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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Will And Grace And Dinner And Not Much Else

The wife rose early, as she had meetings and appointment through most of the morning, so my brief awareness of her leaving consisted of the sound of the shower running and what I believe was her small cry at stubbing her toe somewhere along the way.

I got up in the late morning to find the wife returned and working on some paperwork for a noon meeting. We visited a bit about her day and the big whopping nothing I had planned for my own, then she eventually split for her meeting while I hit the stationary bike for a bit to try and keep up appearances, if you will. I listened to a couple podcasts while I did that and while I got my lunch started, some Hamburger Helper from the pantry that certainly came in handy since I was without a car.

I dove into some more of Will And Grace season 8, as I was determined to finish it out either today or tomorrow. The wife returned, watched a bit with me and then retired to the bedroom to chill before her 5:00 PM meeting. The Lawn Guys arrived again, this time to make sure that our sprinkler system was in compliance with the new water restrictions that go into effect July 1st since we're in the throes of a drought locally with no end in sight.

The wife left for her meeting and returned just ahead of the arrival of JH, who was scheduled to join us for dinner in celebration of her birthday this weekend since she will be out of town. She's also changing jobs but we'll be celebrating that at a later date, just to break up the monotony a bit when we return from this cruise.

We had a tasty meal at a place downtown, then spent some time visiting and chilling at the house until our guest excused herself to head home, as she had some other things to get done around her house before she leaves on a weekend trip tomorrow morning.

Fun Show, Kind Of A Weak Ending.The wife and I stayed up a bit late to finish out the last two episodes of Will And Grace, a show that I love as a whole but kinda felt like managed to fumble the series finale. To be fairly SPOILERY from here on out, I was a bit put off by the idea that two people who were such integral parts of the other's lives essentially had to have a fight and not see one another for two years, then wait another 18 years before they finally happened to start talking on a regular basis again when their kids are in college. This to me essentially validated every joke made during the course of the show about how they ruined the others' chances for happiness with their own co-dependent relationship, in that the only way each of them could possibly get a life together with a spouse was to 'break up' and be allowed to pursue their own interests that would lead to relationships and children. I mean, seriously, is your overall subtext meant to be that it's all fun and games for a time, but you can't have both the love of your life as well as a best friend to share that with? You must choose one or the other? Fuck off with that nonsense. I mean, I have friends that I'm not as tight with as I once was, but I have at least minor awareness of even if they aren't my best friends, yet I'm told that people who lived almost up one another's ass during the course of this series suddenly go cold turkey for about 20 years? I guess I was expecting more from this series, and a part of me almost wishes I had never watched the finale. It's not as though it ruined everything that went before it, but it does feel out of place in the overall arc of the show. Oh well, if I give these a re-watch I know to stop at a certain point.

We called it a night shortly afterward and I got started on this after posting yesterday's blog post, which had failed due to Blogger suddenly going MIA late in the evening.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

God Plus Damn Plus Car Trouble

The Plumbers were scheduled to be here at 8:30 this morning, so the wife got up early to run the Yorkie to the Groomer. I got up about 10 minutes behind them and got the house opened up for business and coffee brewing, then dressed and made the bed so that the house would be presentable when these fools turned up. The wife returned with some breakfast, so we ate and tried to get the sleep from our eyes at the kitchen counter, then moved into the Office to work on projects of our own at separate computers.

The Plumbers came and went, basically they're on board for the repairs or whatever it would be considered that allows them to cut into the surround that's been placed over the gas connection and allow us to have access to turn it on and off, most importantly off in the event that it's seeping gas into the room and killing us. The only downside is that the guys sent today are just the flunkies who do the dirty work, so since we'll likely need some finesse used in the process of gaining access to the gas connection, they said we'd need to talk to their boss, essentially passing us back to him, and he has yet to call us back. Motherfucker.

The wife went to run several errands and I honestly debated going the fuck back to sleep, but elected to work on my little nerd lists that I maintain in the Office, because what else does one fill their time with beyond useless pursuits? I eventually got out of the house and picked up some lunch after running by the bank, then watched the first disc of Will And Grace season 8 while I ate, as I figure I'm fairly close to finishing the series and figure I can knock it out before we leave on this cruise in early July.

The Lawn Guys turned up in the mid-afternoon, shortly before the wife got home with the freshly bathed and shorn Yorkie, so the pup barked at them for a bit while the wife and I caught up, then she retired to the bedroom for a bit of a nap, as the morning had come much earlier than either of us were happy with. I finished up my disc worth of television and eventually joined her for about an hour myself, which is something that rarely happens, which I would guess speaks to how freaking tired I was.

We met the family for dinner to celebrate the Uncle's birthday this evening, so the wife and I turned up the find he and Grandmother waiting on a table and were joined shortly by the Mother In Law and her Beau. We were shown to a table and ordered up some drinks and appetizers, visiting a bit and catching up with the Uncle, who seemed to be having a good day and wasn't as, well, Druncle as he could've been given that it was his big day. The meal was good, topped off with a little birthday dessert that was shared by everyone at the table, then we made plans to adjourn to the MIL's place to check out whatever surprise gift she had for her sibling.

Then the Maxima does nothing but click when I try to start it. I say again, motherfucker.

We flagged down the Uncle as he and Grandmother were leaving and I have to say that I was a bit surprised when the man who had just offered to take over for the Plumbers and work on our potentially life-threatening natural gas situation simply suggested that we call a wrecker, rather than jump up with any handyman jump-starting ideas. Now granted, I know that he had his elderly Mother in tow, so perhaps that factors in, but honestly it just seemed like a funny time to go from "hell yeah I can work on that!" to "um yeah, good luck with getting the dead car to the house, we're out!" in the space of 10 minutes time from the restaurant to the parking lot.

We called a wrecker and waited on it in the steaming hot car, because the last vestige of power the vehicle had was used to automatically power down the windows that now wouldn't roll back up. The wife offered that we could call Brian, who lived fairly close by and see if he could at least try the jumper cables. If he could jump the car, great, we cancel the wrecker, if not, at least we tried, right? She was able to get ahold of him, and when we noticed a car next to us conveniently leaving, we got out and stood in the parking space to keep it free so he'd have a spot to park that would reach the battery. He arrived, we connected things and the car was running within quite literally 45 seconds of charging, so I quickly shot the windows up and suggested dropping it at the dealership to be serviced, since I felt safe leaving it overnight with the windows up once again.

Brian gave us a ride home after we dropped off the car, we hung out for a bit visiting and kinda laying some prep work for the coming house-sitting, as he'll be staying here for the first half of our time out of town to look after the house and Yorkie.

The wife and I wound down our evening with some light crapola off the TiVo, then I headed into the Office once I put the wife to bed.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dave And Grace

I dunno what the deal is this week, but I seem to have increasingly less and less going on, perhaps in some sort of subconscious desire to relax as much as possible in advance of this coming two week trip that I feel is going to be rather hectic as far as travel versus recreation goes.

The wife got the Plumbers lined out regarding the whole gas situation, scheduling out the original installers to turn up tomorrow to look into making the Goddamned gas valve accessible if we (God forbid) wanna turn off the gas during the summer like the normal humans. I had my standing lunch plans, so I decided to gather the recycling and run by the Big Lots in Odessa beforehand, just for shits and giggles.

Typical of my recent shopping sorties into Odessa, I found nothing of interest and simply killed some time before lunch, but what the hell, I don't need to spend any cash right now anyway.

I met EL at our alternative Thai place, only to find out that DR had to work and would be unable to join us. The service at the restaurant was kinda shoddy, as neither the waiter nor the waitress seemed to have any fucking clue who should be waiting on any table at any given time, leading to us sitting there for quite some time wishing we had a beverage to at least pass the time with. When the food turned up it was decent, and as an added bonus we also got to see a couple of Buddhist monks who finished their meal and then hung and blessed two little ornaments around the restaurant; not something you see everyday.

I headed home after dumping off the recycling and spent some time on the web piddling around with a few things and cleared off the desk a bit as it has been piling up with random detritus over the past few months.

The wife worked on some stuff in the Office while I headed to the Library to scan some more stuff into the Good Reads app while listening to a couple podcasts on the iPad to keep me company. Once the iPhone started to croak out on me I called the project done for the day and went to see what the wife was up to.

We eventually picked up an early dinner and spent the evening finishing out the seventh season of Will And Grace, which ate up the rest of the night. After the wife crashed out for bed I started this post on the iPad while watching a Dave Chappelle comedy special that I'd recently acquired super cheap from an Amazon vendor this past week.

Great show, very funny stuff. I really hope the man returns to comedy on a regular basis, as his material is always truthful and hilarious.



I'm out kids, we have a plumber scheduled to turn up here at 8:30 in the Christing morning tomorrow, so I gotta get my ass to bed.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Will And Gas?

The wife had her normally busy Monday morning today, so she was up and out the door early. I turned the alarm off and caught up on my sleep after the odd weekend jag of no sleep and intermittent booze, because what else do I have to do with my life, really? I finally rose late, hit the stationary bike, then got the house opened up and a pot of coffee made. The Yorkie briefly acknowledged my presence and then headed into the front room to yap at the odd passing jogger and the construction guys working on the increasingly ugly house across the street.

Hunger pangs eventually drove me from the house to forage for food, so I picked up a couple burritos and headed back to home to eat and maybe watch some tube. I realized that I was behind the wife at a red light, so I followed her to the house and helped her unload groceries and put those away before I had my lunch. We caught up on our respective days thus far, then I left her to make some phone calls and settled down to eat my lunch and watch the rest of Will And Grace season 6, since I was in the mood for something light.If The Hag Hates You, The Fag Won't Date You.

The stack of magazines I've been hoarding for use in future art collage projects has been growing steadily, so I started shredding those up after I finished my lunch, and the next thing I know I've started season 7 as well and pretty much lost my afternoon completely to that.

The wife had a yoga class around 6:00, so she headed out for that, I continued my shredding and popped in the 2nd disc of the season. When she got back I served up the sushi that she'd picked up earlier for our dinner and we watched television and visited until one of us made the mistake of going into the bedroom, where we noted a strange smell yet again. Fearing another gas issue, we called the plumbers again, because it's so much fun to burn through cash by having them out after hours all the fucking time. When the guy showed, he was unable to find a leak of any kind (which I suppose is for the best), but said that what we were smelling was actually combustion, meaning that the pilot light was working properly, but for reasons unknown an amount of the ensuing fumes are being pulled indoors rather than venting up the chimney as prescribed. Since the fumes in question aren't anything life-threatening (We hope? I suppose this is in reference to the amount rather than the content), we settled for scheduling these guys to be here tomorrow and check out the chimney situation first, as that's the easiest thing to figure out if there's an issue, then go on from there, following the path of the offending odors and why they might be hanging around.

This house feels like a nightmare every now and then, I swear to God.

The wife and I finished out the 2nd disc of Will And Grace, then called it a night.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gays, Mecha And Sexy Vampires

I slept from 6:00 this morning until 8:00, then woke to hit the bathroom and download urine. I absolutely refused to allow my body to try and get away with shafting me with 2 hours of sleep, so I headed back to bed and dove deeper into the pillows, eventually managing 6 hours of sleep before it was all said and done, rising just before noon to see what the wife was up to.

The wife had been awake for a bit, made herself some pancakes for breakfast and was actually heading back to bed for a bit of a nap as I was waking up. Sometimes we're like two ships passing in the night, I tellya...

I got up and dressed, then stepped out to grab a burger, as it sounded like a tasty way to solve my lunch dilemma. The wife was napping when I returned to the house, so I ate in the den while watching another disc of Will And Grace season six to pass the time. I read through the newspaper, then was watching the rest of last night's Robotech Macross Saga set when the wife came in for a bit. She headed to the Office to work on some paperwork and I continued to veg out in front of the tube, eventually making myself a cocktail because why the hell not, right?

Oh Just Fuck Already. All Of You.The wife had a random meeting this evening at 7:00, where she basically had to say a few words and then split, so I got the TiVo set up to record the usual Sunday evening re-runs of Fox animation stuff, as well as the season premiere of True Blood season 4 so that we wouldn't miss out on anything.

The wife returned with dinner, so she and I ate while watching some tube, calling it a late night after a new drama-filled episode of The Real 'L" Word.

The wife crashed, as her Monday is usually pretty full and I picked up the house a bit, watered the apple tree out front and then got started on this, as I had two full posts to get caught up on, having blown this crap off completely last night.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Socially Networked

I slept in this morning while the wife apparently went for a swim at the Mother In Law's place, as she was arriving home as I was getting up. We bullshitted a bit about our plans for the day, then I dressed and we stepped out to grab a deli sandwich for lunch and pick up a coffee. We were both in the mood for something light, as we had an early-ish dinner planned with friends at 6:00.

Back at the house we watched some television while we ate, then the wife stepped into the Office to work on some stuff for meetings during this coming week before crashing out for a nap.

I eventually started showering and getting ready for dinner, the activity of which roused the wife and she did the same. We met Brian and the Hairdressers at the same Asian grill that we'd had for lunch the previous day, ran them through the routine, as they were all newbies to the experience, then we made our way through the little serving line. Everyone seemed to enjoy their food and we caught up on the Hairdressers recent trip to Las Vegas, then made plans to adjourn back to our place for some cocktails and further mingling.

Our guests all had various errands to run, either by their houses to check on things or by the grocery store for the last minute supplies that one needs for the long night of socializing and boozing, so the wife and I had time to settle in and kinda psych up the Yorkie for an evening of entertaining. The wife baked a little batch of cookies as a dessert option and I started shaking up a martini for myself, then Brian arrived, followed shortly afterward by the Hairdressers. As most parties are known to do, we ended up centered around the kitchen counter for most of the night, visiting and listening to a bit of music on the stereo, with pretty much everyone playing around with their cell phones because that's how we socialize these days, sort of half-assed in person but with a finger constantly on Facebook to let everyone know what we're doing while we ignore each other. Behavior which I'm complicit and equally guilty of engaging in, so save your snarky rebuttals if yon random reader might have one. I'm merely commenting on the way we interact these days, even as we sit across from one another and comment on things we've just said on Facebook, rather than having a conversation about our lives, we have a conversation about what we wrote on the internet while sitting within slapping distance of one another.

The only strange turn of the evening was the wife drinking a couple cocktails, which rarely happens, so her behavior was interesting to watch, though she honestly isn't all that different than she is sober. Don't get me wrong, the wife did have some zany shit to say, but she's prone to kinda outrageous lines in the right social setting anyway, it's not like a bit of liquor suddenly has her going crazy.

The evening did take a weird turn at one point when I stood at the counter and realized that there was music on the stereo playing, as well as four (!), count 'em, FOUR (!?!!) different songs being played simultaneously at the kitchen counter on various cell phones as our guests and my wife compared notes on songs or artists. Realizing that this cacophonous racket is likely the kind of thing that freeway snipers hear in their heads right before they squeeze off that first shot into stalled rush hour traffic, I had to pick up my drink and drift into the den where all I could hear (for the most part) was the stereo, because that other way lies madness.

Our guests eventually expressed interest in the movie Paranormal Activity since they knew it was most likely something I'd own, so we kinda settled in to watch that late in the evening, which they seemed to enjoy for the most part, though the various bits of conversation going around the room didn't exactly make for the most ideal viewing experience imaginable, as you don't build a lot of tension with people whispering back and forth about what might be happening on Facebook or shit like that. Alls I'm saying is I'm superglad I wasn't trying to seriously watch a movie I wanted to enjoy for the first time, as I would've probably been pissing people off at a certain point.Ah, Nostalgia...

Brian split and I eventually ushered our other guests out after the film, but with a pleasant buzz and the wife already crashed out with the Yorkie in the bedroom, I opened a bottle of wine and watched a few things off the TiVo, Venture Brothers re-runs and that sort of thing, then I popped in a nostalgia pick from my youth: the second collection of the Robotech Macross Saga, which I haven't seen in forever. I ended up being up watching dumb shit until around 6:00 in the AM by the time it was all said and done, and the sun was peeking in around the edges as I finally turned out the lights and headed to bed.

Disturbing trend, that.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

St. Elmo's Friday

I slept for a whopping 6 hours last night/this morning, then woke up possibly still a bit drunk and listened from the bed for a time as the Yorkie yapped at the Lawn Guys from another part of the house. I eventually heard the wife chastise her, saying that I was still asleep, so the dog promptly came into the bedroom and barked a few times, as if out of spite. Seriously, the dog is kind of an asshole a lot of the time. I got up, feeling more groggy than anything, then the wife came in and we chitchatted while laying in the bed cuddling with the dog.

We eventually made plans to go and grab a bite to eat and then poke around for a couple pair of sandals to replace the pair that I tend to wear pretty much day in and day out. We cruised by our first suggestion only to find the parking lot a nightmare of other idiots circling like us, hoping that the would somehow find a parking spot before their lunch hour was up and they had to be back at work. We ended up heading to a secondary choice, an Asian stir fry restaurant near the mall where we had a great meal and an almost too friendly waiter. I mean, I always appreciate friendly staff, but I seriously felt like we got a bare bones run down of this guy's entire life, it was kinda wild.

The wife and I hit a couple different stores after the meal, found two different sandal options and then headed home, as we were both full from lunch and ready to chill out. The wife relaxed in the bedroom in the late afternoon while I went through the mail and dicked around in the den area, sorting through a couple things before I had to get ready to go and get a haircut.

I hit the stationary bike for a few, then showered and headed out to see the Hairdressers, got cleaned up a bit and made plans to meet them for dinner tomorrow night around 6:00. I hit the liquor store on the way home to buy provisions for tomorrow night, then pointed the car towards the house to see what everyone was up to.

Old At 22? It's Gonna Be A Long Life Kids...The wife and I confirmed dinner plans for tomorrow evening, then we went to grab a burger before settling in for the evening with an odd selection from the To-Watch Pile: St. Elmo's Fire, a movie that my wife had somehow never watched before. I went into the flick on the nostalgia of watching it numerous times in my youth on television, so I was a little dismayed that it didn't hold up as well as I expected it to. Don't get me wrong, I still found it an enjoyable watch, I just had to wince here and there at certain plot elements and dialog that didn't bother me in my youth, but now seem clunky to my (hopefully) more refined tastes. Oh well, decent time waster, but not a classic by any means. Still, a better outing for Joel Schumacher than anything he's done in the past decade.

We watched a few things off the TiVo afterward, then called it a night. I picked up in the den a bit, then got started on getting this whole blog thing caught up to date.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Deadwood And Grace

I woke with the alarm this morning, got up and moving, then piddled around in the Office on the PC for a bit.

Honestly, the only thing that happened today was that I stepped out briefly to pick up a pizza for my lunch. The rest of the day was spent in the Office here and there with the interwebs and in the Library for a bit, scanning another couple of shelves worth of books into the Good Reads app. I look forward to this being worth it, but so far it's mostly been a pain in the ass trying to track down a few odd titles here and there that don't wanna scan or are part of some weird book club release that doesn't even have an ISBN anywhere to be found.

The wife had a meeting in the early evening that she managed to miss by simply losing track of time, and I was no help, as I was in the Library dicking around with my little project. I had shaken up a martini and was watching some television in the den when the wife realized her mistake, so we talked a bit about what I had been up to, and eventually invited over our friend JH to see how things were going regarding her job hunt.

Whoa Nelly.I was in the mood for something light, so I decided to try and figure out where the hell I had left off in my Will And Grace viewing, and try as I might, I couldn't decide if I have seen anything past the 5th season. Thus, I popped in the first disc of season 6, which seemed familiar but not to the point that I really mind re-watching it.

JH visited with us for awhile, then she and the wife went out to dinner and I watched a bit more Will & Grace, accompanied by a couple more martinis. The wife returned, JH dropping her off after dinner, so she and I watched most of a second disc before she called it a night. Since I knew I had very little to tell you people about today, I elected to move on to some Guinness and stay up to watch some more of the 3rd season of Deadwood.

I made my way through a remarkable amount of beer and two discs worth of Deadwood action, officially at the halfway mark of the final season. I feel more and more that I will be frustrated by how the show ends, as they are still introducing new characters at this stage even as they ramp up tensions between various factions in the small town.

By the time I finally called it a night it was around 5 in the morning and I went to bed fairly drunk, which is something of a rarity for me. I expected to sleep in if at all possible, but we all know how those kind of plans turn out, now don't we?

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fear And Boogie In Manhattan

The Maid was on the agenda today, so I sat up with the alarm and then spent the better part of an hour dozing and telling myself repeatedly that I should be getting up and getting my day moving. The wife and Yorkie were already up and in the Office, while the wife worked on some stuff for her various non-profit stuff. I migrated that may myself and spent a bit of time stretching and working the kinks out of the back, then got my coffee started and the house opened up for business.

I piddled around with various household stuff for most of the morning, picking up a few things here and there that I didn't want the Maid fucking with, then I settled into the Office while the wife showered and got ready for her meetings. I should've hit the stationary bike but elected to pass today, as I just wasn't feeling it. Tomorrow I'll get back into it, for all the good it's doing me. Actually that's a lie, I do notice a slight change in my metabolism from day one, it's just a matter of kick-starting it further to see a true change.

Fret, Whinge, Whine.The wife split for her meetings and lunch, then the Maid arrived with her mother in tow to help out, so I left them to it and the Yorkie and I holed up in the Office, where I watched Manhattan Murder Mystery on Netfux Instant Watch. I have this impression that I've seen the bulk of Woody Allen's major films, but as it turned out I sure as hell hadn't seen this one before, which kind of surprised me. I specifically recall watching several Allen films back in the day with El Vox and Macguffin, though I would be hard pressed to tell you which ones now, as that had to have been about 15 years ago or possibly more. The film was interesting, though it often irritated me more than it was meant to, as I found Alan Alda's character annoying as all hell, as he spends the film pretty blatantly hitting on Allen's wife, played by Diane Keaton, even when she's trying desperately to solve what she perceives as a murder in their building, which appears to most to have been a death by natural causes. It's a good movie, but I honestly found the personal bickering and neurotic twists that certain conversations took to be more distracting than amusing. I'm glad Allen has now found a way of telling a straight crime drama without the other extraneous bullshit, saving the humor and wackiness for his straight up comedic outings instead. Still, it's a good film, just not what I was expecting exactly.

The Maid and company split shortly before the wife got home, so she and I caught up while I gathered the recycling and planned a little outing just for the hell of it. The wife had dresses to pick up that had been altered, so I offered to drive her to do that if I could dump my recycling, and perhaps we could visit the Hairdressers, as their shop is in the same building as the alterations person. We brought the gals a beverage from Sonic and visited for a few, making tentative plans about this coming Friday night.

Bat Country Bitches!We headed home afterward and I chilled out with a really random selection off the To-Watch Pile: a re-watch of Terry Gilliam's Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, which I'm sure I hadn't seen in at least 10 years. That made for a weird trip down memory lane, as I know this was another film that I kind of associate with Macguffin, as I'm pretty sure he and I watched it together on more than one occasion. The wife had never seen the film before, so she was pretty amused with it and I enjoyed pointing out the numerous cameos peppered throughout. Great film, now that I have finally watched the DVD copy I had of it I guess it's time to do something stupid like upgrade to the Blu-ray that Criterion recently released and throw that one on the To-Watch Pile to languish until the next format change happens.

The wife made a great little meatloaf for dinner, along with some french fries as the side dish, so we tucked into that during the movie, then I grabbed something else off the Pile to round out our night.

I hadn't seen Boogie Nights since the VHS days and since the music in Fear And Loathing gave me a taste for the '70s sounds I figured it was a decent enough progression. Check Out My...Um, Talent.The flick holds up amazingly well and I would say that in spite of how corny Mark Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler character is at times, he really gives it his all and sells it as a well meaning, earnest kind of kid trying to make the most of his assets. Great film, and I had to note that the last 30 minutes or so gave me hints of the director who would go on to make There Will Be Blood, as the tension is just palpable as the music and character actions mount; terrific stuff.

We called is a night shortly afterward and I got started on this, though I have a feeling like I may head to bed soon and post it on Thursday, as I feel kinda tired.

Be seeing you.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lunch, Errands And Sexploitation

I slept an hour past the alarm this morning, then got up and moving just before the wife was heading out to run a couple errands before her noon meeting. The wife had some laundry going, so I swapped that out into the dryer and got coffee started before headng into the office to get something ready to mail for Swap A DVD. I got a text from Buckaroo Banzai about dropping off some movie sin they happened to be in town briefly to run some errands. I visited with them for a few, then it was pretty much time for me to head out to lunch.

This was our off week with the lunch thing, so I met DR and EL at our usual Mexican spot. We were joined by JJ, a mutual friend who happened to be free for the afternoon so we had a fun meal, visiting and catching up over some decent food. I ran by Barnes & Noble after lunch and picked up the new Rue Morgue and Juxtapoz, then hit the Post Office to mail my DVD off. Imagine my surprise to run into the Niece and her friend mailing stuff as well, it's hard to get used to the idea of these girls out running around by themselves, but I guess they are indeed growing up. Yikes.

I headed back to the house to see what the wife and Yorkie were up to and we caught up on our respective days, then she caught a nap while I spent some time paying a couple bills online and then scanning a couple shelves worth of books into the Good Reads app on the iPhone back in the Library. I listened to another episode of ShowShow while I worked on this project via the iPad, as the Good Reads app doesn't wanna play ball if you're trying to use the iPod on the phone at the same time.

Could I Have Less Sex Please?I eventually settled into the den and watched some television while the wife was working on a couple things in the Office, then we ended up wasting the evening away with another Something Weird double feature that was unfortunately a little less engaging than the others we've seen recently. The Dirty Mind Of Young Sally is amusing for a bit, as a female DJ runs a pirate radio station out of a van to avoid the cops, with her sexy escapades setting the mood for her horny listeners. This is all well and good, but I was honestly expecting a bit more to the plot, or at least more corny goings on around the various sex scenes, which just go on for too damned long, which isn't the kind of thing you expect to say about a sexploitation flick. The second flick was similarly paced, in that it was a little heavy on the faux-sex and light on plot, which I was expecting to be able to poke a bit of fun at. Oh well, sorry, Teenage Bride, you weren't quite what I was expecting but I suppose that this was again worth the $6 or so I paid for tonight's entertainment.

The wife and I called it a night shortly after the flick and I got started on this, as I expect the Maid in the AM and need to be up and ready to deal with all this nonsense.

Be seeing you.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Runaway To Marwencol

The wife was up early and off to some meetings, so I got up about an hour later and got the house opened up and some coffee started. I rousted the Yorkie from her perch on th wife's side of the bed so that I could make it up properly, then hit the stationary bike for a bit to try and get my body fully awake. The wife returned as I was getting out of the shower, then we headed out for some lunch and a visit to the grocery store.

Lunch was good and the grocery store was all but empty, so the trip was short and sweet all the way around and we made it back to the house around 1:30 to unload everything and put the food away. The wife busied herself with some things she needed to print for a late afternoon meeting and I retired to the den to watch something via Netfux Instant Watch that a podcast I was about to listen to was set to cover.

Marwencol is a documentary about Mark Hogancamp, a man who was the victim of a brutal attack after he left a bar late one night. Touching, Sad And A Little Beautiful At Varying Turns.Five men set upon him and left him in a coma for 9 days and in need of reconstructive surgery to rebuild his face. He came out of this ordeal with brain damage and had to essentially re-learn everything from scratch, eating, walking, etc. He also suffered extensive memory loss, but also came out of it free of the alcoholism that had plagued his life before the attack. He began working with hobby kits to increase his dexterity, and soon began to build a small town populated with his projects, and WWII era village in Belgium called Marwencol, where soldiers from several different different countries (portrayed by the dolls and figures he was customizing) began to stand in for himself and those in his life as he created his own mythology and reality in which to work out his recovery process. He began documenting this via carefully staged photographs which have now been discovered as 'outsider art' (for as much use as that term has), and the film follows him as he readies for his first gallery showing in Greenwich Village. The film is amazing, I really enjoyed the manner in which this broken man has begun to reshape his life by creating a better place, even if it only exists to him, though the photos he takes and the stories he's telling are interesting and rather compelling on their own. This is a great little flick and well worth checking out.

All that said, the damned Netfux interface on the TiVo was acting buggy from the moment I started the film, so I was eventually forced to move into the Office and watch it on the PC, which played fine, so I can only assume that there may be an issue with the TiVo streaming option. I believe this may've been due to issues that I noticed people bitching about in Twitter last night, so I'm hoping if I try again tomorrow that things will have righted themselves.

Sadly, No Joan Jett In This One...The wife split for her meeting and I worked on some laundry for a bit, then settled in with Runaway off the To-Watch Pile, another flick that I wanted to see before listening to ShowShow review it. It's a Michael Crichton film in which Tom Selleck is a futuristic policeman who tracks down and destroys robots that go AWOL from their mundane workaday tasks. They live in a world where robots are everywhere, making life easier until they go apeshit and start destroying things or accidentally killing people, and into this enters Gene Simmons as a criminal mastermind who has a plan to create an army of killer robots to use for his own gain. It's an okay watch, but I found it more puzzling than anything, as Simmons looks like he raided a shyster lawyer's closet for his silly suits and spends the film glowering at the camera like a goon. On okay time waster, but nothing I see myself re-watching any time soon.

The wife returned around 7:00 and she and I spent the evening watching some random stuff off the TiVo and snacking on some sushi for our dinner. The Yorkie even spent some time hanging out with us, which is a rare occasion, it was a fun night of togetherness. We watched the series finale of The United States Of Tara to wrap up our evening, then I headed to the Office to get started on this.

Be seeing you.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Deadwood Exorcism

If you're reading this you'll be happy (irritated?) to know that we survived the night without succumbing to natural gas in the home, so that's cool, right?

The wife woke early this morning and busied herself around the house while I slept in, then we spent some time bullshitting in the Office while I tried to get the sleep from my eyes. The wife had some disturbing news today regarding the Uncle's health, but I suppose we're reserving judgment until we know more about the situation and how freaked out we need to be.

Hi Def Demons Baby!We eventually stepped out and grabbed a bite to eat, then settled into the den to drag a couple things off the To-Watch Pile. A couple people had been discussing The Exorcist on Twitter last night, so I decided to finally check out the Blu-ray that I had received as a Christmas gift, as well as the sequels, one of which I had never seen before. The Blu looks pretty amazing given the age of the source materials, and a few moments of the make-up being a bit glaring here and there, this is a gorgeous disc. I also took the time to watch a making of documentary on the disc from back in 1998 that was hosted by British film critic Mark Kermode. Oddly enough I felt like I had heard most of the stories that these folks had about the behind the scenes stuff, even though I had never watched this specific documentary as far as I can recall.

I popped in Exorcist II: The Heretic, which is largely known as one of the worst sequels ever, and I would have to agree. The Completely Shit House Sequel. Pass.Eschewing most of the religious side of the original film, this seems to pin the idea of exorcism on scientific methods (?) as a priest played by Richard Burton and Linda Blair use a form of synchronized hypnosis to delve into the nightmares she's having, only to find that Pazuzu the demon is alive and well, and that they must try to destroy him once and for all. The film features a ton of special effects and a head-scratcher of a plot that virtually no one likes, although some reading IMDB did lead me to believe that some folks like this film for a variety of reasons, 'so bad it's good' or the typical bucking of the trend with the 'it's not as bad as all the haters say' argument. Well, it is as bad as the haters say, sorry. The film eventualy throws the idea of a traditional exorcism out the window and actually has Burton beating the shit out of a manifestation of Pazuzu at one point; where'd all the Holy Water and Latin go? Seriously? You can just beat on these demons now? I understand that in something like Hellboy, he's a fucking demon himself, but we're talking about a mere mortal here...ahh, piss on this film, I'm wasting time talking about it.

The wife stepped out for some food while I finished up that turkey and I took the opportunity to make myself a martini, which unfortunately didn't help one single bit regarding the enjoyment of the film.

We wrapped our evening with The Exorcist III, which I had seen a couple times before and had already dutifully filed away in the Media Closet. The wife was pretty sure she'd seen this one with Morris and was sufficiently disturbed when a certain moment happened, which kinda made the evening worth it to have her startled cry shock me in turn. Very amusing. The Superior Sequel.I really like this film, which is written and directed by author William Peter Blatty, based on his own sequel novel Legion that I recall reading serialized in a women'd magazine that my mother had laying around when I was young and being freaked out by. Thanks a lot, Redbook.

The wife headed to bed, as she has an early morning and then we're meant to go grocery shopping after she gets a meeting or two out of the way.

I chilled in the den with the first disc of Deadwood season 3, then called it a night after a couple episodes and headed into the office to work on this nonsense.

Be seeing you.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sidaris Saturday Volume Three

My late night of reading further into the Sleazoid Express book saw me sleeping in a bit this morning, though the Yorkie got riled up around 10:30 or thereabouts, so I got up to see what she and the wife were doing. We had tentative plans to have lunch with our friend JH, so we confirmed those and then I suggested a prowl through the local used book stores to kill some time before lunch.

We piddled around a bit, coming up empty-handed save for a cheap book on cross-stitching that the wife was interested in. We headed to the little burger joint we'd chosen across town, arriving just as our date was driving up. We had a fun visit, caught up on a new job opportunity that JH is pursuing, then we said our goodbyes and then the wife and I dropped off some plastic recycling and grabbed a coffee as a little after lunch treat on the way home.

Back at the house the wife and I dug into the last disc of the Andy Sidaris collection that's been hanging around for a couple months now, as I figured I wanted to wrap up the set. The Hubs Of US Government Are DC, And Then Dallas Texas, Right?The series of films surprised me by having his son directed the next two films in the series, both Enemy Gold and The Dallas Connection were directed by one Christian Drew Sidaris and they followed the same tried and true formula, low rent spy stuff set against Playboy or Penthouse gals getting naked frequently for no particular reason in alternately exotic and mundane locales.

His dear old dad returns for the final two films in the set, though I was dismayed to see that they both feature the wrestler The Warrior and he's basically playing himself, or at least he's known as Warrior, which is just a weird fucking name for your villain. Day Of The Warrior is okay, but the final film Return To Savage Beach is overly convoluted for what it is, referring back to shit that happened in movies from 8 years earlier with almost an entirely different cast!

I Can't Quit You Savage Beach...The recurring thing that amused me to no end with these 12 films is that they are all of varying quality story and acting-wise, but they managed to use this rotating cast of say a dozen actors, Playboy or Penthouse models and the same kind of gadgets and weapons that the director seemed fascinated with in virtually every film, such as the crossbow with exploding arrows, or the one guy with a huge hand gun that kicks back almost over his head every time he fires at someone. It's a lot of fun, but by no way good, I think most folks already know if this sort of thing will interest them, so proceed accordingly.

Toward the early evening the wife and I noticed a natural gas odor in the damned bedroom, emanating from the remote controlled fireplace that our Interior Decorator had been hellbent on installing. It was relatively mild, in that it only seemed to linger in the bedroom and wasn't permeating the house or anything, so we called a Plumber and they said that they would be out within an hour and a half. We'd ordered in some deli sandwiches shortly before noticing the leak, so we ate our dinner and watched some tube to pass the time, then the Plumbers eventually turned up to investigate the issue.

The Plumbers did find a leak, but due to the hinky manner in which the gas connection had to be made in there they were unable to turn the gas completely off to repair the leak, meaning they had to work on it 'live', as the guy put it, meaning it was spewing gas into the room the entire time they worked on it. This has left the house fairly gassy...well, frankly right up until the moment that I type this, which is around 1:00 in the AM, so I sincerely hope that the leak is truly fixed and we're not going to smother in our sleep.

Be seeing you. (Hopefully)

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Tapeheads In The Rubber Room

The wife was up and off running a couple errands when I finally drug my lazy carcass out of bed, so I did my usual routine of starting coffee, making the bed, etc., then started a load of laundry and hit the stationary bike for a few to get the cobwebs out of my head.

I stepped out and grabbed a late lunch eventually, picking up a barbecue sandwich for a change of pace. I also stepped into a liquor store on the way home, as I knew we'd be entertaining and I might need extra olives and olive juice.

Let's Get Into Trouble Baby!The wife was home and relaxing in the bedroom, so I spoke briefly to she and the Yorkie, then headed into the den to eat and watch something off the To-Watch Pile, which turned out to be Tapeheads, just because there's been some chatter about it around the Tweetstream this past week. The flick is super fun, and having only discovered it in the past year I have to say that I really wish I'd checked it out sooner, as it would probably be way up there on my most re-watched list. Great little flick, very evocative of its time and the attitudes of the people who were obsessed with the same junk I am ("Video is the future!"), very much worth a look or a re-watch as your case may be.

We had plans to see our friends Buckaroo Banzai & his wife Pookie this evening, and since Pookie had offered to cook dinner if we'd provide the venue, they turned up in the late afternoon to get started on the prep work. Actually they were about 30 minutes early, but since they were so kind as to make the trip here as well as provide dinner I don't feel that I should rib them beyond noting the fact. Insert winky smiley face here. Pookie started her dinner prep for a casserole of her own creation, so the rest of visited and provided an extra hand as needed if our chef required assistance.

I popped in one of the 42nd St. Forever discs from Synapse for background noise while we visited, then we eventually moved to the dining room table for the meal after a few cocktails and the appropriate cooking time. The food was good, though Pook seemed to fret a bit about how it turned out, so we reassured her it was all good, then eventually dug into a cheesecake for dessert. Like I said, these two came prepared.

We retired to the den after the meal and I suggested showing them (forcing them to watch?) The Room, as I know that heckling with Bucky can be amusing, and with a bottle of wine to coax the wives along, we settled in and gave it a look. The ladies were a bit less amused than Bucky and I, but this was the expected result, as I don't think the two of them are as much of a glutton for punishment as their husbands might be. Don't get me wrong, we all got some laughs out of it, but I know Bucky & I enjoyed it more.

Tire-d? Get It? Heh.We visited after the movie, watched the new episode of The Soup, then Bucky noticed that I had the film Rubber on the TiVo, and since he was curious to see it as well we started that, just to see what a film about a killer tire is all about. The movie was interesting and surprisingly meta, breaking the fourth wall to address the audience a few times, as well as positing the idea that the film was taking place because an audience within the film was there to observe the odd killings committed by this stray tire rolling around near a small inn on the side of the road in some unnamed desert town. The movie was enjoyable, but I'd be hard pressed to explain exactly why, except that it was sure as hell like nothing I had ever seen before, so it gets points for the effort if nothing else.

We sent our friends on their way and the wife headed directly to bed while I got started on this in the Office, as is the normal run of things.

Be seeing you.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hypnotic Cat Mysteries In Your Brain

I was up later than intended, as is the normal run of things, so I had to force myself out of bed when the alarm went off five short hours later. The wife was out of the house already, so I cuddled with the Yorkie for a few minutes, then shook off my daze and got the bed made, coffee brewing and the front of the house opened up for the day.

I spent a couple hours on the computer in the Office, working on some of my weird little nerd lists that I have this deep abiding drive to keep track of. I'm just wired to make lists, it's a sickness, but what can you do? I took a break from that around noon and stepped out to put gas in the car and pick up a sandwich for lunch, the highlight of this trip being the woman pumping gas in tall whore heels & a skirt after climbing out of a Jeep that looked more likely to contain a burly redneck going hunting rather than a woman in provocative footwear. A very incongruous juxtaposition of imagery, that's all I'm saying, and I was unfortunately not bold enough to try to fish out the phone and snap a pic to document the event, lest I be labeled some kinda creep.

Which I am, make no mistake, I just resist the idea of labels.

The Cover Is The Best Part, I Assure You.The Yorkie perked up as I returned, so I fed her some lunch as well and then settled into the den to watch something that'd been hanging around forever from Netfux. Palimpsest: A Hypnotic Mystery is a film that I had put on the queue because it sounded interesting on paper, then lost track of its position, and I'll be Goddamned if it didn't turn up on our doorstep like an unwanted child at least 3 weeks ago. I then proceeded to ignore it and put off watching it for a good long time before I finally decided to bite the bullet this afternoon. The movie is an okay watch, but aside from being a foreign film, there's not a helluva lot of difference in this and dozens of other films littering your late night cable line-up. It's a pretty average thriller and not much else, I dunno that I would recommend it unless you're just keen to check out a film from Poland as part of some kind of international cinema bingo project you and your nerd friends are playing.

The wife returned toward the last half of the film, we visited a bit and she chilled with me for awhile before heading back out to an afternoon meeting. When she split I spent some time watering the various planters in the back yard, letting the Yorkie take a ramble while I did so. I ran the movie by the Post Office, then returned home and passed the time with a Lewis Black comedy special until the wife got back from her late afternoon thing.

Here Kitty KittyShe and I watched Lucio Fulci's Cat In The Brain, which was interesting inasmuch as it seemed to be little more than his address to his critics who might've criticized his over the top violence, as this film definitely went out of its way to spatter the camera lens with blood in as much vivid detail as possible. The film is about a director named Fulci, who begins to suffer from hallucinations while filming his latest violent epic, but as it turns out his psychiatrist may be much shadier than anyone our humble director has created for the cinema. I enjoyed the film for the over the top nature of things, but I remain on the fence about Fulci as a storyteller as a whole, as most of his films feel like a series of set-pieces strung together that plot may play second fiddle to in the efforts to get some particularly gruesome violence on the screen.

The wife and I wrapped our evening with some odds and ends off the TiVo, including another episode of The Real 'L' Word, a show I'm still not convinced isn't populated solely by characters, excuse me, people who just actively dislike one another. I mean, the show is meant to convey a series of relationships in various stages of commitment, dating, living together, etc. and most of these 'couples' seem to do nothing but snip and snap and chew at one another like they despise their respective lovers, so why the fuck are they together and what about it is supposed to be compelling? It just makes for strange viewing, as I certainly don't care about their relationships and am sorta just waiting for a Jerry Springer-esque fight to break out or someone to get stabbed with a fork.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Piranhas Say There's Always Room For One More Torso

I slept in this morning for no good reason, having even gone to bed earlier than usual last night. Dunno what was up with that.

The wife headed out to run errands as I got the house opened up for business and the bed made, then I decided to step out for a bite to eat. Since it was smack dab in the middle of the lunch hour the drive-thru line at my restaurant of choice was absolutely bananas, but I figured what the hell, as it would likely be the case anywhere else due to my impeccable timing. I listened to an episode of the Cine-Awesome podcast while I waited, then finally headed home with my food to check out a film.

Enter My Psychosexual Mind Baby.My selection was something else off the To-Watch Pile that another podcast was set to review, as I figure my listening habits can at least be used as a catalyst for my viewing schedule and get a few things off the stacks. I watched Sergio Martino's 1973 film Torso, which is one of a fairly specific handful of key Giallos that I have always been aware of but had just never gotten around to checking out. BTW, I almost wrote back there that I was 'checking out Sergio Martino's Torso', which upon reflection sounded a bit like I was picking a puzzling venue to out myself to you people, so now you just get a bit of behind the scenes of the editing process, (which does exist here) if only to make me seem slightly less inadvertently gay.

At any rate...

The movie is full of the standard Giallo conventions, masked & gloved lurking killers, frequent nudity from some gorgeous Euro-babes and lots of eye candy as far as the various settings and locales go. It was a fun little flick and I'm happy to have finally gotten a chance to check it out.

The wife came returned while I was finishing up the flick, so we caught up a bit and gave the Yorkie some time to bitch at the Lawn Guys, who always seem to show up when I'm hoping for a quiet afternoon with a movie and no dog constantly barking at Mexicans in the front yard. Oh well, the best laid plans...

It's Like Jello, Always Room, Right?The wife caught a nap while I worked on the art a bit, then headed back to the couch and started another Cary Grant flick I've yet to see off the TiVo: Room For One More in which a couple with three children take in two foster children, first a girl and then later a boy, both of whom are older and have various issues that the parents and siblings are able to slowly work through once the newcomers realize that they are finally in a safe environment. It may have some semi-schmaltzy predictable moments, but it also has some great lines from Grant and some really amusing bits as they build this family around the new kids. Really good stuff.

Oh, and I love how the poster makes Grant and Betsy Drake look like the celeb couple they were, caught by papparazzi instead of the parents of 5 kids in a dramedy that they are meant to be.

The wife and I had been discussing this little social function that we were invited to that I was dreading like a proctological exam, and she had come to the conclusion that she would make the appearance she felt she needed to and then split. I was cool with this, because honestly, the party was some kind of engagement thing for a couple that I don't know beyond being introduced to the groom once and having him say "Oh, um. hi. It's nice to meet you." never really meeting my eyes and then followed by an awkward silence. I don't need a hug or anything, but I do like to feel as though the person addressing me at least acknowledges that we're humans living in a society. I had scanned the invite and not recognized a single name on it, leading me to believe that this would be the wife and I in a room full of assholes who I don't know and may not even care to, given my electric introduction to one of the guests of honor. Pass.

The wife left to make her appearance at this little shindig while I was watching the Grant film and sipping my evening martini, so by the time she returned with some dinner I was happy to rerlax with her and watch a little mindless fun.

We popped in the Piranha re-make, which I had bought and watched while she was out of town a month or two back. It's still fun on a second viewing and the wife enjoyed it as well. I find myself really pulling for Elisabeth Shue in most roles that I see her in, I dunno what it is about her, she's just charming. It's definitely some kinda girl-next-door thing she has going on, I can't describe it but I've really enjoyed her in pretty much everything I recall seeing her in.

We called it a night shortly after the movie, as the wife has a day full of errands tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

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