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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Maid, Ghosts, Ships, Dinner

I was up late last night sweating out the last minutes of the contest that Matt & Liz were a part of, only to watch the rather fishy circumstances of the 6th place couple suddenly getting at least 100 votes in the last 2 hours of the contest, upsetting our people from the 5th place spot. Thoroughly disgusted with this turn of events, I went to bed after 4:00 in the morning, irritated and exhausted.

The next thing I know the doorbell is ringing and the Maid has arrived, I've slept through the alarm and feel like hammered dogshit. Super-fantastic.

I got some coffee going and caught up on a couple e-mails, then stepped out to grab lunch just before noon, as I knew we had dinner plans and didn't wanna get caught in my usual idiot trap of eating a late lunch an hour or tow before I needed to throw dinner on top of it too. I picked up a burger and was in the Office watching some X-Files Season 2 off the old Netfux Instant Watch when the wife got home with groceries. I helped her unload, caught up on the day thus far, then she started fielding a few phone calls and I went to see what Mulder & Scully were up to.

The wife delivered some food items we were donating to a food drive, then by the time she got back the Maid was on her way out, so she crashed for a short nap while I showered for this evening and got dressed, as I wanted my hair to have plenty of time to dry, considering the cold snap we've had recently. The last thing I want is to manage to get sick this season, having already skirted a few sinus issues in the past month or so.

His First Mate Is Richard Hertz!I watched most of another Val Lewton boxset selection, The Ghost Ship, in which a new recruit on a ship begins to suspect that the Captain may be deranged as he views his crew's lives as being his to use as he sees fit, even if it means casually eliminating any voice of dissent. I also have to be crass and note that this film stars someone with the unfortunate name of Richard Dix, which my juvenile mind immediately shortens to Dick Dix, because I'm evidently eleven on an emotional level. Naw, I'm just kidding, I'm emotionally dead.

Our dinner date(s) arrived shortly before the film was to end, so I turned that off and we headed out with our other couple, who insisted in taking us to dinner in honor of their belated birthday wishes for me. We ate at a Japanese steakhouse across town, arriving just ahead of what I suppose amounted to their dinner rush, though it didn't seem like that many folks, which made for a fairly nice, quiet meal. The food was good and it was a lot of fun to catch up with our friends, who we hadn't seen in awhile.

We headed back to our place afterward, visited a bit and showed off our latest piece of art, as they'd not yet experienced the magic in our home. They split around 9:30, the wife and I watched some television, then she called it a night and I finally watched the last 20 minutes of my flick before heading into the Office to work on this.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Leopard Prostitutes

I woke after a solid 5 hours sleep, which again was nice to have it in a single sitting, but also felt like much less than I actually needed. I was up and out of bed around 8:00 this morning, so I made some coffee and locked the door behind our overnight guests who'd most likely left about 30 minutes earlier.

The wife piddled around with some stuff in the craft room and the kitchen area, I wasted some time on the web, then realized that it was time to start getting ready to go grab a bite with EL at the Thai place that we frequent. We spent a good long time shooting the shit and commiserating on mutual friends and the weird shit they bring up incessantly, as it never leads to anything except a depressing conversation.

It's Not Going ANYWHERE.I headed home after lunch, went through some packages that'd arrived from my Black Friday shopping, including the big gigantic Lost Blu-ray set, which was packed as well as most electronics I've purchased. It actually made me laugh a bit, as it was in what appeared to be the same type of box they'd send it to a retailer in, ensuring that it didn't shop up all beat to shit, which was a nice touch. I piddled around in the den in the afternoon, watching a bit of a few different movies on cable and almost dozing a bit after my early morning. The wife had a little party she was going to make an appearance at around 5:00, so her leaving kinda got me up and alert again.

I watched a short little flick out of the Val Lewton Boxset that I'm still working my way through, The Leopard Man. An escaped leopard is thought to be the culprit when people in a Southwestern town begin to turn up dead, but soon the locals begin to consider the idea that the killings may be the work of an unbalanced human. It's got some nicely staged suspense, but may leave some modern viewers cold due to how dated the ideas may feel now.

I Very Seriously Doubt Any Hookers Looked This Good In OdessaThe wife returned around 7:00 with dinner, so she and I settled in to eat and watched a Lifetime Movie that'd been made based on a scandal in the next town over, in which a prostitution ring started naming names after they were busted. The Client List has some truly howlingly bad moments and ham-fisted dialog from Jennifer Love Hewitt and Cybill Shepherd, as well as a fucking 'driving down the lonely Texas highway' montage at least every 10 minutes, you could practically set your watch to it. It was amusing and at the same time stunningly corny, it kinda made me wonder why a women's channel would produce such silly, forgettable material, as it almost feel as though they don't give a shit what they shovel at their audience.

We watched a few things from last night off the TiVo, then called it a night.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pleas, Pick-Up, Dinner, Houseguests

A plea for anyone who has some free time (and you're already fucking around on the internet, so let's be honest, you've got a few minutes to spare): A buddy of mine is trying to qualify for a contest in which he and his fiance can win a dream wedding. Help A Brother Out!A few years back, health problems almost killed him, and the upshot is this that this sweet gal donated one of her kidneys to save his life. Please, for the love of God click through here, register at the site, check your e-mail (and spam filter), confirm your account and vote for Liz and Matt. It may take a whopping 5 minutes of your time, but it'll really help them out, as they only need to be in the top five entrants to qualify for the judges' round. They've made a strong showing so far, but the number 6 couple has suddenly started gaining on them in the past 24 hours. Please, do me a favor and throw them a vote; bonus cool points if you tell some friends.

I feel like I'm finally getting the sleep patterns nailed down, even if they do tend to creep later into the day than I'd like. I'm at the very least getting the right amount of sleep, even if it's not necessarily during the 'normal' time period.

The wife was baking a cake for the Middle Sister's birthday when I got up, which is when I first heard that we were meant to have dinner with the birthday girl and the In-Laws, but the location was a favorite restaurant of mine, so I figured it all evens out even if our guest of honor may or may not stand us up. I say this quasi-jokingly, but it has happened in the past, so ya never know.

Better Dead Than Red!The wife was working on some stuff in the craft room, so I popped the television on and chilled in the den with Pick-Up On South Street off the old TiVo. I've yet to encounter a Sam Fuller film I don't like, and this one definitely lived up to the things I've heard about it. A pick-pocket finds himself pursued by both the police and other interested parties when he filches the wallet of a woman unknowingly delivering microfilm for her estranged boyfriend. Soon he's being accused of collusion with Communists and pressured from all sides to cough up the goods. Richard Widmark is pretty convincing as a thief who's never had to use a gun to steal anything, but he meets his match in Candy (Jean Peters), whose charms may yet save him from himself. I chose the Criterion DVD art to represent this one, because it's always caught my eye when I browse their stuff, to the point I've almost blind-bought it a few different times. Give it a look if you're a fan of film noir genre.

The wife and I watched a few things off the old TiVo in the afternoon, then started getting dressed for dinner.

We arrived a bit early, talked shop with the waiter for awhile, then we were joined by the rest of our party. The food was good (I'd stab a baby in the neck for an order of their spring rolls), though I did manage to lose a good bit of my entree when I went to combine the chicken curry and the steamed rice, as it dripped down the underside of the bowl and overflowed onto the table, directly beneath my bowl and out of my line of sight. Thankfully my table-mates alerted me before it started pouring into my lap or the floor. This snafu aside, we had a great meal and then some birthday cake before calling it a night.

Heading home, I texted our friends Anastasia Beaverhouszen and Kno1, as they were meant to crash with us for the evening and have a short visit. They joined us shortly thereafter, so I used the downtime in between to set the TiVo to record everything it needed to this evening, as I figured we'd end up shooting the shit instead of watching anything with any real amount of focus.

Our guests called it a night around 10:00 and the wife and I retired to the bedroom to watch Dexter, which now has two episodes left of this season and is driving me crazy as I wonder what direction it is going to go in the 11th hour.

Okay folks, I'm off, as I wanna try and finish up the book I've been slowly nipping away at each night.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Grant Me This

The following is something I tweeted about last night, but I have the impression that the small handful of people who read this don't necessarily read that and vice-versa, so forgive me if you've read a truncated version of this already:

I headed to bed last night and noted that the Yorkie was asleep much closer to the head of the bed than she usually is, she normally chills down by our feet. The wife has a habit of hogging the covers when she rolls over, and as I was settling in to read, I'll be damned if she doesn't roll away from me, taking most of the comforter with her. Being the wily type, I anticipated this and latched onto the edge of the covers to stand my grand and make sure my ass wasn't going to end up exposed to the elements. This in turn caused the comforter to basically level out between us, giving the Yorkie some air and her eyes suddenly opened with mild alarm, as if to say "WTF?", which in turn almost made me burst out laughing, as she looked so put out by the whole situation. I recovered my comforter and she settled back onto the bed, sighing heavily and closing her eyes, which again almost made me laugh; the wife slept through the whole thing.

It's the little things in my life like this that make me amazingly happy. Seriously, the long-suffering "What are you idiots doing now?" look on the dog's face was priceless.

I slept in a bit this morning, the wife piddled with household stuff around the place, then once I got up we headed out to run a few errands she had on tap and grab a bite to eat. We ate lunch at a table across from one of those weird married couples who sit there for an entire meal and say absolutely nothing to one another, which is always weird. The wife posited the theory that maybe there should be a charity that helps people get out of these loveless marriages that you always read about people being trapped in, of only to allow them to go and find someone to talk with during a meal. Looking at the miserable, stone-faced fucks next to us, I had to admit it sounded like a worthwhile cause.

About halfway back to the house I realize that I had forgotten to bring the Netfux movie that I wanted to mail with me, so I decided to round up our recycling since I would be getting out again anyway. This process took much longer than I expected, as our cardboard appears to me multiplying when we're not looking.Lies Lies Lies!

The wife worked on a little craft project she's been playing around with in the front bedroom, so I ended up on the web for a bit once I got home, then made myself a martini and retired to the den to give the Criterion Blu-ray of Charade a spin. I'm really happy to have held out for the Blu-ray of this one, as I came perilously close to buying the DVD release after I first watched the film off the TiVo earlier this year. Such a great little film, funny, exciting, a terrific blend all the way around.

Don't Boss Me Around, Dammit!The wife eventually joined me and we watched another Cary Grant movie, something I'd recorded based on his involvement alone from TCM several months ago. Walk, Don't Run was evidently the last film Grant acted in, which a few reviews I read seemed dismayed by the fact that this was his swansong, as they felt he was relegated to the sidelines of a budding romance that he tries to shepherd along. Personally, the wife and I both enjoyed it as a breezy little comedy and didn't get bogged down in idea that such a great actor isn't the complete center of the film. The film takes place during the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, when a housing shortage forces an odd group of people into an apartment together, including Grant's industrialist character, an Olympic athlete and the fiance of a boring political type; hi-jinx ensue. It's a fun film and even has a George Takei spotting towards the last half of the film when they end up in a police station. Give it a peep if you get a chance.

We called it a night a little after 10:00, now I wanna wrap this nonsense and get to bed.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

You And Your Stupid Plans

I open this evening with an anecdote about our interweb service provider, Suddenlink. I've had issues with them in the past, and I suppose we'll continue to have them in the future, because I don't feel as though their service is spotty enough to warrant a change, but I will certainly make note (with profanity-ridden commentary) when it lets me down. I slept strangely last night, as I was tired earlier than normal and knew that I wanted to be up at an early hour to take part in an Amazon Lightning Deal for the Lost Blu-ray set. I decided to go to bed around 11:00 PM, hopefully sleep until 6:00 AM, then get up, hope online and take advantage of my own little 'Black Friday' here at home.

I slept roughly four hours before finally giving up and heading down the hall to the Office to work on the blog, as I was tired of tossing and turning with no real hope of getting back to sleep. I piddled around the web for a few hours, got most of the blog written, then suddenly noticed that the blog wasn't saving as the auto-save is meant to do every so often. Closer examination revealed that I was no longer connected to the internet. It was 5:30 in the AM, an hour before I wanted to make my purchase on Amazon. I tried to be optimistic, thinking maybe something was down for brief repairs in anticipation of other people like myself being up to do some breezy interweb shopping instead of getting into fist-fights over a Diddle Me Elmo in a Toys R Us parking lot.

As we got past the six o'clock hour I started to get a bit antsy, so I ran a few trouble shooting things on the PC to see if it could find a way to heal itself, but to no avail. I re-booted both the router and the modem itself, then did vice-versa, just for good measure and to make certain some weird order of operation wasn't the issue. No dice. At 6:20 or so I decided to call the company and see what was up. The girl on the phone is polite but said that she had trouble hearing me; I didn't feel like explaining that I was trying not to shout at her and wake my sleeping spouse over something as inconsequential as their service, so I tried to speak as clearly as possible. All she was able to do was tell me that my modem was down (which I pretty much already knew) and that others were as well, assuring me that their techs were working on the situation. She had no time-frame as to when this situation might be rectified, but asked if there was anything else she could do for me. I told her I was basically calling to make sure the issue was on her end as it typically is, and since she could tell me nothing, nor fix the situation I suppose we were done.

I hung up the phone, weighed the situation for a few, then realized that I had an Amazon App on the iPhone, so I disabled the network settings so it would connect to the 3G rather than our shitty internet service and searched for my prize. I signed in, added the set to my cart and placed the order within about five minutes. I headed to bed, read for a bit, then finally fell asleep shortly after 7:00, finally getting up around noon to see if the wife wanted to go and poke around for bargains as we planned.

Pausing to reiterate for clarity: Suddenlink managed to drop service in the wee hours of what I would imagine to be one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Way to go folks, I hope one day I can truly depend on you for the service your advertising constantly promises. Had I not found other methods of placing my order I might very well be typing this with a pencil in my mouth after my rage stroke robbed me of my motor skills, but as it stands those folks completely dropping the ball was a mere inconvenience.

The wife had some items that she wanted to look for (but had no desire to wade into the early morning crowds), so we'd made plans to hit up her two stores in the afternoon. She found a few cartridges for her Cricut craft machine, so that was cool that they still had a few items she was after, and I even found a bargain on an oversize pad of watercolor paper for about half-price for myself. I've been planning to try and sit down with the paints again sometime soon and try to see what comes out of just pushing the colors around as I used to do, seeing what shape it might take. Being able to do it for half price will just be a bonus.

We picked up some sushi on the way home, as I was pulling for something kind of light after the large meal yesterday. We ate and watched several things off the old TiVo, then I eventually stepped into the Office to finally post yesterday's blog, since our Suddenlink service had magically returned at some point. ::crosses fingers::

Woof.The mail brought the movie Doghouse from Netfux, in which Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham and several other men travel to a remote village in an effort to get their buddy over a divorce. They are all portrayed as fairly self-involved, lad-mag reading types, only to find themselves in a village where all the women have been infected by something that turns them homicidal towards any male. It has some amusing bits, but overall I have to say I never really identified with any of the guys, but it was an entertaining enough way to spend the early evening.

Side note: I have yet to encounter a Danny Dyer fan from the UK, which amuses me, as I find him amusingly watchable in most things, but his overall persona seems to have soured a lot of the people in his homeland towards him.

Work SucksWe continued our Dyer themed evening with a re-watch of Severance off the To-Watch Pile, in which a group of office workers for a weapons company go for a team-building weekend and find themselves at the mercy of creepy types in the woods. Again, it has some amusing moments that make it worth a look and I enjoy the various work dynamics that are sketched in before they realize what they're in for, as well as who seems to buddy up in their efforts to escape. It's worth a peep if you've not seen it.

We called it a night shortly afterward.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thankskilling!

The wife was up early to get started on her Thanksgiving feast, as she had several dishes to prepare in addition to the turkey. I followed suit and got the Macy's Parade turned on for her to check in with periodically, then I made some coffee and excused myself to hit the shower and get the sleep out of my eyes.

I spent some time poking around on Amazon after I got cleaned up, thankfully not finding a lot to really strike my fancy, as I'd like to maybe curtail my own spending in favor of starting Christmas shopping for the wife so I'm not out desperately looking for stuff at the 11th hour this holiday season.

We loaded up all the food and headed over to the Mother In Law's place. The Beau was out of town visiting his own Mother, as it seemed easier to travel to her than to try and bring her here. The Middle Sister arrived with Grandmother shortly after we got there, which I wasn't expecting but thankfully she seemed to be in a decent mood for a change. She did seem to give both myself and the MIL the hairy eyeball because we each had a cocktail, because since she's an alcoholic the rest of the world is meant to eschew any imbibing they might enjoy out of sympathy or something, but whatever. I'm done worrying about that shit, as her judgment shit seems to come and go to fit her mood.

The meal was very good, everyone seemed to enjoy it quite well and the conversation never took any of the weird turns that it can when the Middle Sister is involved, though we did get to hear some more shit about how her estranged husband (who I personally would paint in a rather long-suffering light, his intellect aside) was the worst thing that had ever happened to her life, which seems a bit heavy handed in my opinion. Maybe it's because I've always been willing to own the fact that most things are a two-way street, rather than one person is totally awful and the other is a perfect human specimen in a relationship, so maybe I have little patience with this manner of casually ret-conning history once you're out the other side. But again, whatever, it's not my problem really, just something I have to roll my eyes at from time to time.

A New Tradition?The wife and I loaded our leftover items and empty containers back into the car and headed home shortly before 3:00. The Yorkie was happy to see us, even happier to see that the wife had a little surprise for her in the form of a little Thanksgiving-themed gift of squeak toys in the shape of Thanksgiving dinner items, like a little turkey, a roll, things like that. We all settled into the bedroom to watch the same awful film we watched this time last year: A flick called Thankskilling off the old Netfux Instant Watch, in which a turkey puppet kills a bunch of college kids amidst bad puns and cheap-o effects. It's a bad movie from start to finish but doesn't overstay its 68 minute welcome, so what's the harm?

Cover Is The Best Bit, Hands Down...The wife napped after the film and I poked around on the Instant Watch for new stuff (I really love the PS3 Netfux interface, as it is much more intuitive and functional than the one on our TiVo) and fell upon something I've always been curious about: Maid In Sweden, starring Christina Lindberg, a film which has nothing but negative reviews on Amazon for being so utterly boring in spite of being something of a skin flick. I would have to concur, as it tells a tale of an innocent young girl (Lindberg) who visits her sister in the big bad city. The sister is nervous about this, as she has a live-in boyfriend and enjoys her partying/drinking/drugging lifestyle, thus doesn't need her lil' sister turning up and relating any of this to their parents. The truly off-putting thing about the movie is the fact that Lindberg's character ends up date-raped by a friend of her sister's, but eventually gets into it, because no never means no, right? Then her sister's boyfriend eventually takes a run at her as well, which she again starts to get into, putting the sexuality of the film into a weird grey area that's hard to understand, as it's not erotic, nor is it strictly portrayed as reprehensible. Weird shit, with not a lot going on in between shots of Lindberg's goodies, so I spent about half this film reading a magazine to keep myself awake.

The wife and I snacked on some leftovers in the evening while watching a few episodes of Ghost Hunters off the old TiVo, then we actually headed to be a bit early, as I had decided to try and catch some sleep early and then set my alarm to get up and attempt to catch a Lightning Round Deal on Amazon for the complete series of Lost on Blu-ray. I think this will end up being the type of thing that sells out quickly, so I wanna be awake in advance of the sale going live to pull the trigger ASAP.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hillbilly Plague

I managed another decent night's sleep, though I woke later than I would've liked, because I'm wasting my life away one day at a time.

The wife and I compared notes for the day, I started some coffee and eventually saw she and the Yorkie off for a final once over from the Vet. I picked up around the kitchen a bit, then decided to step out for a moment and grab a bit of lunch.

Inbreeding. Yawn.I have been trying to be a bit better about the turnaround time on the Netfux discs, so I popped in a little something called Plague Town when I got home. I soon found myself flipping through a copy of Spin from the coffee table, as the film was less than riveting. I swear to God, I wish someone would come up with something more interesting than a Goddamned inbred family as your aggressors, as the concept has worn amazingly thin since you first realized what was up with the crazed family in films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. There are some creepy elements here, and the antagonists look spooky enough, but I was left feeling like I had been here before. There is a rather unsettling moment in which a blind woman runs her hands over her intended lover's hands questingly, then they roam up the length of his arm to his face, which has been peppered with buckshot in an earlier scene. He makes a noise and recoils in pain as she absently prods his open wound, then you see this eerie smile slowly creep over her face, as if she's tickled pink to know that she's hurt him. It's a truly freaky moment, but things like this are few and far between in this film, certainly not enough to recommend it over any other hillbilly horror type of flick.

The wife started working on tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast this evening, so I spent a bit of time fiddling with her computer and the various virus scans, as it'd started acting kinda odd this afternoon, then popped in a Japanese flick called Casshern for a re-watch off the To-Watch Pile to pass the time. The wife and I eventually watched a few things off the TiVo after the film, then called it a sort of late night around 11:00 or so.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'll Kick Your Expendable Ass!

I had to sleep in this morning, the lack of sleep from the past few nights finally caught up with me.

The Yorkie got a pass from the Vet, so she seems back to normal after the stress of the previous day, it's ridiculous/scary how quickly she both falls into and then bounces back from this sort of thing.

I met EL for our standing lunch, Mexican this time around. We compared notes about the coming Thanksgiving holiday and what we'd each been up to over the weekend. We made plans to do it again next week, then I took my leave so that he could get back to work.

I hit up Big Lots for the hell of it, as there'd been talk on the interwebs of a new series of television DVD's turning up there for about $6 a pop, and while I hadn't really seen a lot on the list that interested me I figured maybe they'd surprise me. I ended up finding a few seasons worth of C.S.I., which is cool, as I have fond memories of watching that show in marathons off Spike when the wife and I still lived at the old house. Does What It Says On The Tin...I popped into Best Buy afterward, looking to pick up The Expendables since it was relatively cheap and I didn't feel like waiting around for it to hit a lower sale price. I was also keen to pick up the newly released Blu-ray of Metropolis, which hit stores today. Living in the po-dunk hellhole that we do, our store naturally didn't even bother to stock the film, but I was told by a clerk that I could order it online from Best Buy's website. Oh I can, can I? I'll just grab it on Amazon, thank you very little, as it will save me tax and for the sheer pique of it, quite frankly. You don't wanna bother to stock new release items and expect me to do the leg work to give you my money? Eat a bag of dicks. It's no wonder at least 75% of my movie purchasing (no small amount, I assure you) is done online rather than locally, as it's just less of a pain in the ass to point and click and not look at some schmucky clerk, who 9 out of 10 times hasn't the slightest fucking idea what I just asked him for and must rely solely on the store's computer system for info.

Okay, / Rant.

I ran a couple other errands, then headed home, where I spent some time on the web (not on Best Buy's website, BTW!), then eventually settled into the den to see what The Expendables was all about. I enjoyed it for what it was, lots of explosions, dudes looking badass and killing everyone whose name wasn't on the poster basically. Tons of cannon fodder get wasted, our heroes barely get a scratch, pretty standard for this genre of flick. It did make me wanna revisit the Rambo stuff, just to see how well it holds up.

And It Did, For The Most Part...The wife and I dug into some leftovers for dinner during the movie, then I finally popped in the Blu-ray of Kick-Ass. I have to say that I really enjoyed it, though some of the license taken with the ending gave it something of a corny element to the ending when it was all said and done. I was very amused by Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl from start to finish: she should only play sweary, precocious children from now until when she outgrows the appropriate age, as her deadly serious delivery of curse-filled challenges to various thugs was just priceless. I'm happy to have finally seen the flick, it was like we were catching up on last summer all of a sudden. I will be curious to see if this film's ending will grow on me in the future, as is the case with certain films that don't quite stick the landing, if you will. I've had several films grow on me once I know where they are going, this may be another for that list.

We called it a night shortly afterward, and now I'm catching this crap up so I can head to bed.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

From Paris, With Blood In Your Stool

I really hope this title scores me a ton of 'Paris Hilton rectal bleeding' hits. Pandering ahoy!

The Yorkie made it through the night, but had an exceptionally bloody bowel movement this morning, so the wife ran her to the vet while I cleaned up after the dog and got some coffee going to try and shake off my 4 hours of sleep. The wife and I did the grocery shopping for our house as well as the upcoming Thanksgiving meal, which was something of an ordeal even this early in the week, so I can't imagine what awaits those poor fuckers shopping on Wednesday; I imagine something akin to Thunderdome. Two housewives enter, one housewife leaves!

We headed home and unloaded everything, then the wife had to split for a meeting and lunch with a friend, so I made myself a little something to eat and watched last nights' Venture Brothers finale in the den. The wife eventually got home and we both busied ourselves picking up the house a bit, then she had to head back out to go to a meeting in the late afternoon. I spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up my little project of rearranging the bookshelves in the bedroom and then settled into the den to watch a little something from Netfux.

Morel-splosions!From Paris With Love was something I'd been interested in due to the Luc Besson connection, as well as director Pierre Morel, who gave me fun stuff like Taken and District B-13. On the other hand, Travolta with his bald head and thick goatee'd leather daddy looking persona was something to be overlooked in the hopes that the action would keep me sufficiently engaged to ignore how silly he looked as an alleged 'spy', since he was comically conspicuous in his role. The flick was an okay watch, nothing special, but a fun way to kill 90 minutes, full of ludicrous violence and explosions, so what's not to like, right?

We had Kno1 spending the night again, as he was in town one more night before the holiday, so he dropped by around 8:00 this evening, bringing dinner with him, along with a pie courtesy of his wife Anastasia Beaverhouszen. We ate, visited a bit and watched the second installment of Sherlock at his request, which pleased me a great deal; love that show so much. Great stuff.

I'm utterly exhausted as I write this, as I slept less than 4 hours last night and have been awake since shortly before 7:00 AM this morning.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Family Stuff, Television Stuff, Yorkie Stuff

The wife's niece was to have her confirmation at church this morning, so we rose early and got ready for that. The service was nice, we made our appearance, the wife & I spoke to the niece and then we excused ourselves, as there was a luncheon of some sort at the church that we were unprepared to stay for. We visited the In-Laws afterward, catching up with the Mother In Law and the Beau, who were chilling at their house, the MIL still recovering from a Thyroid removal earlier in the week. We managed to be over there long enough for the Older Sister and her family to get finished with lunch, so they turned up as well and we all had a bit of a visit. This was all well and good until the Middle Sister turned up, as there's a bit of bad blood (totally understandable on the OS's side) between she and the Older Sister, so they made their exit shortly after the third sibling arrived. Ah, family drama, nothing like it to drop a turd in the old punchbowl no matter how pleasant the day might be.

The wife and I eventually split, picking up some barbecue for a late lunch, then we wiled away the rest of the afternoon at the house with some old Ghost Hunters material off the TiVo, as it's taking up valuable real estate and it's one of those shows I feel like we always watch together, so I've been kinda waiting on the wife to be available to check these out. This pretty much ate up the afternoon into evening, when we started watching our standard Fox animation stuff, then checked out The Walking Dead. Tonight's episode definitely felt as though it went off into new directions that I don't recall from the comic, and since it was written by Robert Kirkman himself kinda left me wondering if this was a way for Kirkman to streamline or edit his existing story to address other issues that he may've felt could've been introduced or dealt with better in the original series. The series continues to be impress and had a fairly massive cull of extraneous characters, which is a staple event in the comics, but I was still a bit surprised when it happened.

The Yorkie had been moping around all day, usually a sure sign that she's on her way to being ill mysteriously, as her stomach issues never seem to have an obvious trigger. "Oh, she ate a cup of bleach, that's why she's vigorously ill." No, it's never that simple, just her waking up one day and then by nightfall she's barfing everywhere. This happened as we were settling in to watch a new Dexter, so we paused that and cleaned up, coaxing her back into the bedroom with us just so we could keep an eye on her.

Dexter was awesome, with a scene of him just wailing on a guy who richly deserved it, it was one of those cheering moments the show has from time to time and I loved every minute of it. This season is really working for me, each episode paying off elements of the larger mystery and creating new questions, which is pretty remarkable considering that you go into it sort of expecting to get a 'light' season after all the shit that went down last time around. If this ends how I think it might, I could definitely see the show moving towards something of a finite ending, as there's been hints that we've got one more season or so before they want to call it quits, but I suppose those are just rumors and you never know where it will go.

The Yorkie got further ill around 11:00, the vomit tinged slightly with blood, which is obviously alarming but has happened in the past, so it's hard to judge how upset we need to be right now. I know that our plans to go grocery shopping in the AM have now changed to accommodate a vet visit first rattle out of the box, so now the trick will be to limp her through the night until 8:00 AM rolls around. She seems to be resting comfortably, but who knows if another wave will hit her. I swear to God I've never been around a pet who was this delicate, it's maddening that the slightest change ruins her for several days, it's like chaos theory around here trying to keep things from getting out of hand.

I'm out kids. Pray for our little pup if you're into that kinda thing, the whole thing makes me sad.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Partying Down With Thirteen Nudie Cuties From The Fringe

I was up later than I intended to be, then managed to snap up in bed wide awake at 8:00 AM this morning. The wife seemed restless as well, so I offered to go and grab coffee and breakfast from Starbucks. She was agreeable, so I did that, spending an average amount of time in the drive-thru line, which moved along at a surprisingly decent clip, but not before I got to see the dude behind me kinda freak out after waiting for a minute or two and start trying to work his way out of the line while seriously snarling up traffic for everyone else in the parking lot. I guess he had somewhere to be right damned now.

Back at the house we ate and piddled around with some laundry while the wife worked on re-arranging the little appliance barn/China closet in the hallway. She eventually took a break from that and we ran a few odd errands, visiting Grandmother's house and the little used book store that benefits the local public library, where we both surprisingly came up empty-handed. We hit a couple other stores, just sort of poking around and killed the rest of the morning before grabbing a small bite to eat for lunch on our way home.

Worst. Caterers. Ever.We chilled with some stuff off the TiVo, including more episodes of Party Down. That show is great and always leaves me crestfallen as the credits roll when I realize yet again that it has been canceled and we only have a few more episodes left before we're up shit creek with this one.

The wife caught a nap and I watched a Myrna Loy film off the TiVo called Thirteen Women, which was an okay revenge film about a woman scorned by women in her sorority and the lengths that she goes to in her efforts to even the score. I decided to suck it up and give Hakuchi another pass, as I was bound and determined to finish this film even if it killed me. After three sittings of about forty-five minutes to an hour each, I made my way to the end of the film this afternoon, and while it's not poorly made or offensively acted, it's just a boring, meandering film from the perspective of a layman with no knowledge (or interest, to be frank) in the source material. Oh well, everything isn't for everyone, now is it?

The wife made chicken enchiladas for dinner, along with rice and beans as the sides; great little meal. We watched a little nudie cutie turkey of a film from Something Weird Video while we ate, a silly film about a girls school run by a guy in drag, populated by tons of topless women and shenanigans. We got into a discussion of the sad facts that no matter how attractive any of these women were in the film, they were at best probably grandmothers by now, or just fucking dead, which is a weird thing to dwell on while some young hottie is shaking her goods to a generic jazz riff and disrobing.

Endless Impossibilities, Baby!We rounded out the evening with a look at this week's episode of Fringe, a show which I so dearly love. I think the wife is kinda on the fence about it, as she's drifted in and out of several episodes, but has never been really fished in completely. I'm really sold on the mythology they've created for the show, as well as the main three characters. Seriously, I think I've mentioned before that I was actually yelling "No no no no..." at the television during an episode where they put John Noble's emotionally frail scientific genius character Walter into direct jeopardy, as I think I'd bawl like a baby if they did him any harm. If my opinion means anything to you, do yourself a favor and give this show a shot. It's a lot of fun, the characters are charming and have a nice familial rapport, the faux-science manages to feel fairly gritty and 'real-world' plausible, it's just well worth your time if you like sci-fi material.

We called a fairly early night afterward, as I was frankly exhausted after my late evening/early morning.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Recycling, SuicideGirls, Dinner, Television

I slept well last night, got up around 7:30 this morning to take a piss and lock the door behind our overnight house guest, who'd already ninja'd his way out the door and off to work without making a sound. The wife got up before I did and was in the kitchen picking up a bit when I finally rolled out of bed and went to see what the day held.

The recycling was to the point of crisis, so I dressed and started getting that stuff gathered up and transportable for the trip to the bins at our nearest grocery store. I made some coffee for myself while I broke down a gigantic pile of boxes, a process that actually took much longer than I anticipated, and the next thing I know, I'm heading out to dump this stuff off around 2:00 in the afternoon. I ran a couple errands, hit the bank and then dropped off our recycling before heading back to the house.

1st Step - Tattoos...The wife and Yorkie were napping, so I chilled in the den, finishing off my pot of coffee while going through the mail and absently watching SuicideGirls: Guide To Living off the TiVo, since it'd been on there forever and seemed light enough to be something I could kinda drift in and out of as I did other stuff in the living room.

The wife had made plans for us to see our friend JH this evening, as she wanted to treat us to dinner, so we started heading that way shortly before 6:00, but this being a small town with little to do, there was already a line that spilled out into the parking lot. We ran into the Middle Sister and her family, visiting a bit with them before they were seated, then we grabbed a free bench and waited (im)patiently for our little buzzer thing to sound off. We were pretty amused by a woman who basically stormed out with her family at the idea of waiting for 30 minutes, since she "...could count 8 empty tables in there right now, but they still want me to wait? We're leaving!" I guess she thinks that the manager can pull waiters out of his ass to deal with all those extra tables, but one had to assume that they must be short-handed and doing the best they could. Puzzlingly, I'm Mr. Brightside for no apparent reason.

We were seated and nibbling on appetizers when our date arrived, she and the wife spent most of the meal catching up on all the people they have in common, leaving me free to comment when I wanted but otherwise concentrate on my meal, which was great. Actually, since I'd only eaten something small in the AM, pretty much anything would be 'great' by this time of the evening. After dinner the wife and I headed home, chilling on the couch with some tube, caught up on Thursday's NBC comedies and a new episode of The Soup before calling it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birthday Aftermath And Slogging Through Kurosawa

I slept for almost 12 hours last night, which honestly isn't a bad way to go if you don't have anything better to be doing.

The birthday was great, spent with the wife who took time away from her other obligations to spend the day with me. The only weird hiccup was that she'd planned a dinner with two couples, one of whom had the wife cancel the day before the birthday. Then as we crept past the arrival time (6:30) for cocktails and appetizers, we began to fear that no one was going to show up. I finally just straight up called one of the couples, who were operating under the impression that it was a 'party' and comprised of numerous people, so the hubby was planning on visiting fashionably late, coming stag as his wife was feeling ill. I told him that was great and all, but we were actually putting together a seated dinner, so his being mid-meal when he picked up the phone led me to believe that this whole idea was an exercise in futility. Barely unspoken: and by the way, fuck you. I'd been drinking, excuse my bitterness.

At this point, more than a little frustrated, the wife and I sat down to dinner on the assumption that no one was showing and kinda confirming the idea that I don't really need any friends, as it always turns to misery and vomit. I'd had a few cocktails by this point, so I wasn't really upset about it, more along the lines of 'this is why we shouldn't ever plan jack shit', but mostly I felt bad for the wife, who was using this event to break in the formal dining room and our wedding China. We did have the solo husband from the first couple show up, arriving just after we'd finished our own meal, so we kinda sheepishly explained that we'd had 2 out of 4 cancellations and miscommunications that we'd gave up and ate, sorry. He was cool, we served him and were visiting when our other husband showed up, with a buddy of his in tow as a last minute 'date', which was nice of him to try and fill his wife's chair I suppose. We fed everyone and visited a bit, then the wife and I called it a night and I slept forever.

All in all, it was a good day.

Today was also a good day, rather low key, mostly spent (once I got up) picking up the house a bit after the party, though to be honest the wife had already dealt with a good amount of that before I even knew where I was.

I'd made tentative plans to have lunch with Kno1, but promptly overslept, so once we nailed things down for good the whole thing ended up including the wife as well, just so we could all catch up and shoot the shit a bit. The food was good, as was the conversation, then we made plans to have him spend the night with us, as he's still out of a room over at his parents' place and was facing a 2+ hour drive home this evening, just to come back in the AM. We offered him a bed and a meal, just because we love the guy and who wants to drive that much unless you're just trying to finish listening to an audio-book or something?

ZZZZ. Sorry Literature Fans.The wife and I piddled around the house in the afternoon, though she eventually took a nap while I did some maintenance stuff on her computer, as it had suddenly started acting odd this morning. I eventually retired to the den with a martini to try and work my way through Akira Kurosawa's Hakuchi, an adaptation of Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, a work which I'm not familiar with beyond the title, mostly because important and/or classic literature has taken something of a back-seat to periodicals and books about shitty genre movies in my life. Sue me.

Anyway...Hakuchi has proven to be something of a slog, as it evidently makes more of a point of being faithful to the material (according to some sources I've read online) than being an expression of Kurosawa's creativity, and the 3 hour running time just feels rather daunting every time I've sat down to give it a look. I'm roughly two hours into it, but it's going to take at least one more sitting to get this one behind me. Were this any other director I'd say piss on it, but I've generally liked all the Kurosawa I've seen up to this point, so I feel like I need to give it a fair shake.

The Game Is On!Our guest arrived around 6:00, we all chowed down on some leftovers from last night's dinner and eventually watched the first episode of Sherlock, the Blu-ray of which the wife had been so kind as to give me as a birthday gift yesterday. The show holds up amazingly well, Kno1 was into it and seemed impressed with the plotting and style as well, so that's a bonus. We also made tentative plans to try and watch the rest of the series over the next couple weeks, as I know he'll be in town on at least a couple more overnights.

We called it an early night, as our guest is an early riser and I didn't wanna be a douche and sit in the den blasting the television once I knew he'd headed to bed.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

36 Years On My Way To Hell

In keeping with my yearly tradition, I think I will take the evening off in honor of my birthday, and because I've been boozing it up since around 6:00 PM and I'm writing this about 6 hours later. This Week Has Felt Like This...In the meantime, here's my standard 'please stand by' image that I throw up for ya. I'll be back tomorrow with more info about the day as a whole as well as what might've happened on the following Thursday.

Suffice to say that I had a really fun day with the wife that threatened to turn to shit around dinner time, but was narrowly salvaged. Go, us.

So let's see how 36 treats me; 35 was okay I guess - at least no one else fucking killed themselves.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And The Sucking Continues...

So I slept 6 hours and woke up hoping that my interweb service might've returned during the night. Well, fuck hope.

The interweb service continues to be spotty at best this morning, so I decided to start working on this now on the assumption that if I have from now until this evening to try and get this bitch to save properly, perhaps it will eventually save, though God knows when I will actually get it published. I can only guess that this is more widespread than just our house, as all numbers associated with Suddenlink in the phonebook give a recorded message that 'all circuits are busy', indicating that they're either fielding other people bitching or have simply tired of dealing with irate assholes like me and have simply taken their phones off the hook.

I'm beginning to find this week rather depressing, which may be a sign of some kind of middle-aged malaise creeping in as the birthday approaches, or perhaps life has been streamlined to the point that any sort of frustration or inconvenience just ruins me for the rest of the day. I'm certainly losing the ability to discern the difference.

The Maid arrived at 10:00, so she's doing her thing while I piddle around in the Office with this shit. I may have to take a minute to go and grab a little something for lunch, as I don't know that I wanna wait her out until mid-afternoon.

Who knows? Maybe we'll have more later?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The day passed with no change in the web situation, which I did my best to ignore, no easy feat when you consider how much time I waste online. The wife's day was eaten up with meetings, which is the norm of late, so I spent some time wrapping up the last couple short movies included in the Bela Lugosi set I was working my way through near the end of October. I watched The Invisible Ray and Black Friday back to back, then used the little random number generator I'd added to the iPhone to choose another flick for later.

Movin' Pictures Are Gonna Be Big, See!The mail brought a handful of packages from separate Amazon vendors addressed to me, which I assumed (given their arrival in proximity to my birthday) were meant to be for the wife, guessing that they might be gift items even though I wasn't sure exactly why she'd suddenly addressed them to me rather than herself. Not wanting to spoil any surprises, I set them aside with the rest of the mail for her to check out. The wife checked them out when she got home, realizing that they were gifts from someone else, which turned out to be some interesting film-related books from my sweet In-Laws, one marked as being from the Mother In Law, one from the Beau and one from the two of them. Neat stuff, I particularly look forward to reading Picture, which is a vintage account of Lillian Ross' New Yorker coverage of the making of John Huston's film The Red Badge Of Courage, which looks pretty interesting. Definitely a nice little fun surprise, sweet of them to think of me.

Next off the To-Watch Pile was DOA: Dead Or Alive, based on a video game and filled with hot gals in swimwear doing martial arts or just looking slick and stylish in exotic places. Alternate Title: High Kick Panty ParadeIt's a terrible film, but amusing for what it is, even managing to cast Eric Roberts as a villain/guru type running the whole contest everyone turns up to compete in. It's like Mortal Kombat with bikinis, which ain't a bad way to waste 80 minutes, that's all I'm saying.

The wife out of the house for the evening and well into a second martini, I threw in Ninja Wars, something I'd grabbed cheap awhile back. It was pretty spiffy, definitely a product of the 80's, featuring Sonny Chiba in a minor role (he was why I picked it up), but it made up for lacking Chiba by having some wild supernatural elements. Good stuff, I think it would hold up to repeated viewings and some reading I've done leads me to believe that the dubbed version is much more amusing than was intended, so that may be the next step, giving that a look.

The wife got home late, we watched last week's Supernatural and The Walking Dead from a few nights ago, then called it a night.

The web was still well out of my grasp, so I sat down with the computer and basically spent an hour unplugging everything and re-setting stuff from the word go, including re-installing the router and its software just to see if anything had changed on that end. I don't know what to narrow it down to being the culprit, though I now suspect the router may've shit the bed at some point during all of this, but things are now running smoothly again.

I'm going to cross my fingers and head to bed, hoping for the best. Maybe this is the universe's gift to me for the birthday.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

I Knew I Shoulda Stood In Bed

So today was a giant pile of shit for the most part, presumably in keeping with the general idea that Mondays are a pain in the ass for a lot of people as they come in off the weekend and watch their early day fall apart from the word go.

First rattle out of the box we have the Yorkie suddenly deciding that our formal living room is her new toilet, so I step in dogshit barefooted as I'm opening the front curtains. I yell at the dog and do the most likely useless reiteration that she's meant to use her potty pads for this kinda thing, as I'm sure she has no idea why the fuck I'm raising my voice to her. I hopped into the kitchen to get the shit off my foot with a paper towel. I cleaned my foot up and made sure there was nothing else in the room to find later, then took a bleach wipe to my heel in utter disgust. I shouted at the dog again out of petty irritation, then spent a few moments on the interweb checking e-mail and getting a few things ready to mail for Swap A DVD trades before I headed to the shower to start getting ready to head to lunch with EL.

I heard the doorbell ring as I was toweling off afterward, so I figured a UPS driver had dumped something on the doorstep. I go to check this and I'll be Goddamned if I didn't step in dog piss on the rug about a foot from here I'd found her turd not an hour earlier. I almost lost my fucking mind folks, wondering inwardly what a stroke might feel like as I again yelled at her about pottying on her motherfucking pad. I also feel like a heel for yelling at this tiny dog, but for fuck's sake, she's been going to the bathroom in our bathroom at the back of the house for three years now, so any of this has to be sheer laziness on her part and it's fucking maddening.

The wife was getting home in between meetings and errands at this point so I told her why I was yelling as she walked in the door, then left immediately, as I was about to be late to meet EL. I made my way to the restaurant, only to narrowly avoid being smashed into by some bitch in the parking lot who regarded all the parking lines as mere suggestions as to how she should navigate the area, and it’s almost like a street, so why the hell wouldn’t she be doing 35 in a parking lot, right? Really beginning to feel my irritation with the day, I headed into the restaurant and met EL, who seemed to also be having a lousy day, so we traded miseries and irritations over some good food.

I hit the post office to drop off my packages, only to have the day continue the kicks to the balls with a line that reached the fucking door as I walked in; I nearly had to nudge some old lady in the back to even get out of the lobby into the room proper because she was too intent on filling out her mailing label and figuring out if sweaters were perishable. I assume it was sweaters that she was mailing, what else do old women like? Fox News? Their shitty grandchildren? I lost a good 15 minutes here waiting on the one guy working to deal with everyone in line, but thank God he didn’t let anyone’s grim stares of death rattle him to the point that he sped up his service and risked making a mistake. Slow and steady mails the letter, as the old adage goes…

I returned home, still irrationally pissed off at the Yorkie, so she took a hint and made herself scarce while I went to the Office and fiddled around online a bit. I spoke to the wife once she was off the phone, telling her that I was in a lousy mood and that I tend to roll her and the dog into one ball of feelings, so not to be surprised if I was kinda short with both of them this afternoon. This is a dick move, I freely admit, but in my lizard brain I wouldn’t have the irritation of the dog had the wife not introduced her into my life, thus she is equally responsible for the lousy behavior. Irrational, yes, but something I just can’t seem to separate during moments of extreme agitation, nor in the following afternoon, if today is any indication.

The Yorkie and the wife spent the afternoon in the bedroom napping while I watched some more of The Cleveland Show in the den, trying not to stew on how much the day had slowly beaten me down over a series of relatively minor frustrations. I suppose I was hoping to have a hassle-free week surrounding the birthday, but obviously that’s just not meant to be.
Brian wanted to get together for dinner, which I honestly wasn’t really in the mood for, but I know that he and the wife hadn’t really seen one another in awhile, and since my day was already in the shitter, why should I fuck up their plans too? How Perfectly Goddamned Delightful It All Is To Be Sure...I put on something from the To-Watch Pile to pass the time, the recently purchased copy of Crumb on Criterion Blu-ray. Since I’d seen the film a few months ago I decided to dig into the Terry Zwigoff/Roger Ebert commentary, as I was curious what Ebert had to add to the examination of the life of the underground comix creator.

I paused the film while we ate, popping on another laughable episode of Ghost Adventures to pass the time, then flipped channels a bit afterward. It being a ‘school night’ (as it were), Brian split shortly after dinner and the wife and I finished up the depressing movie, then she headed to bed because she has an early morning tomorrow and I made my way through the bonus features on the disc, as I was curious about the deleted scenes, of which there’s about an hour’s worth of material. I was interested to find out that one of Crumb’s sisters (neither of whom would agree to be in the film) was a ‘separatist lesbian’ (whatever that means), who wanted ‘reparations’ for what Crumb’s work had done for the women’s movement and evidently raised her son(!) in a household that didn’t allow men inside the house. You can raise your kids any way you want to, but holy shit what a message to send to your child: all men are evil, but I suppose you’re okay…for now. **eyes the kid warily**

I started writing this nonsense and then noticed the final fuck you of the day: the Suddenlink service went MIA around midnight and stayed gone until about 1:30 in the AM. Thankfully I had noticed and pulled the first bit of the blog over into a Word Document to continue working on it on the off-chance that the web service would return before I was finished or just ready to say fuck Suddenlink and go to bed. And now that it has returned it appears spotty at best, so they must still be working on something on their end.

I take this quick opportunity to drop this in here, save it and go the fuck to bed, as tomorrow has to be better, unless the Maid manages to set the fucking house on fire.

Which will probably happen, now that I’ve put that out there in the ether. FML.

Be seeing you.

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