Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Joys Of Not Having To Leave The House

I got up at 9:00 this morning and did my usual e-mail routines, and wrote another review for the Big Suck Loser and submitted it so that we actually have some new content over there. I left the wife to do her own interweb things and decided to make some breakfast, or more accurately, brunch if it's that late in the day. The wife and I ate and watched a couple re-runs off the TiVo, still trying to get caught up on that sort of thing after all our random time spent out of town this month.

Once we'd eaten, the wife decided to run to the grocery store for the short list of items we've been jotting down as the week wears on, so I started a load of laundry and then sat down to get started on the next two projects I picked up yesterday.

I listened to back to back episodes of the Stomp Tokyo Podcast, which is coming out as infrequently as ever, and then started in on the latest episode of Night Of The Living Podcast. I wasn't able to finish the NOTLP though, as it was a marathon length 2 hour episode and my eyes were starting to bother me from prepping the projects.

Masters Of Fear ItselfI went into the bedroom and laid down with the wife and Yorkie in the late afternoon, watched last week's episode of Fear Itself off the DVR. It was pretty decent, an episode directed by Mary Harron of American Psycho fame that starred Superman himself, Brandon Routh in a story that seemed to be equal parts Stepford Wives and The Wicker Man as the new couple in a seemingly perfect neighborhood slowly realize there's something sinister afoot.

The wife went to pick up some dinner afterwards and then we chilled out with dinner and watched two weeks' worth of Ghost Hunters International, which was filled with Irish castles and haunted houses in Wales; interesting stuff.

I made plans to take Robbb to the airport tomorrow morning, so I'll be up earlier than usual, but I suppose I'll live. He related to me a story of his asking a guy out for a drink, but then being ambushed by a drunken ex-co-worker and her best friend while waiting for his guy to arrive and not being able to shake her off. She insisted on him joining them for a drink while he waited, and then proceeded to shanghai his whole night so that a possible 'getting to know you' drink turned into a bunch of random people boozing it up well past midnight. I know when a guy (intentionally or not) screws up another guys chances with a woman, it's called cock-blocking, but is a woman fucking up a dude's chances to hook up with another guy called cunt-blocking?

I'm out, I have to be up early tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back To The Glorious Routine

I'm such a creature of habit that it makes me kinda sick sometimes. I wanted to try and stay up a little late, get some writing done last night, but I instead ended up blowing that off and trying to go to bed a little early. That was shot to hell when I got caught up in a Doug Stanhope special on HBO, so I ended up being up late anyway and writing nothing. I suck.

I'm adding a clip from the show I watched last night, it's NSFW what with all the swearing and ranting, but it's great stuff you should be checking out.

Got up this morning around 10:00, checked e-mail while the wife fielded phone calls, then called B about lunch, made plans to meet she and her husband for a burger around 11:30 or so. The wife was up for it, so we headed out and met them at the mall, shooting the shit and catching up a bit, then I had to excuse us after the meal because I was hellbent on getting the last project I was working on finished today.

Back at the house, I popped in the earbuds and started in on the last half of the project, listening to a new Dead Lantern Splattercast and Friday's Mark Kermode Movie Reviews while I put the final touches on it. I called the Bossman and was absolutely shocked to get him on the phone the first rattle out of the box, so I made plans to head by his house in the next few minutes. I left the wife and Yorkie napping and headed out.

I exchanged the finished projects for new stuff, which was of a different variety that that which we've been doing, so he walked me through how to read the new material. He also let me know that once we finally get into material from April of this year (what I just worked on was from November of 2007!), I'll be getting a 20% raise, presumably because the oilfield shows no signs of slowing down and they started making better money around April of this year.

Yay! I'ma ride this fucking wave until it dashes me to death on the rocks!

I deposited the check adn then came home, hopped online and wrote and submitted a quick review for the nice folks over at Pop Syndicate. The wife popped into the office and asked if I was willing to go to an impromptu family dinner at the Middle Sister's house, as she and hers had recently arrived back from 2 months in Arizona for the summer. I agreed, we went and visited a bit, I got fished in by the Idiot Brother In Law while he tried to show off their new PS3 and surround sound set-up in the family room.

Their maid had evidently been cleaning and brought her children over while they'd been out of town, and the children had managed to completely cock up the TV set-up, as he was unable to get any picture on the screen, and the manner in which the TV is set inside the entertainment center had whoever was dicking with it trying to pry some of the trim away to presumably reveal the buttons so that they could change channels. I don't know how he was dealing with this without being throwing shit kinda mad by this time, as someone's kids have not only fucked up your ability to even watch television, they've also partially ripped the fucking trim off the front of your expensive new television. I'd be firing bitches and beating the shit out of their kids at this stage, not going from remote to remote, hoping for the best. I'm also stunned that anyone would be so clueless as to let their children do this in someone else's house, and that the kids (whatever age they are; I suspect 5 or 6) wouldn't try to watch any of the other 3 televisions in the house.

The Mother In Law arrived with burgers, Grandmother in tow, and we had a quick meal, as the Idiot BIL continued to bend my ear about video games and Blu-Ray stuff and the women seemed to talk over one another. The wife has often commented that no one in her family seems to truly listen to one another, and the three conversations going at once seems to bear this out.

We headed home, grabbing an ice cream cone on the way for dessert. We'd been home for a short while when the MIL dropped in to present us with a little ceramic umbrella stand she'd bought with us in mind. We chit chatted a bit and she headed home. I caught up on this past Sunday's Venture Brothers and some odds and ends off the TiVo. The wife made somewhat spur of the moment plans to visit Morris in Dallas this weekend, allowing me to bow out of the trip and remain home with the Yorkie, who I'm sure is tired of our leaving her at home. Morris' mom is still in the hospital in Dallas, so she's going to take a quick weekend trip for moral support now that she's in a regular room and doing better.

I'm honest to God going to try and do some writing once I post this thing tonight.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barely Treading Water...

'K, this needs to go fast, I have a lot of other stupid shit I'm behind on thanks to all the random travels this month, as everything cumulative gets ignored until I'm knee deep in stuff I should've done weeks ago.

Got up at 9:00, lay in bed listening to the wife shower and petting the Yorkie, she seems very happy and content to be back home in her own bed after the past week.

The wife informed me, well, no, that makes her sound like an asshole, she told me that she might need the computer this morning, which I took as my cue to get in there and check e-mail and not dick around as much as I usually might, so I went to go and do that while she dressed. The interweb seen to for the time being, I left her to her project and started picking up some of the random junk mail and newspapers we'd accrued while out of town, sorting stuff into the trash or wherever. I ran that out and called Robbb about lunch, since he'd called last night and expressed an interest.

The wife finished her online stuff faster than she'd anticipated, said her goodbyes to me and headed out for a lunch meeting and a couple of errands. Robbb arrived, we headed out to eat, scrapping our first place in favor of one less crowded. We ate and eavesdropped on two straight laced looking office-worker businessman types talk about Batman and Star Wars for the better part of an hour, disconcerting because you'd figure they would eventually stumble back to a subject based in the real world. Never judge a book by its cover, eh?

We hit Best Buy and I picked up Doomsday, leaving Robbb in the clutches of a guy we used to work with back in the day who's now working there. Mad Max? Is That You? I couldn't be bothered to make too much small-talk and went to find my movie, leaving my friend to fend for himself. I'd decided to get bent over for the Blu-Ray version of this thing just because I know I want to own it and watch it tonight, but I was also making a little list in the back of my head of stuff I'd prefer to buy from Amazon because it's at least incrementally cheaper.

We went next door to Barnes & Noble, grabbed coffee and I made lunch plans for Wednesday with my friend B since we caught her working and she's off tomorrow. I bought a new Hi-Fructose Magazine and headed back to the house because Robbb was planning on trying to hit his gym in the late afternoon.

I caught up with the wife, who arrived home shortly after I did, comparing notes on our day thus far, then she got ready to a newly called meeting that she had to attend because one of her volunteers is evidently a fucking idiot and needed a special meeting with her to figure out how to word a document she was trying to compose for the charity. Though this sounded like something that could be done over the phone or e-mail, I chose not to get involved, this is her project, not mine. Since she was leaving again, i was free to get some work done.

I popped in the earbuds and worked for about two hours, listening to last weeks' episodes of Destroy The Brain and Cinema Diabolica while I knocked out a good chunk of the last project. I also yelped in surprise at the sheer amount of stuff I have backlogged on the iPod, I really need to get more work done in a timely manner to keep up with everything I listen to .

No Matter How Ridiculous The Plot, Never Back Down...About 6:00 I knocked off and decided to try and start one of the films I need to review for Pop Syndicate, so I popped in something that I knew came out today, Never Back Down, which had looked like a high school version of Fight Club, and ended up kinda surprising me slightly, as it wasn't completely terrible. The dull rawk/rap soundtrack and gorgeous cast aside, the fight sequences are actually fairly interesting, though I definitely prefer the straight up martial arts type film to this, the mixed martial arts stuff has too much grappling for my taste, I find it kinda visually boring as these guys scrabble around for a hold on the other, ocassionally landing a punch or a kick. Couple that with every cliche known to this type of genre and it makes for a kinda tedious ride punctuated with brief moments of action.

The wife came home and made dinner, which we ate while watching a TiVo'd episode of The Soup from last Friday.

We retired to the bedroom to watch Doomsday in all its Hi Def glory, of which there was a lot. I was quite taken with the visuals at several turns, the cinematography seemed very inspired and the odd film homages worked fairly well for me. Rhona Mitra is just gorgeous, though it seemed as though Milla Jovovich could've easily fit in the same role if they'd thrown in a few zombies for her to fuck up, and some of the music choices seemed kinda odd to me. This flick is worth checking out, give it a rental at the very least.

I put that away and came directly to the web to try and get some much-delayed writing done.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Little Rock/Memphis Day Five

I'm only labeling it such because we didn't make it back to our hometown until about 7:30 this evening, but we started the day back in Tennessee yet managed to spend a good deal of the day in the air or waiting to be in the air.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, because there are two things I forgot to mention over the past few days that I want to make certain I get in here somewhere.

Before we left Little Rock for Memphis on Friday, we were driving through J From Little Rock's neighborhood and saw three animals cross the road, so we slowed down as we passed to check them out. They turned out to be a scrawny homeless-looking dog of some mutt variety, and his two homies, a couple of small raccoons. It was like watching some weird Disney film in the making as the friends from different walks of the animal life banded together to travel across town or something. That's all well and good until the loose feral animals in the neighborhood start turning on the residents, but for now it's very cute and "Awww"-inspiring.

And last night I was called upon to fetch a fish from S's daughter's small tank, because it'd croaked on us, but then found its way to the underside of the little water skimmer thing, so you couldn't really scoop him out easily. I finally got him out of the water and left S and her daughter to go through the customary toilet burial at sea that all fish eventually receive. The daughter was pretty wrecked for a reasonable period of time, but ice cream heals all wounds.

We woke up a little earlier than intended today, and visited with S while she got the kids ready to go, then she split to drop them off at school. I pounded down some coffee and finished packing away our stuff in the interim. S came back, we loaded the car and then went for brunch at The Bagel Company of Memphis, where we stuffed ourselves before heading out. We said our goodbyes and were on our way.

Aside from a few panicked moments of us thinking we'd made the wrong turn and were headed to Saint Louis instead of Little Rock, the return drive went by with little drama. We did see a wrecked truck on the interstate heading into Memphis, with the traffic simply stopped while they cleaned things up; that looked just awful for everyone involved. The ladies and I talked a bit more about my child-rearing anxiety, which I think the wife is content to have me at least examining rather than shutting off altogether, and JFLR fielded several work-related calls, as her boss broke an arm over the weekend and had to drop some stuff in her lap late yesterday afternoon.

We went to JFLR's house, chilled with her for a bit while she worked on her laptop on the project her boss had sent her, then we split around 2:00 for the airport because we wanted to have plenty of time to fill up the rental car and prepare ourselves mentally for the strip-search at the security checkpoint. We got to our gate quite typically with a solid hour to kill. Had we been running even slightly late, I'd be standing around barefooted while a security fuck waves a wand over me as our plane leaves us behind; there's no way to win here. I read a bit and watched with amusement as all the other passengers seemed to be alternately annoyed with each others movements on the chairs they sat on. The chairs in the gate area are all connected, so if you twitch or flop around too much in the seat, it moves the entire thing, a fact that no two people seemed aware of at any given time, thus the old man at the end looked startled and pissed when he rubbed his eyes and the woman at the end sat down, driving his thumb into his eye; she then got irritated later when his grandson flopped down and almost launched her, teeter-totter style from the end chair.

It was hot as fuck near this gate. I'm not sure why but everyone seemed be generally grouchy-looking and sweaty. MMMN, Candy I read a lot of the Diablo Cody book and people-watched as we killed our time, finally boarding the late arrival plane a good 15 minutes after we were supposed to be departing and unable to sit together because we were among the final boarding group. The flight attendant is giving the spiel about only having middle seats left, if you see one, grab it, and the people around us are studying their laps as if to stave off the possibility of anyone sitting next to them. "And they all make it look so inviting, don't they?" my wife smart-assed to me as she poked a guy to get him to stand and let her sit down in the middle seat.

The irony of commenting to the wife earlier about the weird idea of selling porn in the airport, and then reading a book about strippers on the flight isn't lost on me, but anyone eavesdropping over my shoulder probably got an eyeful while I read on the plane.

We de-plane in Dallas, wander to the next gate to find our hour and change layover, which we'd kinda expected, but they've now tacked on another fucking 20 minutes to that because they're typically running late. This particular flight with Southwest Airlines sucks donkey balls, it's never on time and I find it frustrating that what is about an 8 or 10 hour drive from state to state can take up to half that time to fly if this airline is fucking about the way they normally do, with all the delays and layovers. The guy today actually said that they were 'only' running about 20 minutes behind, as if that were an acceptable norm to anything in the rational world. Fuck.

While we waited (And waited and fucking waited) I finished the Candy Girl book and started in on Running With Scissors, which isn't proving as amusing as I thought it might, as I've seen the film, which casts a lot of this in an amusing light, but reading a good deal of this material in simple black and white is actually a bit depressing. Possibly Not As Funny If You See The Masturbatorium Coming I was expecting more of a David Sedaris feel, and I'm certainly not getting it so far.

The plane wandered up eventually, we got on and sat behind a girl with a large tattoo of a gingham-patterned red and white heart with cross bones bursting out of it on her right shoulder blade. This was proudly visible peeking out of her white wife-beater if you peeped between the seats in front of us. Then she spoke to a fellow passenger or steward and she sounded about 11 years old and I almost fell over. How in the hell does she have a tattoo if she's in junior high, or if she's of age, why does she still look and sound like To Catch A Predator? Weird.

We got back, waited as long for our luggage to de-plane as we did in a real city, which is sad, because there's nothing going on here locally that should make it take so damned long, and then headed back into town.

We picked up some drive-thru dinner, as we were both hungry, then stopped to get the Yorkie from Scrawny McTall and head home.

We ate while we flipped through a few things on TiVo, then I headed in here to get this done and head to bed.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Little Rock/Memphis Day Four

We got up around 10:00 today, as the rest of the household was awake anytime from 6:00 until when we finally got woke up by the activity downstairs.

We ate cinnamon rolls and pigs in a blanket for breakfast, then started planning our day. I'd had a suggestion from Andy over at Destroy The Brain to check out The Bigfoot Lodge, who serve a 10 pound hamburger that's free if you eat that fucker in an hour. We all squeezed into S's SUV and headed into Memphis to drop off S's children at their grandparents. Their actual house is in Germantown, which is evidently a cute little suburb of Memphis, so we're pretty easily adjacent to a lot of different shopping and restaurants.

The Bigfoot Lodge is in the downtown area, and though we didn't order the big giant burger, our meal was still great, and then we headed out to a used bookstore across town that the women knew I was interested in.

Burke's Books was a nice little shop, more in the vein of what I'm used to, though oddly the only book I found that I wanted was a new copy of something I'm not willing to pay that much for, but J From Little Rock found a few books, so our trip was somewhat fruitful.

We headed back to pick up the kids and then back to the house. I'd come to realize over the course of the afternoon that I definitely have issues with the idea of having children, as any sort of happiness a child I'm around shows almost brings me to tears if I'm really paying attention to them. I obviously have a lot of issues about this left over from the lousy relationship I was in several years ago that involved me raising a child that I'll never see again. I've been thinking a great deal about children lately, because I know that this is a big deal to the wife, but I just don't know how I feel about having kids, as it's something I already did that ended so terribly; it's hard to think about all the different ways it'd be different this time around. I actually brought this up to the women later over dinner and received the same "Your life/situation is completely changed" arguments that I get when I express anxiety over having kids. I'm not sure what to do about this situation, but it's nice to be able to realize what the actual issue is instead of just being depressed about things.

S's mother came by to watch the kiddos for a few hours, so I drove us around the corner to a restaurant called El Porton that the wife and I'd never been to but is apparently a chain in this general area. The wife and I were also amused by the idea that the locals all seem to refer to melted cheese, or what we call queso back in Texas as 'cheese dip'. We had a good meal and a pitcher of margaritas, then I drove us back home. We ended up just chilling out with a few drinks and I started this early just to hopefully be finished at a reasonable hour. JFLR had gotten a call that she needs to be available in the afternoon tomorrow for work rather than taking a full day off, so we're planning on trying to be on the road back to Little Rock by 11:00 in the morning.

Tomorrow evening I plan to go back over the past few posts and maybe dress them up with a few images, something I haven't wanted to bother with since I've been working from other people's computers and figured I should try to be as unobtrusive as possible instead of loading up their hard-drives with a bunch of useless pics.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Little Rock/Memphis Day Three

I ended up staying up a little later than I'd intended last night because I'd got a wild hair to try playing Grand Theft Auto IV on the PS3 that our hosts had offered to let me check out. I May Need This The controls were interesting for the neophyte, but I eventually sort of got the hang of things and was able to steal a few cars and run down the odd pedestrian, but without any real success, as it all ended in my own eventual death. The game looks great, and I can definitely see what fun it'd be to explore the game a bit more once I got more of a handle on the controls; my biggest problem is that I've just never really played any game platform, so what most guys my age find to be an intuitive game interface just kinda baffles me. I find myself simply changing angles more often than actually moving or attacking someone, but it's an amusing learning experience.

I slept weirdly again, which I chalk up to the strange bed and room. I actually finished the Larry Doyle book while I was up on the john at 6:00, and I heard J From Little Rock come back from dropping her hubby at the airport this morning. Since I slept so intermittently and was up at such an early weird hour, we were still asleep when JFLR knocked on our door to see if we were ready, letting us know that our expected departure time had already passed.

I grabbed a shower and packed our stuff, and was unsurprised to find that JFLR had bluffed us when she had come downstairs to check on us, and the time was actually 10:45, so we were actually on schedule instead of behind.

I volunteered to drive in my continuing attempt to acclimate myself to driving in larger cities, so JFLR directed us to Starbuck's, where I heard the order box babble something at me as we talked amongst ourselves in the car. I then placed a fairly detailed order for the three of us, including four drinks and a piece of lemon pound cake. There was no response, and after about 3 minutes the girl comes back on and says "Sorry for the wait, please order when ready." We all died laughing, and I reiterated the order only to find out that the cake we requested was still 'frozen', but I assured her we had a long drive ahead of us and we could just throw it on the dashboard and thaw that mother out.

We headed out of Little Rock for Memphis around 10:30, JFLR and the wife directing me via their common knowledge and some printed Mapquest directions. The drive wasn't bad at all, and we entered Memphis via a giant metal bridge, it was quite interesting to drive into such an industrial looking area. We found the girl's friend S's house easily, and chilled out with she and her two children for awhile. The kiddos seemed kinda grumpy, having skipped a nap earlier in the day. We decided to brave the idea of the two grouchy kids in a restaurant environment and headed out to Memphis Pizza Cafe, since it was close by. The kids loaded, it became increasingly clear that we couldn't et everyone comfortably loaded into one vehicle around the two car seats, so the wife rode with S in her SUV while JFLR and I followed them in our rental car.

The resaurant went well for about ten minutes, when S's daughter started getting more and more obstinant and pissy, so I helped S load the kids in her SUV; she knew things were only going to get worse and as such, she took the kids home to force them to take a nap and leave us to eat in peace.

We poked around in the local shopping nearby, picking up some wine for S to drink later this evening and letting the ladies look around at the Coach store a bit. We went on a useless quest for some Smirnoff cooler thing that JFLR wanted, but no one in three different stores seemed to know what the hell we were talking about.

We eventually gave up and headed back to S's house, where the children were crashed out and we sat downstairs shooting the shit for the rest of the afternoon.

JFLR eventually located a store that carried her beverages, so she went by there and the new Pottery Barn outlet. The wife and I hung with S and the kids, I eventually poured myself a drink and S began to cook dinner. I started the blog early while she cooked, and JFLR came home with her tasty beverages. We ate, and then watched a few episodes of South Park in their living room after the children were put to bed; I took the time to polish off the blog so I could try and get some sleep tonight.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Little Rock/Memphis Day Two

I was up and down most of the night, I chalk that up to the strange bed.

Slept in until around 9:30, then went upstairs and had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, courtesy of J From Little Rock, then we started planning our day.

JFLR's hubby was already at work for the day, so I ended up going on a weird shopping excursion with the two women for most of the day. This included a lot of kitschy places I can't be bothered to name as I was kinda long of rthe wird eaqnd not caring about; suffice to say, Little Rock has a lot of nice shopping.

This included an assortment of weird little boutique-type places around town and eventually involved a stop at the Arkansas Burger Company.

We met JFLR's mother for lunch, and then we hit another couple of stores before heading home to their house. JFLR's hubby gave me the rundown on the PS3, which is looking more and more like the way to go with the bedroom Blu-Ray options, so the weekend has been a fact-finding mission of sorts.

Now A Major Motion Picture...JFLR was kind enough to do some calling around for me and find a used book store in the Riverfront Shopping area, so we hit that and I was disappointed to only find a copy of Running With Scissors for $4.00, which was better than nothing I suppose.

JFLR's husband was still playing a game on the PS3 when we got back, and we made plans to have dinner this evening at the Canon Grill on Kavanaugh. He headed out to have a few drinks at his favorite local bar while we chilled and waited for a couple of their friends to arrive at the house. I attempted to conform to the local custom and had a few drinks while we waited for them to arrive. We were joined for dinner by D and S, a couple we'd met at JFLR's wedding about a year or so ago. Dinner was pretty good, the boys and I hit the liquor store afterwards and then met the women back at the house.

More cocktails ensued, and the wife and I ended up staying up until shortly after midnight, visiting with and getting to know D and S a bit better. Our hosts, JFLR and her hubby were both in bed by 10:30, and the wfe and I stayed up visiting. D is a contrator, and had many tales of the various problems he's run across in his job. We eventually saw them on their way around midnight and I sat down to polish up this post before I crash for the night while watching Mallrats on cable.

The last cocktail poured isn't making that easy.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Little Rock/Memphis Day One

I of course had weird drainage issues all night, so that kept me up with sinus crap well past 4:00 in the morning. Honestly, the last time I saw the clock this morning was as late as 7:30 this morning, so I pretty much knew I was blowing off the alarm this morning.

I decided to blow off the idea of doing a load of laundry and just pack whatever was actually clean, maybe give myself another few hours of sleep.

We got up and both checked e-mail, then started getting ready to pack for the trip. The Yorkie was breaking my heart, kinda making this keening noise and standing in the bag as I tried to pack. We'd made plans for the dog to spend the weekend with the wife's friend Scrawny McTall, so I got the house squared away and we loaded up and headed out.

The dog successfully dropped off, we decided to drive-thru some Jack In The Box and head out to the airport. The airlines have a newly devised waiting game I was unfamiliar with, instead of boarding groups, they now also assign you a number (A-27 or whatever) and board you in that order as well, which just seems to add another useless step to things beyond the simple A, B, od C groups.

The flight to Dallas was pretty uneventful aside from what felt like a few barrel rolls as we took to the sky, and I started reading I Love You, Beth Cooper, a book by Larry Doyle that I'd picked up awhile back in paperback.NO, Really, Give Me A Chance Here, I've Given This Some Thought... The wife slept for a time, and woke up just in time to watch a kid across the aisle vomit pretty discreetly into an air-sickness bag, and then listen to the guy behind us chatting up the middle-aged woman in the short skirt who was travelling alone, having just bought her a drink during the flight.

"This is the craziest Goddamned flight I've ever been on, and I've only been awake four minutes." the wife declared. Adding to this was the fact that our pilot sounded like a very drunk Tommy Lee Jones as he slurred his was through the information about the local weather and whatnot.

There was a brief layover in Dallas, as you can't make a simple flight on Southwest Airlines from Midland to Little Rock without having something delayed somewhere along the way, but were soon on our way and touching down in Little Rock.

We gathered our luggage and then picked up the rental car, calling the wife's friend J from Little Rock (JFLR) along the way. We met she and some family and friends downtown at a place called EJ's Eats for dinner. The food was good, and I went with JFLR's husband to hit a liquor store while the wives went by a grocery store for this and that for breakfast.

We got to the house ahead of the women, so he gave me a tour and then we poured a couple of drinks and chilled out until the wives arrived. The Husband has to work in the AM, so he excused himself early, I got the lowdown on JFLR's laptop that I'll be writing on the next two nights, and she started The Omen re-make on her cable's on-demand service.

Both the wife and JFRL have now gone to bed as I watch the end of this pointless re-make and finish up the quick blog post.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Skip To The End

I'd forgotten how much the marathon sessions working on the graphs tends to play hell with my eyes. They feel like they've been stuffed and mounted right now; I probably have larger pouches under them than Billy Joel.

I got up at 9:00 this morning, checked e-mail and then got to work on the first project again, as I wanted to finish it completely. Don't Believe The Hype I listened to the latest Dead Lantern Splattercast, which was devoted to the two Amateur Porn Star Killer films and ridiculed them mercilessly. I found this very amusing, because this happens to be the one film we (Big Suck Loser) have ever been sent to review (everything else reviewed there is either rented or purchased by Skincarver or myself), and the movie was so awful neither of us wanted to write an actual review for the site. I figure ripping on a low-budget film is just kinda mean, and I definitely wouldn't have a single positive thing to say, so we never bothered. This didn't stop me from enjoying the Splattercast though, as they all seemed downright offended by these films and were very vocal about it, if only because every bit of press relating to these very lackluster films is absolutely glowing, which is just fucking crazy.

Aside from that, I also gave a weeks-old episode of Indie Spinner Rack a listen, as well as a new Reel Horror Podcast which features new interim hosts while the regulars are tied up, which is a reasonable compromise to just canning the show altogether.

The wife went and got an allergy shot in the late morning, brought back some deli sandwiches for lunch, so I took a break and visited with her for awhile and wnet through the mail. She headed off to the web to look around and I got back to work, listening to a couple of older SModcasts and a really old Mail Order Zombie while I finished up for the afternoon.

We went for dinner at Grandmother's house where we met the Mother In Law, as well as the Aunt and Uncle. The meal was decent, and we grabbed an ice cream for dessert and then headed home.

I popped in the second disc of Spaced and we watched that until 11:00 this evening, which is why I'm writing this stuff late again.

Tomorrow we leave for Little Rock, where we'll be for a couple of days, then in Memphis for the weekend, flying back home on Monday. I'm hoping that the computer situation will be easy to deal with at the wife's friend's houses, wi-fi and all that jazz, but who knows, I may end up just opening the blog window and writing everything in a big catch-up marathon when we get back.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Increasingly Less & Less To Report...

I seem to have had a lot of those 'wondering why I bother' type days recently, and today will be no different. Not a lot really happened, and I feel kinda pointless in cataloging the details, but it's become a habit, so what can you do?

The way out is through, so perhaps tomorrow's post won't be as boring. Then again, maybe pigs may fly from my ass.

I got up at 9:00 this morning with the wife, she checked her e-mail and then headed out to a quilting class she's taking. I made coffee and checked e-mail, then got a call saying that the delivery guys would be here much earlier than they originally thought.

They must've been calling from around the corner, because they were ringing the doorbell about 4 minutes later. They unloaded the five bookcases we'd ordered, lining the tall ones down one wall and the shorter ones under the window on the far wall, it looks as good as we'd hoped, so I was quite excited.

The Force Is Strong In This ChickenI decided to make my Best Buy run and get it over with, so I headed out there and picked up the Spaced Complete Series (which was at long fucking last FINALLY released today!) and the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special. I grabbed a burger on the way home, then ate while watching a Simpsons re-run.

I got to work and listened to a weirdly clipped episode of Night Of The Living Podcast, finding out that I would need to download it again as it cut off in mid-sentence. I started a new CHUD Show and eventually had to take a break from the graphs, so I started unpacking a few boxes of books in the library to see how the shelves would eventually look when they were properly stocked. I was kinda annoyed/depressed to quickly realize that the 3 boxes I emptied almost filled two of the tall shelves, and that's not even a small fraction of what we have to unload. I fear we will have to either reconsider the idea of having most of the books all in one location or really stuff the room full of shelving. We'll see, but I don't feel like jacking with it until after this trip at the end of the week, so I'll just save it for next week.

I caught up with the wife, who had come home while I was in the back, then got back to work for the afternoon, finishing the penciled version of the first project and starting the prep work on the second one. I listened to a couple of (Cool) Shite episodes while I did this, still trying to get caught up on those.

Called it a day around 5:30 or so, poured a cocktail and popped in the Robot Chicken special, even though I have stuff I need to be reviewing, there's been very few things I've been all that excited to buy coming out lately, so I wanted to revisit this. I also looked at most of the special feature stuff, which was the same kinda mixed bag that a lot of Adult Swim special features are, some amusing, others kinda pointless/redundant.

Thank You Lord, At Long Last I Hold It In My Hands...We ordered a pizza and popped in the first disc of the Spaced set, which I'd not seen about a year or so. I've only seen the second series once, via a bunch of YouTube videos that SamuraiFrog posted shortly after the first series aired on BBC America, so I'm very excited to give that another look, and then check out the special features. I'd have to say that I'm hard pressed to name any American television series that's been as pitch-perfect as some British television like this one or The Office, especially in the manner of knowing when to get out. Hell, even if a show starts out as genius here, it overstays its welcome until no one even gives a fuck when it finally limps away in shame ten years down the line.

Spaced ate up the bulk of our evening and I'm now typing this later than usual as a result.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dangers Of Cable (Or: The Lowered Guard That Bit Me On The Ass)

Today's post may somehow be even more pointless than usual, as I did very little today except for work over the course of the morning and afternoon.

I got up at 9:00 this morning, the wife headed off to a couple of her non-profit-related errands and I headed to the web to check e-mail. I started coffee and then decided to get my lazy ass to work on the two projects I should've started on last week but blew off completely.

I got a good chunk of work done this morning, all to the tune of several podcasts that've been piled up on the iPod for the past few weeks, and this extended into the afternoon as I continued plowing ahead on this stuff. This included listening to a new Mondo Movie, last week's Cinema Diabolica, the first two episodes of Lethal Heat: Force Impact and part of a bumper length 25th episode of Mail Order Zombie.

The two breaks I took were to make myself some lunch and watch last night's TiVo'd Venture Brothers, and then later in the afternoon to go and hit the post office because I'd somehow managed to miss our mailman this morning. I also took the time since I was out and about to go and grab a coffee from Starbuck's.

I called it a day with the graphs around 6:00, chilled with the wife for awhile and ended up on the couch for a bit before we decided what to do for dinner.

The TiVo had recently suggested a movie called Devour, which was supposed to be about a group of young people who are compelled by a video game to kill (or something like that) according to the synopsis, which sounded sketchy enough, but it starred Shannyn Sossamon and Dominique Swain, both of whom are easy on the eyes, so I hoped for the best and pressed play. The movie moved along pretty clunkily at first, and was eventually revealed to suck out loud, and I will be pissing and moaning about that later in the week over at the BSL (talking of, there's a couple new reviews over there, check them out), but I was struck by something while I was mulling over the sucky film I'd just watched. Shame On All Three Of You! The bygone days of browsing the video store used to eliminate a lot of films like this from my radar simply based on the shitty looking box art, but cable has effectively lowered that guard to the point that I may fall prey to virtually any shitty film with 'horror' in the genre listing, which is kinda scary to think about. I mean, just look at that piece of shit, I swear to God I would've never fallen for that in the store, cute women starring or no, but cable manages to juke it past me and now there's 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

The wife and I eventually drive-thru some dinner and then chilled out with a few Simpsons re-runs. I got a call kinda late telling me that the furniture guys are going to be delivering the bookshelves we'd ordered tomorrow, so that's pretty exciting, even if the company they outsourced the delivery to is called Git R Done or some such Larry The Cable Guy-inspired nonsense.

While I find the concept of a bunch of hillbillies throwing our somewhat expensive bookshelves onto the back of their Clampett-mobile for delivery, I'm going to cross my fingers and hope for the best.

I'm out, there's more lots of work to get finished tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cinematic Sunday Forty-Seven

I'm starting this mother early for no other reason than I have nothing I feel particularly committed to this late int he afternoon, so I figure I can get a jump on this for a change instead of hunting for trailers into the wee hours of the morning.

Beware The Ruins Of Any Civilization...I slept hard last night, finally giving up on the idea of finishing the new David Sedaris book before I went to sleep, the last little bit seems to stretch on forever at 2:00 AM. I slept hard and found myself wide awake at 10:00, so I checked e-mail quickly while the wife showered, then grabbed the paper from the driveway and started cooking breakfast.

The wife talked on the phone to the Older Sister who was curious about tonight's plans. The Mother In Law went on a date with a gentleman last week, and was supposed to take him to the Uncle's house out in the boonies for dinner this evening, which we'd also been invited to. The call was basically a comparing of notes to see if the other was going to go out there or not, just to meet this guy and see what he's like, but these plans eventually fell through, as he's a Doctor and was called to the hospital at midday for some kind of emergency, forcing him to cancel their late afternoon/evening plans.

Hey, I was just relieved that I don't have to drive out to the sticks this evening.

The wife did some sewing for a quilting class she's been taking, so I took the time after we ate to hop back online and write a review for our site, then defragmented the computer while I chilled out and watched the Blu-Ray version of The Ruins that those rental throttling pricks at Netfux sent to us Saturday. Stay The Hell Out Of The Jungle... They seem to be getting a little better about actually having copies of that stuff available, I'm almost impressed with the service of late, or I would be, if I wasn't certain that it would slow again as soon as I return this film. The movie was pretty decent, though I couldn't place the actress Jena Malone for the duration of the film and it was driving me crazy. The interweb tells me that she was in Donnie Darko and I will now be able to sleep tonight.

PS: Jena Malone is the best kinda porno-sounding name for a non-porno actress ever.

Anyways, as I said, I enjoyed the film well enough, but I don't know how much of a re-watch factor it would have, I took my usual notes, so I'll try to have a full review up later in the week.

The wife went back to her quilting in the utility room while I stepped into the office to get a jump on this thing for today.

Selected trailers this week would include:

Just because I'm as big of a nerd as the next guy, I'll open with the Terminator: Salvation teaser, just because I like the idea of the warring elements of a great actor like Christian Bale being somehow saddled with a cornball one named director like McG, just to see how it all ends up in the end. Check it out, evidently in the future no video technology works worth a shit (given the quality of the images shown), but they can still build relentless killing machines day in and day out.

Next we have the second trailer for The Spirit, which is directed by Frank Miller, and as much as I'm trying to give this film the benefit of doubt, I have to wonder if anyone is going to bother with this, as the material looks so inaccessible to the non-comic fan. I'm still crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, but I just don't know what to think of this...

Finally we have the trailer for the latest from Cameron Romero, son of our beloved genre legend George Romero and a man who looks hellbent on keeping us away from remote houses populated with religious nuts. Or at least that's the message I got from the trailer for his film Staunton Hill. Check it out, it looks like it could be interesting, though I've not seen a release date as of yet.

That's it for me kids, I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Firmware, Shmirmware, I Just Wanna See Batman, Goddammit!

I was up a little late last night getting the writing done and then reading some more of the Sedaris book before I finally went to sleep. I'd originally planned to try and squeeze in a viewing of Batman Begins on the Blu-Ray player in the bedroom, but decided against it as the film is something of an epic and I wasn't interested in being up until 4:00 AM just to say that I'd re-watched it.

I woke up this morning to the Yorkie nudging her way under my hand, obviously annoyed I was still asleep. I decided to pop in the Batman flick since the wife had plans around noon and I figured I could squeeze this in before having to go and run errands with she and the Mother In Law.

The movie wouldn't load, which was annoying, and after three attempts that all ended with the damned thing trying to play and then suddenly flipping the machine off and back on again, I gave up on the disc and popped in the copy of The Signal I picked up back during the Deep Discount sale last month. It played fine, so I decided that the only weird 'x-factor' might be the heavier load of features on the Batman Begins disc, and the Blu-Ray player hasn't had any type of updates since we got it in February.

I checked around the web a bit and found a firmware update from Sony, then checked the player. Sure enough, the version offered online was 3.95, while the firmware in the machine was 3.20, so I started to download that until I realized that we had no blank CD's to burn this to and then install it in the player.

Do You Have The Crazy?I ended up watching about half of The Signal and then getting ready to go and run around with the wife and MIL, just because I was feeling slightly guilty for not having seen her in over a week or more.

We picked her up at her house, then took her car to run around in, hitting the local Linens N Things so that she could grab some 'things', but no linens to speak of. We headed next door to Best Buy, as the MIL has it in her head that she needs a printer/faxmachine/copier for the computer that she never uses anyway. I grabbed my little spindle of blank CD-R's as requested by the Sony eSupport site, even taking the time to wander over to the electronics section and ask two guys working there if my ideas about this update were correct. One of them looked through me as if I wasn't addressing both of them, while the other guy seemed to listen and then said that "That's what I've heard you're supposed to do, I've never had to do it myself."

This of course inspires a helluva lot of confidence, as Jethro has "Herd tell of people doin' that to them fancy videa boxes an' whatnot!" Fuck me, God forbid the place we bought they shit actually employ anyone who knows something about their merchandise besides hearsay.

The MIL ended up not only buying a printer but a camera as well, so while they were getting the sales spiel from someone else presumably talking out of his ass, I went and poked around the PS3 area, as I've been watching more stuff on the Blu-Ray format the past few weeks, and I've been considering replacing the Blu-Ray in the bedroom with the gaming system and moving the actual component into the den area where we could take advantage of the surround sound. The only wrinkle there is the TiVo which functions as our DVD player, which we've thought about replacing with a Hi Def Tivo, which would in turn eliminate the cable box. The whole idea is just a series of upgrades in equipment that would ultimately leave us with the same number of components, though I'm thinking if we do it now we may end up taking the same bath on that that the wife did when she bought the TiVo itself and a ginormous widescreen TV several years ago.

Although, to be realistic, she got about 7 years of use out of both items before upgrading to the new television in the den, so that's not so bad in the life of an electronic device I guess.

We had a late lunch afterward, kinda people watching at Chili's while waiting for our food.

Back at the MIL's house, we installed the printer, which took a little onger than anticipated, as the MIL's computer needed to install 25 updates before fucking around with us and the new device it was trying to detect. Seriously, 25 updates the thing needed from Microsoft, like I said, she never even turns it on, but was hellbent on getting a printer for it.

We headed home and I hopped online, downloaded the firmware updates and burned them to CD. I popped this in the Blu-Ray player and crossed my fingers, reading through the instructions I'd printed out and getting hopeful as each described prompt appeared on the player's display. I was a little freaked out though, as the instructions said that the update wasn't complete until the screen read "DL OK" or some shit, and the player eventually ended its shenanigans by completely turning off with the disc tray ejected. I gambled and grabbed the disc out of there, then turned it on and checked the firmware version, and it had updated to 3.95.

Rather than try to play Batman Begins immediately and be immensely pissed that the firmware wasn't the issue (a very real possibility in my super negative world), I popped The Signal back in and finished that. I really dug the film a lot, I'd like to take the time tomorrow to write it up for the BSL. It features an interesting narrative structure set around an outbreak of violence by anyone who watches a certian strange television signal. A love triangle gets really ugly over the course of the three segments of the story, and I really enjoyed it.

Swear To Me!Afterward I popped in Batman Begins and the damned thing actually played, it was every bit as much fun as I remembered it being, grim and gritty with a nice dose of the psychology behind the character. I really want to try and see The Dark Knight next week if possible, but that may not happen as I want to get some work done before we have to leave Thursday for Little Rock, Arkansas to visit friends.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Wasted Day In Blogville; Population: Me

Getting the late start on this mother, let's see if we can just plow through so I can still manage to get to bed at a decent hour, shall we?

The wife had an early morning, so she'd gone to bed early last night. I did my writing shtick a bit early and then headed to bed to watch another Blu-Ray rental from those rental throttling pricks at Netfux. Naughty Royals... I really dug The Bank Job, though there are a few details about the fallout from the crime that seemed a little glossed over at the end, but overall it's a pretty fun heist flick, easily worth a rental if you are into Statham or the crime genre.

The wife was gone this morning, already out the door to drop the dog at the groomer and head on to her early morning meeting when I got up just before 10:00. I checked e-mail and piddled around the house a bit, then got a wild hair to go and sell a few random DVD's at the local books, music and video emporium. I had a giftcard that I was interested in spending if at all possible, and I'd seen a few things in there that I was considering picking up used and somewhat cheap.

I dropped some stuff off at the post office and then hit the store, fielding a call from the wife somewhere in there that told me she'd be free around 1:00. I halfway planned on thoroughly shopping the store, since the sale of the other batch of DVD's scored me another $30 on the giftcard I already had, for a total of just over $50 worth of store credit.

I'd noticed a few Code Red DVD releases that last time I was in there, and they were still around, so I picked up copies of both Dead Pit and Devil Times Five just because I'd heard an interview with one of their people over on Destroy The Brain last week and they sounded like an interesting company.

I met the wife for some lunch, then as I was leaving the restaurant got a call from Robbb, who I had attempted to get hold of earlier. He was heading to lunch, so I met him to just visit a bit and possibly eat a dessert item while he had his lunch and vented about his job. I gassed up the Maxima and then headed home. The wife and I visited for a bit, caught up on our day and then I checked e-mail until we heard from the groomers.

We picked up the dog and went back home to wait for Brian, who had scheduled us at 6:30, as is his habit because he hates any form of surprise. We went to eat at a nearby steakhouse, and I was on the edge of saying fuckit and taking us to another restaurant when a adjacent table finally called for their tabs and thankfully left. They were annoying me as soon as we were seated, a bunch of college-aged kids who were distraught that their waitress couldn't just begin serving them rounds of shots as if they were in a fuckin' dance club rather than a full service restaurant; mixed drinks just wouldn't cut it for these fun-loving youngsters. I was coaxing a headache along as we listened in on this bullshit, but I was relieved when they asked for their tickets instead and left for boozier pastures.

I mean, Jesus, I know we live in a small town with very little to do, but how do you order ROUNDS of liquor shots in a restaurant without feeling at least a little like a fucking alcoholic?

We ate and I got a call from Robbb, who was interested in coming over after work, so we headed home, making a pitstop at the liquor store because I now had a hankering for a mixed drink once we got home. She's A Whole Lotta Woman

We watched Foxy Brown, a DVD out of the Fox In A Box set I bought recently. Brian split somewhere in the middle, not caring to find out if the gorgeous Pam Grier managed to triumph over The Man.

I stayed up a bit late visiting with Robbb, who eventually left shortly before midnight because he has to make an appearance at work tomorrow.

I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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