Friday, September 30, 2011

The Friday Before...

Same shit different day; this week has been like a blurry dream.

Woke early after sleeping pretty well for a change, opened the house and made the bed, let the workmen in and then holed up in the Office. The wife was with me for a bit, then she split to run errands, planning to return around 1:00. I worked on the blog and then spent some time updating lists until around 12:30 or so when I noticed that the workmen had split.

I gathered our recycling to leave the house clean while we were out of town, then read through the newspaper while waiting on the wife to return. She popped up soon enough and I left her to chill with the Yorkie and ran my little errand, picking up some lunch for myself while I was out.

Back at the house I settled into the bedroom and watched some television while I ate, then started what turned out to be a fairly awful movie called Nightwish off Netfux Instant Watch. The bad movie was made worse by the Netfux Streaming service crapping out no less than 3 times during its short 96 minute running time, so if we'd made the decision to go streaming only I would be pretty pissed off at Reed Hastings right now, that's all I can say.

The contractor and I spoke about the plans for next week, then he and his guys split shortly before 5:00. The wife and I gave it the once-over to check the progress, then retired to the den to relax before meeting some folks out for dinner.

JH dropped by after work and she and the wife spent some time catching up in the little sitting area off the kitchen while I drank a beer and watched part of American Splendor since it seems to be in heavy rotation on cable lately.

We headed to a little Mexican place on the South side to meet the In-Laws, Anastasia Beaverhouszen, Kno1 and Brian for dinner. The food was alright, though as with the last few times we've been there the service was kinda blah, with odd things falling through the cracks, like an appetizer that took forever to turn up or the fact that they seated an entire table full of us with about 2 forks between us. Odd considering that the owner is so chummy with you when you're there, you'd think that attention might spill over to the service, but no dice. I love the queso at this place but I may have to write it off after a certain point, as the service is just so Goddamned hot or miss.

We headed home afterward, though I did make a detour for a dessert item, as I had a hankering for a scoop of ice cream. JH split once we got back to the house and the wife and I crashed on the couch for this week's episode of Person Of Interest, which continues to be fun, then wrapped the evening with The Soup.

The wife headed to bed and crashed while I wrote this up and paid bills, did a final load of laundry, all the random shit that I wanted to get finished before we go out of town tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Black And Deep And Red And Dahlias

Um, let's see...

Woke at the crack of dawn, the wife split for meetings, I got the house opened and beds made, let the workmen in to do their thing. That's actually almost all I remember, as the week has begun to blur into one big parade of me yawning over a cup of tea while noises from the other side of the house irritate the Yorkie.

I spent the morning on the PC with the blog and my usual web meanderings, marathoning through several podcasts over the course of things, so at least I'm getting caught up with my listening with my normal routines being disturbed this week.

Awesome. That Is All.The workmen knocked off for lunch around noon, so I let the Yorkie have the run of the place and heated up some leftover pizza for my lunch. One of the podcasts I was listening to was set to cover Dario Argento's 1975 film Deep Red, so I popped in the Blu-ray to finally give it a peep. The disc offered both the US cut (titled Deep Red) as well as the extended director's cut, Profondo Rosso, which was what I decided to watch for my initial experience with the film. To cut to the chase, I loved the movie, it's definitely neck and neck with Suspiria for me as far as my favorite Argento film would go. I've noticed in recent weeks with the whole Movie Shame Monday project that I tend to 'save' movies that I know I'll enjoy, choosing to watch a ton of other films that are more up in the air, for reasons unknown. When or why I started doing this I'm not sure, but if my gut tells me I will love a movie, I may shy away from watching it immediately in favor of checking out stuff that's more of a shot in the dark.

At any rate, I really loved this film, as it plays with both the audience and the lead, questioning what he's seen at a murder scene and leading us on a merry chase in pursuit of a killer who strikes viciously from some truly unexpected places. Great film, definitely recommended.

The wife came and went during all this, spending some time on the Office getting e-mail caught up and that sort of thing, then split for another meeting.

I spent some time on the stationary bike, then eventually moved back into the Office to wait out the workmen, as they usually knock off between 5:00 and 6:00. Around 5:30 I relaized how quiet it seemed in the house and poked my head into the other side to find that they'd slipped out at some point, not bothering to say that they were leaving, which is just awesome, considering my life is on hold to some extent the entire time they're underfoot.

The Yorkie was happy to be released, taking her place on the sofa in the sitting area off the kitchen to wait for the wife to return home. Surveying the days' work I honestly didn't seem like a helluva lot had happened but what do I know, I'm not a carpenter. I kind of expected that the tiling or painting would have started or something, but it appeared that a water line had been re-routed to correct the half-assed job the previous owners had done and the old countertops had been torn out to make way for the new granite.

So Very Convoluted...I grabbed The Black Dahlia off the To-Watch Pile, as it seemed like something familiar that I could re-watch without worrying if I wanted to check e-mail while it unspooled, as I'm fairly familiar with the material. It's still an enjoyable watch, but has some real flaws in the overly convoluted plotting and possibly the choice to allow Josh Hartnett narrate things, as he's just not as gravely and world weary as the voice he seems to be affecting for the film. This is frustrating, as I like the guy as an actor, he's just not as grizzled as he's meant to be in this film. Oh well, it has its moments, and does a decent job of capturing James Ellroy's Los Angeles, just not as good as L.A. Confidential did.

The wife returned late with dinner, so we tucked into some take-out chicken and watched the typical Thursday night line up of comedies off NBC, the last portion of which (Whitney) was funnier than past week's, so that seems like a good sign, right? I mean, it's not blowing my skirt up or anything, but it did make me laugh out loud a few times, which is more than I can say for that pilot.

We called it a night, as the wife was exhausted after her long day. I got started on the notes for this post while she and the Yorkie crashed out.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Case Of The Ritual Basket

We rose at the crack of dawn again today, hell, the wife was already dressed when my alarm went off, as she had the Groomer lined out for the Yorkie and errands to run before a noon meeting. I blearily kissed her goodbye and got out of bed, leaving it for the Maid to make, as she was supposed to turn up today and I figured she could change the bedding before she put it back together.

I got the house opened up and put the kettle on, then let the guys in and settled into the Office to work on the blog and my stupid lists that I maintain for no amusement save my own.

I pretty much ate up the entire morning in the Office with web nonsense of some form or another, though the rest of the house was quite busy: Electricians came and went, as did glass guys to remove an old mirror from the Library bathroom and the Maid arrived and started her routine around 10:30 or so.

The wife dropped the dog off, home early from the Groomer, then she left again for her meeting, promising to bring lunch back upon her return.

The Maid split around 12:30, at which time I noticed that the workmen had split as well. At first I thought they'd gone for lunch, then I noticed that all the lights had been turned off on that side of the house, so I took a browse at the progress (which is moving along pretty fast to be honest) and saw that they had everything basically ready for paint and tiling, so maybe they had knocked off for the day?

Since the house seemed empty I released the hound to give her room to roam, then greeted the wife as she got home. We caught up and had a couple sandwiches at the kitchen counter for our lunch, then she decided to take advantage of the quiet afternoon by grabbing a nap. I needed to run by the bank, so I got out to do that, eventually stepping into Big Lots sort of out of habit, as it had been awhile. They didn't have anything all that noteworthy, so I grabbed a couple cheap things that looked sort of interesting and was on my way, headed back home to relax in my den and watch a movie in peace.

STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE WOODS.The movie Rituals is a Canadian survival horror film from the late '70s starring Hal Holbrook, a new version of which has been recently released and was covered on a podcast I was listening to. I hadn't picked it up, as I only know it as something that hasn't been on DVD before, having no idea about the quality of the movie, or if it would even be something I'd be interested in. The interesting thing was that one of the hosts mentioned in passing that the movie had been released in one of those public domain sets under the name The Creeper, so I decided to poke around and see if I might have it in a certain Drive-In Classics set I have squirrelled away and I'll be damned if I didn't own the movie. Now granted, it's in a grotty, full frame presentation, but I figured for the purposes of a quick watch to get more out of their discussion that this format would be passable for the time being, if only to find out if the movie was worth picking up a decent copy. The movie is pretty good, I would actually be tempted to check out a better copy of it to be able to discern a bit more detail, as the print was fairly murky during certain nighttime scenes and I hear the special features are worth checking out.

The Contractor turned up in the middle of the movie to let the granite guys see where they'd be installing countertops tomorrow, so I did the walkthrough with him and kinda planned out what will happen here the week we're out of town, which will include Brian popping by to bring in the mail from time to time, so we'll at least have some kind of presence here when we're gone.

What's In The Basket?I finished my movie, then popped in another random selection off the To-Watch Pile: Frank Henenlotter's Basket Case, which was one of those wild films from the '80s that I had just never gotten around to watching. I have to say that I really enjoyed my 2nd Henenlotter film (the first being Bad Biology sometime last year I believe), and I would now like to track down more of the man's work.

The wife and I spent the evening with a few things off the TiVo, including the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire and the newest Hawaii Five-O, pausing somewhere in there to order in a pizza with our fingers crossed that it wouldn't take two hours to be delivered like last night's food fiasco. The food arrived in a timely manner, we finished up our shows and called it a night shortly before 10:00 so I could get notes for this post typed up and take a cruise of the web before I crashed out.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Virgo, The Pan Am And The Ringer

Another day, further renovation.

Having managed to be in bed at a reasonable hour last night, I was understandably frustrated to find myself awake with sinus issues around 4:00 AM. I was up for about an hour or so before I could get back to sleep after ridding myself for the most part of the tickle in my throat and the stupid wheeze from the drainage. Bah.

The alarm rang at 7:30 in the Christing morning, so we both forced ourselves out of bed and got moving to open the house, get dressed, etc, which gave the Yorkie pause yet again, as this isn't a normal state of affairs on the average morning.

The workmen arrived shortly after 8:00 and immediately set to work, so I sequestered the Yorkie on our side of the house for her own sanity. she and I have pretty much resigned ourselves to life in what the wife has started calling 'the apartment', in reference to our bedroom/kitchen/office combo that the three of us are reduced to living in out of deference to the work guys.

I really miss my den, that's all I'm saying.

The wife split to run her errands while I got the blog published and spent some time with the nerdlists, which are falling behind again already. Since I'm feeling kinda stir-crazy at this point, I confirmed plans to meet the fellas for lunch, though I did push that back about 20 minutes to allow for the wife to be back here to deal with the workmen if they had any questions.

Lunch was at our usual Thai place, good food, interesting conversation. DR followed me back to the house after lunch, as he had asked if we'd let him enter the painting that we'd purchased from him in a local art show and today seemed like a decent enough time to let him pick it up. He and I visited a bit and he checked out the last thing I had painted, then we loaded up the painting and he split.

Hot Fenech ActionThe wife was working on some stuff for a late afternoon meeting, so I retired to the bedroom with The Virgo, The Taurus And The Capricorn off the To-Watch Pile. An Italian sex comedy starring the delightful Edwige Fenech, it's pretty indicative of my experience with the genre, in that straight up fucking goofy guys are surrounded by hot Euro-babe wives and spend most of the film cheating on them, presumably because they're idiots who can't count their blessings. It has some amusing moments, but the Italian humor always seems a bit broad for me, so while it's 'cute', I never really get any actual laughs from it, more like a smile or smirk here and there. Fenech is lovely as always, which is pretty much why one would watch this, so I suppose that's that, right? Cute stuff, hot women, worth a look for fans of that sort of thing.

The wife split for her meeting while I was watching the movie, returning as I was doing my time on the old stationary bike. We checked out the progress of the contractor's guys, which will involve prep for painting tomorrow and then hopefully tiling the bathrooms the day after, so it seems like this thing is actually moving along at a decent clip in spite of how out of sorts it's left me.

Hot Stewardess Action.The wife and I ordered in deli sandwiches for dinner, then spent some time with several things off the TiVo, including the first episode of Pan Am, which was pretty interesting and held my interest a little more than any of the other new shows we've been trying out, though that's not saying much.

I'm looking in your general direction, The Playboy Club.

Pan Am seems to have a certain amount of thriller/espionage elements that I wasn't expecting, with stewardesses being used as spies and one of them seemingly disappearing as the episode begins; not quite what I was expecting.

We noticed around this point that the food was at least an hour late (!) while we settled in to watch the new episode of Ringer, which continues to stumble around under the weight of more plot than it needs to have. The wife called and found out that our order was next to go out the door, though they gave no real explanation as to what the hold-up was at this point.

We watched a bit more of the show before the phone rang, which turned out to be the delivery driver apologizing and saying that there'd been issues with the delivery because he'd had a flat tire at some point in the evening. When he finally arrived I signed for the food and he tells me that if we call the restaurant they would comp our meal, which we didn't actually bother with, just wolfed down the food that we'd been waiting almost two hours for at this point. We both agreed that it wasn't a money thing that concerned us, but we were more puzzled by the complete breakdown of service, as a flat tire shouldn't throw a delivery schedule off by two hours unless everyone involved had fucked up somehow.

Oh well, at least we finally got to eat. I had started to get past that point of no return where I was just irritable from lack of food, so I was happy to have something in my system to settle that down.

I was pretty exhausted at this point, as the early mornings and weird sleep patterns have been really starting to get to me, so we called it kind of an early night to allow me to do the blogging and get in bed by midnight at the latest.

Be seeing you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Deadly Movie Shame

The whole renovation idea for the Guest side of the house was to commence this morning, so of course both the wife and I had trouble sleeping. She had stomach issues, while I went to bed early and then woke about 2 hours later, wide ass awake and stayed that way for the better part of an hour and a half. The wife finally settled down around 5:00 and I fell back asleep about 20 minutes behind her.

The alarm sounded at 7:30, so as to give us a few minutes to get the sleep from our eyes before someone was ringing our doorbell. I dressed, then got the house open while the wife dressed and checked e-mail, then I put the kettle on for some tea.

The guys turned up about 20 minutes late but still reasonably near go time, so I figure no harm, no foul. We discussed where they would start, with me pushing them toward the back bathroom in an effort to give the wife and I time to move stuff from the middle bedroom, with the idea that the furniture would have to be moved at some point in the future but not at this moment.

The wife had errands and that sort of thing, so she soon left to run those while the Yorkie and I holed up in the Office so that I could work on the blog and the dog could try to deal with the fact that there was noise coming from the far side of the house. I got things caught up and eventually grabbed a mid-morning snack to tide me over until the wife got back, as she'd offered to bring me a sandwich for lunch.

I was watching an episode of The X-Files when she got home, so we caught up a bit, then I ate while finishing up my show. The wife retreated to the bedroom for some trash TV with the Yorkie and seemed to soothe her savage heart with her very presence, so that was something of a blessing, as the dog had been kinda yappy over the various noises for the past four or so hours.

The afternoon got ate up when by a project I've been putting off, which was organizing all of the various pictures that'd been migrated over from the last PC to this one, as well as the various folders that the iPhone has been allowed to arbitrarily dump my pics into, creating a mess of duplicates and stuff that I've halfway tried to organize or label before giving the fuck up on several occasions. I figured since I'm pretty well trapped here at the house for the next week with these renovations, I may as well work on this a bit.

I got a huge chunk of it done, but still have a few folders to dig through sometime later in the week when my eyes aren't bothering me from staring at the computer screen.

I spent some time on the stationary bike while the wife caught up with e-mail and more preparations for the NYC trip, including nailing down definite plans to see a taping of The Martha Stewart Show, so she's very excited about that. I figure it'll make for an interesting story, which is basically what I'm looking for in life at this point, so I'm in.

The wife went to yoga and I spent some time working on the painting I started last night. Having added a couple layers of paint and sealant to it, I started looking at the process of picking out enough detail to compose some sort of figure on the page. I was surprised to see it slowly becoming apparent that the image I was seeing was a skull, granted slightly skewed and distorted, but a skull nonetheless, so I spent a bit of time tinkering with the image with acrylics, teasing the image along until a hand had revealed itself as well, then finally calling it quits before I managed to ruin what I liked about it. I did have to tone down the yellows that I had used with some white, as I snapped a pic of it and the skull's teeth and eye looked to be a popcorn butter yellow, which I found kind of cartoonish and distracting.

The Cover Is Something Of A Spoiler, BTW...Since the workmen had finally called it a day by this time, I left that to sit and popped in something from the To-Watch Pile for this week's Movie Shame Monday entry, though today's choice wasn't quite as shameful as the past few weeks, in that this was a movie I only bought a few months back, not something I've owned for years at this point. Kiss Me Deadly is a key entry in the noir genre, as well as having some interesting elements of atomic scare films of the same era. I've never read any Spillane at this point, so I may have to look around for something at some point, see what it's all about. My only real experience with Mike Hammer to this point has been the old Stacy Keach television show that I recall from the '80s, so this was an interesting look at the character.

The wife got home during the movie, which we finished together while she worked on more notes towards this NYC trip, which I am becoming somewhat alarmed about quite frankly, as she's still making plans. We only have a week to do our thing, I'd assume that it'd fill up pretty quickly, how can she be adding shit at this late date?

We called it something of an early night, as I'm fucking exhausted after last night and need to try to crash early.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Boogie Sunday

The wife spent her day today working up the itinerary for our upcoming New York trip, so she was poking around on the web and taking furious notes when I woke up around 11:30 this morning. I made us some tea and got the house opened up and fetched the newspaper for a browse, then started feeling the wife out about what she might be interested in for lunch.

The wife called in an order from a wings place across town, which I would go pick up while she grabbed a shower. I headed out shortly afterward, gulping down a second cup of tea before I hit the road to shake the last of the cobwebs from my head and wake me up a bit more. The restaurant had a short wait, but I was back in a surprisingly reasonable amount of time.

The Wild And Woolly Art WorldWe settled into the den and I popped in Boogie Woogie, a random selection that'd turned up from Netfux. Random in that it featured a large enough ensemble cast that I was honestly at a loss for what originally drew me to put it in the DVD queue to begin with. The movie is set in the London art scene, specifically around a gallery owner vying for the privilege of purchasing a Piet Mondrian piece called Boogie Woogie, this one being the first in a series bearing the same name. The film is filled with power plays and infidelity, as well as a lot of interesting art, so it made for an interesting watch over the course of the afternoon.

I eventually stepped out to drop the movie in the mail and let the wife work on a few things on the web, so I took a long way back and picked up beverages for us at Starbuck's, where I was waited on by the oldest living barista in captivity.

Back at the house I took the time to hit the stationary bike for awhile, as I have been severely slacking and need to find the time more often than not. Afterward I got a really wild hair to start laying some watercolor down on a piece of paper that I'd prepped by gluing some paperback pages onto at least three months ago. I pre-sprayed the surface with a sealant to see how much it'd force the colors to collect rather than sinking into the page, as I want to have something of a swirly surface by the time I start trying to draw something figural onto it. That looked to take awhile to dry, so I left it to do its thing and we reconvened back in the den to see what the TiVo had been up to.

The season premiere of Supernatural was pretty decent, though as much as they can do stuff that I enjoy, I still can't shake the feeling that the show has crested with what was meant to be its series finale, but was renewed and now we're getting into a 2nd season after that point that feels...interesting but somehow unnecessary. Oh well, it's fun for what it is.

We got into the evening with the return of the normal Fox animated fare, then wrapped our evening with Breaking Bad, which only has two episodes left of this season and was just fucking bananas tonight. Things continue to be tense in ways that offer no easy solutions and the climax of the episode left me wondering what a panic attack feels like, as the combo of the visuals, Walt's increasingly manic behavior and other reveals mixed with the music in just such a way... Ah, great television, such a wonderful series, I'm so glad we started watching it.

We called it a night after that, as we have the Contractor turning up here at the crack of dawn to work on the Guest side of the house, though we're still a bit fuzzy about what he's going to be doing. I mean, we have three two rooms, two bathrooms and a hallway that they are supposed to be working on, so I'm kinda hoping they'll start in the Library bathroom for selfish reasons. I'd love to have that space completely finished once and for all. My luck, they want to work on the middle bedroom, which is still full of furniture that will be a pain in the ass to move, especially on short notice with workmen standing around to start pulling out carpet and shit like that.

Oh well, fingers crossed...

Be seeing you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Dodgy Experience?

Since I went to sleep so damned late I only got about 4 hours worth of sleep before the alarm went off, but the wife and I both roused ourselves and gave the Yorkie a little petting before we dressed and got ready to go. I had found not one but TWO listings in the classifieds regarding garage sales that mentioned 'Books, books and more books', so we set out to see what that might entail.

The first place did indeed have box after box of books, but they were all mainstream thriller or fiction type material, nothing really within the mystery or horror genre, so nothing that I was really interested in. I felt bad, as the guy had a nice collection of really well maintained books (the hardcovers still looked brand new), just nothing I could justify spending money on, as I would absolutely never get around to reading any of this stuff because of all the other books I own that I actually want to read.

We ended up driving in circles looking for the 2nd spot, as the GPS on the damned iPhone told us that we were right on the address even though the house was in actuality about a block away from where we were. I found this particularly annoying, as I am accustomed to just reading the map instead of bothering with the GPS stuff, but the wife insisted that it'd make it easier. The next thing I know, were driving in circles around the same fucking intersection where there's no garage sale, watching this dot tell us that we're at our destination, when that was most certainly not the case.

This was very frustrating, but we finally found the house about a block and a half past where the GPS thought that it should be, so I don't see myself becoming too dependent on this technology any time soon, as it didn't really seem to work as well as you might expect. As it turned out, the lady had what I was kind of expecting from the average garage sale, a selection of battered books accumulated over the course of who knows how many years, none of which were of any interest to the wife nor myself. Oh well, strike two.

We drove out past the Loop to the far side of town to track down a garage sale that I had pointed out to the wife, as it offered Snow Village pieces, which she's been known to collect here and there. They had one piece that I noticed, which also looked to be an off-brand item, not one of the Dept. 56 pieces that we're familiar with, so that was kind of irritating as well. The topper for the trip was that they had a shoe box full of what appeared to be used panties for sale in the clothing section, which I kind of regret not snapping a picture of, as the concept of buying used underwear seems amazingly gross to me on every level and deserves to be documented. And as the garage seller, how do you not judge the person walking up with a Nike box full of your old squirrel covers? Especially if it's a dude, by himself, possibly sweating as he makes the purchase? Or maybe I'm reading too much into the type of person who wants to buy used panties.

But I doubt it. Anyhoo, that was strike three and we said the hell with it.

We picked up a coffee at Starbuck's after sitting in their drive thru for longer than I care to think about, as I seem to be really pissing my life away. We eventually had lunch at a Mexican food place on the South side before making our way home to see what the Yorkie was up to.

The wife spent some time with laundry and picking up the bathroom on the master bedroom while I got caught up on the blog a bit in the Office.

The wife and Yorkie napped in the mid-afternoon, so I headed back to the Library to relax with a magazine and read for a little over an hour or so.Men Are Assholes. Women Love This.

We eventually settled into the den and I popped in Roger Dodger off the To-Watch Pile, since the wife hadn't seen it before and it was the first thing I ever saw Jesse Eisenberg in and I know that she digs him pretty well. The general set-up reminds me of In The Company Of Men, in that Campbell Scott plays an aggressively assholish ad exec who finds himself being booted from his sexual relationship with his older female boss on the same day that his nephew turns up in the big city looking to pick his brain about how to relate to/attract women. Their ensuing journey through bars, parties and all manner of uncomfortable situations is punctuated with moments of sweet innocence as well as truly amusing bits, as all of Roger's advice isn't bad, perhaps just the way that he presents it. Good flick, well worth a peep.

Yawn.  Sorry Jason.We ordered in some food and watched another To-Watch Pile selection, a fairly middling comedy called The Marc Pease Experience, in which Jonathan Schwartzman plays a guy who never seems to have gotten over his high school drama teacher telling him that he should have a musical career, so he's desperate to reconnect with the guy (played by Ben Stiller) years later to try and get a demo produced, because in his deluded mind Stiller has always been supportive of his pipe dream endeavors. It's got some funny stuff, but overall was kinda blah for me, never getting beyond the uncomfortable humor of people thinking that they are closer to others than they actually are. Rental? Maybe?

We called it something of an early night, as I wanted to work on this and be in bed at a reasonable hour instead of being awake half the night for no good reason.

Be seeing you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Talking, Ringing, Interesting, Fringing, Snatching

This morning I slept in, as my sleep patterns are getting worse and worse, with me staying up until around 3:00 or 4:00 the past few nights for no real reason.

I dressed after getting the house opened up, heading out to grab some chicken for my lunch.

Talk Hard.Back at the house I settled in to eat and re-watched Talk Radio off the To-Watch Pile, a film that was probably my first introduction to Oliver Stone many moons ago. While watching it I found it funny how many people ("Hey it's that guy!") were in that flick and how well it holds up after all these years. It's interesting how much of the scenery chewing in the film and certain camera flourishes feel like a test run for what Stone did with Natural Born Killers several years later. I also dug the Dallas setting, as that skyline doesn't get enough play in films.

Since I had been up to the wee hours of the morning, I had worked on the blog quite a bit in my efforts to get it current, so I eventually spent the afternoon getting caught up for the most part, posting what I had already written once I got it polished up and the various links and pics dropped into their proper places.

The wife had lunch out with Brian and JH, so she chilled in the bedroom with some trash TV when she returned while I was finishing up my movie in the den. I moved into the Library and read for a bit, then she and I met up in the den to see what the TiVo had been up to.

Like Dre Said, Keep Their Heads Ringing!We watched the second episode of Ringer, in which Sarah Michelle Gellar continues to juggle two different personalities as she impersonates her rich sister, who she assumes is dead. It's all very soap-operatic at this stage, and if this were a traditional soap I'd be cool with that, but since the series is predicated on there being two identical women and how their secrets complicate one another's lives, how are we meant to suspend disbelief that they'll never turn up in the same place at the same time? I dunno how they think they'll be able to keep this afloat with no one knowing who has assumed whose life. The story feels as though it should have a definite beginning, middle and end rather than being ongoing, because how long can you draw something like this out and have it stay plausible? Oh well, it's intriguing enough so far, we'll stick it out for at least this season.

Ah, who am I kidding, if I find myself recording a show, I generally stick around until they stop making the stupid thing.

Friday nights look to be a busy one for the TiVo, so while it started recording a few new shows and some returning favorites, we gave Person Of Interest a shot. Very Interesting Indeed...I have to say that as far as Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson go, I enjoyed their chemistry as a former CIA agent and mysterious rich benefactor. Emerson has access to a computer program that points him toward possible dangerous situations, which he leads Caviezel to sort out, be it stop a murder, bring a killer to justice, whatever the case may be. I like the concept and could see this being a worthy replacement for The Human Target, in that the hero appears larger than life and can kill 10 guys in a room without breaking a sweat.

The Fringe season premier was up next and I have to say that I'm still loving this show. I just wish that they could get it past that 'will it get canceled?' threshold and into more firm ratings, so maybe that'll change this season, since it's pretty well established at this stage. Great show.

The wife was tired and headed to bed around 10:00, but I happened to be flipping channels and ran across a station I didn't even know that we had (Palladia? Huh?) which happened to be showing a Nirvana concert from 1991, so I watched that, then got fished into a Foo Fighters special that came on after it. I was surprised to learn how many comings and goings there have been in the Foo Fighters lineup over the years, and truly stunned to realize that I haven't been aware of any of their music in about 9 years, as All My Life was the last single of theirs that I recall hearing. Time flies.

Y'like Dags?Finding myself in a nostalgic mood from the music and with a recent Brad Pitt interview from Entertainment Weekly in the back of my head, I decided to pop in Snatch for a re-watch, as it's one of those go-to comfort movies that I used to watch like a white noise machine while I worked on art about 10 years ago. The movie is still one of my favorites of all time, filled with tons of stylish camera-work and fun use of sound effects and music. Great stuff.

I finally headed to bed around 4:00 in the freaking AM, setting my alarm for around 9:00, as I had noted a couple garage sales in the newspaper that I wanted to check out instead of sleeping my day away.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shaolin Versus Thursday

This may be short and sweet, as I had nothing going on today.

I slept in today after being up later than I intended, listening to a live recording of (Cool) Shite On The Tube, so I kinda pissed away a good chunk of the day without really realizing it. The wife had an early morning, so I got the bed made around the dozing Yorkie, then got the house opened and fired up the PC to see what was happening in the world.

After I breezed through e-mail, I posted another blog post and worked on the next one a bit before I decided to step out to drop some mail off and pick up a burrito or something for my lunch.

Back at the house I watched an episode of The X-Files season 3 while I ate, which quasi-frustratingly turned out to be a two-parter. This was bothersome because I was kinda hoping to just blow through one of their typical 'one and done' styled shows, but instead felt like I had to now settle in for another episode lest I lose the momentum of the storyline. Wah, poor me, I can only imagine how the poor bastards watching this in its original run in the mid-'90s must've suffered week to week with it.

The wife got home in the middle of all this, we compared notes about our day thus far, then she chilled with the Yorkie in the bedroom while I finished out the show. I eventually moved into the Library to read for a bit, pausing to send the wife on her way when she left for a late afternoon meeting.

I Wish I Had ANY Info About This Silly Movie...I made myself a martini as the clock edged towards 6:00-ish and popped in a random selection off the To-Watch Pile, which was a blind buy called Shaolin Vs. Vampire, purchased based only on the starring role for Gordon Liu. The film is truly confounding, as it's not even listed on IMDB in spite of the presence of at least two well known film stars who you'd know from other films, Liu himself and co-star Youki Kudoh, who went on to appear in Rush Hour 3 and even Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train. The movie looks to have been shot on VHS cassette and is an odd blend of comedy and action drama, as scheming people try to convince a village that there are vampires about, only to have Liu's daughter befriended by a child vampire that eventually wins everyone over and lives with them for a time. Liu looks fine doing his infrequent bits of martial arts, but overall it's something of a mixed bag, as there's not a lot going on beyond the Scooby-Doo-esque plot to steal the land.

The wife and I spent the evening with some new stuff off the TiVo, including some returning favorites like Community and Parks & Recreation, as well as the new show Whitney, which Is Life Really This Predictable?I was hoping might scratch the itch left by the cancellation of the Sarah Silverman Program a few years back. The star is Whitney Cummings, who has a similar style of stand-up, in that she's cute but says a lot of foul mouthed shit, so I am hoping the show will reflect this type of humor. The pilot wasn't all that enthralling, I must admit, but I'm willing to ride it out for a few more to see if they manage to hit a stride with things.

We called it a night soon after and I got started pecking away at this dumb stuff.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rockin', Illusionin' & Cruisin'

The wife had stuff lined out for the morning as well as most of the afternoon, so she was long gone when I got up around 10:00 and got the bed made and the house opened for business. I had an e-mail telling me that I had sold one of the odd DVD's I had thrown on Amazon's Marketplace last night, so I got that packaged up and ready to mail, along with a couple other things I had to mail. The Yorkie got shouted down for taking yet another shit on the rug in the front living room, which she seems to do lately if left to roam the house in the night, so I guess we're back to putting up a little gate to confine her to our bedroom side of the house. So irritating, as she normally does her business on her little pad in our bathroom, so why she feels like she has to wander to do it during the wee hours of the night really confounds me.

I'm just saying, if I can walk 5 feet and shit, or walk 55 feet, I will probably take the path of least resistance, so I dunno why this damned dog should be any different.

I hit the Post Office and dropped off my stuff, then grabbed a tea from Starbuck's before heading home, as I figured on making myself a sandwich for lunch and chilling out with a movie off the To-Watch Pile.

Actual Cel Animation? Get The Fuck Out!Rock & Rule was something I had completely blind bought due to a super low price from an internet retailer, so I ended up throwing that in after it was suggested by the little random number generator on the iPhone. The movie was short and sweet, which was nice, telling the story of an evil pop star (is there any other kind?) who wants to use the vocals of a singer as the key to opening a gate that will allow a demon into our dimension, though his plans beyond that are somewhat sketchy. It's a fun, quick watch that I could see as a double bill with Heavy Metal, should I ever get around to picking up the Blu-ray of that.

The Lawn Guys turned up shortly after I finished the movie, so I spent some time piddling around in the Office while the Yorkie voiced her displeasure in the other parts of the house. I was about to hit the stationary bike when the wife got home from her errands, so she and I caught up for a bit, then she hopped online while I did my time on the bike in the bedroom, watching an episode of X-Files off Netfux Instant Watch to pass the time and distract from the sweat pouring into my eyes.

Funny MelancholyI showered afterward and we stepped out for an early dinner at the alternate Thai place, then settled in back home to watch something that arrived in today’s mail from Netfux: The Illusionist, an animated film based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati. The movie is amazingly charming, telling the story of an illusionist who plays to increasingly small crowds, but finds a new purpose when a young lady seems to take his tricks as actual magic, so he begins to slowly fritter away his meager bank account on things that he’s noticed her taking a shine to. The film features old school animation and is gorgeous to look at, though I was fairly surprised that it ends on a rather down note, given the light tone of the proceeding hour or so. Oh well, it’s still a helluva fun watch, and I fell in love with the fat rabbit that he carries with him to use in his act, as the creature is grouchy and mean, biting and scratching all who come near it for most of the film, it’s hilarious how bitter this little animal is.

Not Your Average Gay Bar...For a complete change of pace in the late evening I popped in William Friedkin’s Cruising, a film in which Al Pacino plays a cop who goes undercover in the world of gay S & M clubs, where a serial killer is targeting random men within the scene. It’s an interesting if flawed movie, as there’s a lot of wild shit going on to keep your mind busy, all of the various codes and signals that are used between these guys to indicate what they’re into, plus the situation begins to take a toll on Pacino emotionally. He’s confronted with so many alien situations that he starts to crack a bit under the strain, possibly even dealing with his own sexual identity after being put into one bizarre situation after another. I would say it’s worth a look, but it doesn’t really give you any neat closure on the situations it shows you, which could annoy some.

We called it a night shortly after that, as the wife has to be up early and I hadn’t worked on this stuff today and am still playing catch up.

I’m out kids.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Amos And Tuesday

I slept well enough last night, waking this morning to the sounds of the wife and Yorkie bumping around the house, busy with this or that. I checked e-mail on the iPhone and then rousted myself from the bed, greeting the family in the kitchen and starting some tea for the wife and myself. I got the bed made and the house opened for business, then visited with the wife about what the day held for each of us.

As it turned out, the wife was pretty much free for the day and was set to relax at home for a few until the late afternoon, when she had a few things to attend to. I left her to her minor rat-killing around the house and gathered our recycling up and then set out to dump it off before I met EL and DR for some lunch at our Mexican food haunt, which we hadn’t visited in quite some time. We caught up over a good meal, then said our goodbyes as EL had to get back to work and I wanted to hit up Barnes & Noble for a magazine myself.

I also stepped into an art supply store on the way home, as I finally think I’ve cracked what I want to do with the piles of magazine stuff I’ve been shredding up the past month or more. I found a couple different varieties of tape to mask of specific areas for the project I'm envisioning, so more on that as it might develop.

Back at the house I brought in the mail and went through that, then settled into the Office to start the laborious process of getting the blog back on track, as I’m a full five days behind as I type this and figure I need to shoot for at least 2 posts a day to get things back to normal anytime soon.

The wife went to her meeting and to make an appearance at the Niece’s volleyball game, returning around 6:00 in the evening by the time it was all said and done. We visited about her outing, then stepped back out to grab her something to eat, as she wanted a deli sandwich from a nearby restaurant.Oh, The Hilarity Of Casual Racism!

We settled in for the evening and I popped in Amos & Andrew off the To-Watch Pile while we relaxed. The movie is pretty amusing, I’d somehow never seen it in its entirety before, so I think it was a good purchase for $3 at Big Lots.

Finally feeling peckish after my large lunch, I ended up making myself a sandwich around 9:00 in the evening, then we wrapped up our evening with the season premiere of Hawaii Five-O before calling it a night. The wife has a busy day tomorrow, so she crashed out while I got started on the blogging process in the Office and tried to calm the Yorkie, who was freaking a bit after a brief storm blew through, accompanied by intermittent rolling thunder.

I’m out kids.

Be seeing you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

East Of Movie Shame Monday

I woke shortly after the alarm this morning, lay there for a few and then finally forced myself up to make some tea. I got the house opened up for business and spent some time in the Utility Room, working on laundry a bit. I picked up the house while listening to a podcast, then finally settled into the den to watch a movie and kill some time while I waited on the Suddenlink guy to turn up and fix our busted interwebs.

Not Too Shabby, But How Old Is The Cal Character?Since I wanted to keep with the whole Movie Shame Monday concept, I popped in East Of Eden, as I've never seen a James Dean movie in its entirety and figured I should start with the first one he had a leading role in. This actually proved tricky, as it and Rebel Without A Cause were released the same year, so I had to track down exact dates on IMDB to figure which one happened first. The movie was interesting, though I was a little put off by Dean's mannerisms toward the beginning of the movie, as he has this weird foot scuffing, folded arms, head in chest body language that I'd associate with a pouting 10 year old rather than a grown man, or at least a boy in his very late teens. It kept making me wonder what age he was meant to be playing, but it lessened as the film went on, and some over the top melodrama elements aside, I really enjoyed this one quite a bit by the time that credits rolled.

The wife had a meeting canceled, so she turned up with some salads for lunch while I was in the middle of the movie. We ate and visited during the middle of the flick, then she spent some time in the Office catching up on some printing she had to do before she left for a later meeting.

I finished the movie and waited (im)patiently for the interweb guy who’s supposed to be there between 12-2 in the afternoon. At 2:01 I call Suddenlink and dance through the rigmarole of the cable being in the wife's name, thus associated with her social security number, which I don't know off the top of my head. I finally find some kind of security code on the cable bill that allows the phone lady to believe that I'm the husband and not just some do-gooder asshole trying to find out if these total strangers are going to have their cable worked on this afternoon. Seriously, she tells me there's an FCC law stating that she can't discuss the 'details' of the account unless I prove who I am, even though what I'm asking is "hey, is there a service call scheduled?", not like I was trying to cancel service or add a buncha porno channels to someone's bill. Weird.

The best part of the conversation was when she tells me that the guy is running an hour late (though no one has bothered to let ME know this) and that by the way, we qualify for the Suddenlink home phone service if we're interested, which pretty much fucking floored me.

I told her point blank that she had a lot of guts trying to sell me another service from her company when the one we're already paying for isn't working at all, to which she commented that at least I could laugh about the situation and seemed to take it in stride. I told her that my options were to laugh or smash the phone at this point, so I was finding it pretty funny and quite frankly kind of galling, then we said our goodbyes and I waited for their guy to show up.

Seriously, Suddenlink, you people have some kinda gall, I gotta tellya.

The Suddenlink guy finally arrives, I put the Yorkie away in the bedroom, the guy spends about 15 minutes checking things out both indoors and out before he decides that it may be the modem (thank you, Christ), so he leaves to get a new one.

Mr. Blandings Money PitI released the Yorkie and popped in Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House for a re-watch to pass the time. The wife returned, we caught up about the state of things, then she and the dog holed up on bedroom as Suddenlink guy returned. He installed the new modem, and **poof**, problem solved and we’ve got super fast service on the PC that we’ve never had before, making me wonder what archaic shit we’ve been using all these years simply because they left it with us when we first signed up for this service all those years ago?

The wife left for yoga and I finally settled down and finished my re-watch of Blandings over some afternoon tea while shredding magazines for collage purposes.

The wife returned with deli sandwiches for dinner and I popped in The Virginity Hit so we can get it back in the mail to Netfux. The movie was okay, but honestly never builds enough steam for me to care all that much about it. Plus it exists in this weird void where kids smoke pot and have casual sex, taping almost all of it to post on the interwebs and never really have any blow back about it from anyone’s parents, EVER? Really? That seems a little too convenient to me considering how much of an effort other things are made to feel realistic in their portrayal of the hand held filmmaking and quasi ‘found’ footage feel. Oh well, it was an okay movie that I will likely forget before the calendar year is out, to be perfectly honest.

Cute, But I'm Not Sold...We wrapped the night with the pilot episode of The Playboy Club, which is kind of interesting but also left me making immediate comparisons to Mad Men, just because some of the characters reminded me physically of this or that character from the already established program, as well as the obvious period setting. Maybe it’ll find its way, but so far aside from a cute Amber Heard (pictured at far left) and the single ‘chocolate bunny’ working the club who is nice to look at, there’s not a helluva lot going on here to make me want to come back for more.

We called it a night and I started the long process of digging my way out of the e-mails that’d piled up over the weekend, as well as the backlog of blog posts, which I hope to get caught up by the middle of the week if I can bang stuff out at two a day or so.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Schmucky Baadasssss Balloons

I slept in until noon, though I did hear the wife up and around at some point, which I successfully ignored in favor of catching up on my sleep. She eventually rejoined me and we lay in bed for a bit, catching up on last night and the state of the union in general, which felt really good to have a nice relaxed tête-à-tête while we planned our afternoon.

There was a parade of gardens event happening this today that we had tickets for, so we eventually dressed and headed out to check that out, as one of the featured homes was that of our friends who live only a few blocks away. The three locations featured were all very different from one another, but I honestly have to say that our friends’ home was the one that impressed me the most, featuring a rambling back yard with several different seating areas and some really nice pathways that led you from one area to another.

Schmucky Fuckers.We picked up some deli sandwiches for a late lunch on the way home, the ate while watching Dinner For Schmucks via Netfux rental, so I could get it back in the mail for tomorrow. The movie was cute enough and we got some laughs out of it, so that’s cool to have finally checked it out. I was a little concerned with how silly it might be, but it managed to nip that in the bud beyond a few scenes with Carell being a bit over the top.

I got out and dropped the movie in the mail, as the wife seemed keen to catch a short nap, so I figured I'd give her some downtime and run errands, grabbing a tea on the way back home to kill some more time.

The evening was odd in that there were none of the usual Fox animation re-runs, as they'd been preempted by the Emmys, so I popped in Baadasssss! off the To-Watch Pile, which I really enjoyed, honestly a bit more than I really liked Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, as the behind the scenes stuff presented here is much more interesting. It Certainly Was...The film is a dramatized version of events by Mario Van Peebles to show us the behind the scenes drama and struggles that his father Melvin went through to get the iconic film made and distributed, and it's a very engaging watch. Give it a look if you get the chance.

We had some time to kill before Breaking Bad came on, so we popped in The Red Balloon, which was a short 34 minute film in which a Parisian child befriends a red balloon (shocked?), only to have all of the other asshole children at his school spend all their time trying to destroy the one thing that makes this poor kid happy. Mixed Messages, Anyone?Did I mention that this is evidently a children's movie? I mean, what the fuck, France? This is how you entertain children, with the indication that if they find something they like, some asshole will turn up to take it from you?

Yikes, C’est la vie indeed.

We watched Breaking Bad, which was simply stunning, then called it a night shortly afterward.

I finally bit the bullet and fired up the PC to start pecking out the notes for the past few days, as I want to have at least some idea of what the blog posts will look like when I finally have a goddamned internet connection that will allow me to publish them.

I’m out kids.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Welcome Wagon

We slept in this morning, and thankfully the wife woke in a better mood, which made me feel good, as I despise the idea that these random negative pricks and their slings and arrows over the museum are making her feel bad about herself, when all she’s done is spend time with others trying to keep this stupid place afloat for the past year or more, only to be questioned and criticized about it at every turn by people who haven’t been directly involved in the place for many years, yet feel worthy of standing in judgment because it’s not as they left things 20 years ago.


We started getting the house picked up a bit as we had a party on the brew for the evening, then got together a list for the grocery store and went to have some lunch to steel ourselves for the Saturday afternoon shopping experience. We hit a nice little pizza place near the grocery store, had some good food and then broke out the list and hit the store with gusto. We managed to get through there fairly quickly, then got the hell out and headed home to unload and find a place to put all of the beverages we’d purchased for the evening.

We’d already had cancellations start trickling in by this time, so we worked up a head count for the evening’s food, and started to give the place a final pass to get it cleaned up and some music selected, which I set up in the den with about 12 discs worth of jazz and soundtrack stuff to keep it unobtrusive and not allow it to be a distraction over the course of the night.

I showered and dressed, then we stepped out to pick up dinner, which was to be family packs of fajitas with all the various fixin’s, as that seemed like an easy answer to feeding a large(r) group of people and allowing them to eat at their own pace and leisure.Best. Movie. Ever.

People started arriving at 6:30, so I started Chungking Express on the Blu-ray player, as I figured the jazz would complement the nice visuals. Our people trickled in and we visited and had some food and cocktails, drifting into different groups and configurations over the course of the evening. I paused from time to time to swap the movies out, moving on to more Wong Kar Wai with Happy Together and Fallen Angels, as well as Jacques Tati’s Playtime which always puts me in a good mood.

I think everyone had a good time, and I sincerely hope that our guests of honor Anastasia Beaverhouszen and Kno1 feel sufficiently welcomed home.

What's That Loud Sucking Sound?We eventually wrapped the evening after one in the AM, picking up a few things for the night, then I put the wife and the exhausted Yorkie to bed and re-watched Rob Zombie’s Halloween II off the To-Watch Pile to unwind with a final cocktail of the night.

That movie remains pretty fucking bad, but has some very inspired visuals peppered throughout, which is more the shame, as you feel like it could have been decent had it been approached differently.

I crashed out pleasantly buzzed around 3 in the AM, as I knew we had tentative plans to do some wandering around in the afternoon on Sunday.

Be seeing you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Et Tu, Bitches?

I woke today hoping for the best with the web, only to find that we are still in the same shitty boat as last night with no service.

Earlier in the week I had made plans to meet my friend BB for lunch, so even going to bed last night I was thinking that there felt like there was something I was forgetting, so thankfully she texted me this morning just before noon and nailed down plans & a location.

I dressed quickly and headed out to meet her for some food and to catch up, as it'd been at least a month or two since we'd had time to visit. We had a nice meal, visited for a bit and then she split to run her normal ‘day off’ errands while I headed back to the house after picking up a tea from Starbucks along the way.

Since it's not going to suck itself, I figured that I had better dig further into the web situation, finding out from a Suddenlink phone person that there’s an issue in the house, not between the pole and the home, so whatever’s fucked up is somewhere between the modem and our various devices or possibly a squirrel-gnawed wire in the attic. Personally, I'm leaning toward it being a modem issue, as the one we’re using is at least 7 years old, and the service would get briefly better if I disconnected it and reconnected but would eventually drop before the browser got anywhere. The upshot is we won’t have any interweb connectivity until this coming Monday at the earliest, when they can finally get a guy out here.

Piss on my life.

The wife had a museum reception to be at this evening, so I got ready for that around 4:00 or so, then the wife got spruced up as well and we headed out. The first leg of the evening was to introduce the new executive director to the museum’s board of governors or some such nonsense (I honestly drift in and out of some of the details of this type of thing), so we made our early appearance to kinda let the wife (and others)represent the current board and that sort of thing and then eventually moved to a gallery in the back of the building for the actual art opening that was happening about an hour later. Help Or GTFO, Seriously. The art was interesting, but we also had yet another run-in with a woman who was once a major contributor to the museum but now seems to simply hang around to piss down the necks of those who are (quite frankly) keeping the place alive these days. Between she and one of her cronies, they feel a lot like the Statler and Waldorf characters from The Muppets, only petty, unfunny and ridiculously unhelpful regardless of their alleged interest in the organization. If your only contribution is to point out faults, you are simply not fucking helping, and the real irony of it is that they are really hung up on etiquette and how things are meant to be done, so you’d think they would try to be more positive and try to build things up if they truly cared about the organization.

I know I will end up being rude to one of these broads before this is all over, I just want to wait until the wife is off the board. Who knows, if we wait it out long enough, maybe they’ll just die and be someone else’s problem.

We picked up some food on the way home, then spent the evening relaxing with some television off the TiVo and comparing notes about the grouchy women that my poor wife is forced to deal with, yet is forced to be nice to because that’s what society indicates should happen.

I say again: I will be ugly to these broads at some point, I just have a sneaking feeling. They've ruined too many of my wife's evenings with their snide douchebaggery to not be called out on their behavior at some point. At this stage it just smacks of people who simply want attention, and if that's their only concern I may direct them to the animal shelter for some companionship if all they want is for someone to listen to them. You don't suppose a parrot or Dachshund can become suicidal, do you?

Bah, I'm wasting energy thinking about these people. Moving swiftly onward...

We called it a night after 10:00 or thereabouts and I read in bed for a bit while the wife crashed out.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bring On The Damnation Cradle, Mr. Ripley

For what it's worth, I find myself writing this almost a full week later, on Tuesday September 20th, due to our pisspoor Suddenlink internet service. I'm currently playing catch up in hopes to be current with these by the time we go to NYC at the beginning of October.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled post, written in the future about what is now your past.

Color me surprised, we actually managed to have the rain hang around for the two days or so that the weatherman had threatened that it would.

I had a haircut scheduled out at 1:00 today, so I left the house a bit early, stepping into the pissing, shitty English weather to poke around at a couple pawn shops along the way.

I was happy to find The Last Dragon for $2 at one place, then found the recent Corman Cult Classics release of Joe Dante’s Piranha for only $.99, which I felt like I had to buy, even if I just end up selling it on Amazon for a few bucks more.

I got the haircut, visited a bit with the Hairdressers and got the same vague 'maybes' regarding whether or not they’d be attending the party we’re throwing in honor of Anastasia Beaverhouszen & Kno1 returning to town.

That's One Big-Ass Alley...I headed home in the now fairly heavy rain, made myself some lunch and watched the Blu-ray copy of Damnation Alley that Buckaroo Banzai had loaned to me the last time they were in town. It's one of those movies that I always recall hearing the title of, so I somehow thought I had seen it at some point in the past. I hadn't, as it turned out, but it's a fun film, with some truly charming cheap-o effects used to indicate how crazy the environment has gone after a nuclear war. It's pretty funny though, the crazy weather and whatnot always conveniently dissipates when they need to be in whatever deserted location the next set piece is set in, so the EFX folks weren't too overloaded while they had to create an abandoned city. Fun film, if you know what you're getting into.

I eventually tried to relax in the Library after the movie and enjoy the quiet gray afternoon, but was disturbed almost immediately as the Goddamned neighbors, who had evidently contracted some asshole to tear out the gates in their backyard area and replace them. This naturally coincides with the only quiet rainy day we’ve had in forever, so this jerkoff is out here working with a mini jackhammer-like device to root this stuff out of the masonry in which it’d been set, all in between the infrequent sprinkles and showers.

Fuck me.

Why Must There Always Be A Rapper?Thoroughly annoyed, I moved into the den and popped in an action movie that I figured that I could turn up loud enough drown out the bullshit in the breezeway between the houses, as the noise was bugging the Yorkie as well. I re-watched Cradle 2 The Grave, a Jet Li flick that I swear to god I don’t even remember buying at any stage in my life, but somehow own. I had seen the movie before and it's decent enough, but the proliferation of rappers in martial arts movies does wear on me from time to time. Oh well, it was a fun timewaster.

The wife was getting home in the late afternoon so we dug into some dinner over a re-watch of Bring It On, a film that I love endlessly, and probably much more than it truly deserves. I decided to try and watch something off Netfux Instant Watch with the wife, but that went absolutely nowhere since the program wouldn't ever load on the TiVo. Since I couldn't be sure if it was an issue with the TiVo’s Netfux Interface or if it was our generally sporadic Suddenlink service screwing up the process, I finally gave up and decided to see if the web was down as well. I was rather annoyed to see that the Interweb service was also MIA, so I said fuckit and popped in a movie for a re-watch, as I obviously wouldn't be able to work on the blog or any of my normal internet routine this evening.

Root For The Bad Guy...The wife headed off to bed with the Yorkie, so I hit up the Media Closet for something that I hadn't seen in awhile. The Talented Mr. Ripley was something I haven’t re-watched in at least a couple years and it still holds up amazingly well. I really love that flick, though watching it makes me want to re-read the original Patricia Highsmith novels.

I re-watched Ripley’s Game off the To-Watch Pile to round out the evening, then hit the bed rather late, hoping for the best that the web would be back in decent working order when I got up the next morning.

Spoiler alert: This didn't happen.

Be seeing you.