Friday, August 31, 2012

The Raid With The Crystal Plumage

The Lawn Guys were here this morning doing their bit, which agitated the Yorkie but was something I was able to ignore and sleep in for a a few more hours, which was nice. I finally got up to the sounds of the wife making a few phone calls in the sitting area near the kitchen and she told me that Morris was on his way over. I opened the house for the day shortly after Morris arrived, then I left he and the wife visiting about the whole packing process while I grabbed a shower and got cleaned up before we headed out to lunch.

We hit up the usual Mexican food place that we seem to gravitate towards when Morris is in town, then tried to stop by the apartment to grab something until Morris realized he'd left the keys in his vehicle back at our house. I drove us back to the house where I deposited the wife and Morris, who were going to run back over to the apartment and then deliver the cable modem back to the cable company before doing God knows what for the afternoon.

Having found some new stuff at the Big Lots in Odessa yesterday afternoon I decided to hit up our location here and see if anything caught my fancy. I was pleased to turn up a few odds and ends, then headed back to the house to see what the Yorkie was up to. After she greeted me happily I settled into the Office and worked on the blog and other general interweb travels for most of the afternoon. The wife texted to let me know that we'd evidently missed another six boxes of books that were piled up around a different corner that she got rooked into helping Morris deliver to a charity bookstore. This naturally irritated me, as I was hoping that her role in this moving process was finally fucking done when we moved that crap last Saturday, but here we go again. And I know that the wife decides her own level of involvement in this type of thing, but she's also not the type to just point blank say "No, I'm done with this nonsense." either. "Good luck."

The wife got dropped off around 5:00 or thereabouts and grabbed a shower, since we had dinner plans at 7:30 this evening with Morris, Anastasia Beaverhouszen, Kno1 and evidently The In-Laws had also been invited after the wife and Morris visited them this afternoon. Another Wrong Place, Wrong Time Argento Film...I decided to try and squeeze in a re-watch of The Bird With The Crystal Plumage since at least two different podcasts had coincidentally decided to cover it on the same week.

As things shook out I was only able to watch about the first hour and change of the 90 minute film, so when we had to leave I was slightly annoyed, but what the hell, I kinda did that to myself. I drove us to what I thought was the restaurant only to have the wife tell me that no, we were going to a steak place further across town, which tells me that I was really drifting in and out of the dinner plan discussion earlier in the afternoon, because the last thing that I registered hearing them mention was Chinese food. I then drove us to the right restaurant, where Anastasia and Kno1 were already on the wait list, because the place was packed to the gills on the typical small town Friday night.

We were soon joined by Morris, then the Mother In Law and her Beau, and finally Morris' buddy ST. I was feeling weird as hell at this stage, as my vision of the night had skewed completely by this time, surrounded by the local yokels waiting for a table and streaming in and out of the restaurant to grab schooners of beer while they waited for a table; I don't know why but the whole scenario kinda made me recoil in horror for no discernible reason. The Beau and I bullshitted about television viewing and what he and the MIL had been up to, then he and the other fellas grabbed cocktails at the bar to pass the time. I have actually been stepping back from the booze just because I feel like I've drank like a fish for most of the Summer and could use some time to 'dry out' a little bit, in the parlance of the '60s. Don't worry, I'm not shaking if I can't get a cocktail, I just figure I don't want to make it a habit. It's like the coffee/caffeine thing; I like to cold turkey it from time to time just to make sure that I can.

We had a good meal that actually arrived in a fairly timely manner even though the restaurant was packed, everyone visited and caught up, then we finally called it a night, inviting the folks back to the house if they were so inclined. The In-Laws had split for home by this time, and ST begged off, as he has to work in the AM, so Morris went to run one final errand and then meet us at our house. Anastasia and Kno1 followed us to Barnes & Noble, where we grabbed a coffee and poked around for a few, then we headed back to the house.

Let The Bodies Hit The Floor?The ladies visited in the sitting area while Kno1 and I chilled in the den with some television, then I decided to throw on The Raid, as I figured a subtitled action flick could easily be enjoyed while the women could yammer to their hearts content, as we didn't have to worry about hearing anything. Morris eventually turned up and we helped him unload several plastic crates of his mother's journals that we're storing for...well, I have no fucking idea why they're here, but they're now in our garage storage room for who knows how long, so I'm just going to leave it at that, because it's another one of those 'not our problem' things that'll probably piss me off should I continue to pick at it. Sigh.

Kno1 enjoyed the flick, though we could both agree that the last little bit of the film was somewhat anti-climactic given the martial arts bits that came before. The happy couple called it a night and split for home, then the wife and I said our goodbyes to Morris, because he plans on leaving at the crack of dawn (5:00 AM) tomorrow to head back to Dallas with his load of stuff.

Everyone headed to bed and I moved into the Office to get this post started, getting slightly distracted by some interweb shopping, which sort of shook me out of my funk a little. The idea of 'retail therapy' cheering me up sort of bothers me, but I did find some fun books that I had been putting off buying, so at least I scratched my collector nerd itch.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shopping, Cleaning And Television

I had set the alarm for 10:00 this morning after being up late reading, so I got moving as I noted the sounds of the wife and Yorkie's activities in the other part of the house. The wife was in full-on cleaning mode at this point and returning a few calls since she didn't have any meetings as we started to go into the coming holiday weekend, so I figured I would leave her to her own devices and go run some errands of my own.

After fetching the newspaper I got dressed for the day and told the wife my plans, which were to run over to Odessa and take a browse through the various Pawn Shops and their books, music and video outlet to see what I might turn up. I headed over to Odessa and made it into town on fumes, so my first stop was a 7-11 on the outskirts to fill up the car before I ended up walking to the stupid Pawn Shop.

The Pawn Shops didn't really offer much on this trip, and I by God tried to find something I tellya. I even stepped into a Wal-Mart on the far side of town to see if I could turn up any of the various odds and ends that people have been showing off pics of via Twitter, but to no avail. I did get the amusement of watching a guy sifting though the giant bargain DVD bins while eyeballing every female who happened by, and by eyeballing I don't mean glancing up because his eyes caught movement in his vicinity, I mean like fucking staring at them until they were gone, which seems exceptionally creepy and makes me hope that I never come across like that as a male, because Jesus Christ, who wants to be that guy?

Big Lots surprised me with a few new items and even a couple extra little TV sets to use as trade bait on Swap A DVD just to pad out my little credits that I have over there. My final stop was the books, music and video outlet, where I was happy to find that they were running the same 'buy one, get one for $1' offer on their used stuff that our location does, so I gave their movie section a nice thorough dig and found a new disc that I figure I can flip on Amazon for twice what I paid, as well as a couple used items, which netted me a Blu-ray of Friday for only a buck, so I feel that a re-watch is in the offing for tomorrow, what it being Friday and all.

On the way back to town I stopped and picked up a late lunch for myself, then pointed the car towards the house, arriving around 4:00 in the afternoon. The wife was napping with the pup in the bedroom so I quieted the dog who was pissed off at the noise of me entering the house, then chilled in the den to eat and watch last night's double feature of Futurama, which ended the season on a high note. Good stuff.

What was once a water feature in our back yard has been long dead due to lack of us following up on it with our shitty Lawn Guys who are meant to maintain it, and it has sat half full of water for quite some time. This has become a concern as reports of the West Nile Virus have started happening in this area, so I took some time this afternoon to dip out a good amount of the stagnant water that has accumulated from the meager amounts of rain we've had over the Summer. I didn't empty it entirely because the weird angle I had to be in to get to the water was starting to fuck up my back, so I left it to hopefully dry out on its own as the last days of Summer wears on.

Morris and the wife had finally exchanged texts over the course of the afternoon, so we knew that he was indeed coming to town today, but was heading directly to the apartment to get to work, so she and I spent the early evening piddling around with various cleaning around the house. The wife was in the throes of laundry, so I folded towels and sheets that were piling up on top of the dryer, then sorted some DVD's into the Media Closet to try to keep the various To-Watch Pile items rotating.

Fuck You, It's Magic!We eventually settled in the den and watched another one of those TV Carnage titles that I had grabbed on eBay a few months back: A Rich Tradition Of Magic. It features more VHS weirdness from the '80s and '90s and was a fun way to pass an hour and change until our evening television was finally starting.

We paused after the video and picked up a light dinner, then watched Louie, which was pretty amusing. His take on Blu-ray players: "They're all basically the same, these machines, they're all made from the same Asian suffering." Hilarious. And likely true.

We called it a night shortly afterward, just so I could get started on this crapola for the day.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Glam Rock, Cartoons, Schoolgirls & Procedurals

The Yorkie had to be at the Groomer at the crack of dawn today, and the wife is on the Goddamned grand jury yet again, so when my alarm went off at 9:30 this morning I found myself in a quiet, empty house. This actually had me on the verge of falling back asleep while I was looking at e-mail, so I finally forced myself out of bed and fired up the PC so that I could give the blog some much needed attention and get some things done before the Maid turned up.

The Maid was accompanied by her mother today, so they got started and I sighed at the idea of having not only one but now two people half-ass cleaning the house, but who cares anymore? I was kind of coming to a stopping point with the blogging and considering my lunch options when the wife was so kind as to call and ask if I needed anything, since she was grabbing a bite with Brian at a local deli. I put in my order and then decided to start a movie on Netfux Instant Watch, since I'm pretty much trapped in the Office on Maid days anyway.

Is The Title A Sexytime Metaphor, Or Am I Imagining Things?Velvet Goldmine is a film that I was planning on re-watching before listening to a certain podcast review it, so I gave that a spin to pass the time. Christian Bale plays a journalist who investigates into the disappearance of a fictional Glam rocker played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, whose flamboyant relationship in the '70s with Ewan McGregor's Iggy Pop-ish stand in was a big part of that movement until Meyers fell from grace with his audience due to excess and a poorly planned publicity stunt. The film follows a disjointed narrative as we learn about Bale coming into his own as a gay or bi-sexual man, as well as following the careers of the two rockstars, who are meant to be stand-ins or amalgamations of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and several other stars of the era, and it paints a really compelling picture of a time that I'm obviously not that familiar with, but really enjoyed taking a peek into. Good flick, and easily available via Netfux, what's not to like?

The wife returned about halfway through the movie so I paused that and helped her unload both food and the Yorkie from the car, as well as a little mailing packet that she's going to be working on, getting everything safely settled into the house before finishing my movie while eating my sandwich. The wife and I caught up on her day and she spent some time on the phone with a few phonecalls, then once the Maid and Co. finally got done in the bedroom she and the Yorkie holed up in there to chill.

I spent the early afternoon working on the little nerdlists that I'm trying to be better about getting updated, then once the Maid left I drifted over to the Guest Side of the house and reads in our Library for an hour or so.

The wife and Yorkie stirred in the late afternoon as I was settling in for my daily dose of Addams Family goodness, so they puttered around while I scrolled around Netfux Instant Watch for a time, eventually settling on the 2nd episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which continues to introduce characters, but might be leaving me a little cold with its voice characterizations, as Thor didn't really have the giant manly voice that you'd imagine, nor even the deep gruff one I could settle for. The series seems to be just focusing on a single character with each episode, presumably letting things coalesce into a team as their various threats start to come to a head or effect one another, but so far it's a little slow going considering the 20-something minute running times. I would also venture to guess that I might be missing out on some tricks because when I read comics heavily, I mainly read Spider-Man books, the X-Men titles and not much else, so a lot of the rest of the Marvel universe is kinda lost on me because I was never a huge fan of their other team books aside from the odd issue here or there.

I know, I know, fucking nerd problems...


Since I was already on Netfux and in the cartoon section I looked up the G.I. Joe: Renegades stuff that I was watching what feels like a year ago to see where I'd left off, which turned out to be about halfway through the season. I ended up re-watching the last one that I'd seen, which was the first of a two part episode, then finished it out before making the wife and I some pasta for dinner.

Hot School Girls, What's Not To Like?We ate while watching a little To-Watch Pile selection of St. Trinian's, which is about the hijinx that ensue when an art dealer dumps his kid off at a questionable British girl's academy that's run by his sister. From what I gather the St. Trinian's material has something of a history in the UK, based on a series of drawings or children's books from the late '40s or early '50s. The film had a ton of British talent in it, including Colin Firth, Gemma Arterton, Juno Temple, Rupert Everett and even (ugh) Russell Brand, though he thankfully only had a supporting role, because seriously, fuck that guy. It's a fun little flick, kinda sexy with the schoolgirls, but never too suggestive, worth a rental if you want a light comedy or something of that nature.

Since I had so much television on my brain today I threw in the first episode of Luther for a re-watch, just because I want to give those another go before they get filed away. We wrapped up the evening with tonight's episode of The Soup, then I got started on this post after putting the wife to bed.

Tomorrow we supposedly have Morris in town for 24 hours to deal with the rest of his mother's apartment, which I think is a pipe dream but good for him if he can knock it out that quickly.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Hidden Message From Space

The alarm woke me at 10:00 this morning after being up a little later than usual last night reading more of Joe Ollmann's Mid-Life, which is something I heard about when we were in San Diego and tracked down after we got home via Amazon. It's Happening To All Of Us.It's about a guy who married right out of high school and has two children from his first marriage who are almost grown, as well as the second wife and a one year old baby, plus all the various tolls this sort of thing takes on your mind and body. It's a pretty amusing book so far and I enjoy his writing quite a bit. The art is slightly scratchier than I would prefer, but it's definitely his own style, which I like.

The wife and Yorkie were already up, but they rejoined me briefly for a cuddle so that the wife could give me the rundown on her series of errands that'd suddenly stacked up to take up the entire day. She was off to get her teeth cleaned in a rescheduled dentist appointment, then she had meetings for the rest of the afternoon and would be helping out with a charity event in Odessa in the evening. I kind felt like I should snap a quick photo of her lest I forget what the hell she looked like while she was gone for so long.

I got the house opened up for the day and made the bed, then finally settled into the Office to work on the blog for a bit. I was in the process of texting with EL about lunch plans when the doorbell rang. Since the Yorkie continued to grouse and whine I gathered that there must be someone at the door, not just a delivery person dropping stuff off. As it turned out it was Anastasia Beaverhouszen dropping by for a visit since we hadn't seen her in almost a month. She's recently had surgery to give her a 'body-lift' after her years following a gastric bypass had left her with an excess of skin. This process happened while we were getting things taken care of with Morris' mother, so it was nice to have her come by and check in, catch up on how everything has been going. Our visit was interrupted when the woman who used to own this house turned up looking for some carpet samples that were shipped here about a week ago, and allegedly signed for by someone named 'Dominguez', which I assured her that we had not seen. In actuality, they were indeed dropped off on our doorstep (presumably the FedEx monkey forged the signature for it) and I threw it directly into the fucking dumpster, because we've lived here for SIX YEARS now and maybe she could get all of her business mailing addresses updated in that time, y'know? Anastasia and I visited for 30-45 minutes, then she was on her way to run a few errands and I got the computer stuff I was doing wrapped up and headed out to meet EL for lunch.

DR was unavailable for reasons unknown, having not answered his phone, so EL and I visited over some Mexican food and talked a bit about art and the elusiveness of the muse, as he is still trying to find the time to work on a couple projects that keep getting back-burnered. He's such a great artist that it really drives me crazy that he doesn't have more time to pursue his creative endeavors, because they tend to be pretty amazing when they come together.

After lunch I picked up a coffee and a tea at Starbuck's and headed home, where I gave the Yorkie some attention and then spent an hour working on my little nerdlists on the web. I eventually came to a stopping point with that and then read in the Library with some jazz in the late afternoon, as is the custom. I glued some more stuff into the collages, then popped in the disc of The Hidden to check out the sequel, as the cheapie DVD was a double feature.

Should Probably Stay Hidden...The Hidden II features at least 15 minutes of recycled footage from the first film to give the viewer background info, the follows the child from the 1st film 15 years later, as her father (SPOILERS), who was replaced with an alien at the end of the first film passes away and the evil alien's spawn hatches and starts running amuck again. This one really lacked the pizzazz or excess of the original, less over the top violence and car chases, which kinda made this something of a boring viewing experience. I mean, it's not like the original was a classic or anything, but it wasn't ever boring, whereas this one had me kinda flipping through a catalog that arrived in today's mail, as I wasn't all that captivated by what was happening onscreen.

When the movie was over I took the time to shut the house down for the night, then fired up the Netfux Instant Watch option on the Blu-ray player to see if I could finally finish a movie that I had started a few days ago that had been reviewed on one of the podcasts recently.

Message From Space is a film from Kinji Fukasaku, who also directed stuff like Battles Without Honor And Humanity and Battle Royale and to be perfectly honest it didn't really grab me when I started it the other day. Yawn.  Pass, Sorry.I'd watched about an hour of it and finally made it through the other half this evening, gaining little from the experience, to be perfectly honest. The film was made to be a space opera cashing in on the Star Wars phenomenon, and from what I've heard they actually delayed the release of Star Wars in Japan so as to make it appear to the audiences that Star Wars actually ripped off this turkey, which is hilarious to me. I think the general cheapness of the proceedings is what never allowed me to get fished in 100% and go with it, as it felt for all the world like a Power Rangers episode on a lot of scenes, even if I did enjoy the space battles that are peppered throughout. Oh well, they can't all be winners.

The hour was growing late, but I wasn't sure when to expect the wife after her charity event, so I scrolled around on Netfux a bit more and ended up watching the first episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes just to see what it was like, since I keep catching glimpses of it at the end of the Ultimate Spider-Man episodes I record each week. It was decent enough, though I have never particularly followed any of Marvel's team books, so a lot of the villains are kinda ciphers to me except for their names, which sort of occasionally ring a bell.

I was passing the time with some odds and ends on Adult Swim when the wife texted that she was on her way and inquired about a late dinner, so I put in an order for a burger then caught up with her when she got home, comparing notes on our respective days and allowing her some time to decompress from her long day.

The wife headed to bed and I watched a couple Robot Chicken re-runs before calling it a night myself and getting started on this post.

We have the Maid in the AM so I should be in bed sooner than later.

Be seeing you.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Metropolis Shame Metropolitan

The wife left the morning for her normal meetings while I slept in for an extra 30 minutes or so, then got up with the alarm at 9:30 and got the house opened for the day. The Yorkie cuddled with me on the couch off the kitchen area while I looked at e-mail, then I got started making up the bed and soon discovered that the Goddamned dog had managed to shit on the rug in the bedroom no less than five (!) times, based on the...evidence that I ran across this morning. I spent the entire time I was picking up after her yelling at the little asshole, just because I know for a fact that this is simply laziness on her part, because when I stepped into the bathroom she had pottied on her pad, so it's obvious that she knows better. Fucking little ingrate.

I spent some time on the interwebs working on the blog, then the wife got home so I helped her put the groceries away and caught up on her day so far. I had a Swap A DVD trade to mail, so I got that ready to mail and headed out to hit the Post Office and get myself something to eat for lunch.

When I returned the wife was piddling around in the Office, so she and I snacked on the stuff I had picked up from a local burger joint, then I settled into the den and watched last night's episode of Black Dynamite off the TiVo while I ate. The wife and the pup crashed out for a nap, so I ended up in the Library for an hour or so reading and listening to some jazz on the Pandora app, then I drifted back into the Office where I worked on my little nerdlists for an hour or so until the wide and Yorkie got up and about. I visited with the wife and then spent some time working more stuff into the two collages in the kitchen before finally making a cocktail and relaxing in the den with another episode of The Addams Family, which proved frustrating, as a pristine disc started to freeze up for no apparent reason. This is maddening, since I bought thi sgoddamend set of discs years ago at this point, so there's not much of a chance of me getting the damned disc replaced or anyng of that nature. Bah.
Since my initial viewing idea was kinda shot to hell at this point I decided to just pop in today's Movie Shame Monday selection, which was also a little some thing off the To-Watch Pile, killing two birds with one stone.

Just Met A Girl Named Maria...Metropolis is the classic Fritz Lang sci-fi film that I've always heard about but had yet to actually get around to watching, so when I ran across the Blu-ray cheap at a pawn shop I jumped on it, especially since with was the 'complete' version that features an additional 25 minutes of material that was thought to be lost to the ages at this point. The movie is pretty stunning based on the age alone, as the storytelling is rather sophisticated and advanced given the limitations of the artform at the time. The robot version of the Maria character actually struck me as being kind of pretty, made all the more puzzling by the fact that she's not exactly conventionally attractive, hell, if I'm being honest she's a little on the plain side, but her odd facial quirks and whatnot kinda struck me as being a bit hot. I'm a weird dude, what can I say?

The Mother In Law dropped by to drop off a little gift for the wife and visited with us for a bit during the movie, which worked out well considering it was silent and had few title cards to read, so I was able to continue watching that while we visited.

After the MIL split we finished off Metropolis, which actually ran us into the 9:00 hour, so I threw in another movie kinda knowing that the wife would likely bail on me at some point.

Mind Your Manners.Metropolitan (selected for its name similarities because I love a cheesy blog title, sue me) is the first film from Whit Stillman, a man who is as fascinated with the over-educated upper crust as Wes Anderson, though far less prolific. This film is set around the debutante scene in NYC, where a less than wealthy young man finds himself suddenly a part of the scene after a chance meeting, which brings all sorts of class warfare and varying opinions to the surface. It's a film that I really enjoy and had on-hand on Criterion DVD, so it has naturally received an upgrade to their Blu-ray format now, just because it's fun to leave me feeling like I've pissed away money on things, right? At any rate, I'm happy to have re-watched and I actually have to wonder how much the picture quality would be improved in Hi Def, as the film isn't exactly made for showcasing your video set-up. I guess I may eventually upgrade, but I doubt it'll be anytime soon, just because I don't feel as though I'm missing out on anything.

When the movie ended I flipped back over to cable and immediately got fished into the beginning of Natural Born Killers for the umpteenth re-watch, so while that played out I actually opened up the iPad and got started on this post just to try and stay ahead of the game if at all possible.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

City Of Ghost Keeping

The wife was naturally heading back to bed when I woke this morning around 11:00, having been up for a few hours with the Yorkie and hoping to catch some more sleep now that the dog had been fed and seemed chill. I got up and piddled around looking at e-mail and that sort of thing for a bit, then decided to step out and pick up some Chinese food for lunch, kind of assuming that the leftovers would in turn take care of the evening meal as well.

Stay The Hell Out Of The City!I took the wife's order and called in our order, then ran across town to pick things up before the after church crowd let out and made traffic a pain. Back at the house I ate while watching a To-Watch Pile selection called City Of Violence, which is a Dragon Dynasty release of a South Korean film that looks absolutely bananas based on the trailer. The film is actually a little slow to get moving, but as a group of childhood friends investigate the murder of their friend things start to get increasingly hectic. I wasn't shocked to see how bleak the ending gets, because this is a South Korean film after all, but the action bits are well choreographed and well worth your time if you enjoy the martial arts genre.

The wife joined me eventually and had some lunch, then she ended up napping on the couch again and I left her relaxing while I glued a few more layers into the current collage stuff and got the PC running its various security scans. I spent an hour in the Library reading over some jazz, then gave the collages another pass before the wife and I watched another selection off the To-Watch Pile before our normal Fox animation stuff got started in the evening.

Stay The Hell Out Of The Lodge!Ghostkeeper is a Code Red release, who have recently started doing a direct sales thing where he's producing smaller print runs of the random genre titles that he puts out and selling them direct to the consumer, as the retail business model evidently makes him very little cash. The movie is about a couple and a random other gal who wander far astray from the resort they're staying at in the snow covered mountains, eventually ending up at what appears to be a deserted lodge, where a strange old woman makes them comfortable and avoids their questions, leading you to wonder what else could be lurking around this old deserted building. It's a nice slow burn of a film and the location makes for some nice creepy vibes, as it's just this giant empty lodge that gives you plenty of time to wonder what could be lurking around every corner. Very pleased with my purchase of this one.

The evening was eaten up with leftovers for dinner and some Fox re-runs, all to the tune of the storm that blew through and thoroughly freaked out the Yorkie. After the 2nd episode of The Simpsons was over I made the mistake of getting out to pick up some ice cream for our dessert, which took for-fucking-ever for no apparent reason, but at least the storm had abated by this point and I wasn't sitting there wondering if I would be able to get home or not.

When I finally got home the wife and I enjoyed our sweets and dug into the season finale of True Blood, which followed their tried and true formula of giving us a kinda hit or miss season, then ending on a strong cliff-hanger that is almost annoying in its questions. Breaking Bad was great as usual, though we now only have one of those to look forward to next Sunday before they go away for a freaking year, so that's also rather agitating.

The wife headed to bed and I watched the second Family Guy re-run of the evening, since we usually skip it in favor of watching True Blood sooner than later, then I headed to the web to get started on this post.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Books, Bargains, Big Bad Black Swan

As I mentioned last night, the wife had been conned into moving several boxes of books out of the apartment that Morris' mother used to live in, so she had in turn asked our friend Brian to help. We were to meet him at the apartment at 9:00 this morning and I was under the impression that we would get up at 8:15 with the alarm and then drive over there to meet Brian, but when my alarm went off the wife was puzzlingly already long gone, so I texted to ask Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, where the hell are you?

The wife had woke almost an hour early, but rather than try to power nap that last 45 minutes or so, she just got up and split, presumably because she assumed that I would end up blowing this project off since it felt like such an imposition. I dressed quickly and headed that way after grabbing the newspaper to take a glance at the garage sales and confirm the address of a certain sale that promised thousands of LP's as well as CD's and some sound equipment. I arrived at the apartment just as Brian and the wife were coming down the stairs with the first few boxes, then we made a few more trips, loading my trunk as well as Brian's backseat and the wife's seats with boxes of books and some random clothes that the wife was going to run over to the Salvation Army. We ran out some trash and then took two cars to the little Library thrift store to drop off the books, then the wife and Brian split to go and have some breakfast. I took the time to give the bookstore a prowl since I was in the neighborhood anyway, then Google Mapped some directions and headed across town to see what kind of CD's these folks might have.

I had a sneaking suspicion that the person running the sale was someone that I knew, a gentleman who used to buy stuff from me when I worked at the local books, music and video outlet in the early '2000s, and since my buddy El Vox (who knows this gentleman as well) had once mentioned that he still maintained an apartment to store portions of his collection, I thought this sale might be his. I was right, though about half the stuff was evidently supplied by a fellow collector buddy of his, so I chit-chatted a bit and then browsed the CD selection, which unfortunately didn't contain anything I was interested in, as most of it was '60s era rock & roll, which isn't anything I have a burning desire to own at this point in my life. I introduced myself to the buddy and visited briefly, then headed out empty-handed. I was kind of amused by the conversation in the room, as there's a certain obsessive quality to any hobby, so even though I'm not an aficionado on LP's I could kind of identify with what they were talking about as far as the chase, the hunt that dorks like us spend our lives on, looking for that next rare thing that no one else has, or that item that can be flipped for cash, it's an amusing commonality within most any hobby.

Quack Quack.Their conversation got me thinking about an item I had looked at while visiting those estate sales yesterday morning, so I popped by there on the assumption (rightly so) that things would be half price on the 2nd day. This being the case, I was able to snag an out of print hardcover called Uncle Scrooge In Color, collecting some fun Carl Barks material. This was a Gladstone publication from the late '80s, the kind of thing I could have never afforded when it was new, but was able to score today for $15. This was particularly pleasing since a quick Amazon and eBay search turned up a single copy for $20 plus shipping, and a ton of other copies for as much as $140, so I felt very happy about my purchase.

Since it was almost 11:00 by this time I popped into a pawn shop on my way back home, with the intention of killing some time before grabbing some lunch. I found a couple things, including the 2 disc DVD of the original animated Transformers movie from the '80s, which is evidently also out of print, so the $3 I paid for it was a helluva bargain in comparison to the $22-$100 people want for it on Amazon. Crazy.

I grabbed some Mexican food and headed home to eat and chill with the Yorkie. The wife texted to let me know that she was going to run a few errands and would be home shortly. I watched a Ricky Gervais comedy special off the TiVo while I ate, pausing when the wife got home to see what her plans were for the afternoon, then I left her to her own devices and finished out the show, which was absolutely hilarious.

After the show I spent some time gluing stuff in to the collages and then read for a bit in the Library while the wife relaxed in the bedroom. Afterward I gave the collages some more time and then sprayed them with a fixative to start the whole sealing process. I eventually settled into the den with my daily episode of The Addams Family, then started considering options from the To-Watch Pile as we got into the late afternoon/early evening.

Woof Woof.Big Bad Wolf is a movie that I recall renting and not enjoying all that much from Netfux who knows how long ago, so I had decided to grab a copy via Swap A DVD since I have credits to burn over there, just to give it another day in court and see if it was any better on the re-watch. Sadly, it was not. It's still a super middle-of-the-road film and the few new things it tries to add to the werewolf mythology are just silly, like the creature wise-cracking and talking shit to his victims, who thought this was a good idea? Oh well, I've definitely seen worse, but this one isn't going to gain any ground with me, that much is apparent.

The wife got ready to go to a birthday party in the evening, one that I had begged off of from attending, just because I'm kinda socialized out for the month after all the Goddamned funerals and parties and dinners and houseguests, y'know? She was going to stop by the Mother In Law's place on the way for a short visit, so she left around 7:00 to do that as I was getting ready to wrap up my movie.

It started to rain pretty hard around this time, which freaked the Yorkie out and left her shivering on top of the couch, wrapped around my neck for safety. I have to admit that as stressing as her anxiety can be, I do sort of enjoy her being a bit more loving and actually wanting to be with you, instead of her normal independent behavior where she just goes and makes her own way on a separate couch, sometimes in another room altogether. Every now and again it's nice for your lapdog to actually be a lapdog, y'know?

After I finished my movie I decided to watch something off the TiVo to continue my efforts to clean it up a bit, so I selected Black Swan, which was something that the wife had already seen with a girlfriend, so I didn't feel bad about watching it without her. I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can.I'm super late to this party, but I really enjoyed the film, and I can certainly see where the Giallo comparisons have come from, given the use of setting and color in the film. Natalie Portman is great in the lead, hell, I enjoyed everyone involved, including the always lovely Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel as the director of the production. Good film.

The wife got home toward the end of the film and we compared notes on it, then got fished into the last hour or so of David Fincher's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo re-make before the wife called it a night. I spent some time gluing more shit into the collage nonsense, then got started on this post, the writing of which has been interspersed with frequent interruptions for various web browsing, which is the bane of any creative pursuit.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Estate Dominos

The alarm went off this morning at 10:00 and the wife and I both got up and moving, though I did linger in bed looking at e-mail for a bit while she and the Yorkie busied themselves around the house. I finally got up and opened the house and thumbed through the newspaper while the wife was on the phone, spotting a couple of estate sales that sounded appealing, so I dressed quickly and told the wife what I was off to do, taking her Starbuck's order and then hitting the door, as I didn't want to piss away the entire morning.

The first estate sale turned up nothing save for a can of Dallas memorabilia, a JR Ewing's Private Reserve beer can, empty but unopened, so I ask the elderly broad at the front of the house how much it is and she says with a straight face that she "can't sell liquor" to which I cock an eyebrow and say "M'kay, but it's clearly EMPTY *shake it for emphasis*...so how much?" She reiterates that they can't sell liquor, but "we can sell you a toothpick", which agitates me further, as we're still not addressing the issue that the beercan is FUCKING EMPTY and she still has yet to actually give me a fucking price.

At this point I tell her "I don't know exactly what you're trying to tell me, so I guess I'm going to give this back to you and leave now", which is what I did. about five minutes later in the car I kinda clicked on the idea that perhaps they "can't sell liquor" but if they sell me any other arbitrary item, she can just give the thing to me, so I'd be 'buying a toothpick', perhaps? At any rate, a quick cruise of eBay later turned up the very same item without having to fuck around with any subterfuge, so I think I'll just go that route and surprise the wife at a later date.

The next place at least had a couple cheap items that I was interested in, a 3 disc DVD set that I fugured I could easily flip on Swap A DVD for some extra credits, as well as a 1958 issue of Good Housekeeping from Christmas of that year, which I figured thsat the wife would dig. Amusingly, I did have an elderly woman pass me and say "excuse me ma'am.", which rarely happens to me these days, what with the beard and all. Her old man must've seen me cock an eyebrow at her because he casually said as he passed "She doesn't see very well.", which I smiled at and waved off - no harm, no foul. I passed them again later and the guy was in the middle of telling his wife about her mistake, ending his story with "Oh, and here she is now!" The woman apologized and I told her it was no big deal, I used to have much longer hair and thought nothing of it.

Once I paid for my two little cheap items I grabbed coffee for the wife and myself, dropped last night's Netfux movie in the post and then headed back home. The wife and I caught up on my adventures with the elderly while chilling in the Office where I worked on the blog while she looked at e-mail and piddled around with that kind of thing. Since the wife didn't have any meetings as we get into the three day weekend she chilled in the bedroom while I eventually wrapped up my blogging nonsense and stepped back out to mail off an Amazon sale that happened this morning, then grab myself a late lunch.

When I got back I ate in the den while finally watching the first episode of Perception, a show that features Eric McCormack of Will & Grace fame as a professor with a series of eccentricities and apparently schizophrenia who begins helping a former student (Rachael Leigh Cook) with criminal cases after she turns up in his life as a young FBI agent. The general banter and whatnot is fine, and I like the leads, but the overall hook of having to wonder if the person he's talking to is a figment of his imagination or not could be an exhausting process each week. I've been recording these for some time now (over a month or so), so I figured I should at least try to start watching them, see if it's worth the TiVo space or not. I guess I'll give it a few more eps before I decide to axe it or not, but from what I'm hearing it's not exactly blowing people's skirts up as far as most reviews go, so it could remove itself from my life on its own, y'know?

I spent my usual hour or so in the Library reading, then finally felt a decent impetus to start a couple of small art projects that I've had on my mind for awhile now. I was in the kitchen working on that when the wife and Yorkie drifted in to say hello after their afternoon nap. I got some things glued down on the two pieces while chitchatting with the wife while she went through the mail, then I chilled in the den to watch today's Addams Family episode and enjoy a cocktail.

The wife had made plans in the early evening to go and do that oddball basket of produce thing that we did just before the Druncle's death a few months back, then afterward grab some dinner for us. I decided to pop in something off the To-Watch Pile to pass the time, so I dug around and settled on a film by the recently deceased Tony Scott, who took his own life about a week ago.

She Catches A Guy With A Lapdance? Hot/Puzzling, No?Domino is a film that I've only seen once before, but had wanted to revisit for quite some time, as Scott's color saturated visuals really appeal to me artistically, and I also dig his frenetic editing style, which I know puts off a lot of people. The film stars Kiera Knightley as real life bounty hunter Domino Harvey in what I can only guess is a highly fictionalized version of the woman's life, and it's a helluva lot of fun. The film was interrupted by me pausing here and there to grab another cocktail or add some stuff to the new collages, so what started as a two hour film ended up eating up much of the evening.

The wife returned with deli food and her little assortment of random produce, so we put all that away and ate, then wrapped up the evening with the new episode of Children's Hospital and The Heart, She Holler, which was every bit as bizarre and fucked up as the two we watched earlier.

The wife headed to bed and I watched the second episode of Perception, which pounded home my initial impressions, likable cast but ridiculously formulaic, even down to the same 'false ending' where they solve their case, but wait, there's another twist that suddenly has to be revealed at the 11th hour, a trend that will get super fucking old if it continues with the entire season.

I finally moved into the Office to get to work on this post and into bed soon, as the wife has been rooked into dealing with 8 boxes of books that are in Morris' mother's apartment, while he and his man are on vacation, mind you. I don't think this would annoy me if it were boxes of items he couldn't bear to deal with because of his loss, but instead it's just some stuff that he can't be bothered to deal with so it's our problem instead. Oh well, it's not a deal breaker on the friendship or anything, but I guess it just struck me odd because I wouldn't dream of farming grunt-work shit like that out casually while I'm off enjoying myself.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Save The Pack Pressure

The wife was already long gone when the alarm woke me this morning at 10:00 AM. The Yorkie came up to the head of the bed to say good morning, then did that weird/annoying thing that she does where she acts as if she wants you to pet her, but lays down just about 5 inches out of your reach, almost as if it's a test to see if you love her enough to make the effort to stretch and give her some affection.

Or maybe I'm reading volumes of human baggage into the dog's behavior.

Or maybe she's just an asshole who relishes inconveniencing others for her own amusement.

I made the bed and opened the house for the day, then spent almost two hours in the Office dicking around on the PC, bouncing between blog stuff and the usual dumb interweb timesink stuff like Facebook and the like, then finally realized that I was getting hungry. I texted the wife to make certain that I didn't need to get her anything while I was out, then dressed and grabbed the newspaper off the driveway before heading out to brave the last of the lunch rush traffic and pick up a burger or something. McDonald's was calling to me again, which sort of makes me wonder if I have a deathwish, because I've been eating like total shit this week, but whatever, this too shall pass.

Or pass away.


There was an afternoon showing of Jaws in Odessa that the wife and I had considered going to, but this was an option that I'd left entirely up to her, as I like the movie, but she's the one that LOVES it, so I figured I'd let her make the call. She texted that she'd decided to pass, so I settled into the den with my lunch my afternoon free, so I started another TiVo selection in my effort to clear that out a bit.

Powell Is A Pimp.High Pressure is an early William Powell comedy that casts him as a 'promoter', a man whose fast talking lays the groundwork for a get-rich-quick scheme that soon threatens to destroy the relationship he has with a young woman and even land him in prison unless the inventor he's been 'selling' can be found and come through with the invention that he alleges to have made. It has some amusing moments, and Powell is charismatic as always, so it was a pleasant way to pass the afternoon.

The wife returned from her errands and we visited for a bit in the bedroom while the Yorkie settled down finally once she saw all of her 'people' were back under one roof for the time being. I ended up grabbing a beverage and read for an hour or so in the Library, happy to have finally gotten back to my routine.

The late afternoon saw the wife leaving for another meeting as I was popping in The Addams Family for some background noise while I went through the mail. After my dail dose of the Addams I threw in a little flick off the To-Watch Pile, something that I'm expecting a podcast to review in the next week or so.

Alien Bastids!Save The Green Planet is a South Korean film about a man who thinks that an impending alien invasion can be stopped by capturing and torturing the truth out of the aliens, who just so happen to be the various people who have tormented him over the years. Is he truly crazy, or is he the only one who can see through the big conspiracy? I had watched this via Netfux rental before picking up a copy, but it'd been several years back, which made this viewing pretty fresh and enjoyable. It's a good film, though I kinda want to look around and see if I can turn up a happy South Korean film, as everything that I can think of of the top of my head that I'm aware of or familiar with is very downbeat and bleak.

The wife returned with dinner as I was finishing up the movie, then she and I watched today's Netfux arrival, a film called The Pack. Possible SPOILERS ahead, so beware: This film ended up on the queue because I glanced at the synopsis on the Netfux site, which said woman in remote area, picks up hitchhiker, hitchhiker disappears when they stop at rest stop, she investigates and something comes for her in the night; something to that effect. Yawn.This synopsis (or my yadda yadda impression of it) and the toothy creature on the box art led me to believe that this was possibly a new-ish werewolf movie, and boy was I in for a surprise. First of all, the synopsis on the disc sleeve mentions that she's chased by undead ghouls, so fuck any suspense as to what you're getting into, and then fuck my expectations, because they're ghouls and not werewolves. Then the real kicker is that the Goddamned film is French, so I end up reading subtitles for an hour and twenty minutes, which still managed to feel overlong. Oh well, I was hoping for a completely different film, so I hope that didn't color my view so much that I didn't give this one a chance. It has a few moments, but overall just wasn't for me.

We wrapped our evening with tonight's episode of The Real L Word and Louie, which was absolutely hilarious, redeeming itself in my heart from last week's weirdness that left me feeling kinda blah.

We called it a night shortly afterward and I got started on this post. I was eventually joined by the Yorkie as a small storm blew through and disturbed her from her perch in the bedroom.

I'm out kids.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Raid Lieutenant

Last night I stayed up late watching a little something on Netfux Instant Watch, as I've been developing a backlog of podcasts that I've held off on listening to because I first want to check out certain movies before checking out their reviews. With this in mind I gave Troma's The Toxic Avenger a first time watch last night and enjoyed it quite a bit for the low budget cheese that I expected it to be. Classic. What I find odd is that I had somehow managed to miss this one, as it seems like something I would've checked out in the '90s at least, but it just slipped through the cracks until now. I'm happy to finally be able to cross it off the list, as it is one of those seminal low budget horror comedies that virtually everyone has seen, even people who may not be into that genre, just because it's so outrageous and over the top.

I was still able to squeeze in about 7 hours' sleep, then got up and moving around 10:00 this morning. The Yorkie cuddled with me while the wife busied herself about the house, then I got up and got the house opened for the day and made the bed while she worked on e-mail and things like that in the Office before heading out for a couple of meetings, including lunch with Brian just before noon. I spent some time in the Office myself working on the weeks' old posts that still need to be polished up and published, because I will be forever behind on this dumb thing it seems.

When I finally surfaced I happened to notice the time was half past twelve so I called in an order for that Thai food that poor service kinda screwed me out of yesterday at lunch time, then got dressed and headed out to grab some food. On my way out I noted with agitation that the Lawn Guys were in our front yard, evidently taking their lunch break on our fucking lawn and just hanging out, so I was kinda hoping that they would have at least started by the time I got back, because I was hoping to watch a movie while I ate.

Spoiler alert: this did NOT fucking happen, because fuck my plans in the face.

Since the Thai place had said it'd be 15-20 minutes for my food to be ready I stopped at a convenience store on the way to buy some Reese's Pieces for later snacking. I notice that I've been eating a lot of sweets lately, which makes me think I'm dancing around some kind of depression, over-eating being one of those weird childhood comfort things, candy especially. I don't know what it is specifically bothering me, but there's got to be something kicking around in there. Or I'm just a fat fuck who's giving up on life and will be buried in a piano crate; who knows? Stick around and find out, maybe ya'll can get a betting pool going as to which it'll turn out to be, make a few bucks off the deal.

When I returned with my lunch I noted with dismay that the Lawn Guys hadn't moved a fucking inch, which meant that they'd be here for at least another hour or more, so in an effort to head my aggravation off at the pass I elected to eat in the Office and watch something on Netfux Instant Watch instead of trying to watch a movie in the den in competition with their leaf blowers and the Yorkie freaking out about all of it.Please Hold For Your Message...

Message From Space is a Star Wars rip-off by Kinji Fukasaku in which a ravaged planet sends a handful of what look like magic walnuts out into space in search of heroes to come and help liberate them from their oppressors, which is every bit as fucking strange as it sounds. I only watched about half of the film, but will finish it later in the week, as I kinda have to see how it all shakes out. It's kind of amusing for low budget sci-fi nonsense from the late '70s, but honestly wasn't grabbing me as much as I hoped that it might this afternoon.

The wife got home shortly after the Lawn Guys finally split and she and I caught up for awhile on our respective days, then I left her to chill in the bedroom while I finally settled into the den and popped in my original selection off the To-Watch Pile. Protect Ya Neck.The Raid: Redemption is one of those films like Attack The Block that genre fans have been drumming into my head since it hit the festival circuit at least a year ago, so when it hit Blu-ray last week I figured I'd just blind buy the damned thing, as the trailer looked pretty amazing with some truly jaw-dropping stunts and martial arts sequences. The film paid off for the most part, though the actual ending was somewhat anti-climactic, which is something that I'll obviously adjust expectations for on subsequent re-watches, of which I'm sure there will be several. The only thing I had to really quibble with was that the story is simple, a SWAT team goes into a building filled with criminals looking for a certain leader, and he sets the entirety of the tenants on the team in an effort to protect himself. The cops naturally begin to run out of ammo and are reduced to blades, then hand to hand, and as their battle wears on there are several scenes of people leaving behind knives, machetes, all sorts of things that would come in handy when facing a building full of crazed killers, but I guess you have to build tension where you can, raise the stakes, etc.

The wife was still napping, so I grabbed a couple magazines and spent my usual hour or so in the Library reading and listening to some music on the Pandora app. I've drifted away from jazz in the past week or so and into some trip-hop stuff like DJ Krush which feels equally low-key and relaxing so as not to be distracting while I'm reading.

The wife and Yorkie were up and about when I headed back to 'our' side of the house and we all settled into the den, where I scrolled through the stuff on the TiVo in search of something to watch and clear that thing off a bit.

We ended up watching Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant from 1992, which I knwo I've seen a couple times, but not since the VHS days unless I'm misrembering, so it was something of a fresh experience for me, and the wife had never seen it at all. The really weird thing I noticed was how Goddamned grainy the image looked, you'd think we were watching it on an old VHS tape instead of a hi-def television. I know that there's a Blu-ray out there, I may have to track a copy down and see if it looks any better than the grotty print IFC had to offer. AAAuuugggh! Or Whatever Noise He Makes.Here's how long this had been on the TiVo: IFC wasn't constantly interrupting the movie with their fucking nuisance commercials, which they've been doing for at least a year now, so who know's when I originally recorded this silly thing? I was snapped back to my first days exploring indie cinema when we got Harvey Keitel's full frontal sobbing and drunken antics; hadda joke to the wife that I saw more of Harvey's cock than my own in the late '90s and early '2000s, because man, that guy loves to show it off. Yeesh.

We stepped out for a burger after the movie, then rounded out the night with a new Futurama and tonight's episode of The Soup, just to stay current with everything. I put the wife and Yorkie to bed and got started on this post, bouncing back and forth between writing this and cleaning up a post from two Saturdays ago, because I'm that far behind.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How To Holler Friends And True Blood People

The alarm woke me at 10:00 this morning, just behind the wife and Yorkie getting up and moving, so I got the house opened for the day and fired up the PC to start getting the blog back on track. The wife was dressing for the day when I got up, so I saw her off and then spent an hour and change getting a couple blog posts updated before hopping in the shower myself and making lunch plans with the fellas, as is the normal Tuesday custom.

The suggested restaurant was our alternate Thai place, so DR and I turned up first, waited to be seated and chitchatted while surveying the table after table of dirty dishes in the dining room, as well as the stressed looking waiter and waitress running around like headless chickens trying to keep up with the demand. Once we were finally seated we were joined by EL, who commented that the service had been slow here the last time he and another buddy had eaten, so maybe this wasn't a good sign. We sat for a few more minutes as the front of the place filled with several other assorted groups, none of whom had anywhere to sit because of the dirty tables and then we hear a guy ask about the food that he and his wife have been waiting on for 45 minutes and we all said the hell with this. We ended up at a deli down the road and enjoyed a quick meal, which was for the best, as all of us were rather hungry and not in the mood to piss away the entire afternoon.

I headed home after lunch to find the Yorkie and wife napping in the bedroom, so I spent some time in the Office on the interwebs, then moved into the Library to read for a bit while listening to some jazz on the Pandora app. It was nice to get back into that routine, then I made myself a cocktail and settled into the den as we got into the early evening while the wife got started on dinner. Speaking of routines, I also popped in the DVD of The Addams Family season 2 to get back to my habit of watching those from start to finish. Thank Christ there isn't an ongoing storyline or I'd be completely screwed after two months away from this nonsense.

The wife made steaks, potatoes and a salad for our dinner, so we soon tucked into all that in the den and I started a random selection off the TiVo to pass the time.

Chicks Dig Jerks.How To Lose Friends & Alienate People is based on the memoir of Toby Young, though a brief bit of web searching tells me that the film is largely fictionalized, which would explain why I've never heard of any of the weird shit happening in the film actually happening in 'real life'. Simon Pegg stars as a Brit writer who is hired by an American magazine where he flounders and never seems to get anything right as he tries to climb the social ladder and bed a certain starlet he's enamored of (the rather blah Megan Fox) while his friendship with a co-worker (Kirsten Dunst) threatens to become more than a friendship. Pegg is fun in the role, but he has little to do here beyond act alternately assholish and sympathetic, depending on what emotion the director might need from the audience for a particular scene. It had some amusing bits but isn't anything I really see myself coming back to anytime soon.

We spent the rest of the evening with soem odds and ends off the TiVo, a few random Adult Swim shows that included the latest Aqua Something You Know Whatever and then the first couiple episodes of a show they've been re-running that stars Patton Oswalt called The Heart, She Holler in which he inherits a hollow in the South and is set upon from all sides by other back-biting relatives. It's as absurd as any other live action show that Adult Swim produces and the wife really surprised me with how much she liked it, but Patton Oswalt is always a pretty easy sell and it also co-stars Kristen Schaal, who is always kinda freaky/amusing, so that's something to look forward to. From what I understand this first season is a short and sweet 6 episodes, but there's going to be another season sometime soon, so we'll be caught up and ready to dive into those when they finally happen.

We watched Sunday's episode of True Blood (which I continue to feel is 'jumping the shark' quite a bit this season) and then I put the wife to bed shortly after 10:00 and got started on this post, as I want to get to bed at a reasonable hour if at all possible.

Be seeing you.