a heat wave (?) of all things, then Patch headed to bed and I to the web, leaving Ultra working on some more writing at the kitchen counter.

Trailerwise, I actually decided to open the blog this morning and poke around for a few things so that I wouldn't be up terribly late doing it this evening. Plus, with our houseguests sleeping in it seemed a better time to be dicking around with the computer so as not to feel like I'm ignoring them.

First up we have the utterly puzzling film Visioneers, directed by Jared Drake and starring Zach Galifianakis as a corporate drone. It's set in a world in which people have begun to blow up from all the stress in their lives, a fact which he ignores until he begins to develop the same symptoms as everybody else. It looks like a very bizarre and understated comedy, and I like Galifianakis a lot, so I'm sure I'll check this out.

Up next is Repo! The Genetic Opera, the new film from a frequent contributor to the Saw franchise, director Darren Lynn Bousman. It stars Anthony Stewart Head as the Repo Man himself, who cuts organs fresh from the bodies of those who can't pay for them, as well as Ogre from Skinny Puppy, Bill Moseley and many others. I think this will be a lot of fun, I'm happy to see a trailer for it after many months of buzz circulating about the film.

Finally, we have the new film from a director I still like in spite of the "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" connotation that his name conjures up when I think of his recent body of work. Guy Ritchie gives us RocknRolla, which will (God willing) hopefully be a return to form for the man, instead of a Kabbalahistic mindfuck like his last film Revolver, which I found things to like about, but was overall a big letdown.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Toast Has Landed

I'm actually typing this at 12:30 in the AM of Sunday, even though it will be posted as Saturday's, I was able to sleep in until 9:00 this morning, but I'm still incredibly exhausted.

I'd been trading e-mails with Ultra Toast Mosha God over the past few days, and as such knew that we were expecting he and Patch this evening around 6:00. I checked e-mail one last time this morning, then dressed and headed to the Father Of The Bride's shop. Anastasia was already out of the house and had left a note to have me meet her there.

We loaded up the large arrangements and headed to the church, arriving ahead of the guys with the truck and flowers. Anastasia and I spoke briefly about last night, and I realized that she'd gotten her feelings hurt about my leaving. I offered a feeble apology but we never really had a chance to finish our conversation as the guys arrived with the flowers and we got back into the swing of the wedding.

As they started unloading I realized that we'd forgotten the two pew markers that Anastasia had made, so I got her keys and headed back to the shop and picked them up. Back at the church, we encountered the problem that the two urn arrangements that had been made were blocking out the drape behind the stage with the family initial. After a few false starts of trying to pull the drape up higher, or move the arrangements around to accommodate a clearer view of things, I suggested that we take the arrangements out of the urns, which would at least allow the initials to be seen and still utilize the nice big arrangements.

This seemed to work fine, so we put some greenery around the four candelabras, asked the goofy janitor guy to turn the AC on in the foyer so that the arrangement there wouldn't die, and then went to the reception site. We spent about an hour or more there spreading the selection of fresh fruits around the tables and making sure everything was placed correctly. We headed back to the shop and I tried to make sure that all the personal flowers were in boxes that would make them easier to transport to the church later, then I split for the house, my wedding duties done.

Anastasia followed a short while later, she visited with the wife and I for a bit while I got rid of some of the boxes from the recently arrived lamps and such. She eventually showered and started getting ready to deliver the personal flowers and try to attend the wedding. I checked e-mail for a bit, then took a cue from her and showered and dressed in fresh clothes, as I knew that we'd soon have more visitors.

She was packed up and ready to head out when I got out of the shower, so we said our goodbyes and I asked a final time if we were okay, she assured me that we were, which I hope is the case and we walked her to the car.

Ultra called a little bit after 5:00, so we were on the lookout for he and his friend Patch. They arrived and we greeted them outside, as I wanted to make sure they parked in the driveway instead of on the street. Not as though anyone would mess with their vehicle if left on the street, but this way it's closer to the house, easier to access, just my own personal preferences. We gave them a tour of the house, Bella seemed to warm to their presence fairly well, and we gave them the options for the evening, which included a fish-fry that was being held at the Uncle's house in honor of the other Uncle's birthday.

We decided to drive out to the boonies to see the family, which was an interesting journey, as the area is so Goddamned desolate that we began to immediately make jokes that they might be getting worried that we were taking them out to a deserted area to do something horrible to them. I also had to stop for gas, partially for dramatic effect and also because I didn't relish the idea of walking back.

Dinner was good, not a fish-fry but rather a crab boil, the crab legs served with grilled ribs and a banana pudding for dessert. The Uncle, who'd re-planted our front flowerbeds yesterday, we found out was already in half in the bag when he first arrived out there, and was now full blown slurring drunk.

This made it all the more amusing to hear him announce to our Brit guests that he couldn't understand a Goddamned word they were saying. I could barely understand him, what with all the slurring and strange stops in mid-story; Ultra had him trail off in the middle of no less than three (!) different stories, but hey, the Uncle seemed to be enjoying himself, so no harm done, right?

Another highlight was the other Uncle pronouncing the names of our guests back to them as they introduced themselves, but with the inflection he heard in them; "Stew-watt" and "Mott" respectively, which almost made me burst out laughing, especially "Mott". I'm no Anglophile or anything, but I do know my way around the accent fairly well and only certain words lose me, or a specifically British turn of phrase.

Dinner was good and we visited a bit, the boys got a tour of the house by the owner, then we started thinking about heading back, if only so that the Mother In Law wouldn't have to get out of her car and open the gate that leads to the highway. I let her out and she and Grandmother booked ass back towards town. We drove in amidst a light rain, stopping at HEB for some beer, then chilled out in the den and watched some random television and chatted, pausing to heckle the Food Network as needed.

The wife crashed (late for her, I might add) and we watched the end of a terrible (and I mean Satanically terrible) movie called Sasquatch Mountain on the Sci-Fi Channel before calling it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

With One Florist Left Behind...

We got the same early start on the day, I was up at 7:00 and we were out the door around 8:00.

Anastasia and I stopped for some McDonald's coffee and a chicken biscuit, then headed to the Father Of The Bride's shop. Happy to find everything still alive that'd been left out last night, we unloaded the cooler of all the buckets of fresh flowers and moved all the arrangements from their perches around the store into the cooler. This gave a clearer idea of what flowers she had left to work with and allowed the larger items for the candelabras a better chance of not drying out.

I finished the last of the small arrangements I was making last night while Anastasia began her prep work for the bridal bouquet, gluing rhinestones onto the petals of orchids for a little more glitter. I finished my stuff up and started working on the ring bearer's pillow. Anastasia had constructed a styrofoam form to which I began gluing small button mums, covering the top five sides of the 'box'. Anastasia finished her rhinestones and began a similar project for the flower girl, gluing buttons to a cone-shaped form that would have a small mound of roses in its top and be carried by a piece of ribbon.

We took a lunch break, then stopped by the shop of the florist that'd been ordering the flowers for the FOTB to pick up the last of the flowers. Back at the shop, I placed waxflowers onto the finished ring bearer's pillow and flower girl's cone, accenting the green buttons, then started in on the 20-something boutonnières for what I guess must be all the men attending the wedding. Anastasia made her elaborate bride's bouquet, then started on her small hand tied bouquets for the grandmothers and bridesmaids, of which there are evidently 14. I don't know what's up with that: it seems the new trend is to have every person you might've shared a conversation with in college be a fucking bridesmaid or groomsman in your wedding nowadays, and it's just silly.

Sensing my growing disinterest in the work at hand, Anastasia made some noise about my commitment to things, specifically mentioning that she didn't expect me to stick around to the bitter end with the remaining arrangements. The gist of things was that she knew I was cratering, but this was her name on the final product, so if I wanted to finish what I was working on and split, returning to fight again and deliver stuff tomorrow afternoon, that she understood, but that she herself was going to be pulling a late night.

I felt a little weird about splitting, but I also felt that the time I'd figured I'd end up spending on this stuff for the week was about 30 hours, and with tomorrow's time I will definitely hit that or possibly a little over...even leaving her there this evening when I did, I still ended up staying an hour and a half later than we did yesterday.

I cleaned up a bit, moved some stuff around and generally tried to make her life easier for the evening by doing a few small things like getting vases for her hand tied bouquets out and putting some water in them. I then called and had the wife and Brian come by and pick me up, we had dinner and then headed back to the house.

Almost fell asleep on the couch during The Soup.

Checked on Anastasia via phone shortly after 10:00 PM, she still had some stuff she wanted to get finished.

Began writing blog, feeling guilty for being home, but also feeling like I'd put in the time I'd expected to for the flat fee I'd charged. I feel weird because the bride is a friend of Anastasia's, so she feels obvious connections to the wedding even more than she would to a normal client, whereas I've never even laid eyes on the woman in question yet could very well end up working on her wedding for about $5.00 an hour if I let myself, which is just nuts.

I just hope Anastasia gets in by midnight, just so she might have a chance of getting some sleep this evening before we go and deliver everything tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is It Saturday Yet? Because I'm Tired...

Christ, it's so late, here we go, the shorthand version of things for the four of you still reading:

Got up at 7:00 to punish my body for staying up until 1:00 AM reading the new Sedaris book.

I got ready and checked e-mail, then grabbed the morning paper. I was in the process of looking through that when Anastasia Beaverhouszen came out from the passenger side of the house, so we headed out to the Father Of The Bride's shop pretty early. We knew his workers would be there loading up, so we figured we'd get as early a start as we could on things.

His people left to go decorate the church, and since they'd closed for the weekend for the wedding, we had the place to ourselves. I prepped and greened 34 of the cups to go into the centerpieces while Anastasia worked on the arrangements that would go on top of the candelabras to be placed on the 20 other tables.

We stopped for lunch, made a pit-stop at my bank to run a quick errand, then drove-thru for some sandwiches and went back to the shop. Since they knew we'd be in and out, they had left a key with us, so we were able to go back and chill in the peace and quiet of the empty store.

I worked on making the small arrangements I'd greened over the rest of the afternoon, Anastasia finished up her project, then started in on two enormous urn arrangements that will be used at the church for the service.

We knocked off at 5:00, because Anastasia had a hair appointment scheduled, ostensibly because she's trying to attend the wedding this weekend, but more realistically because she and her hubby are leaving the country on Monday for a month in Italy and she wanted to look at least something like the photo ID she carries.

She dropped me at the house, I ended up just checking the web for Ultra's progress (they'll now be in late Saturday, which will work out with my schedule much better) and any other interesting e-mail, then laying on the couch with some Advil and a beer. The wife was out of the house at a meeting, so she came in while I was slightly dozing and we made a plan for dinner. I already knew that Anastasia was going to go back and work some more after her hair appointment, so we tried to at least get something for her to eat, but her requested item had been stricken from the Chili's menu.

Chili's, by the way, was packed with as many teenagers and large families full of crying infants and dull-eyed adults as the fire marshal would allow, and it made me want to go and attempt to sterilize myself by sticking my junk in the microwave.

Back at the house we ended up digging into a pile of boxes from Pottery Barn and Horchow that'd popped up in the mail this afternoon, which included a spiffy tri-pod lamp for the den, along with two smaller matching ones, a desk lamp and a spotlight, all of which have a brushed metal canister look. We also got in the finials for the drape rod and the missing rungs, so we now at long last have curtains in the formal living room. Okay, we got one finial in, the other one arrived broken, these packing people SUCK at their job, but we went ahead and finished the project as much as we could just to say that it's closer to being finished. We ended up moving things around and re-situating almost every piece of furniture in that room.

We were still in the process of doing this when Anastasia finally made it home near 10:00, she'd got caught up because she knew she needed a few other things finished before tomorrow, I felt a little bad being home, but it wasn't like I was laying around sleeping, I was moving furniture. I think it works out karmically speaking. We ended the evening very happy with the new furniture arrangement, and though it's not the final configuration (we still need to find the right dining table), it's still much improved and will look nice for the guests this weekend.

I'm beat and need another couple of Advil before I sleep.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Impending Houseguests, Floral Bullshit And Blaxploitation

Up early this morning, I checked e-mail quickly and was poking around the web when Anastasia Beaverhouszen poked her head into the office and said she was going to go and grab a few supplies before we headed to the shop.

I finished up and dressed, then woke the wife to let her know that Anastasia was bringing back coffee for her and retrieved the newspaper. We read the details of a drunken 17 yr old girl who managed to over-correct while driving on the loop that circles the town a few days ago, launching her car into that of a 50-something nurse and mother who was on the way home from visiting her grandchild. The nurse was killed in the head on collision, the two drunk teenage girls lived. Bah.

Anastasia and I headed over to the Father Of The Bride's shop, scoped out how well the flowers were doing after a night in water, then I started placing all of that into the portable cooler they've rented and parked out back of the store. Anastasia carried stuff out to me while I sorted it out as far as making sure it fit into the shelves and was accessible to us.

We started soaking the Oasis floral foam for the larger arrangements and then I began prepping those containers while Anastasia made a few phone calls to various people we'll have to deal with over the next few days as far as delivering stuff or whatever.

We took a break for lunch, then headed back and I finished prepping stuff while Anastasia processed the small delivery of flowers that arrived, then she started greening the containers so that all we have to do is start popping flowers into them tomorrow.

I'd finished the prep stuff, so I started cutting down these small styrofoam cups to use tomorrow in smaller arrangements. We'll have 34 small arrangements that will sit down inside the table centerpieces, which I'll start working on in the morning.

We headed home, as the wife had promised a chicken dish for supper. We visited with her and caught up on the day while I went through the mail, including a package of DVD's I'd ordered a couple weeks ago that contained tonight's entertainment.

I checked e-mail and found out that we shall be seeing bloggin' buddy Ultra Toast Mosha God and his friend Patch most likely this Friday. The wife has compared my updates on their whereabouts Stateside (they're visiting from the UK) to that of the local news' updates of Santa's progress on Christmas Eve as they made their way into the US from Canada, working their way South. I'm excited to see them, we've only met Ultra (as I call him on here; the wife refers to him as Toaster) the one time when we were on our honeymoon and took a day trip to London, where he was kind enough to meet us for lunch and a brief excursion through the London Underground to the Big Ben area before he had to catch a train back to Bristol. We've already got Anastasia staying here, we shall soon have her hubby Kno1 as well, he arrives tomorrow, so our weekend will be interesting with such a full house.

I'm also beginning to puzzle over what to do exactly with our British guests, as there's precious little tourist attraction type stuff to do locally, so I'm not sure what to show them while they're in town. I'm also a little apprehensive because I know I'm going to be tied up pretty much from 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening until Saturday, so I feel bad for not being more available to entertain our guests.

They Call Him Boss...After dinner our entertainment was a film I was able to track down from a site called HKFlix, the 1975 Fred Williamson Blaxploitation film Boss Nigger, which I'd heard of a long time ago, but decided that I wanted to check out once we saw a trailer for it a month or so back. The movie was entertaining as hell, and I also manged to find a copy of Sugar Hill from the same people, so that's cool too. I suppose I should be relieved that there weren't any issues with the DVD, I have just read a couple of bad reviews of the specific version I just received, and they had a lot of problems with the disc quality. The one I got is definitely pulled from a bad VHS copy, but as far as I can tell it will be the only way to watch this film for the foreseeable future, as there's no legit DVD release anywhere, and the one I'd read was rumored to be in a 'grindhouse' themed boxset has been postponed indefinitely. I'm actually expecting a Pam Grier boxset in the mail from a different company, so I may be having my own little Blaxploitation marathon soon, once life settles back to normal.

I'm beat, that's all for now. If anyone cares, I managed to write a couple of things over the weekend that are now posted at the BSL.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back To The Flower Biz, If Only Briefly...

The first ring of the phone this morning at 9:00 AM was the air conditioner guy telling me that he'd be out to our house after 5:00 PM at the earliest, which inspired zero confidence that this might actually happen, considering how late they want to show up.

Drink Slurm!I got up and dressed, planning to hit Best Buy for the new Futurama DVD, The Beast With A Billion Backs. I hopped online first and checked e-mail and then attempted to make lunch plans with Robbb, who seemed reluctant because of how he was trying to plan out his day, so I told him to just call me, as I had no idea where I'd be when he wanted to go and eat, so we might miss each other.

I went and picked up my movie, then stepped into Barnes & Noble just to see if anything looked interesting. I found nothing, so I left, calling Anastasia Beaverhouszen to see if she was in town yet.

We were scheduled to go and process flowers for the wedding later in the afternoon, so I was happy to find out that she was already here and at an auto dealership, because she needed to have her car serviced. I agreed to pick her up and headed to the dealership across town. We met the wife for lunch who had a break in her meeting.

We had Chinese for lunch and caught up a bit, then Anastasia and I split to go and do that floral thing. Robbb called while we were en route, only an hour late, so we said we'd try again another time.

We got to the Father Of The Bride's (FOTB) business and went in to scope things out. He's an interior designer, so he and his crew will be responsible for the majority of the decorating for this little shindig, we literally only have to handle the flowers, which is nice considering how involved some weddings we've done in the past have ended up being. We got a run-down of the various fabrics and table dressings, which I'll just say made me wonder if the bride realizes that she's a young white woman, which makes the Bollywood color scheme (There's even an elephant to be decorated with flowers) more than a little confusing. Everything is amazingly over the top, hot pinks, oranges, deep blues, it's kinda crazy, but whatever, she's the boss.

We ended up with about four lackeys that work for the FOTB helping us with the flower processing, so that went pretty quickly and we stopped by the flower shop we used to work at afterward to pick up a couple things we needed for the weekend. That was interesting, as the place is under new management and is much cleaner and well-maintained than it ever was when we worked there. We got our supplies and I dropped Anastasia back at the dealership to pick up her car and then headed home.

Anastasia arrived shortly after I did and we visited with the wife a bit before she headed to a short evening meeting, making plans to go and eat after she got back. The AC guy came and went, we were grateful to find out that the problem was easily fixed, something had overloaded the thermostat, but it was easy to re-set. Thankful that we don't have to replace a damned AC unit, we chilled for a bit, shooting the shit about the various projects that we have to work on over the next few days, and then the wife returned and we found out that she'd invited a friend to go and eat with us. We loaded into the Maxima and picked up KS, then went to a little Mexican place across town that we'd had a weird experience with the last time we'd been, but that I wanted to give one final chance. The service was as lousy as last time (sad, because the food is good once you FINALLY get it), and I am now forced to swear this place off completely, because fool me once, etc., etc.

We dropped KS and her leftovers back at her place, then headed home. It was already getting towards the 10:00 hour at this point, so I was ready to get the writing done but got caught up by an anecdote the wife shared about her gay best friend Morris. Morris has a gal-pal who recently moved away from Dallas, a hard drinking party girl type, who will be visiting him this weekend, and wants him to help her shave her vagina and anus while she's in town. My shocked wife naturally asked if this is something he normally does for her...

"Well hell no, I don't have any idea why she thinks I'm gonna be helping this time!"

What a weird story, I mean, I've got friends I'd ask to help me move a fucking BODY, but I draw the line at them shaving my balls or them asking me to do the same. That's taking things a bit too far.

I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

"The Public Sucks, Fuck Hope." There's A Nice Campaign Slogan For Somebody

I was very saddened to read that George Carlin passed away over the weekend when I got online this morning, so I open with one of my favorite lines by the man, as well as the video from which it is culled. It's quite sweary, so be sure to watch it in someplace inappropriate in honor of the man.

I got up early to that lousy news, then found out I was up early for no reason at all since the painter called and said that she was running late. Fuck me right square in the plans.

I thought I'd get up, check e-mail, let her in, then hop in the shower, but nnnnooo, I'm waiting around on her while the wife gets up and showers, then splits for a meeting and allergy shots, leaving me to wait around for the painter, the air conditioning guys to call, all that shit.

Being the house husband kinda sucks every now and then.

So there I sat, unshowered and gross, finally gave up and just popped in the iPod and listened to the new Destroy The Brain while I got some work done and drank some coffee. The painters took a break and I took the opportunity to jump in the shower really quickly, so I wouldn't miss the door bell or a call from the AC repair fucks, who I was beginning to worry about as we crept past the lunch hour with no word from them.

One Day It Shall Be Mine, Possibly for $35 Once The Dust Settles...I got in a package with some DVD's I'd ordered, only to find out that these idiots had sent a standard def DVD in place of the Blu-Ray version I'd ordered. The item in question was purchased on sale, but their policies state that when you exchange something they cancel the original transaction and do another one entirely, so I fully expect that in addition to being out the $2 to send this thing back to them that I'll end up paying full retail for it as the sale will have long ended by the time the receive the item and go through the returns process.

Close, But No Cigar...And yes I realize I've just written an entire paragraph whining about having to possibly (God forbid) pay retail price for a DVD I don't even particularly need while I'm sure there's someone reading this who's struggling to make a house payment this month. Always bear in mind, I never promised you any sort of perspective on life except as to how petty grievances and certain situations occasionally inconvenience me.

The wife came home shortly after 1:00 with a burger for lunch and the groceries from the short list we'd cobbled together over the past week. I helped her unload stuff and we ate and caught up about the day. The painters finished up around this time, we inspected that and paid them off so that the Yorkie could calm down finally with no one in the house. The library looks great, I may try to snap at least a little cellphone pic tomorrow to give you the general idea of what it look like now, or at possibly when we start getting the shelves purchased and stocked.

I wrote a review I'd been putting off for our site in the mid-afternoon, then popped the earbuds back in and listened to the two newest interviews from Night Of The Living Podcast, which were recorded at Horrorhound Weekend. I also listened to an old episode of Mail Order Zombie before calling it a day with the graphs.

We never heard from the AC guys, which in the past has meant that they ran out of time and will get to us first thing in the AM, but a courtesy call might be nice, since they don't know that we're not a couple of elderly shut-ins stewing in our own juices over here, now do they? We also had the lawn guy come by, the property manager or whatever they call him, who said that his boss was calling our completely dead spring color an act of God since the bad weather had tripped the sprinklers and left it unwatered. Their half-assed offer was that they could re-plant for half what they charged before, which just feels like good money after bad at this point, so I told him we'd probably pass and that I doubted if we'd renew the contract with them in September. I'm sure we can find someone else to do a half-assed job for less money at the very least, and who knows, maybe they'll shock us and do it right.

The wife and I ended up spending the evening watching some television odds and ends, just some stuff off the TiVo in between returning c few calls and a pause for some supper. I really feel like I could've gotten more accomplished today, especially since I have the rest of the week kinda booked for this wedding thing, but I just had zero motivation after what little was happening seemed to all turn out kinda fucky, except for the library thing.

The library is super cool.

I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Forty-Three

I'm guessing this post will go pretty fast, as there's not a lot to say about today.

Seriously, It's Fucking Hot Right Now...I slept like crap last night, again not so much because of the heat but because of acid reflux that kept me up most of the night, or at least waking up every 30-45 minutes, which was really frustrating. Once that finally seemed to pass I ended up sleeping in until after noon, which is never how I want to spend a day off, stuck in bed asleep. I always wake up feeling like I wasted a day for no good reason; sadly I think I would rather be awake and tired than catching up on sleep.

I checked e-mail for a time and then half-ass watched some television with the wife while looking through the paper. We finally decided to go and grab a bite to eat, so we went and had a sandwich and I confessed to somewhat dreading the next week or so. I was feeling a little pressured to get some writing done, both for the other site and the Big Suck Loser (which I would later find was down anyway due to miscommunication between the server and Skinny), then tonight's post which actually takes longer when I factor in the time spent hunting around for trailers, as well as all the other stuff coming up this week. Tomorrow we have the painters scheduled to finally be finished, plus the repairmen to look at the air conditioner, which is of course assuming that they'll be able to send someone right out. And then later in this week I'm set to help Anastasia Beaverhouszen with a wedding that she's doing, so that will be quick and fairly easy money, but will also most likely be more time consuming than I've obviously been used to in the life of leisure I've led lately.

We headed back to the house and I decided to tackle the two reviews I needed to write for Pop Syndicate, which ended up taking the larger part of the afternoon since it's easy to get distracted on the web when looking around for actors' names or specific facts. The wife caught a nap in the cooler side of the house while I did that, and I found out about the BSL situation around this time and e-mailed Skinny to see what was up with that. Since I couldn't upload anything to our site, I instead did a load of dishes that'd piled up the past couple of days and listened to an episode of Outside The Cinema Diabolica which was a tribute to the late Stan Winston.

The wife got up, made a little Asian skirt steak and rice dinner, which we ate while watching the usual Fox animation re-runs.

The wife is chilling in bed under a fan with the laptop, shopping like she means it while I headed off to the web to look around for something interesting, trailer wise. I also have to admit that there's very little new coming up on the trailer front, except for some new trailers for films I may have already mentioned. Let's see what we can find, shall we?

First up we have Dead Air, a film directed by Corbin Bernsen that stars horror genre fav Bill Moseley as a radio host who finds himself on the air as a bio-weapon is released in LA, turning the inhabitants into zombie-like madmen. I don't think this will be anything groundbreaking, but it looks interesting for fans, hell, Moseley has a great voice, you just enjoy hearing him deliver his lines, y'know?

Next we have the trailer for Tony Jaa's film Ong Bak 2, in which he both stars and directs. I found something on YouTube that alleges to be an actual trailer while the video below is supposed to be a promo reel. The 'trailer' was much murkier than this one, and this features much more action, so I went with this because it features running on the back of elephants and later a fight scene on the backs of elephants, which I can honestly say I've never seen before.

Finally we have Transsiberian, the new film from Brad Anderson. It is described as an intense dramatic thriller in which a married couple played by Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer become embroiled in a life or death struggle whilst traveling into Russia. Give it a look, it releases in August of this year.

I'm out, the day begins early tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

One Of The Bestest Days Ever

I think the title describes today perfectly, because aside from a brief outing to have a quick lunch at the site of our first date (Aww, try not to vomit at the saccharine sweetness kids), we didn't leave the house. Hell, we barely left the couch and had no visitors, which was just awesome after having half the town in and out of here over the past week.

We both slept kinda lousy with the unfortunate heat in the bedroom, which wasn't entirely unpleasant, but was just warm enough to be annoying. We slept in until around 11:00 or so, when the Yorkie's barking woke me. I got up to see what she was on about and found out that the mail had arrived. I took that into the bedroom and looked through it with the wife, then hopped online and checked e-mail for a bit.

I suggested the restaurant to the wife, so we had a nice little Mexican meal for lunch, then picked up a coffee at Starbuck's and headed home. I checked in on the web again and then decided to start watching some of the stuff I have to review for Pop Syndicate.

God Hates Us All...I popped in the first disc of season one of Californication, a show I'd loved when it originally aired on Showtime, so I was excited to dig into the show marathom-style this afternoon. The show was every bit as sharp and witty as I remembered, and I was actually a little teary-eyed at a few points in the series, I really felt a connection to these characters and wanted to see them live well in spite of the sometimes nihilistic nature of the show. Great stuff.

I took the time to work out with the dumbbells while the show played over the course of the afternoon, and eventually decided to grab a Guinness while I watched.

The wife made supper in the early evening, a little chicken linguine dish with sun dried tomatoes, and then we finished off the last few episodes of Californication. Again, loved it, highly recommended.

Damn These Cards!Since I was on a roll with the review stuff, I popped in a movie called Chaos Theory next, a Ryan Reynolds flick that's new to DVD, the cover of which caught my wife's attention. She now theorizes that I'm such a fan of Reynolds because he vaguely resembles my best friend Macguffin, especially in this film with his close cropped hair that reveals more of his hairline, which is indeed almost exactly like Mac's. The film was fun, alternately amusing and touching, I'd recommend it as well.

I headed off to the web, expecting the wife to be going to bed, but she instead decided to start fooling around in the front room with the next set of drapes. I'm not sure why she decided to do this so late at night, but I'm staying out of it because this is precisely the type of thing we find ourselves in asinine arguments over and I don't feel like doing that dance tonight.

I'm out, kids.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Revolving Door Of Expenses

As I sat down to start writing this evening the wife alerted me to the fact that our digital thermostat in the bedroom (the one that cools this side of the house) had no display. We dicked around with it a little bit, finding out that while we can still turn the fan on and leave it on, which will probably keep the nights bearable, but there's no other use for this thing over the weekend. This is starting to feel typical of late, as we found out last weekend that our water heater in the same closet was dead. On the upside, we do have two other units in this stupid house to take up some of the slack, we just can't be very comfortable in our own bedroom. Oh well, it could be a lot worse, but it's just another wallet-sucking hassle. I'm glad the wife wasn't planning any travel to speak of this Summer, the house is steadily eating away at the finances.

The wife had a meeting first thing again today, so I was out of bed a scant 14 minutes before the painters started trickling in. I was very tired and would have much preferred to sleep in, but I fought my way out of the bed's clutches and was dressed (sorta) and brushing my teeth when the doorbell rang. I let her in, finished washing up and then was in the process of signing in to the web when her assistant showed up. I'd officially started reading e-mail when I heard the painter calling for me, so I went to see what was up.

They'd taken time to read the instructions on the clear coating they were about to apply, and evidently they can't do anything until it dries over the weekend. While I wish they'd read this shit yesterday so I could've slept in, I was happy to have them out of my hair so the Yorkie could calm down and relax.

Wide awake, I gave up on the idea of trying to sleep any more and threw on the headphones to listen to this week's Cinema Diabolica and get some work done. I finished their show and listened to an older episode of Mail Order Zombie that discussed Land Of The Dead and actually almost had me dragging that out to watch this afternoon. I was getting peckish at this point and called the wife to see if she was going to be around anytime soon or if I should grab a bite by myself.

It turned out that she was going to be tied up until around 2:00, so I went and ran a couple errands then drove-thru to pick up a sandwich for lunch. I headed home and watched a TiVo'd South Park while I ate. The wife came home and we caught up on our day, and since she had nothing else going on, I suggested that we go and lay in the bedroom and watch a movie.

Why This Model Lives In Such A Lousy Building Is Beyond Me...I still had one flick in hand from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux, so I popped in The Sentinel, a film I'd heard some pretty good reviews of recently in spite of the film being over 30 years old. I just found it odd that a couple different podcasts managed to review it in the space of a month, perhaps it was released to DVD recently. The film is about a model who moves into a building populated by a series of whack-jobs and the creepy noises she hears from the empty apartment above her own. The film is worth a look for all the amusing cameos by people who either were already stars, or who went on to become stars later, hell, Tom Berenger of all people appears as a guy looking for an apartment, Beverly D'Angelo is in there as a lesbian from downstairs who begins to masturbate in front of our heroine when they are left alone together, there's all sorts of oddball shit to sink your teeth into and the overall vibe of the building is very unsettling. This one is well worth a look.

The wife and I ordered a pizza and watched some stuff off the TiVo in the den while we ate, passing the evening with some animated re-run junk and the new episode of The Soup. We were in the process of winding down for the evening when we noticed the damned air conditioner wasn't doing anything at all.

I hope it doesn't get too hot in here this evening. Or weekend, for that matter. At least the weather forecast is calling for rain and a high of 85 tomorrow.

I'm now blogging about the weather, so it's time to wrap this shit up.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's So Close To Being A Library I Can Practally Taste It...

I felt like this was Grand Central Station today, as we had three painters coming and going at odd times, the lawn guys doing their typically half-assed job, the mailman and UPS guy and someone even stopping by to drop off a letter that been delivered to them by mistake. I long for my days of solitude that were only broken by the arrival of the mail and the ring of the phone, which is easily ignored.

I got up at 9:00, since the wife was heading out to the gym I knew I had to be alert to let the painter and her helpers in. I made coffee and signed in on the computer, poked around there for a bit until the first wave of painters showed up. She had another guy coming later, she and her friend headed back to get started.

I popped in the earbuds and got started on the next set of graphs, prepping the first project as I listened to a new Dead Lantern Splattercast. The wife came home and fooled around on the web while I worked, then the painters took their lunch. Since I knew that the wife was going to a meeting at lunch, I ran and grabbed myself a burger while I knew the painters were out of the house, not because I don't trust them but just because it's easier to work within their schedule rather than miss them coming back when no one is in the house.

I finished the prep on the first project as the paint crew trickled back in over the course of the afternoon, one of them literally being gone about two hours for lunch, which I found weird, but hey, they don't answer to me, as long as things get done, I don't care. I had downloaded the latest episode of Mail Order Zombie, just to see how different the show gets, and he now has his wife co-hosting, which seems to break things up a bit. It's an interesting show, but I honestly don't know if I 'll ever check out any of the Z-grade flicks they talk about, but it's nice to have a different podcast voice every now and again. I finished the second set of prep work by this time and had to go and talk to the lawn guys about how shitty everything is looking this week.

I have a feeling the sprinklers (which we just paid a bill to have fixed, mind you) haven't been cycling on, and as a result the spring color those fucks took forever and a day to even plant in the first place is all basically dead. They asked if I wanted them to clean the beds out of all the dead stuff, and when the wife heard that all they wanted to do was clear it out, she flipped the fuck out, which she rarely does.

I listened in while she called and left a message on the property managers' cell, something to thew effect of us having already paid too much to have shit planted and then paid too much to have the sprinkler worked on only to have this shit all die, so they're either going to refund our money or replant it, and she even managed to work in the fuck word twice in her very calm yet firm message, I was very proud. I always feel like a calm, collected message with a few choice profanities makes for a nice way to open any dialog with some prick you want to strangle. The guy called back and gave her the same song and dance about being shorthanded, etc. that I've been getting, and said that he wouldn't be surprised if we dropped them, something he's mentioned before when talking to me.

My thought now is that we obviously need to find out who he answers to, because while he's a nice guy and I understand where he's coming from about being shorthanded, he only works for this company, but somewhere above him is a guy who doesn't want us to leave for another lawn company, because he owns this fucker, or is too close to the boss to be telling him "hey, we lost another account..."

He wants our money, whereas the guy we deal with is an employee and perhaps doesn't care if he loses an account here or there. Above him there's definitely an asshole behind a desk who cares and has a boat payment, and by God, he's going to care about my fucking lawn if I have to visit them in person to see him, because their service has become ri-Goddamn-diculous.

The Yorkie was going nuts all day long between the painters coming and going, and then the lawn fucks doing whatever it is that we overpay them for, so I was at the end of my rope with her by about 3:30. I knew the wife had an engagement this evening that she'd quite graciously allowed me to bow out of, so I decided to hit the rowing machine while she was still here to answer any question the painters might have, since she was leaving at 5:00 to go to her thing.

I did the workout listening to this week's DVD Weekly Podcast, though I didn't quite finish it. I did notice that after working at this for about a week now, I have slightly more stamina than I did when I first started doing it, which made me happy. I did the rowing and some aerobic stuff, deciding against the weights just because I'd rather concentrate on the weight loss more now that I'm feeling at least a slight result.

The painters were leaving as I came back in the house, and the wife told me that they'd be back again tomorrow to apply the glaze that protects the fax-finish, but that they were otherwise finished. The room looks great, I'm really impressed that they were able to knock it out on one day, especially considering their odd scheduling, but the results speak for themselves.

I went and picked up some supper because I hadn't had much to eat today, then sent the wife on her way before settling in to eat and watch a couple of TiVo'd Simpsons. I remembered that the wife had asked if I'd give the guest bedrooms a once over as far as decorating a bit goes, as she seems to lack the eye for it. I'd arranged the shelves in the den with her assorted knick-knacks when we first moved in, much to her delight, so she wanted me to do the same to the built in shelving int eh guest bedrooms. I dicked around with that for about an hour or so until I was fairly happy with it, then settled down and popped in a movie from those rental throttling Netfux.

Bloody MalloryBloody Mallory was a real wild hair rental, as it starred Olivia Bonamy, one of the leads from Them, which we watched last week. I thought she was cute, looked to see what else she'd been in, saw this hoaky looking supernatural themed flick, figured why not give it a shot. She's got a strange Jennifer Beals quality that I like, and I wondered what kind of horror flick she'd made in France that looked like a Sci-Fi Channel film based on the box art. The movie was a campy tongue in cheek affair, mixing Buffy elements with Anime hairstyles, Matrix-y clothing and even a character that was basically Lord Fanny from Grant Morrison's Invisibles comics: a tall drag queen in the midst of a supernatural war who spouts the occasional catty comment in between doing badass stuff. The movie was kinda uneven and a tad anticlimactic; the overall feel was like I watched the pilot of a TV show instead of a full blown movie. I would actually say give it a rental, it's campy fun, just don't expect too much.

The wife has an early day tomorrow, and I have to be up to do the dance again with the painters, so I should try to call it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Faux-Library Begins Soon...

The wife had her last truly early morning meeting today, as she rotates off the grand jury she's been on for the past few months. She was already out of the house when I got up at 9:00, so I checked e-mail and then gave the Bossman a call to let him know that I was heading over to drop off the two completed projects. He of course asked if I could give him 10 minutes, which amused me because why wouldn't he have some weird time restraints even though I called last night to basically schedule us getting together this morning, y'know?

I gave him some extra time and decided to shave for the first time in a few days, basically since I shaved completely last Thursday. I trimmed everything up to begin coaching the beard along, just so I can at least sort of feel like I'm getting back to normal.

Just Jack!I dressed and went to see the Bossman, got a check and then went by Best Buy to look around a little bit since I haven't been in there in a few weeks. I ended up buying the seventh season of Will & Grace because I love the gays and it was on sale, then popped into Barnes & Noble but found nothing there. The wife called about meeting back at the house for lunch, so I hit the post office and the bank, then headed home to meet her.

We ate lunch and caught up about our day thus far, then she chilled out on the couch because she's been sleeping like total shit lately and I hopped online just for the hell of it, surfing a bit, then wrote a review to send to Skincarver later in the week.

The wife took the Yorkie to a class at Petsmart to supposedly teach her some tricks. We've already been through an obedience class with them that I saw almost zero response to (granted the wife could've followed up a lot more than she did with the lessons), so I'm pretty much thinking we're wasting time with this, but whatever. It's no skin off my ass, so I'll humor the wife and hope for the best, maybe the dog will learn all kinds of cool shit and surprise me. I just don't think it's worth it when the person teaching the class seems to be whatever random employee they pulled out of a hat to run the class.

I decided to take a handful of DVD's I had laying around that I'd already reviewed and a few things I just didn't want anymore to see if I could get a little money for them, so I went by the store that shall not be named to see what they could do for me. The local books, music and video emporium at which I once worked is something I'll never name in here because fuck ever giving them any type of publicity, even if it's in a negative light. That store was once a nice little place to shop, and filled with at least vaguely knowledgeable people, it's now barely staffed and run like a dollar store, the clientèle is sketchy and the only reason I even go in there anymore is to see if they have anything interesting used or cheap.

There were four employees standing outside smoking and chatting when I walked in, and ONE cashier trying to answer the phone, check in rental video and check out the growing line of customers, all with no other employees anywhere in sight to try and pitch in to help. This is precisely why I don't shop at this place anymore, you practically need to bring a sack lunch just to get through the checkout line, because you never know how fucking long you may be standing there.

I ended up getting about $20 in store credit for the 5 movies I wanted to sell, so I got that on a giftcard to be used later and got the hell out of there, since the stench of failure and misery was starting to get to me.

The wife was already back at the house with an exhausted Yorkie, who had supposedly done well at her first class, especially when you consider this learning curve: She's the only dog in the class!

Evidently my wife is the only person to fall for it this time around, so she and the teacher basically shot the shit for an hour or so, attempted to get Bella to roll over to mixed results and found out that they went to the same college. It's a small world and all, but bonding aside, until the Yorkie is up for some Stupid Pet Tricks that I can put on YouTube, I'm calling shenanigan's on this whole idea.

Crack, Crack, Cracklety Jones!We had tentative plans to have dinner with the Mother In Law, but were unable to find her, so the wife and I went out to get a steak by ourselves, then looked around at furniture for the library, which will finally be painted tomorrow, our faux-finisher tells us. She's set to begin tomorrow around 9:00, so I'm imagining/hoping that they can knock that out in one day, but we'll see what happens. God willing, it'll look like the pictured item at least a little bit, or I fear that my friend's wife and I will have a severe falling out. Come to think of it, we've never actually seen any of her work, we just know that she's a good artist and thus assume that she can faux-finish. Hmmn, we may've screwed ourselves good and proper on this one, since I wouldn't just assume a house painter can paint my portrait, so why would we figure the opposite to be true?

On that defeatist note...

As I said, we had dinner, window-shopped for some bookcases and furniture a bit, then headed back to the house and watched one of the first things on the stack of items to review for Pop Syndicate. I'd received a box of stuff in the mail from this afternoon and decided to just jump right in. The film was a documentary about Dolly Parton fans called For The Love Of Dolly, and man, what a strange watch that was, as it followed five fans around for a bit and explored their passion for the woman. I am very puzzled by that amount of devotion to any one thing; I've just never been that into anything to devote as much time and money to it as these folks do. I guess my obsessions are just more widespread.

We watched the newest Ghost Hunters afterward, which was the last new one for awhile, and then called it a night.

I'm out, tomorrow is an early day.

Be seeing you.

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