Monday, November 30, 2009

If You're A Hacker: Please, Kill Yourself.

This has been a really shitty day folks. I was up until just after 7:00 AM this morning because I had issues with the PC in the Office, the end result being that I was up running different diagnostic shit until the wee hours of the morning just to make sure that the computer would even boot up properly.

What's The Deal With The Damned Island Anyway?The upshot is that I spend a lot of time on the web, I look at some relatively sketchy sites, but last night/this morning I find myself on a website relating to the television show Lost (a fairly harmless subject), and the next thing I know, I have stuff trying to open new windows on me, disabling the Goddamned Norton anti-virus when I try to access it to see what the fuck is happening, etc. I finally reached under the desk and just unplugged the cable connection, just to prevent God knows what from accessing the computer. I then spend a good 2 hours or so waiting for the Norton program to finish running a full system diagnostic, which finds absolutely nothing and more importantly was what was running and let God knows what start installing itself on the computer while I was on the web.

An Interesting Look Into The MediumI read about 100 pages of the Film book from the Eyewitness Companion series, which details the history of film and was just gearing up to explain to me just how films get made, from the pitch process on up when the computer finally wrapped up the scan, so I started the Spyware scans next, still not comfortable connecting it to the web because who knows what it would be doing while I surfed the web? The second program actually found three different types of Malware on the computer, which would explain why the fucking thing kept doing strange stuff when I tried to open the anti-virus program, as it was obviously programmed to fuck with that kinda thing. I deleted all the stuff that program found, finally braved plugging the interweb connection back in to see if it went apeshit again when connected to the web, which it didn't. It still didn't seem 100%, but it was able to get me online, so I posted the blog and got the fuck offline at about 7:00 AM this Monday morning.

I stumbled to bed, only sort of sleepy, mostly just irritated and kinda sad at the time. I think I'm still doing this box step with depression, as I don't feel exactly depressed, but I know there's some shit bothering me, at least subconsciously, so everything that doesn't quite work out as planned is just another reason to be miserable and think 'poor me' at this stage of things.

I slept about 5 hours, then got up and went to Best Buy to exchange the first season of Supernatural for one without a scratched disc 5, which I figured was a good project for today, as I was in a shitty mood anyway and if they gave me even an ounce of attitude I was ready to make a scene as if someone was stealing my fucking wallet or something. That was thankfully pretty hassle free, and I called the wife to see if she wanted me to bring her anything for lunch, as I went to bed hungry this morning.

My Only FriendI spent the afternoon in a weird funk, not really doing much beyond watching television. I broke out the Maker's Mark around 4:30 or so, and have been drinking fairly steady since then (I'm typing this at 2:29 AM), so I don't recommend that for everyone, but it's taken the edge off things for me today.

The wife and I watched a few odds and ends like the new episode of Heroes, otherwise I pretty much pissed the day away. I spent some time with the computer and after several other minor frustrations was able to discern that the proxy settings (what the fuck ever those are) had been changed, which was fucking up how Tweetdeck displayed and the ability of iTunes to even connect to the web, so I was very relieved to finally figure out what was causing the issue after running through some iTunes trouble-shooting stuff.

I sincerely don't get the allure of being the hacker or malware creator, as 90% of it appears designed to just annoy and irritate the unfortunate soul who stumbles on whatever site they set it up on. I'm something of a curmudgeonly type, but when you're just creating shit that is little more than cybernetic dog shit left in a flaming bag on an interweb site, what's the point of you continuing to live? Seriously, if you are one of these people, fucking kill yourself, you won't be missed and you may brighten the day of those around you because you won't be draining society of resources and important things like air.

I'm out kids, I hope tomorrow is better and more productive, though the shitty weather is going to definitely make it hard to get motivated.

Be seeing you.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cinematic Sunday One Hundred Sixteen

Okay, Trailers and whatnot, let's slap on our smiles and slog through this shit once again, eh?

First up we have a new film by Noah Baumbach, which I mention in an effort to work my way back around to covering/watching more indie film after the horror blitzkrieg of this past October. His new film is called Greenberg and stars Ben Stiller as a disillusioned man house-sitting for his much more successful younger brother. He begins to fall for Greta Gerwig while trying to figure out what to do with his life,

Next we have Exam, from first time director Stuart Hazeldine. The film stars a goodly number of people who I'm not all that familiar with, though I did recognize one fellow named Colin Salmon as the gentlemen giving out the rules that must be obeyed by the participants. The story is that of 8 applicants who are ushered into a windowless room and given three rules to obey while they try to answer one simple question, which looks to be the real twist of the story: what is the question?

Next up we have Imago, a film from Chris Warren that stars Natalie Jones as a woman who goes in search of her missing brother only to find something much more sinister than a simple missing persons case. The trailer looks fairly low budget, but some of these can be a lot of fun, so I'm keen to give it a look when it comes out late next year. The effects look like some practical rubbery fun, which is always a bonus in my book, give it a peep.

Finally this evening, talking of low budget, here a film from Fede Alvarez, a Uruguayan director who has scored a deal with Sam Raimi's Ghost House Underground as a result of this short film, which was made for a minuscule budget compared to the action you see in its short 4 minutes. I give you Panic Attack!, a rather apocalyptic vision of an alien invasion.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Lingering Dread

I've been staying up late and spending way too much money online the past few days, coupled with not actually getting anything watched or reviewed, which has left me feeling like I may be dancing around the edges of some kind of depression. I don't know what to do to change this exactly, as I also find myself very unmotivated to change this scenario right now. The encroaching holidays don't fill me with anything beyond mild dread, as the decorating and gatherings aren't the worst thing to happen to the world, but they come a close second, at least in my head. I think that between the general ugliness of the area as we go into winter, yellow grass, skeletal trees, etc, the various deaths that I associate with the end of the year (my father's from years ago and now Macguffin's this past October), the whole fourth quarter is like a disaster waiting to happen for me, emotionally speaking.

I ran an errand to the post office in the early afternoon while the wife caught up with e-mail online, then we ate and watched some television because I didn't feel like committing to a film at the time. The wife and I entertained more out of town guests this afternoon, so that ate up a weird block of time, then we got ready to take the Middle Sister out to dinner for her birthday in the evening.

We ended up at this oddball restaurant I'd never even heard of across town, which is kinda hard to do in a town of this size; you eventually hear about EVERY possible restaurant option, as there's little else to do. The meal wasn't bad, but wasn't anything I'd ever see myself driving across town to check out again either, so that's too bad, it would've been nice to have another place to add to the rotation, but honestly, in this area we need another Mexican restaurant like a hole in the head. We visited a bit during the meal, then said our goodbyes outside the restaurant before going our separate ways.

On the way back to the house I got what I thought was a call from Macguffin's ex-wife, as I'd had his Mother's home number in my phone as his wife's work phone number. I let the call go to voicemail, then checked it, realizing my error, so the first thing I did once we got home was update the number in my phone so it reflected who was actually calling rather than the previous listing. I called Mac's Mother back to see how she was doing, only to find out that she wanted to line things out for me to help her load some of his stuff out of his home, as early as this coming Monday. We caught up a bit, the sudden packing schedule due to the fact that his ex-wife has begun to make noise about moving back into the house her husband killed himself in, which just blows my mind, but whatever, I have no idea what goes through her mind anymore. I agreed to meet her and see what we could get done, though I think both of us are balking at the sheer amount of stuff a collector like Mac could accumulate.

I don't relish the idea of going through his stuff, but I don't exactly know what else to do and I'd hate for her to have to deal with it alone. I suppose it will be nice to have a few items to remember him by, though there'll definitely be some duplication to our respective libraries. Our friend Buckaroo Banzai is also meant to be involved in this process, as some of the comic book related material was meant for him as well, but I don't know if I'll be able to get hold of him before Monday.

I spoke to the wife about this whole process, as well as my current state of mind, which is now slightly darker as I'm steeling myself to visit the house in which my best friend took his own life.

Can we just skip to January? I'd love for this to just be over, quite frankly.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

What Is This, 20 Questions? I Ordered A Coffee, Didn't I?

Ah, Black Friday, a tradition I've never had the option of partaking in as every job I've held has kept me at work on the day immediately following Thanksgiving, either due to it being retail or most recently because the floral biz kicks into Christmas decorating mode immediately after the turkey-centric holiday.

Standing outside in the cold to wait in hopes of getting a slight price break on a DVD? Yeah, I think my time is worth slightly more than that, thank you very little. Any shopping I did relating to Black Friday was online, and the majority of it was sadly for me rather than anyone else for Christmas gifting, but that's the selfish prick that I am, now isn't it?

My buddy Robbb was in town for the holiday, so I got a call from him while I was out picking up some lunch for the wife and myself, so I invited him over for the afternoon to shoot the shit. The wife and I had time to eat and watch an episode of Supernatural before he arrived, which still stuttered through the halfway point due to those annoying scratches I noticed on the disc yesterday. I'm definitely going to go and see if that's something I can exchange, since it's been just over a week since purchase and is completely not my fault that the damned thing is scratched.

Robbb & I visited for awhile, the wife eventually excused herself to take a nap and let us catch up, so we chilled in the backyard to enjoy the patio furniture possibly one last time before it's too cold, or the weather turns shitty and rainy tomorrow. We eventually took a drive and picked up a coffee, where the Starbuck's kid suddenly leans out the drive-thru window and asks (apropos of nothing, mind you) "So where are ya'll from - I mean, are you from around here?"

I said something like "Uh, yeah, basically, but he lives in Dallas now...", indicating my passenger, who he then addressed, asking where he lived (!), then mentioning that he himself used to live in that area, asking Robbb about a few specific landmarks or what the hell ever as I wondered why we'd suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a fucking interview. He then went on to ask what our relationship to one another was (!?!), "So how do you know each other, are you two friends, relatives...cousins?" which left me with the distinctly weird feeling that either the kid has A) no boundary issues or B) possibly needs some older gay man to take him under his wing and teach him the ropes, which doesn't describe me at all, and Robbb can't be bothered with, because he doesn't live here.

We finally got our drinks and I drove away, asking Robbb what the fuck that was all about, adding: "I seriously wanted to stop him mid-question and just say look sport, I don't know what you're on about, but we're not going to be the guys to take you over to the queer bar for your first time 'out', so you're barking up the wrong tree." Such a bizarre conversation, possibly the oddest one I've had in months with a total stranger.

Holy Shit There's A 3 Disc Version Of This Turkey Out There Somewhere?!?We headed back to the house, taking a wandering route to show Robbb a few new businesses or bits of construction here and there, since he hasn't been in town very often. Back at the house we got fished into the re-make of The Day The Earth Stood Still on cable, as we were both morbidly curious. We watched about half of it before JH arrived, who was set to join us for dinner. She and the wife visited a bit before Robbb and I came to a stopping point in the film and we headed out to dinner.

I'd suggested Thai, as it's usually quiet and I wasn't in the mood to deal with any large crowds of yahoos who'd been out all day shopping like they meant it just to save $5 off an X-Box game or whatever the kids are interested in this year. After dinner we stopped into a drug store, as everyone (except me, oddly) had some sort of items that they needed, so we all split up and gave that store a pretty thorough once-over (did you know that Walgreens has basically a full aisle dedicated to fucking sweat-pants?), then returned to the house. Robbb and I dove back into the film, JH and the wife visited for a bit, then JH headed for home.

Robbb hung with us through a new episode of The Soup, then he went to meet a buddy of his who was getting off work late, just to try and get all his visiting in before he has to leave tomorrow. The wife and I called it a night shortly thereafter.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Technology Falls Like A House Of Cards This Evening

So this being the big day of thankfulness and general gorging, the wife and I were both wide-ass awake at 4:00 AM for no real reason and slept later than intended. Or at least I did, she actually got up and cooking with the alarm, as she had several dishes to prep for the trip to the Mother In Law's at 1:00 to be fully prepared for the dinner at 2:00. I stumbled in mid-parade and made coffee around 10:30, wandered onto the driveway to retrieve the newspaper and tried to wake up a bit. The wife ran down her phone tree of various people who needed to be wished a Happy Thanksgiving, then we both dressed and loaded up the various dishes for the short trip to the MIL's house.

Watchoo Talkin' Bout?We took the Yorkie with us, as she rarely gets an outing to the MIL's, just because she inevitably gets into something, be it the MIL's dogs' food, a treat laying around somewhere in the big giant house, whatever, she always comes back with a slightly upset stomach, because the Yorkie is so fucking delicate she can only eat certain items without it nearly killing her. The wife asked if we should bring her, I decided to gamble and let her live it up a little with the other dogs, so we made the short drive and unloaded, pausing to first put away the other dog's dishes so that Bella wouldn't dive for them as she usually does.

Grandmother & the Uncle arrived just behind us, so I helped them unload their food items and they set about getting everything lined out for the 2:00 blast-off time. I flipped through the MIL's newspaper and listened to the various conversations, pausing to take the Yorkie outside so that (hopefully) she wasn't sneaking away to pop a squat in a spare room while we weren't looking. The Uncle was outside smoking, so we shot the shit for a time while the Yorkie wandered all over the back yard and pissed on EVERYTHING, then we headed back inside.

The Middle Sister arrived, sans her son & husband, which was something of a relief, as listening to him yammer about nothing for the afternoon is something I look forward to about as much as unexpected proctological exams. The Middle Sister on the other hand (when she's in a good mood, mind you) can be a lot of fun, and so she was this afternoon, so that was cool.
Grandmother was wringing her hands and demanding to eat, so we let her lead the food line charge, only to have her stop at the end of the counter with her plate and start pissing and moaning that no one else was getting their food and she "didn't want to go in there and sit by herself". Seriously, this old broad is quite the handful if things aren't going just exactly how she imagines them to be occurring, I can only assume this will run in the family and keep things interesting/annoying for many years to come, or at least until I decide to spend the holidays by myself in the garage with the Maxima running.

The meal was good, we ate and visited and I periodically snapped at the Yorkie, who has taken to a really irritating habit of whining for scraps when you eat, made all the more annoying because it's not as though she really gets any scraps while we eat. We may give her a taste once the meal is over, but for the most part we avoid the mid-meal nibble, so why she's suddenly decided there's any future in crying and shit is beyond me. Grandmother told the Uncle a whopping 3 separate times that he should have some pie, even though he had no interest in any, which cracked me up to no end when he finally had to tell her "Mother, leave me the hell alone, I'm full and I don't want any pie!" which finally shut her down. I've just never had a relative who wanted to tell me what to eat, so this is moderately entertaining right now, when she starts nagging my ass about stuff I may have to get ugly tho.

The wife and I headed home after helping put away food and leftovers and I believe that the MIL split to go and visit her new Beau.

Warning-Contains Brief Scenes Of Turkey Rape!We chilled in the bedroom and I fired up the PS3 and popped in the Netfux Streaming Disc to look at a few things on the Instant Watch, including a really awful flick called Thankskilling, which is about a homicidal turkey killing people. The tagline is "Gobble Gobble, Motherfucker!" and it's just silly as all hell, but we got a few laughs out of it, so that served its purpose. It's a movie about a turkey puppet killing people, so you know from reading just that one sentence if it's for you or not.

I was in the middle of a second film while the wife succumbed to the turkey's tryptophan kiss when the PS3 suddenly hit a black screen, as if it was buffering, and basically stalled out on the film, a hassle that's not happened before when using the Streaming Disc. I wondered if it was something to do with the internet connection, so I re-booted the router, ejected the disc and attempted to start over, to no avail. I spent a good 20 minutes getting online, making sure the web was indeed connected to, then trying to re-boot the connection on the PS3, every attempt timing out and eliciting a new round of cursing from your humble narrator, oh me bruddahs. I tried numerous times to re-trace the initial set-up steps, which just consists of scanning for a network and joining that fucker, and each and every tie the PS3 was unable to connect to our home network, which I can only assume means that I was enjoying my life slightly more than I'm meant to, so something hadda fuck up. Nothing's easy.

I poked around a bit on the interweb, but every search about "PS3 dropped signal" or whatever seemed to do little beyond bringing up online gaming issues, nothing really relating to my own specific situation of streaming video suddenly shitting the bed. I'm crossing my fingers that this is simply a strange hiccup in our interweb service and will right itself by tomorrow afternoon, so I decided to walk away and turn everything off before I ended up throwing a remote into the wall or something, as the problem with NO discernible reason for its existence was driving me apeshit crazy.

Resenting the presence of the PS3, I asked the wife if she'd mind moving into the den and watching some television in there, so we re-located and gave a spin to a few things on the TiVo, then I pop in the 5th disc of the Supernatural set I've been working my way through. We're midway through the second episode on the disc when the disc starts trying to skip, or just freeze up slightly. I eject it to find that the BRAND NEW DVD is scratched, presumably during the packaging process, as there wasn't a floater or anything when I opened it. I was able to fast forward past the offending spot, only missing a few lines of dialog, but I haven't made it to the end of the disc either, there may be other issues I've yet to encounter.

Adding final insult to injury for the day: the iPhone, which I generally use to check Twitter or e-mail periodically while watching television was suddenly refusing to connect to the web either, which I of course took in stride....well, no actually I felt like smashing the phone to fucking bits but was able to suppress the urge because I'd be shit out of luck for trying to buy a replacement on Black Friday tomorrow.

I sincerely fucking hope nothing else electronic or technology-related goes tits up on me this weekend, or I may have to start stabbing people.

I'm out Jive Turkeys!

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Quiet Day, ThisTurkey Eve

Not a lot going on today either, this week has been pretty quiet overall, which is nice, considering all the pre-Christmas chaos building up out there when you go out in public nowadays.

I decided to poke around at the old Big Lots to see if anything new had trickled in there for the cheap pile. The parking lot was alarmingly full for a late afternoon mid-week, but I headed in to see what was up. I found basically the same two pallets of stuff that's been hanging around for the past month or so, but I did grab a few odds and ends that I'd passed on before, or hadn't noticed in my many digs through all this stuff, as it does tend to start to blend together.

Every Damned Last One Of The Real GirlsThe only really interesting thing I found that I thought was new this time around was actually a copy of a David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Eastbound & Down, etc.), a little flick called All The Real Girls, which I've always heard good things about but never gotten around to watching. I guess I can throw it on the pile of things to do after the first of the year, right?

I picked up an early dinner for the wife and I on my way home, just some burgers to munch on and give her one less thing to worry about, as she had plans to start working on some baking this evening for tomorrow's big family feast. M. Hulot In The Big CityOnce I got back to the house I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a package on the front porch from Barnes & Noble, who recently had a big 50% off sale on their Criterion stuff, including Blu-ray stuff, so I grabbed a film from a director that I've always been aware of, but never actually seen a film by. This particular edition of Jacques Tati's 1967 film Playtime has been very highly regarded in the numerous reviews I've read, so combined with a 20% off coupon and free shipping, a Criterion Blu-ray for $15 and some change is a helluva deal.

The wife and I ate dinner, then she piddled in the kitchen with some baking projects she was working on and I watched some stuff off the old TiVo, then we wrapped our evening with the latest episode of Ghost Hunters Academy, in which they finally gut loose one of the recruits, which was nice to see finally happen, as she was particularly annoying and didn't seem to have a lot of interest in the type of investigations that they normally do on the show.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Words Failed Me Today...

I ended up feeling like total shit last night once I finally hit the bed, as sinus drainage combined with my already acid reflux-y feeling left me up and down all night, for about 5 hours or less 'sleep' before the alarm went off. I forced myself out of bed and got coffee going to try and wake up a bit, the wife eventually waking herself and dressing for some errands.

Left to my own devices, I got some writing done in the Office, for a review that I just had zero interest in writing (but I owe a site the review), so every single paragraph was like a supreme act of will to try and limp that fucker past the 500 word count but I think I finally did it. I still need to go back and re-read it, see if it even makes sense or just reads like a series of idiotic factoids about a film that I just couldn't muster any passion to write about. The fucked up thing is that I didn't hate the film or anything, I just don't have any deep abiding desire to go on and on about it in the review.

I got some more online poking around done for Christmas ideas, which are slowly starting to gel for me, though I'm far from confident in my shopping choices right at this second. I wish I had a firmer idea of what to get the wife, but I usually hit on something once I pick up a few little small items, and I've got time to run with it at this point.

I finally had a few hunger pangs in the late afternoon, so I loaded up the recycling and dropped that off before picking up a chicken sandwich for the meal to ease me back into the swing of things.

I ended up watching some more of Supernatural season one this afternoon and evening, and since my stomach was still feeling slightly hinky after last night's insomnia issues I bowed out of another family dinner, though the wife split to meet them around 6:00 at a Japanese steakhouse, because the kids like the spectacle of it all. She eventually returned home and watched some of the Winchester Brothers plight with me, then we called it a night shortly after 10:00, as she was tired and I was nodding myself after the lack of sleep last night.

I then got caught up in listening to the live recording of a coupe of (Cool) Shite shows, which woke me up, but now it's late and I should already be in bed.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

I Think That There's Still Fish In My Esophagus; That Can't Be A Good Sign.

Man, I am stuffed. One of the major downfalls of visiting family is the near constant drive to find an activity to entertain the guests with, which more often than not unfortunately ends up being a meal out at this or that restaurant.

The wife and I spent the morning piddling around the house, then I checked e-mail for a few before we went to grab some lunch. We elected to have Chinese in hopes of the old cliche of being hungry soon afterward holding true, as we knew we'd have dinner out with the Mother In Law and the visiting family this evening.

Back at the house, the wife caught a nap since she didn't have some non-profit breathing down her neck while I headed to the Office to settle in and get some writing done. That plan lasted for about a paragraph and a half of one review, then I made the mistake of pausing to check the pricing of something online and the next thing I know, I've lost the afternoon to Christmas shopping. I got a few things for the wife taken care of, which is nice, as well as picking up a few cheap things for myself, which is a bad idea, but one I figure I can try to play catch-up with as of January, as I plan to go cold turkey on the shopping thing.

You heard me, I'm going to stop buying new stuff until the point that I watch at least half of the stuff in the teetering piles of un-watched DVD's and Blu-rays that I've been stacking up around this house for the past few years. I've not done a head count on the actual number of films I have to watch, but I'd guess that it's easily 200 or more, so I plan to do a final count in the last week of December, once the Christmas gifting is over and then dive into watching this stuff that I keep putting off in pursuit of other new items. I blame the comic book collecting as a child, it conditions you to purchasing things on a specific day each week, so when I gave that stuff up, I ended up taking up films, DVD's etc as the next evolution in that collecting bug. The only issue was that the comic can be read on the toilet in 20 minutes or so, the average film requires at least 90 minutes of your time, and God forbid you have any interest in the bonus features, because you'll never have time to look at any of that shit because there's always something new coming out.

Oh, My Precious...This to-watch pile project has been addressed by my buddy Heavenztrash over on the Mondo Movie forums, where the general idea is that we all get together and fess up to the number of films we have to watch, then report back to the forums to see how everyone's doing with their lists. Sort of like an online support group I suppose, though unlike all that 12 stepper shit we won't be instructing anyone on how to stop buying them, just cheering them on when they watch something.

The wife had a meeting for about an hour this evening, then she picked me up at the house and we headed over to Odessa to meet the MIL and the Out Of Towners for dinner. We hit up Red Lobster, the request (demand?) of the two children, as they don't have this option in their hometown. The food was good, we visited and while I went into the restaurant feeling a bit hungry, I left feeling like I could vomit. I definitely need to start pacing my eating habits better, because as my inactivity coupled with eating when I'm not exactly hungry could easily leave me buried in a piano crate if I'm not careful. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can still navigate on my own and get out of bed of my own accord at the moment, but for how long? You can only hog down on biscuits for so long before they take a toll on you & you just die of fat at the end of an hour-long special on the The Learning Channel called I Didn't Realize I Was On The Verge Of Fucking Death or whatever catchy title they'll apply to my story.

The wife and I headed home afterward to chill out and watch some television before calling it a night.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cinematic Sunday One Hundred Fifteen

Starting this one late, so let's just do this shit and go to bed, right?

(That's what she said.)

Starting off tonight with an Australian release called Road Train from director Dean Francis, which evidently refers to those 18 wheelers you see hauling two trailers, that's a 'road train' and in this film, one of them plows over an SUV in the Australian Outback, stranding the travelers, played by Sophie Lowe, Xavier Samuel, Bob Morley, and Georgina Haig. with one of their friends injured, the kids investigate the truck and find it empty, so they seize the opportunity to escape in the vehicle, only to find themselves at the mercy of what appears to be a supernatural force, as the truck drives them somewhere else altogether, not the next town that they try to head to. I was thinking Duel or Road Games when I first started reading the synopsis, but the other elements seem to take a stab at expanding on that original idea, which is intriguing.

Next we have a trailer that's been floating around for awhile now, though I've never brought it up. Since I'm kinda hurting for stuff this week I figured I'd go with the trailer for Bitch Slap, which comes to us from director Rick Jacobson and stars America Olivo, Erin Cummings and Julia Voth as the three leads. It's essentially an action film about an extortion scheme, populated with all the over the top B-Movie & Exploitation tropes that most guys are fans of, but one has to wonder if the concept may seem a little thin by the final reel. The film looks fun and light-hearted, but I remain slightly gun-shy because the last pre-packaged 'cult' film I decided to check out was Hell Ride, a film which was like having my eyes aborted with a coat hanger in a back alley and all involved should be punished for their involvement in that film. I remain cautiously optimistic about Bitch Slap, which will receive a limited release in early 2010.

Finally we have a something that was rather tricky to nail down even these scant few details on, but here's what I gleaned from the web: There's an upcoming Indonesian slasher film called Waterfall Bride (huh?), which will star Tamara Bleszynski as the lead and appears to feature numerous deaths and mayhem amongst friends on a frolicsome vacation to a tropical island. Cute girls plus average looking slasher elements equals at least mild curiosity for me, so give it a look if you like, but since there's no subtitling don't be expecting much of an idea about the plot beyond 'hot people killed in ritualistic manners', and how much more do you ask of your average horror fare?

And I'm out.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Television Ate My Saturday

The entire day was lost into the flickering maw of the telly, as i attempted to get caught up on a few things that'd been on the DVR in the bedroom.

I'd been watching Ong Bak 2 in pieces, as the film had devolved into a glorified stunt reel, so I finished that off in the late morning, then watched the middle portion of the AMC re-make of The Prisoner before taking some time off to go and pick up a bite to eat.

He's Not A Number, He's A Free Man. A Free, BORING ManI finished up The Prisoner once I returned home with our lunch, and I have to say that while it wasn't completely terrible, it just never hit the same stride as the original series, even though it had the luxury of having another 30 years of storytelling and visual style to cherry-pick from when it came to re-working the material. I've seen much more enigmatic storytelling in other television recently (Lost), and more stylish visuals in many other films in recent years, this just never hit the mark for me. I would also have to express my disappointment at having guessed the general reveal of the true nature of The Village and 6's dilemma from small flashes peppered throughout the series, possibly as early as the first episode, which is a bit sad, honestly. If you create a giant six part mystery but show your hand that early, you might wanna consider re-working your editing, or at the very least try to vague it up a bit more.

I also spent the afternoon bouncing back and forth to the Office to get make sure the computer got defragmented and the little spy-ware run, just because I want to try to make a weekend habit instead of waiting for it to start stuttering or having issues.

The evening brought us to the den, where we checked out last week's episode of Desperate Housewives and then I popped in the second disc of Supernatural season one, which is still pretty interesting. The only real quibble I have is that a good deal of the exposition in the show is delivered in somewhat heavy handed conversations between the two brothers to fill the audience in, shit like "Well, there's the legend of the (fill in the blank) which follows the same details as the murders we just discovered...", but that aside, it's a fun show, I'm happy to have started giving it a look.

We called it a night around 10:30 and I headed to the Office to slap this shit together for you nice folks.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Avoiding The Rush: Everyone Else Has The Same Idea?

The wife was up early to hit a pedicure appointment that she'd made, so I slept in a bit, then got up and went to see what she was up to. We made a plan for the day, then I hopped online for a few to check e-mail before we headed out to run errands.

The wife was wrapping up a mailing she'd been working on, so I dressed and we headed out to drip off her stuff at the post office, with the plan being that we'd head over to the Mother In Law's afterward and then go do the grocery shopping for the coming Thanksgiving dinner.

We had Thai food a the other Thai place her in town, as I was craving their spring rolls, which I assume contain an addictive chemical, because they are just sooo much tastier than anything else here in town. After lunch, we had about an hour to kill, so we ended up visiting Grandmother and the Uncle, who is still visiting from Arkansas since they were on the way to the MIL's house anyway. We visited with them for a bit, then finally made our way to meet the MIL and shop like we meant it.

I was absolutely stunned by how busy the grocery store was, as the wife and I typically do our thing on a Wednesday at 2:30 in the afternoon, when all the soccer moms are out picking up their rodent children and away from the store, but on a Friday it appears that all bets are off, because we were knee-deep in idiots for the entire shopping experience. I had an elderly woman sidle up to our cart with her own whilst I was bent down grabbing some sodas, so when I turn around to place a 12 pack of drinks in the cart I've got Oldie Hawn standing there like Jason, staring me down. I cheerfully say "Oh, sorry about that!", wondering to myself why she didn't just roll her happy ass around me rather than all but nudging me with her cart, but I figured that she needed Diet Cokes or whatever I was in front of. I went ahead and started moving around the corner and I'll be damned if she didn't do just the same, indicating to me that rather than move around me, she'd decided to take the path of most resistance, standing in the (wide) aisle, glaring until I moved out of her way, which is just fucking ridiculous. People suck. Bill Hicks proves it in the video below.

We eventually reconvened with the MIL, who'd loaded up her own cart full of stuff, as she's expecting some company this weekend, then we headed to the check out and got the hell out of there. We had ice cream melting, so I unloaded our stuff in to the Maxima, then we unloaded all the MIL's stuff and split to go and put all our stuff away before anything started to turn.

We had Brian for dinner this evening (same as it ever was, same as it ever was), but had also invited JH along for the ride, so we chilled at the house for an hour and change, then met them for dinner.

I was again STUNNED by the amount of traffic out running around, it was as if we'd decided to go to dinner to celebrate our Black Friday purchases or something; it's not even Thanksgiving yet, where the hell are all these people coming from? The meal was good, we had the amusement/annoyance of watching some douche in a Camaro try to back it into a parking lot for about a full minute, jockeying back and forth while revving his hotrod engine the whole time, it was really pissing the wife off as we walked inside, an oddity for her, she's usually pretty laid back. Brian was kind enough to pick up dinner, so that was nice of him, a gesture for last week's 4 meals in a row, as well as a nod to my birthday earlier in the week, a nice change of pace.

Macaroni Combat!After dinner, the wife and I passed on hanging out at Brian's, as we'd normally watch The Soup with him but I was determined to watch the Enzo Castellari film I have needed to review, Eagles Over London, a WWII film set during the Battle Of Britain as British troops search for Nazi saboteurs posing as their fellow Brits in London. It was an okay watch, with some inspired camera work here and there, but the audio track was out of synch for most of the film, which was somewhat distracting when they zoomed in on a face. The long shots weren't so bad, but the close-ups drew lots of attention to it. I need to write up the review over the weekend, I hope to finally get caught up, as another fucking week has been eaten up by this or that type of nonsense.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dentist, Funeral & Assorted Nonsense

The first part of the day was tied up with outside commitments, as I had to be at the Dentist at 11:00, then back home to dress for a funeral. You may recall the Hairdressers, who I've mentioned numerous times? One of their Mothers has been ill for quite some time, and passed away earlier in the week, so we were meant to turn out for the mass that was scheduled for 1:00 in the afternoon.

I hit the dentist, which had me cooling my heels as usual and wondering why they fuck around with an appointment if they perpetually start 15 minutes late with everyone? That was fairly painless, then I dashed home and got into a suit for the funeral, then the wife picked me up and we headed over that way.

The mass was thankfully not entirely in Spanish (which I was kind of expecting: honestly, we were possibly the only white people there besides 2 or 3 people who've married into the family), but the priest had a noticeably odd cadence to his voice, which went from dramatic MLK-esque 'I Have A Dream!' styled enunciation of words, but was punctuated with the word "Y'know" at the end of each sentence where a period or a comma might usually live. It was a maddening swirl, from dramatic evocations of the spirit back to an expression I'd expect to hear from a kid at the mall. I don't know if the priest thinks it makes things more informal and accessible, or if he is just a poor speaker, but I found it rather bothersome.

On a related note, I DESPISE the new translation of the Bible that's being used in a lot of churches these days, the simplified language of it irritates me to no end. I'm a lousy Christian, but by God, I was able to understand the Bible in the manner in which it was translated 20 years ago and I'm of the opinion that dumbing it down for a modern audience does them no favors whatsoever, because frankly, if you want the salvation promised within, maybe you should do the heavy lifting and look up a few words to understand what you just read. "Lazarus, come out"? Seriously, you had people raising their hands, confused by "Lazarus, come forth."? Maybe they need a remedial Bible class that also instructs them to not eat the book or try to wear it as a hat, since we're holding everyone's hand and babying them along.

They even changed some of the wording in the Lord's Prayer (!), for Christ's sake.

And yes, I fully understand the irony and ignorance of ranting about this in a post filled with swearing and lots of un-Christian attitudes, but I read that book back in the day as a CHILD and had no problem understanding it, now we're changing it up to attract people with no vocabulary? Ridiculous.

There was a big family feed thing to be held at a local restaurant afterward, but I excused us from that because I had no interest in basicllay milling around a family as it mourned like some kinda tourists seeing the grief sights. We know like four people there, but how much time can we expect them to spend with us and ignoring the rest of their family? I figured it'd be easier to split before the meal, as extraction from things later in the afternoon seemed even harder to do.

We picked up some lunch for me on the way home (the wife had eaten at a luncheon earlier), then we just chilled in the bedroom and made our way through a few things on the DVR, including the third episode of the new V series, which continues to be interesting to me, and the first two episodes of the recent AMC re-make of The Prisoner. I wish I could say that The Prisoner was as intriguing as the V re-boot, but man, aside from some hints as to the location of The Village (or whatever the big scheme behind it is), there's just nothing about this mini-series that is really grabbing me so far. Jim Caviezel's portrayal of 6 is just not all that compelling and the series lacks the mystery and menace that the original series had, just feels more like 6 wandering around asking the same questions. I guess I always think of Patrick McGoohan playing his hand much closer to his chest than this re-boot seems to, so this isn't grabbing me, as 6 seems much less resourceful and clever, at least in the first 2 episodes I ran through this afternoon.

Another Fight? Oh Thank God, I Was Terrified I Might Have To Understand PLOT For A Second There...I also watched a bit more of Ong Bak 2, which has been on the DVR for quite awhile, so long in fact this I forced myself to dive in even though I've heard several less than stellar reviews for it over the past few months. The reviews were unfortunately very indicative of what you get, as the plot is completely incidental, the film is basically a 2 hour stunt reel, I watched 30 minutes or so the other night, then another hour early this evening, I hope to make my way through the back half later tonight or tomorrow. I was hoping for the best, but aside from showing some truly amazing stunts and martial arts by Tony Jaa, there's not a lot going on here for me to care about. He was fighting generic guys in black for so long that I actually turned to the iPhone to check my e-mail, because after so long it all gets a tad monotonous, and when I finally stepped away from the film they were gearing up for the next 'level' of the fight, so it STILL wasn't over!

I got a text message from our girlfriend JH, who inquired about our plans for the evening, so we conned her into coming over and picking up a pizza on the way, so we chilled with her, ate and visited, catching up on the last week or so while watching some new stuff from our usual NBC lineup. JH split around 10:30 and we finished up 30 Rock, then the wife retired to the bedroom and I to the office to dick around with this.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

(Of course typing that makes me wish my copy of the original Prisoner on Blu-ray wasn't back ordered right now, but oh well, I have other shows I'm committed to anyway.)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maids, Bargain Shopping & The Supernatural

The wife slept in a bit today so I got up and picked up the kitchen a bit in anticipation of the Maid's arrival, made some coffee and tried to wake up.

I got some writing done and cleared out the last of my notes on the desk, which is a good feeling and means I have to dive into another chunk of stuff to review soon before the damned holidays are upon us and the world turns into mistletoe and shit for the next month or so.

The wife had some rat-killing to do in the afternoon, so I made plans to have lunch with my friend BB once I got the Maid out of my hair, which turned out to be a little earlier than expected because she brought a friend to help her. I got directions to BB's house (which I'd never been to), then made my way there, got a quick tour of the general living area and met her dogs before we headed out to grab a bite. We caught up a bit (she hadn't heard anything about Macguffin's death), then wandered through the local books, music and video outlet for a browse.

Not To Be Confused With The Reese Witherspoon-Matthew Broderick Joint...I ended up picking up a couple of used graphic novels for a few bucks less than they'd have sold for on Amazon, which wasn't too shabby, as well as a used copy of Johnnie To's film Election, which I don't think I've seen (I want to say I watched it, but I think I'm confusing it with Infernal Affairs, the other big Hong Kong crime film of recent years), as well as the recent release of Wong Kar Wai's Ashes Of Time Redux, something that I really wanted to buy when it first came out but just couldn't justify spending the cash on, but for a used copy, I figured what the hell. The two ended up averaging out to about $9 apiece, which is worth it to me, as they're both from directors I love.

Don't Let The CW Scare You Off...I dropped BB back at her place and headed to the house, stopping at the bank to make a deposit on my way, then I ended up watching a few episodes of Supernatural, a show which I'd blind-bought the first season of based on the recommendation of about 5 or 6 different online friends, and it's on sale this week for only $15, so I decided to give it a go. The show is interesting enough, 2 demon hunting brothers on the trail of their missing father encountering the typical monster of the week as they make their way along, so far into the 1st season they seem to be investigating a lot of urban legend type stuff, which is pretty cool. There's a certain Buffy-ish vibe to it, though a lot less jokey than Whedon's work tends to be, so it feels like it stands on it's own two feet.

The wife and I spent the evening with the TiVo in the den, catching up on a few things like Ghost Hunters and the somewhat corny Ghost Hunters Academy, then we called it a night around 10:00 or so.

I'm out kids, I have to be up for a Dentist appointment and then a funeral for a friends' mother tomorrow afternoon.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

35 Years On My Way To Hell

Chuck-E-Cheese's Worst Server EVARSorry to disappoint kids, but this will probably be the only post you get today, as I'll be taking my birthday off, as has become my custom.

I do have different art for you this time around, as I usually post with the image from the film Happy Birthday To Me, and the DVD of which (pictured at right) has been widely regarded as a disappointment to the fans of the film, as it lacked the wacky poster art and original soundtrack.

NO, Happy Birthday to ME!It's also a film I've never seen, and while I don't expect much from a middling slasher flick, I was able to acquire one thanks to interweb pal and all around nice guy Heavenztrash, who traded a copy with me via mail a month or so ago. I think I'll be breaking the cellophane on that one this evening and seeing what the fuss is all about. The general consensus I get from the web is that it's a long way to go for the shish-kabob scene you see at left, but what the hell, I watch a lot of oddball nonsense these days, what's the harm in throwing another one into the rotation?

There's typically not a lot going on today, as I'd kept the day clear to spend with the wife, though I know she has an unavoidable meeting later this evening, which is annoying, but oh well, she actually mentioned around my last birthday, so I guess you could say that I've had a bit of time to get used to the idea. The wife and I may go and grab some lunch and poke around at Best Buy in the afternoon, but otherwise I've not made any real plans today.

So far 35 doesn't feel any different than 34 did.

I'm out kids, thanks for stopping by.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

I Could Kill A Child, Especially If They're In A Creepy Fucking Group Staring At Me

Today was a strange day, in that I broke with my little 'back of the mind' list of movies I wanted to watch in a specific order, electing instead to check out a film that a podcast I was listening to was set to cover, just so I could be familiar with the material as they spoke about it.

Stay The Hell Out Of Spain!In an effort to try and keep up with The Gentlemen's Guide To Midnite Cinema, I went and drug out the recently purchased and as yet unwatched copy of Who Can Kill A Child?, a film from 1976 which posits the idea that a young couple travels to a remote Spanish island on which the children have turned on their parents and killed most of the adults in the village. These tourists arrive, are unfazed by the puzzlingly quiet children on the docks, are still unfazed by the utterly empty streets and businesses, the abandoned cups of coffee left on tables, things like that. They seem defiantly ignorant of their surroundings, and even after watching a 12 yr old fucking KILL an old man, the husband continues to poke around the village looking for other people. I'd be in a boat showing this place my ass at the first sign of empty stores and abandoned drinks; that shit's not normal and we're FUCKING LEAVING, get me? Did I mention he's got a pregnant wife with him? I mean, it's not as though he's with his Sporty Spice jogging buddy, this is a 70's era flower-child-looking girl who's 6 months pregnant, he should be a helluva lot more protective of her than he is, he even lies to her about what he's actually seen, presumably to try and not upset her; personally, I'd rather she be upset than fucking dead, but that's just me, I'm a caring husband.

Anyway, I watched this film, which isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be, it has some great eerie moments and nice visual flourishes, but overall the main protagonists just act in such a frustratingly idiotic manner that you want to throw shit at them.

The wife was home briefly in the afternoon to print up stuff for another evening meeting, so she was in the office while I watched the movie, then she split and I headed to the office myself to get some writing done. I worked on that for about 3 hours, then called it a day around 7:00, moving into the den and made myself a sandwich while I watched a few episodes of the original V series, which continue to be about as bad as the ones that've gone before them, but I'm the type who'll stick this out 'til the bitter end.

The wife got home late, we watched a new Heroes, then called it a night.

I turn 35 tomorrow, which seems weird.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cinematic Sunday One Hundred Fourteen

Sunday. Trailers. You know.

First up this evening we have something that I'm sure most movie-nerds have already seen, but still amuses me enough to post: The first official trailer for Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass. The film stars Aaron Johnson as a high schooler who decides to becomes a super-hero, in spite of his lack of powers or any real reason to do so. The film is based on the Mark Millar comic series of the same name and co-stars Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz as a father daughter crime fighting team, as well as Christopher Mintz-Plasse (the McLovin kid, who will never be anyone else to me in any role, EVER) as another 'super-hero'. I'm not familiar with the comic, though from what little I've read it was sold as a film property before finishing its' run as a series, which I believe still hasn't been completed even as I write this, but I guess it's easy to get distracted when Hollywood comes a'calling.

Next we have Leaves Of Grass, a film written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson. It's about a set of twin brothers, played by Edward Norton, one of whom is a pot dealer in Tennessee, the other a respectable Ivy League professor until the prof is drawn into the world in which his brother operates to participate in a scheme against the local drug lord. The film co-stars Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss and Keri Russell and has yet to secure distribution, but the trailer looks quite intriguing to me.

Finally we have Reykjavic Whale Watching Massacre, which is a horror film about a whale killing people with a chainsaw at sea. Naw, just fuckin' with ya, but wouldn't that have been bizarre? The film (directed by Júlíus Kemp) is actually about a group of people stranded on a whale watching excursion who are 'rescued' by what turns out to be murderous members of a whaling crew. I don't know a lot about this, though I spotted Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface himself) in there, and the trailer appears to give us a great deal of the plot, so unless there's a lot more twists to come I kinda feel like I've seen most of the action already. I do like the confined quarters of a boat as a setting, so I'll be keeping an eye out for this one.

And that's that.

I'm out kids, I'll seeya tomorrow to see what has been yanked from YouTube, as is the tradition from the past few weeks.

Be seeing you.

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