Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wild Men, Computer Issues And Animaniacs

I ended up being awake into the wee hours of the morning working on that last Alphabet themed post, reminding me again why I don't play ball with lists and memes and that sort of thing for the most part, as the nature of this time-sink is to detail the boring daily minutiae and doing anything else on top of that really eats up time.

Consequently, I slept late today. The wife was up and running at a decent time, having finally shaken off whatever was plaguing her for the entirety of Wednesday, so that's cool. I rousted the Yorkie and got the bed made, then was dressing when the wife got home. We bullshitted for a few, then she had some phone calls to make, so I left her to that and stepped out to grab myself a bite to eat.

When I returned I settled in to eat in the den and the Lawn Guys naturally turned up to do their normal routine, which usually involves them using leaf blowers for about an hour or so; not the most conducive environment to a relaxing meal. I watched another disc out of the Animaniacs set I've been poking through for nostalgia's sake, then the wife had to split for an evening meeting.

I filed a few things away in the Library, then pulled out the various materials I was planning on using to detail the various collages I have laying around littering the kitchen counter. The first (I shit you not) six pens I pulled out were all dead, which I suppose happens if you stop using things for about 3 years, so I tossed all of them in the trash, noted the one variety that still had some life in it and decided to go and pick up a few to have as spares, should this one crap out on me.

Having not made such a purchase any time in recent memory, I naturally went to the one (of two, mind you) art store in town that doesn't stock this particular brand, so I wasted my time there, then actually found them at my second stop. They are evidently now only available in a set of 5 different sizes, so fuck you if you only want the .05 size, buy several of these $10 sets if you need multiples of that size. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these fell into some oddball sale that they were having, so it wasn't as bad as it could've been. The wife called me about dinner on her way home, so I gave her an order for a sandwich and headed home to meet her.

Stay Out Of The Bottoms!We ate while I popped in a loaner disc from Buckaroo Banzai, The Wild Man Of The Navidad, a quasi-Bigfoot type of story about a beastly creature lurking around the bottoms of the Navidad River here in Texas. It was pretty interesting, as the actors all appeared to be locals to a small town, and while some of the delivery was bad, it wasn't so awful that you didn't believe that they were some small town hicks, so I guess it all comes out in the wash. The creature itself is creepy enough, preying on hunters in the deep thickets as they redneck their way around in search of deer and there's a truly puzzling bit where our lead guy's live-in manservant type is clearly molesting the handicapped woman (the lead's wife) he's meant to be caring for. I dunno what purpose this serves, though it goes a long way towards giving the film the grimy, oddball drive-in feel that it's meant to have, so again, I guess it works in that capacity. It's a decent little flick if you know what your getting into, though I don't know if it'll change your life or anything.

The wife excused herself during the film, as she'd been having connectivity issues with her brand new computer in the afternoon, so she spent most of the evening in tech support hell, eventually halfway yelling at some Indian man in God knows where when he as much as refused to acknowledge that there could possibly be any issue with their service. I kinda checked in on this progress from time to time, and got a little antsy when the router became subject to scrutiny, as I'd only recently got everything connected again earlier this week. The wife and I also kinda danced around an argument ourselves, as I think the whole hassle of the tech stuff puts us both on edge to the point that we're super sensitive about anything. I think all of that is settled as I type this, though we had a weird few hours in the late evening.

Finally, I find myself feeling kinda blah tonight, due in no small part to the earlier hassles, and because I have these weird moments of doubt when I start to think about what I'm doing with my life, as well as what I'm adding to anything at this stage, which makes me just give a big shrug on all levels, to be perfectly honest. The real Catch-22 of this line of thought is that I'm not a motivated enough person to run out and change to world or make a lot of effort to change anyone or anything, so I'm essentially getting down on myself for something I don't give a shit if I contribute to in the first place. I guess this kind of thing occurs to me when I realize that the wife spends her entire life volunteering and trying to do things for other people, which makes me feel like my own interests or time sinks are as important as that dried up piece of dogshit near the dumpster out back. This is something that kinda comes and goes in my emotional life, so I'm sure it will pass. I think the thing that I hold closest to my heart is the fact that I don't feel like anything I like or do is even vaguely important, yet I'm enough of an egotistical cunt to continue doing it, if only out of spite.

(That last sentence may be the most honest thing I've ever written, anywhere.)

Be seeing you.

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My Cinematic Alphabet

I'm nothing if not easily swayed by peer pressure, and since EVERYONE on Twitter was doing this type of thing yesterday I figured I would play along, even if it is kind of a day late and a dollar short as far as the timeliness of it.

The idea is to just rattle off a favorite film for each letter of the alphabet, which sounds easy at first, but then you start trying to be cute and avoid the same ones everyone else is probably going to use, as well as who you want to see represented on your list, so then the bargaining begins. There's at least a few on there that I equate to the Oscars, in that it's maybe not my favorite film by a certain director, but it was 'their turn' (so to speak) because another letter was already spoken for.

Without further ado:

One Side Of French Cinema - Sweetly Cloying.

A is for Amelie

Baby Wants To Fuck!

B is for Blue Velvet

You're A Dream To Me

C is for Chungking Express

I Fooking Did It And You're Next!

D is for Dead Man's Shoes

Groovy, Yet A Predictable Choice.

E is for Evil Dead 2

He Grabs A Guy's Neck And Sweeps Him Headfirst To The FLOOR, FFS!

F is for Fist Of Legend

Cow Head!

G is for Gozu


H is for Hot Fuzz

The Other Side Of French Cinema - Crushingly Depressing

I is for Irreversible

Deserves Another Look...

J is for Jackie Brown

Shane Black At His Finest...

K is for Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Guns For Show, Knife For A Pro.

L is for Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels

He's So Kind To That Little Nitwit...

M is for My Man Godfrey

Greatest Romance Ever Told? They ARE Perfect For Each Other...

N is for Natural Born Killers

It's Hammertime.

O is for Oldboy

Tati at his finest.

P is for Playtime

Because I Wanted Something Other Than Q The Winged Serpent, Dammit.

Q is for Quills

Oh, Rocky!

R is for Rocky Horror Picture Show

Now What Am I Supposed To Do For A Friend?

S is for SLC Punk

Stunning Comedic Duo.

T is for The Thin Man

Deserve's Got Nothing To Do With It.

U is for Unforgiven

Long Live The New Flesh Baby!

V is for Videodrome

Less Kiss Kiss, More Bang Bang

W is for The Way Of The Gun

Because I've Not Seen Xanadu And I'll Be Goddamned If I Put X-Men Here...

X is for X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes

People Are Assholes, ALL Of Them. Especially Jason Patric.

Y is for Your Friends & Neighbors

Does He Fit The Profile?

Z is for Zodiac

And there you have it. I'm pretty happy with my selections, though a couple were a bit of a stretch. The post itself took forever to put together, which speaks to why I don't really do lists very often.

I'm out kids.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vomiting Yakuza Devil Daughter

I'd been asleep for about three hours when the wife woke me around 6:30 with a commotion in the bathroom. In my groggy state it took me a few seconds to register that it was the sounds of her getting violently ill before I sprang from the bed and went to check on her. Without being too unGodly graphic, I helped her clean up the mess and settled her back in bed. She'd already texted to tell the person she had a breakfast meeting with that she was going to have to pass, so she fell back asleep to try and recuperate. I lay awake for a bit, as the whirlwind of commotion had shocked me wide awake, eventually drifting off after 7:00 or thereabouts.

This turn of events effectively kiboshed the plans we had to have lunch and do our grocery shopping afterward, so when I finally got up after a longer 'nap' than I'd first intended, I left the wife in bed and headed out to do our shopping, as we were out of several staples, and I figured I could also get a few things to ease the wife's stomach along in the process. Nothing being easy, I was on my way to drop off recycling when I saw that I was about to run out of gas, so I stopped to do that before the car left me afoot in an HEB parking lot somewhere.

The grocery store wasn't all that bad and I only ran into one person I knew, actually a friend of the wife's so I conveyed her illness to her and she sent her well wishes, then I was out of there. I picked up a late lunch on the way home, including a chicken sandwich for the wife, who was feeling brave enough to try and keep something down. She was up briefly, then crashed out in the bedroom again while I put the groceries away and settled in to watch something off the TiVo.

The Yakuza is a film that I've seen turning up on several people's 'Cinematic Alphabets' over the past day or so, and I recalled that I had it on the TiVo and figured I'd see what everyone was on about. 'Cinematic Alphabet', I hear you ask? I guess the general idea is to run through the alphabet, listing off a favorite film beginning with each letter, a process which leads to a lot of bargaining, as you want to represent certain favorite directors, genres, etc., something which I will be doing in a separate post, as the movie thing has little to do with the daily minutiae you normally find here.

It's Japan, As They Say Repeatedly In The Film...At any rate, The Yakuza is a really good little slow burn of a film from the 70's in which Robert Mitchum plays a retired detective who is drawn back to Japan to help a friend whose daughter has been kidnapped by Yakuza as leverage in a business deal. His travels bring him back in contact with an old flame and her daughter, as well as her estranged brother who bears both a grudge as well as a debt to Mitchum for looking after his sister. The film has some great twists and was well worth the watch; it's also an early screenplay by Paul Schrader, who we know went on to much greater things with Taxi Driver, etc.

I ended up watching something that turned up in the mail today, the interweb only disc of Lucy, Daughter Of The Devil that I finally realized was available from the Adult Swim Store, having looked for it numerous times on Amazon and figuring that it was just never meant to be released. The disc arrived floating in the case, so I figured I had better give it a look to make sure it wasn't cocked up. I love this silly show so very much, especially the first half of the one season that it ran. It doesn't end quite as strongly as it began, but it's a very funny show, I particularly love H. Jon Benjamin as the Devil.

We called it a night shortly afterward, as the wife is still not feeling 100% and I wanted to work on my little Alphabet thing as well.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dead Trees, X-Files And Gore Police

The wife went on a rather productive tear this morning, as we've both been less than thrilled with our lawn service, as the Lawn Guys seem half-assed at best and with the hard hit all of the plants have taken from the freeze that I mentioned in last Saturday's post, our yard just seems to look more and more piss-poor. She called them and got kinda bitchy with them (which she rarely does with anyone), and I'll be damned if we didn't have two guys with a little mini-chainsaw taking down this dead tree that was supposed to have been gone months ago, within just a few hours of her call. The guy told me that another crew will be by later to look at the possibly dead Oleander in our alley, as they seem a lot more yellow than most living plants.

The wife split for meetings that will last for the entire freaking day, so I was left to greet the Maid and set her to her routine. The Yorkie had fun grousing at the Lawn Guys, but eventually settled down in the Office with me while I watched a few episodes of The X-Files on Netfux Instant Watch. I'm still creeping my way through the 2nd season, the last few of which have been entertaining for what they are. I'm still kinda surprised to never have watched these in their entirety, but it's nice to play catch up here and there. I stepped out to pick up some lunch, then retreated back to the Office to eat while the Maid finished up and split.

I ran some old leftovers from the fridge and a few other bits of trash out to the dumpsters and spent a bit of time piddling around with the 2nd collage, as inspiration has finally struck me with how to proceed. I've been drizzling a couple different shades of watered down green acrylics over it the past few days and feel like I'm kind of at a stopping point with it, at least until I feel like sitting down with it and starting in on what may turn out to be a laborious detailing process.

Does What It Says On The Tin...I had sat down with a re-watch of Tokyo Gore Police off the To-Watch Pile when the wife called to inquire about dinner, so I gave her my order and soon the Yorkie and I were happily greeting her at the front door. We ate after catching up on the details of the day, then our friend JH dropped by briefly for a little visit before heading home to finish up some school work that she was on a deadline for. The wife and I spent the remainder of the evening with some more odds and ends off the TiVo that keep getting back-burnered.

We called it a night around 10:00, as the wife has stuff in the morning and then the two of us have errands in the afternoon.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Slumbering Cable Guy Massacre

I woke up this morning still debating whether or not to have the Cable Guys come and check out the computer modem, as it was still working properly yet I was hopeful that they might be able to find some clue as to why their sketchy service had dropped out to begin with. I finally decided to say the hell with it and let them come, just to be safe. I got some coffee started and was livid to notice that the Yorkie had both pissed on the new rug in the bedroom, as well as took a shit on the rug in the front living room, two thing that she's been pretty good about not doing up to this point. I yelled at her about it, indicating her little potty pads in our bathroom for all the good it does after the fact. I felt like kind of asshole, but was just interested in venting more than anything, as I really don't wanna spend my life traipsing through piss and shit; it's like we might as well be living in a trailer or something instead of a nice house if the dog is going to use it for a fucking toilet anyway.

The collage is still coming along fairly well, so I took the time to start spreading red acrylic over the black and white images, then left it to dry when the Cable Guys turned up. They were here less than 20 minutes and naturally found nothing wrong with the computer or modem, which was pretty much what I was expecting. This house is like the fucking Bermuda Triangle, I swear to God.

The next project was to insure that all the various and sundry wireless devices were still connecting to the interwebs, so I spent the better part of an hour or so getting everything fully connected to the web again. This took longer than anticipated because the PS3 needs a new update seemingly every time I turn it on, which leads me to believe I should use it more often than once a month. I left it updating and went to grab a burger for lunch.

Who Wants To Get Drilled?The wife was headed home around this time, so when I got back we caught up a bit and then I settled in to watch something off the To-Watch Pile and kinda relax after the various annoyances of the morning. I ended up selecting the Slumber Party Massacre set, as I'd never seen any of them and had always been curious. The first film was entertaining enough, filled with the requisite Corman prescription of boobs and blood as an escaped lunatic racks up a body count with a large drill, then along comes the sequel. Recasting a few recurring characters, we spend the film with one survivor girl suffering from dreams of a rockabilly leather guy trying to kill her with a guitar/drill combo, which according to the liner notes was something of a cash in on the success at the time of the Nightmare On Elm Street films. While that second film left me a little cold, the third fished me back in with a fairly simple re-boot of the conceits of the first film, though the killer is an unknown this time, leaving us with a mystery to solve as the bodies turn up. Overall the series is pretty watchable, though the 2nd one is so strange I might be hard pressed to return to it any time soon.

We spent the evening catching up with the odds and ends of various shows that we'd had left over from the end of last week, including the last 2 episodes of Fringe, a show I've been relieved to find has been renewed for another season. I really hope that it find its niche soon and doesn't have to live the entirety of its run on the verge of cancellation, as it is very well put together and well acted, especially considering most of the regulars are now playing two versions of themselves within the alternate realities. Great show.

The wife crashed out while I got started on this, though I wana be in bed soon, as the Maid is scheduled for the AM.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Internet By Decree

I rose this morning hoping to find that the interweb service was back in order, but alas, that was not to be the case. I got on the phone to see if their tech support folks could tell me what was going on, only to have the guy ask if this or that light was lit on the modem (they weren't), so he scheduled a service visit for the AM tomorrow morning to see what the deal is. He said there wasn't an outage, so there was an issue between the street and the PC itself, presumably the modem, as it wasn't lighting up as it is meant to.

I took this information in surprisingly good stride, as loss of interweb access is something of a maddening turn of events in my life, but I'm trying to let go of dumb shit that matters to me for no real reason, and this seemed like just that type of thing. I took the wife's order for some Chinese take out and went to pick that up, then we chilled in the den and watched some old episode of Ducktales, as I've been revisiting a strange cross-section of the cartoons from my youth in the past week just to see how the hold up.

Being a lazy Sunday afternoon the wife eventually caught a nap and I took some time to work on the final layers of black & white pictures that were to be glued into the collage, then returned to the couch to take in the last of the disc we'd been watching.

Gothic Melodrama At Its Finest!We watched an honest to God movie off the To-Watch Pile once the wife woke up, the Bob Clark directed Murder By Decree, a Gothic pot boiler in which Sherlock Holmes pursues Jack The Ripper through a grimy, misty London filled with bad dental work and dead whores around every corner. It was a pretty fun little film and well worth the $1 I grabbed it for at a pawn shop a few months back.

We spent our evening with the standard Fox animation stuff, some leftovers for dinner and finally the season finale of Californication, which ended on a note that, as with the first season's finale, I could be happy with it ending altogether. I don't think this is the case, but I could be happy to have them end the series as it stands now.

I came into the Office to update a document on the computer, only to notice that the light that the guy on the phone was worried about was lit now, so I cautiously opened Google Chrome to see if the interweb had healed itself. Color me fucking surprised to be writing this on the PC, connected as I would normally be. The real question is do I still allow the tech guy come out to check it out in the morning, or do I blow that off? I'm kinda leaning towards yes, as I want him to give the set-up a once-over and see if there's anything weird about the modem, or anything that might need to be done to prevent this from happening in the future.

Oh well, I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Spit On Your Garden Center

The solid week of winter we actually mustered this year basically killed a lot of the things we had growing in the back yard, including the fairly well-established ivy plants that were to be surrounding the window in the Library. Thus, the wife and I had made plans to have lunch at a cafe that's located in a local garden center, then take a ramble through there and pick up a few things for the yard, or at least a couple of trays of ivy to get that whole project going again.

The service at the cafe was a bit so-so, as they seemed pretty understaffed, but the food was really good, so I even went so far as to nail the wife down for a return visit this coming Wednesday for lunch, which should also mean that there will be less children scampering around the place; the only thing truly annoying about our dining experience. If you have kids that are, let's say under four feet tall, how about you fucking try to keep them in your general vicinity instead of letting them roam around, all free-range? If I was interested in the pitter-patter of little feet I'd get a couple more dogs.

We found our ivy after the meal, as well as the strawberry plants that the wife was interested in trying out, so we headed back to the house to unload everything. The wife chilled in the bedroom while I first got a few things glued into the collage, then headed outside to clear out the planters and start the planting process. This only took about an hour all told, though it did make me kinda sad to pull out everything I'd planted when we first moved in here, as every last bit of it is stone dead. I left some of the creeping dead vines that snaked up the poles near the planters to hopefully encourage the new plants to get with the program and start climbing as soon as they can.

I did some more layering on the collage, spent some time re-watching old cartoons for nostalgia's sake while sipping a martini, then the wife and Yorkie got up from their nap so we chitchatted a bit about dinner options, as a friend we'd traded texts with about possibly getting together had fallen through at this point. We eventually got out long enough to drive thru some Mexican food and grab a little dessert item before heading home to dig into a film that I wasn't entirely sure that the wife would like.

I Actually Saw No Spitting, But Revenge Was Had Nonetheless...The film in question was the fairly notorious exploitation 'classic' (which I'd never seen, mind you) I Spit On Your Grave, which has recently hit Blu-ray on a really reasonably priced disc with a decent looking transfer. This film is the one rape/revenge film that most everyone is familiar with (even if only by reputation), so how I'd somehow not seen it up to this point is beyond me. The wife wasn't completely mortified by it (actually found it fairly empowering as far as the revenge element went), which I suppose is a good thing, hell I don't know what I could really show her that she'd get freaked out by at this point. She's been rather open minded about most everything we've watched, lo these 7 years or so together.

We called it a night afterward and the wife crashed for the night while I worked on this nonsense, only to have the interwebs crash on me completely around 2:00 in the AM. I looked at the router to blame first, but soon became convinced (due to the timeframe) that it could be a Suddenlink issue, as they have a history of doing updates and other shit like that in the wee hours of the morning, which is fine for most people but fucks up my life, being something of a night owl. I eventually said screw it and headed to bed, hoping that things would right themselves by the morning.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Friends, Lunches, Dinners, Idiots

I was up late last night dealing with the whole PC browser situation, then found myself reading for a bit in bed to unwind, so I slept in a bit this morning before forcing myself out of bed around 11:00. The wife, who had been up for a bit and actually had nothing going on was heading back to bed to catch a few winks, so we both lay there for a bit, chatting, then I got up and got some coffee going to start my day, er, afternoon.

I grabbed a shower and dressed to go and meet a friend for lunch, arriving a few minutes late but still ahead of my dinner date. I hadn't seen him since January as near as we could figure, so we had plenty to catch up on, with lunch stretching to an hour and a half since neither of us had anywhere else to be in the afternoon. We eventually said our goodbyes and made tentative plans to have brunch with the wives as well next Saturday.

I stopped into Big Lots on my way home just to see what was up with their selection after my decent haul in Odessa yesterday, then headed to the house to see what the wife was up to. We visited a bit, then I spent some time shuffling some DVD's around in between layering in more stuff to the current collage. Before I knew it the afternoon was gone and we needed to head out to meet Buckaroo Banzai and his wife Pookie for dinner.

We had a great meal, then they followed us to the house to relax and catch up on what's been happening over the past month or so. We eventually got back out briefly to pick up a dessert item and a bottle of vodka, as Pookie had expressed interest trying a martini. I shook up a few drinks and we chilled out for a bit in the den, eventually watching an episode of An Idiot Abroad, in which Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant send Karl Pilkington to Egypt to see what a taste of the grimmer side of travel would do to the little fella. We bid our guests goodnight and then I put the wife to bed before settling in to hunt and peck this crap out before calling it a night myself.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shopping, Trekking And Computing

Having had something of a frustrating day yesterday where the computers were concerned (as Firefox had started to exhibit odd issues just before I signed off last night), I woke this morning less than thrilled with the idea of doing anything web-related. I elected instead to make my monthly pilgrimage to Odessa and see what the pawn shops and a different Big Lots might have to offer as a way of distracting from the idea that the PC could still be acting like a total See You Next Tuesday.

Speaking of cunts, on the drive over I had a gal who couldn't be bothered to stay in her own lane as she merged onto the highway near the airport come perilously close to sideswiping my car because the vehicle ahead of her wasn't speeding sufficiently for her tastes. Helluva way to shake off any lingering grogginess, I can assure you. I'm just glad I saw them merging and switched lanes, as I suppose she would've just run my ass completely over had I been in the right-hand lane.

There, But For The Grace Of God...The pawn shops were the usual hit or miss, this time being mostly miss, as there was only one item I had in my hand that I actually considered and finally put back, as I have no clue when I'd even get around to watching it. I did find a handful of things at Big Lots, including some fun stuff like Trekkies and Krull, two things that I had been on the hunt for since I read online that they'd begun to turn up about a month ago. I headed back to town afterward, stopping on my drive in to pick up a burger for my late lunch before I headed home.

The wife was out running errands, I touched base with her to find out when to expect her, as I wanted to plan my viewing habits around when she'd be home so as to expose her to the sublime majesty, sadness and general nerditry of Trekkies. I had some time to kill, so after I ate I piddled around with the PC a bit, only to find that the new version of Firefox was now shitting the bed in much the same manner the earlier version was, so I started weighing options on what to do about that. I eventually decided (after some Twitter urging from friends) to try out Google Chrome, a browser that I'd resisted due to my initial happiness with Firefox, but since that honeymoon is over I figured I may as well look into my other options.

The wife got home while I was working on the collage stuff, as I've been trying to keep it rotating as far as the gluing process goes, due to the smaller size of the papers I'm using which cover far smaller areas than the others I worked with. I'm trying to randomize the images as much as possible, so I split each black and white page into quarters and shuffled them a bit, so no two images touching are from the same page. This matters to no one but me, so you can skip ahead to the next paragraph if you want.

The wife and I had some leftovers for dinner and watched Trekkies, which she seemed amused by and is interested in seeing the sequel, so I may be off to Amazon to track that one down as well. Honestly, I'm kinda surprised that I haven't owned these up to this point anyway, as I really do like both of them.

I have spent the evening playing around with Chrome a bit, my only frustration being that it was unable to port over my bookmarks from Firefox, but I honestly would guess that this is an issue with Firefox and not the new browser. So far so good, but who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Plumbers, Computers, Collages And Television

The wife was out of the house with meetings this morning, but eventually texted me to say that the Plumbers would be back by to take another pass at the whole fireplace thing around 1:30 if that was cool with me. I got the house opened for business and spent some time dicking around with the PC, as a Firefox update had managed to turn that whole browser pear-shaped for me, crashing each and every time it opened. Luckily I am in the habit of installing Safari whenever I update iTunes, so I have a spare browser with which to look up and download the latest version of Firefox directly from Mozilla, which seems to have fixed the issue. This has been the case the last couple times there's a major update on Firefox; the automatic update seems to fuck everything up, then I upgrade with an entirely new download and it all seems fine. Weird.

The wife was also in the market to possibly purchase a new computer, as the one she's been using is our 'old' computer that we've had since 2006, which she started using exclusively once we bought the PC that I'm currently writing this on. The initial idea was that we were replacing that one, but since it puzzlingly started behaving better once we had a new one in place, she's been basically 'making do' with the old one up until the past few days when something as simple as sending e-mails has become a 20 minute chore. She let me know that she was going to go and take a pass through Best Buy on her way home to see what she could find, so I busied myself with picking up the house a bit and dragging out the materials to start work on another collage at the kitchen counter.

I'm still not 100% done/satisfied with the first two pieces, but I figured I needed to start something new sooner than later, as I have a couple ideas/images that I wanted to hang onto before they slipped away from me entirely.

Seriously, Stay Away From The Damned Phone.The wife arrived home and was kind enough to pick up a little something for my lunch, so after the Plumbers arrived I settled into the den to watch something off the TiVo while I ate. The wife spent some time on the computer, looking at her options with a new Mac, as she's been wanting to take that plunge for awhile now and figured this might be the time to bite. I watched Don't Answer The Phone!, a film that felt a lot like William Lustig's Maniac, though it never felt quite as sleazy as anything starring Joe Spinell. It's a decent enough watch, but nothing you haven't seen before as far as slasher material from the 80's goes.

The Plumbers were able to get the fireplace in order this time around, so now the wife can light it via a remote control, like some kinda villain in a 60's spy thriller. I'm putting my faith in a higher power and the karma I may've floated out into the universe that this fucking thing won't kill us in our sleep, as the pilot remains lit at all times. If this blog bullshit stops getting updated at some point, it's because the fireplace killed us and I would like to go on record as saying I told you so.

The wife purchased a Mac for herself, so once we got the Plumbers out of our hair we went to pick it up. The in store pick up option at Best Buy can be kinda dicey but we got out of there pretty quickly. Since I have zero experience with Macs I left the wife setting her stuff up and spent a couple hours working on the new collage, which will involve a red spatter that trails across the page, which I'm currently covering with black and white photography that's torn away in the same manner in the last couple projects. Once the page is covered in torn up black and white I want to come back over it with the paint knife and spread red acrylic all over to cover the page, as an experimental square I tried this on left different abstract shapes and textures in the paint yet allowed the original image to show through, which will give me something to play with once the whole thing is covered.

The wife and I spent the evening with a few more things off the TiVo, including the season finally, excuse me, finale of V, which limped to the finish line with a whimper and collapsed after cramming way too much plot into a single hour. If the last half of the season had been as plot driven as the last episode, I might've been able to give a fuck about the show. The awful CGI reached quite a crescendo this episode, with lots of terrible looking lizard tails and more dumbass unhinged jaw nonsense, it's just awful. If this turkey gets canned it's better for everyone involved, as there's no way they can back down from the terrible style they've set for themselves at this point.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Plumbers, Bodies, Academies

The Yorkie and I rose with the alarm this morning, I made the bed and got the house opened up for business. I spent some time in the Office with the wife's PC, as it was acting kinda hinky last night as well as this morning. With her off at meetings I figured I had some time to run it through the usual scans and whatnot to see if I could get it to play ball. I got kinda caught up in my skirmishes with that beast long enough to make myself late to the standing date I have with EL and DR for lunch, so I scrambled out of the house after 1:00 had already come and gone.

We ate and caught up on the past week, I felt kinda bad when comparing notes on their various art projects, as I've fallen off on mine, so I may have to jump back into that later this week. I ran by Best Buy after lunch to poke around, picking up a few cheap items before I headed back to the house. In the interim the wife and I exchanged a few texts and phonecalls, nailing down a visit from the plumbers who were to re-route the gas to the fireplace in our bedroom, a concept that fills me with the vague dread of asphyxiating in my sleep from a gas leak, but I suppose if we go, we at least go together, which is kind of okay by me, as I dunno how I'd live without them. The new gas set-up will be remote controlled, so you simply press a button and the fireplace lights itself, but as it turns out the poor plumbers weren't really able to do jack shit today other than put the lighting mechanism together, as the mantle is covering the gas cock that they need to turn the gas on or off. The Interior Designer (for reasons known only to himself) has attached the mantle to the wall with Liquid Nail, which means it's supposed to fucking stay there, and these two guys didn't really feel comfortable trying to chisel the thing free of the wall and take responsibility for tearing it up in the process, so now we're back to waiting around for the Interior Designer to turn up again and make this shit right. Christ what a pain in the ass. I mean, it all looks nice, but it's like a walking nightmare getting all of it lined out as it's supposed to be.

Beware The Breather. And Everyone Else, Basically.I watched Student Bodies off the TiVo while the plumbers did their thing, forcing the Yorkie to sit on my lap and not bark at the guys working in the bedroom, which nearly drove her insane. The movie wasn't something that I felt like I'd seen before, though certain moments felt familiar, so I may've seen clips elsewhere? I kinda feel like it would've been a movie I would remember, as it's so corny and tongue in cheek throughout I figure at least a few of the gags would stick with me. Parodying all the slasher tropes that we'd see in stuff like Scary Movie, this was simply more generic, not focusing on specific beats in specific films, making it a little more universal, to be quite honest, though perhaps less amusing in the long run.

To Protect and HILARITY Is More Like It...The wife got home from an afternoon meeting and we eventually settled into the den with another comedy off the To-Watch Pile, the fairly classic selection of Police Academy, which I certainly hadn't seen in at least 10 years or so. We ordered in some food and chilled with the movie, which has aged surprisingly well aside from a few 80's conventions like the giant boom box and the like. Plus vintage Kim Cattrall. Rawr.

We had dinner over a handful of comedies left over from last week's recordings, then called it a night. The wife headed to bed to price a new PC, as hers is still not behaving as well as it should, and I got started on this crapola once again.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Televisual And Not Much Else

The wife was off to her various meetings this morning while the Yorkie and I slept in like the lazy tossers that we are, then I finally got up and made the bed and got the house opened up for business.

I gathered our recycling and then dropped that off before hitting a drive-thru to grab a bit of lunch, as I'd somehow managed to not eat dinner last night. I ate my lunch while watching a few of the numerous things that'd piled up on the TiVo during our absence.

And that's pretty much the state of the day. I caught up on several episodes of Supernatural as well as Nikita over the course of the afternoon and early evening. I paused in the middle of all this to visit with the wife when she got home, as well as take her to pick up a spare vehicle at the Mother In Law's house when her car refused to start as she left for a meeting just before 5:00.

So there's the sick Mercedes to deal with tomorrow. Blah.

We spent a quite evening at home, caught last week's episode of Justified and then called it a night. I headed to the Office to piddle with this dumb shit and the wife crashed in the bedroom for the evening.

Maybe something interesting will happen in the AM. But I doubt it.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dallas Day Four: The Voyage Home

I can happily report that the drunks last night all settled down to pass out, puke and hopefully choke to death in their sleep by 1:00 AM, so I didn't end up in any kind of weird altercations after I got the blog posted. I slept pretty well once I was able to wind down, as I was kinda steeling myself for some kinda shouting match at the very least, so I slept in until around 10:30 this morning.

The wife and Yorkie were already up, so we made our plans for the day (leaving), then I took a quick shower and packed up my stuff before we called downstairs for the car and a bellhop to drag all of our shit downstairs. We got loaded up and headed out of town about 11:30, stopping in Weatherford to gas up the car and grab a bit of lunch to eat on the fly. The return trip was surprisingly easy, with numerous highway patrol dotting the landscape with people pulled over, but we never had even a 'close call' on the way, despite my cautious speeding for most of the drive.

We were home and unpacking in the comfort of our home by 4:30, pretty much 5 hours on the dot as far as average drive times go, so we didn't lose any time when we stopped for food and supplies; this pleases me for no discernible reason.

We watched some television and relaxed on the couch for the rest of the evening, going through the pile of mail and newspapers, calling it a night around 10:00 because the wife has to get back into the swing of things tomorrow.

I'm out kids, as there's sweet fuck-all left to say about today.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dallas Day Four: The Hotel

The wife rose with the sun to drive out to Frisco to see what her scrapbooking convention was all about, leaving the Yorkie and I to sleep in. I finally got up around 10:00, dressed and took the dog for a little walk downstairs to grab some ice, then I iced down a soda and called in my lunch order to room service.

The dog and I played around in the room, as I chased her around the place a bit to burn off some of her nervous energy. I was having trouble deciding if she was just antsy because the wife was gone or if she wanted something else, another outing, etc.

The Room Service Guy brought my burger and fries, so I fired up the laptop and watched an episode of The X-Files season 2 on Netfux Instant Watch. The show is interesting to me, as I undertsand the significance of its run, but I also have a hard time grasping why it captured the imagination of pop culture in the 90's, as there are certainly a lot of episodes that are 'off' if you catch my drift. The ones that are firing on all cylinders seem few and far between, though they do seem to be hitting more of a stride in this 2nd season, so perhaps it picks up soon.

I bounced between X-Files and trying to entertain the dog for the duration of the afternoon, no easy feat when it became obvious that a rather loud (and social) group has settled on our floor for the weekend. None of these people speak in what you'd call an 'indoor' voice, preferring to virtually shout down the halls and power arm every door shut when they left, which agitated the Yorkie because they were intruders and me because they were assholes.

The wife arrived back about an hour earlier than I'd expected her, so we spent some time catching up and she showed off her various projects and the items she'd received for participating in the weekend. The wife also had insight into the loud group traipsing up and down the hall, as there was some type of wedding looking to be taking place downstairs. This may be a long night...

Morris came by around 6:00, then we went to grab some dinner at Fireside Pies, only to have the elevator stall out a few seconds after it began its descent from our floor. We rang the little alarm button, but it seemed to only ring on the floor on which it was stuck, so who the hell knows how long it might be before the front desk had any inkling that we were trapped. Morris was fiddling with the little intercom looking button in hopes of getting ahold of someone when the wife really started messing with him, exclaiming hysterically "Is it getting hot in here? Do you think we have enough air?" which was cracking me up. The wife finally tried the door, revealing that we were just about six inches off of where we needed to be, so we hopped to safety on the 8th floor and took the other elevator down and mentioned to the desk people that they needed to get on that. The restaurant had no real wait to speak of, it seems like we've timed this trip well, with Spring Break having taken a lot of people out of town and leaving us with little hassle where we've chosen to eat. We eventually grabbed a bit of dessert at Wild About Harry's, then headed back to the Palomar. Morris hung out a bit, then we said our goodbyes and the wife headed to bed, as her early morning had left her wiped out.

I started working on this just in time to start hearing every fucking door on this floor start slamming and loud, presumably drunk folks begin blathering in the hall, so I may be talking to a desk clerk pretty soon, as that shit is their problem, not mine. This is also a glowing example of why you have a venue for your reception, not ruining the lives of everyone else in a hotel because you've got an excuse to get shitty drunk after your old college roomie has decided to tie the knot.

I'm giving it until midnight or shortly thereafter (as the wife sleeps through anything), then I'm going to have to be an asshole about things because I cannot have weird noises as I'm trying to drift off to sleep, it always snaps me back awake.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Dallas Day Three: Further Shoppening

So as the four of you that read this might realize, I didn't publish yesterday's post until late this evening, as I was tired and said the hell with it. I slept kinda so-so last night, as the Mexican food made a return on me with some hellacious heartburn shortly after I finally laid down to get some rest.

The wife and I woke with the alarm around 9:00 this morning, then we dressed and headed towards Fort Worth, where we'd made early lunch plans to meet my friend Shioda and his new bride to be, as they had plans to be married this very afternoon by the Justice Of The Peace. I have to reiterate my confusion at why Fort Worth remains a ridiculous ordeal to even drive through, as we encountered a stunning amount of traffic considering we were out on the road at 10:30 in the damned morning. I dunno, maybe we're doing something wrong, but it just seems like the entire city always feels like a giant parking lot and traffic slows to a crawl anywhere near there.

We had a good meal, got to know Shioda's new lady (who seemed very nice, I hope they're very happy) and eventually they were off on their merry way, as we didn't want to keep them on their wedding day. We made our way back to the Dallas area, which wasn't as bad as the trip out, but wasn't easy by any Goddamned means. I think I may be done with Fort Worth.

The wife wanted to check out a place called Drybar, which is a salon that does nothing but blows out your hair. I was slightly concerned that she wouldn't be able to get in, so while we were on the road I called ahead to get her an appointment, giving us about 45 minutes to wade through the traffic and find the place. The wife arrived a few minutes late, but was soon in the chair and getting her hair done. I was pleasantly surprised to have the gal at the register offer me a drink while I waited, so I had a couple mimosas and played around on the phone while the wife got her hair styled.

While I was enjoying my slight buzz the wife laid out her afternoon agenda, all of which sounded cool to me, so we headed into the Highland Park area to hit up Sprinkles for a few cupcakes, then backtraced to the Chanel store so the wife could look for a certain pair of sunglasses that seem destined to elude her on this trip. We grabbed a coffee and then went in search of a JoAnn Fabric store, at which point I started to feel as though I might be more comfortable doing our running around wearing a tampon, as it was a very girly afternoon by this point. **Rimshot**

We also stopped into a Borders along the way, just to see if they were discounting sufficiently for their shitty pricing to actually become a bargain, considering that they are going out of business. I can sadly say that No, they are not. Even at 40% off their prices are barely competitive with Amazon, usually a buck or two above, and since I have no interest in shopping anywhere that charges me full retail for anything, I say good riddance to their chain. If you're going out of business and STILL can't get your pricing in line with the rest of the world, you probably ended up that way for a reason.

The wife and I breezed through JoAnn's, where she found nothing of interest, then she suggested driving out to the hotel where her scrapbooking convention takes place tomorrow, which sounded fine to me, as I'd rather her know where she's going instead of just wandering around in the early morning. We made our way to Frisco, stumbled through a few steps in the Google directions but eventually found the place, so she registered while I looked up a nearby Half-Price Books. I actually found a few books by Eddie Campbell that I wasn't even aware of, so that's kinda cool, then we headed back to Dallas to meet Morris and Bo for dinner at Pappadeaux.

The meal was great and we had a good time getting to know Bo a bit better in a less hectic setting, then stepped across the street to a place called Snookie's to have a cocktail to cap off the evening. We said our goodbyes, then headed back to the hotel to see what the Yorkie was up to. I took the dog for a walk to get some ice on the floor below ours, then started in on the process of getting the blog updated, as I'd been slacking last night.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dallas Day Two: The Shopping

The wife had a pedicure lined out this morning, so the Yorkie and I woke up long enough to see her leave, then went back to sleep for another hour, finally rising around 10:00 by the time it was all said and done. We made our various phonecalls to friends to see what they might be interested in doing today, then headed out to visit my one specific request for the trip: Half-Price Books.

I found a couple things while the wife came up empty-handed, then we both were able to nail down our friends to plans for the afternoon and headed in the general direction of the Knox-Henderson shopping area, where we were to meet a few folks at Chuy's. We killed some time gassing up the car and finding parking, which was no small task in and of itself, then we got a table and ordered some chips to snack on while we waited.

Robbb arrived first, then we were joined by Morris, and his new boyfriend Bo, who we were looking forward to meeting for the first time on this trip. Bo seemed like a really nice guy, I like the rapport that he and Morris have, they make a good couple. We were very pleasantly surprised to be joined by Morris' buddy Brown, who we hadn't seen since the Mother In Law's wedding reception. We had a good meal, caught up and visited a bit, exchanging anecdotes and eventually making tentative plans for the evening with Robbb, Morris and Bo; Brown was sadly otherwise engaged with work.

Everyone went their separate ways except the wife, Morris and I: we spent some time in the general area, poking around in this shop or that, including entering a place that had a neon sign reading 'Happiness Is Expensive', which made all of us laugh. I kinda want that sign in our house, just to be completely obnoxious to any visitors that we might have.

Morris drove us to Northpark Mall so that we could check out his new SUV, which was appropriately impressive. We wandered arond the mall, hitting this store or that with Morris and I kinda trailing the wife as she ran through her shopping agenda. I did end up with some new Tom Ford colonge out of the deal, so that's cool and unGodly pricey.

Morris drove us to Addison once we left the mall, where we met a few of his friends at the bar that Bo manages, one of the Flying Saucer locations. We enjoyed the company, food and drinks, finally calling it a night around 9:00 or thereabouts and leaving all of the other patrons still celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Morris dropped us back at our car near Chuy's, making some vague plans for tomorrow, then te wife and I headed back to The Palomar to chill out and see if the Yorkie had given up on us ever returning.

The wife took the dog for a walk downstairs that didn't seem to burn off her energy, so I eventually took her on a little jaunt down one floor where we have to go to hit the ice machine, then gave her some fresh food and water which seemed to finally calm her down and then I started in on this crapole for the day.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dallas Day One: Travel

The wife and I rose with the alarm, doing our level best to keep the dog from distress until the last minute. The wife spent some time organizing the closet while she collected her items to pack, I grabbed a shower and then took down the luggage from the overhead area in the closet. The Yorkie lit up like a slot machine.

We packed and lugged our two bags and the various little 'carry-on' type stuff out to the car, then the wife gave the pup her little doggie downer and we put her into her crate and hit the road. We gassed up, grabbed a Starbuck's and were out of town by 10:30 in the AM.

The drive wasn't bad at all, we avoided the typical lazy policework speedtrap at Colorado City, where deputy dawg just sits and waits all fucking day long to catch travelers unawares, and even though we passed several highway patrol along the way they were always otherwise engaged or simply ignored us. I was happy that we weren't going to Fort Worth, as the off-ramps leading there looked like parking lots as we blew through the area, then poof: we were suddenly at The Palomar and relaxing in our room around 3:45 or so.

The wife had scheduled out a spa treatment in the evening, so we piddled around in the room until after 5:00 when the kitchen began serving dinner and ordered in some food.

I made myslef a cocktail and took a soak in the little jacuzzi tub while the wife was away, then we ordered in some dessert and watched a little television before I started in with this nonsense.

Be seeing you.

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