Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prisoner Of List Avenue

Here Comes The '80s...
After reading further into The Art Of Howard Chaykin last night I was able to squeeze in about six hours of sleep before the need of the bathroom drove me from the bed. I quickly ducked back under the covers, as I was shooting for a full eight hours if at all possible, so I ignored the sounds of the wife and Yorkie stirring and was able to eke out another hour and change before I finally got up and moving, opening the house for the day and checking in with the family in the kitchen area, where the wife was making coffee under the watchful eye of the pup.

The wife and I compared notes about our plans for the day, then I settled into the Office and spent the rest of the morning and into the early afternoon on the PC working on finally getting the nerdlists finished up from 2012 once and for all. The wife snacked on leftovers from last night for her lunch in between other projects, and I eventually grabbed a bowl for myself when I knocked off for a break to eat and shame-watch the latest episode of Whitney, which I'm praying gets fucking canceled, because she's not cute enough to justify wasting 22 minutes of my week on this dumbass show.

I moved back into the Office and finally got everything for December of last year logged, so that's something of a load off my mind, then I spent the rest of the afternoon getting a couple posts ready to publish ASAP, as I want to start catching this dumb thing up since we're pushing into February at this point. The wife and pup surfaced from the bedroom, having enjoyed a nice nap, then we went through the mail and I made myself a martini before moving into the den to check out something off the To-Watch Pile as a break from the television we've been plowing through since returning from the cruise.

Respect My Ass!
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue fit the bill, in that it was short and breezy, with Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft as a couple whose lives slowly start to unwind as the '70s era troubles hit them: he loses his job, then starts to lose his mind a bit as she goes back to work and struggles with her role as the breadwinner while he lazes around in a drugged daze after a bit of a nervous breakdown. I know this sounds depressing as hell on paper, but it's pretty amusing (Neil Simon wrote it, based on his play) and there's nothing more amusing than a harried Jack Lemmon slowly having a meltdown as more and more things begin to frustrate and irritate him. This was a $3 Big Lots grab and well worth having around.

We got into the evening with last week's episode of The Office in anticipation of tonight's show, then watched the series finale of 30 Rock, which was really funny and sweet, a great capper to the series. We paused in there to step out for a dessert item after some more leftovers for dinner, then blew through a couple new episodes of The Office, which is also on its way out and seems hellbent on making it as complicated as they can as they wrap things up.  The new Archer rounded out the evening, then I put the wife and Yorkie to bed before getting started on this and doing my normal interweb wandering.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Further Listings, Then Television

Formative Stuff, Ladies And
Gentlemen, Very Formative Stuff
For Your Humble Narrator.
Before bed last night I started reading yet another book, this one devoted to The Art Of Howard Chaykin, who was one of my favorite comic creators as I was coming of age, not the least of which was due to the racy nature of his work and the fact that I felt like I was getting a peek into a more 'adult' world that I might not be quite ready for. The book starts off interestingly enough with the man's early years and background, some of which sounds kinda familiar, so I believe it must've been covered in an interview I read awhile back in a magazine, and I made my way up to his first forays into zines last night before crashing out.

The wife and the Yorkie were up early today to head to the Groomer, so I slept in a bit before finally stirring and getting the house opened for the day. After making the bed I grabbed the newspaper from the front walk and fired up the PC to get a Swap A DVD mailing label printed, then lost about an hour poking around the web looking at e-mail, Facebook and other dumb shit. I finally pulled myself away and got dressed to go and run a few errands.

My first stop was the Post Office, then I gassed up the car before a quick detour to Barnes & Noble to pick up a magazine I was missing for the month, then I grabbed a coffee from Starbucks on my way to get the oil changed in the car. I naturally turned up right behind another customer, so that took a bit longer than expected, but also took care of the inspection sticker as well, so that's cool. I called in an order for food to be picked it up from the usual Thai place, then headed to the house to see what the Yorkie and the wife were up to.

We caught up and the wife ate her food that I'd gambled on her being home and interested in, then she and the pup relaxed in the bedroom while I ate in the den and watched the last couple Fox animated shows from our time away, which ate up the mid-afternoon. I drifted into the Office afterward with the determination that I was going to get the nerdlists at least one step closer to being updated, my main drive being that if I can finally put 2012 to bed for good I can start publishing the stuff from the beginning of January, which has been on hold waiting for a link to the completed viewing list from last year. I gave that a good two hours or so, then finally knocked off when I heard the wife and pup start to surface.

The wife busied herself with getting dinner started (chicken spaghetti!) while I settled into the den with a martini and watched last week's episode of Arrow in an effort to stay current, as there was a new one set to air this evening. The wife joined me with dinner as we got into the 2nd episode of Arrow, then we caught up on both The Soup and House Of Lies before calling it a night around 10:30, when I put everyone to bed and then got started on this post in between the usual interweb travels.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lunch, Lists, Television, Etc.

I crashed out last night after reading a little further into The Goon Volume 2: My Murderous Childhood and Other Grievous Years, which is a series that I'm finding that I dig quite a bit, if only for the fluidity of Eric Powell's art style, moving from pen and ink line-work to paintings to really moody grey-scale stuff that sets an amazing tone for the book. It's a ton of fun and an easy thing to drift in and out of as time permits.

The Yorkie kinda nudged me awake near 7:00 AM, which would normally agitate the hell out of me, but I just gave her a little belly rub and told her to go back to sleep, then hit the bathroom. When I returned she was back in her little spot at the end of the bed and I was able to get back to sleep. I eventually heard the wife get up and leave for...something, so I nestled back into the pillows and ignored the sunlight creeping in around the edges of the room until close to 10:00, when I finally surfaced and found the Yorkie sleeping beside me near the wife's pillow, which is always a cute thing to wake up to. I find that she does this from time to time if only one of us is in the bed, she'll settle into the missing person's spot as if to keep it warm for them, it's really charming.

We opened the house for the day and fetched the newspaper, then I fired up the PC to see what the world had been up to while I slept.  After a bit of time online I finally finalized plans for lunch with EL and got dressed to make my way out into the blustery day that was sending dirt and leaves flying every which way.

Further Miike.
This is the final week of the 'upgrade and save' thing, so I hit up Best Buy with a final pile of trade-in crap, picking up a handful of stuff, including a blind buy of the latest Takashi Miike film Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai, which I hadn't even heard of until seeing a Facebook acquaintance mention it last week. It's evidently a re-make of a classic Japanese film of the same name, so I may have more viewing to do than I first thought should I decide to track down the original. I met EL at our usual Mexican place, where he explained that DR was tied up with work and wouldn't be joining us, so I had changed our lunch to this afternoon for nothing, which feels typical of things lately. Oh well. We visited and caught up on the past week or so, then went our separate ways.

My original plan was to gas up the car after lunch, but I decided that the damned wind was a little too biting for my tastes to stand around in it for any longer than necessary, so I just headed home to see what the Yorkie was up to, and if the wife was home yet. I found them in the bedroom, so I caught up on her day and then left them to relax while I spent the afternoon on the PC working on the final leg of the nerdlists, which I honest to God finally see an end to after so much time pissed away trying to get them caught up.

When the wife and pup surfaced it was close to 6:00, so we kinda started making evening plans, then the Older Sister dropped by briefly to get the wife's signature on some things, visiting a bit before she headed home.

The wife and I settled into the den after ordering in deli food, catching up on several more television odds and ends, wrapping the night with the two most recent episodes of Justified, which finally feels like it has found its legs as we get further into this new season.

I put the wife and pup to bed around 10:00, then got started on this post, calling it a night around 1:00 in the AM so I could head to bed and read a bit of The Art Of Howard Chaykin before I go to sleep.

Be seeing you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Errands, Then So Very Much Television...

I think that this post will be one of those 'short and sweet' ones, as most of the day was just spent playing catch-up on all the weird daily minutiae stuff that was ignored for a week while we were out of town.

Last night I slept like a rock, finally in my own bed after a week away, then woke without the alarm this morning, got the house opened up for the day and settled into the Office to work on the blog for a bit and poke around the interwebs a bit, see if I'd missed anything over the past week or so.

I'd been compiling a small list of errands last night that I wanted to try and squeeze in, as I'd lost a week of my normal nerditry, so I dressed for the afternoon and headed out to see what I could see.

My first little mission was to hit up a couple Pawn Shops in pursuit of trade bait for Best Buy's ongoing 'upgrade and save' promotion, which offers a $5 off coupon in exchange for any worthless DVD one chooses to trade in. Unfortunately I wasn't finding much at the various shops that I hit, so I cast my net a bit wider and even tried several Dollar Store locations and finally Goodwill, only turning up about 3 DVDs that seemed cheap/useless enough to dump as part of this promotion.

Calling defeat, I finally grabbed a burger after dropping off the recycling and headed back home for a late lunch. I visited with the wife about her day for a bit, then ate while watching some of last Sunday night's Fox animation fare that I'd missed in the hotel in Miami.

This May Be False Advertising:
I Don't Recall Any Nuns Spewing
Black Ooze From Their Eyes.
I spent some time online in the mid-afternoon, then stepped out for a quick liquor store run before the wife and I ended up in the den with an early dinner and a couple episodes of Enlightened.  After that shows usual battery of problems we moved on to last week's episode of Archer, then the season finale of American Horror Story: Asylum, which really stuck the landing if you will, ending on a great note all the way around.  Good stuff, and I'll happily trust them to take me on another season of weirdness should they choose to; I think this one's already been renewed for a 3rd season at this point.

We wrapped the night with the first two episodes of the new season of Dallas, which is getting increasingly convoluted, so I guess I'll wait that out to see how much of this kind of contrived complications I'll be able to stand...

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day Eight: The Sweaty Return

This morning we woke early after call from In-Laws about our driver's arrival time, which we already knew after the hotel delivered the message to us originally, then the wife poked under their door late last night after we got back from the Cirque show. We'd hoped that they would check it out and be appraised of the situation, but apparently they'd just assumed it was part of the billing and tucked it away.Oh well.

We got dressed and finished the last little bits of packing, then took our stuff downstairs to chill and wait for the In-Laws, who turned up shortly. We chit-chatted and tried to wait patiently for Janey, who finally turned up a short time later, having been completely flummoxed by the stupid marathon.

What's that? Yes, in addition to the marathon that kinda played hell with our ability from get form the port to the hotel yesterday, there was another marathon in full swing this morning, wrapping up around 1:00 or so in the afternoon. This new marathon fucked us at every turn, but we finally made our way to the airport, where the In-Laws were amusingly wheeled into the terminal in wheelchairs, which was sort of overkill but still likely helped expedite things dramatically as far as getting them comfortably from the curb to the terminal without having any linger aches and pains flaring up on us.

Oh, and remember me saying that the Mother In Law will happily accept the preferential treatment if offered? Well, we were walked from the door to the gate, got priority seating and were actually the first people on the plane (ahead of the folks who'd been milling at the gate for God knows how long), and seated in our first class seats to watch the plane fill up. I had to stifle laughter when my wheelchair-riding fellow travelers were passed by a guy with his leg in a cast (!) who limped by on crutches to make his way to the cramped coach seating in the back of the plane. I wouldn't be so amused by the misfortune of others but it just struck me as a bit silly that we'd shoved our way past this poor guy to get seated first, in more comfortable seating. Life's a motherfucker sometimes, y'know?

We were able to enjoy first class accommodations on the this leg of the journey, which was super nice and allowed us to stretch out a bit and enjoy the flight as well as a meal to tide us over, which would turn out to be directly in opposition of the rest of the afternoon's journey.

Once we landed in Houston we made our way to the ass end of the universe where United somehow has a third world country airline terminal still in use that was virtually un-air-conditioned and eventually led us down to the Goddamned tarmac to board the tiny shitbox of a plane, which left me feeling like I was in outtakes from Temple Of Doom, where I'd be sat next to Indiana Jones and a crate full of terrified chickens for the duration of the flight.  It sorta felt as if we were being punished for enjoying the first leg of things being so comfy and relaxing, but there you go, right?

When we landed back home we collected the luggage, all of which had (thank you, Christ) made the journey safe and sound, then we headed to the house, calling in an order for an early lunch along the way.

The Yorkie greeted us in a flurry of activity at the back door, then watched over us as we unpacked and put away luggage just to get it all out of the way and not have to deal with it as we got into next week, then we finally settled into the den and watched the evening's Fox animation stuff, then the last couple episodes of Girls to try and stay current.

I spent a short amount of time online, then called it an early night in an effort to try and stay ahead of the fatigue that I felt creeping in.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day Seven: Miami Tour And Totem

Since we had to be off the ship pretty early this morning I was naturally up and down several times with sinus drainage, just because nothing's ever easy. The wife and I ended up grabbing a bit of breakfast at the buffet just to be doing it, then started making our way down to the theater area where we to wait until we could leave the ship. We ran across the In-Laws along the way, who were just milling in the hallway as if they thought the theater was full, but we went ahead and made our way inside, where seating was plentiful. After chit-chatting with our seat mates for a bit our number was called and we made our way off the ship, only to get bound up again for another 30+ minutes as we got to customs for reasons unknown, just some kinda issue with folks ahead of us. We sort of wondered after the In-Laws, though I kind of suspected that they'd finagled their way off the ship earlier than they were scheduled to, since the Mother In Law's hip can be played up when convenient to get quicker access to this or that.

Once we finally got through customs with our luggage I wasn't surprised to find the In-Laws waiting for us on the other side, having already collected their luggage and located Janey, our driver. I kidded the MIL about bullying her way to the front, but as it turned out they'd simply heard the announcement about people having all their luggage being able to disembark and had made for the shore. Granted, they only had one of their three bags with them, but I suppose that's a reasonable excuse. I was very amused that the MIL kept being offended by my comments that she might bully her way into things, because she happily accepts preferential treatment if it's available, and that hip definitely flares up at...convenient times, let's just say.


Janey fought her way through traffic (the fallout from some half-marathon that was run this morning) until we finally made it back to the Four Seasons. We'd arrived before the rooms were ready, so we had brunch at Edge, the restaurant in the hotel where the wife and I had lunch on the way out last Sunday. When they finally got a room ready we chilled there for a bit, then the wife and I went to the lobby to secure a tour of Miami and a driver for the evening, as we had plans 'off-campus'.

I ended up claiming the room as our own by grabbing a shower just to freshen up a bit, then the wife and I got ready for the tour and got the In-Laws squared away in their room, just to see of it was any different than ours; see how the other half lives. Once we were convinced that all rooms were created equal we headed downstairs to meet David del Rio, who runs All About Miami Tours, a service that offers a semi-private tour of the city in a nice size Mercedes van. There were only three other passengers  a man by himself and another couple who were killing time before their cruise ship departed on Sunday.

Biltmore Hotel.
The tour proper began with Key Biscane, then we made our way around the entirety of the area, including Coral Gables, then stopped briefly for a wander through the Biltmore Hotel, where the wife and I will definitely be staying should we find ourselves in Miami again, because it was simply gorgeous.  We took another short break for a prowl through a cigar shop in Little Havana, then cruised through the touristy nightmare that South Beach apparently has become before wending our way through downtown, where we finally deposited our fellow tourists back at their respective hotels, with the wife and I dropped off last since we'd been picked up last.

It was a great tour and David was a helluva lot of fun, giving equal parts dishy gossip as well as history of the city on the fly, which made things really interesting. We'd definitely suggest booking a tour if you have the chance, it was well worth it.

Cirque Du Soleil Tent. Being
Under The Big Top Was A
Nice Surprise.
We checked in with the In-Laws back at the hotel and related the details of our afternoon outing, then got ready for the evening out. We were met downstairs by a driver and ushered into a Mercedes sedan, which took us to Sun Life Stadium to see Cirque du Soleil's Totem, which was something the wife threw together at the last minute before we left just to give she and I a little 'date night' experience out before heading home.
The only tickets she could score were part of a VIP package that actually worked out well, offering a little lounge area as well as complimentary snacks and drinks before the show and during the 30 minute intermission. The really interesting twist this time around was that the event took place under an actual tent, so not being familiar with the local geography I was left to assume that the tent was actually pitched in the parking lot of the stadium? I honestly never saw anything resembling a sports arena, so who knows? We also ended up with some free swag out of the deal, but the best bit honestly had to be the stunning show. It's crazy to see how they continue to be amazing no matter what crazy shit they throw into the mix. This production featured both Tron-esque characters glowing in the dark while doing acrobatics as well as Native American inspired roller-boogie number which featured tricks on top of a giant drum. Simply amazing stuff.

Our driver was where he said he'd be and ran us back to the hotel, where we both showered or grabbed a bath, then ordered in a late room service dinner before calling it a night. The wife crashed fast while I flipped channels for a bit before turning out the lights, working on the notes for the past few days to be sure I wasn't losing details.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Friday, January 25, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day Six: Metropolis

The hot sauce from yesterday's lunch really did a number on me as I lay down to sleep last night, so I ended up pounding down TWO extra Zantac tablets to finally settle it, which kept me up until close to 2:00 in the morning when it was all said and done. The ship's announcement service woke me this morning around 9:00, so I started getting dressed to go grab a bite to eat at the breakfast buffet upstairs, accidentally waking the wife in the process, so she got up and joined me. We had a decent little meal upstairs, then came back down to our floor to bug the In-Laws and see what they were up to.

We visited for a bit, nailing down plans for the day, then the wife and I went down to the little coffee bar on deck 5 to get a tasty beverage. We saw Ben Mankiewicz getting coffee as well, having just finished the morning bingo thing that he hosted this week, so that was kinda fun to see him out and about saying hello to folks and mingling a bit.

I dropped the wife back at the room, where she got ready to kill some time at the pool in advance of the massage she had scheduled. I picked up the Beau and we went down the the cinema in the aft section to check out a screening of a documentary called Metropolis Found, which looks into the discovery of lost footage added back into the most recent restoration of this silent classic. This was all well and good until it became apparent about 5 minutes into the program that the film had no subtitles available, so you have a ton of people speaking Spanish or Dutch, doing most of us no good whatsoever. They re-scheduled for 4:00 this afternoon, but I feel like I'll end up blowing it off in favor of just catching the film with live musical accompaniment this evening.

The Beau and I took a stroll and said hello to the Mother In Law, who was playing around in the casino, then headed up to our floor, where we went our separate ways for the afternoon.

I grabbed the iPad and headed down to the coffee/bar area to see if the dodgy interweb service was behaving any better today so that I could check e-mail and poke around Facebook just for the hell of it.
While writing up the notes for this post I ended up spending the better part of ten minutes eyeballing a woman at the coffee bar who sure as hell looked like the MIL, but I couldn't be sure, so I decided to let her be instead of trying to wave her down and looking like some kinda jackass.

After checking on the wife I made my way up to the buffet to grab a few slices of pizza to tide me over until what I expected to be a late-ish evening. The wife and I finally went down to the theater for the showing of Metropolis, which was to have live accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra. We were unable to connect with the In-Laws, so we figured that the Beau would turn up if he was still interested. He did indeed join us just before showtime, and then Robert Osborne introduced the film, apologizing for the snafu with the documentary earlier.

For Her, All 7 Deadly
The film was amazing on the big screen, and the music really set it off. The only minor downside was an older couple who came in at least 30 minutes late, then basically talked among themselves the entire time they were seated behind the wife and I. We gave them shitty looks until they left, which was mere moments before I was going to finally just turn around and be an asshole about it.

"Hey, I hope this movie we're trying to watch isn't interrupting your fucking conversation!"

The wife left about halfway through the film to catch a presentation called Joan Crawford's Home Movies, which were narrated by one of her grandchildren, a man who's devoted his life to trying to convince people she wasn't a total bitch, so good luck with all that, right?

The Beau and I headed to the In-Laws room after the movie, both agreeing that Metropolis was the highlight of the week for us.

I stopped to leave a note for the wife to meet us in the other room, then we ordered in an assortment of room service for a late dinner. Once the wife joined us we were served food, everyone wolfing down a quick burger or sandwich before we called it a night.

The wife crashed while I finished packing and put our bags outside the room for the bell hops to drag downstairs for tomorrow morning's disembarkation. I watched some Adult Swim re-runs to wind down, then crashed around 1:00 or so to try and squeeze in 7 hours sleep.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day Five: Cozumel, Mexico And A Woman's World

The wife woke ahead of me this morning, dressed quietly and went up to the buffet to grab some breakfast, which she brought back to the room to snack on while I finally got up and moving. The ship was to dock in Cozumel, Mexico today shortly before noon local time, so we did our best to be ready to move when we could finally head ashore.

The vague plan was just lunch on the beach if at all possible, then who knows what afterward, In-Laws depending. After getting dressed we met them in their room and visited for a bit before heading downstairs to begin the process of going ashore. I was rather pleased that the Mother In Law was willing to go ashore and play around with us, as this place had been her downfall on the very first cruise we took, when she fell trying to save Grandmother from going down and ended up breaking her own hip in the process.

Hope You Brought Your Tennis
Shoes, It's A Bit Of A Long Haul.
The pier was something of a ridiculous hike, so by the time we hit the weird tourist trap area of shops that you have to fight your way out of to get to the street we were already noticing that the In-Laws were both feeling their typical aches and pains that bother them after a long jaunt, so I started to get a bit nervous as to whether we'd even get them into a cab or not at the rate we were going. After finally finding our way out of the rat maze of shops we fought our way through the various scam guys trying to con us into this trip or that and secured a taxi van in front of what looked like a nearby hotel. This driver also tried to harangue us into going to whatever bullshit tourist trap that the placard he carried with him advertised, but my sweet wife stuck to her guns and requested a trip far away from the madding crowds to Playa Azul, which was a tiny beach sandwiched  between two small hotels that actually looked deserted and abandoned as we approached. The MIL balked slightly, but we pressed on and had what turned out to be one of the best experiences of the cruise, a restaurant all but completely to ourselves, plus great fresh food and a little bit of surf to play in. All in all, a wonderful afternoon.

We finally headed back, the driver depositing us in front of the little rabbit warren of tourist trap nonsense, which we picked our way through before hitting security and then making our way onto the ship. Both of the In-Laws had their various aches and pains along the way, but we took our time and got everyone back aboard safely, so it's all good.

We chilled in our room with the In-Laws for a few (they were curious how the other half lives), then they retired to their room for the afternoon, the plan being to get together for dinner later in the evening.

I left the wife to shower and headed down to the bar on deck 5 to sign into the interwebs and look at e-mail and whatnot, then work on the ongoing notes for the blog. The Internet connection was complete dogshit this afternoon, so I soon gave up on that and spent my afternoon sipping Old Fashioneds, writing about this morning's events and people-watching, pretty much how I spent yesterday afternoon as well.

Peter Lorre By Al Hirschfeld. 
I eventually enjoyed a few complimentary dessert items before settling my tab and heading out to take a prowl through the various shops, which the wife has strangely ignored on this trip. There's an Al Hirschfeld exhibit onboard, and I was keen to  check that out and see if there were any items I might need in the surrounding gift shops. Finding nothing of any particular note, I headed up to the room and visited with the wife a bit before we both napped for awhile before the phone rang, which turned out to be the In-Laws asking if we were still going to dinner.

As it turned out, the wife had set her alarm on the iPhone, but the stupid time had rolled back to Cozumel time while we were ashore, so both our phones are currently off by an hour until we get back to the States. We threw on our clothes and met them in their room before heading up to the Tuscan Grill for a really nice meal, though it did kinda skate around being too fancy for its own good here and there as far as flavor combos might go. I also resolved that should I ever have to marry again I think I wanna marry a Russian girl, as I find their accent amazingly charming. Our Ukrainian waitress stuffed us to the gills over four courses including dessert, then we finally called it a night. A woman at a nearby table pointed out that Arlene Dahl and Sally Ann Howes were dining at a table on the other side of a certain partition, so we even got in a little celeb-watching as we walked to the elevator.

Indeed It Is.
After dropping the In-Laws back at their room the wife and I went down to deck five, where you could be photographed in front of a green screen, then placed into a scene from The Maltese Falcon, so we decided to take advantage of me actually wearing a suit this evening and get our picture made. Afterward we went up to the room and I changed into something a bit more comfy before we went for a prowl through the shops downstairs, where we picked up a handful of TCM souvenirs, just to say that we did. After depositing the wife back at 'home' I went down to the theater on 4 to queue up for the 10:15 showing of Woman's World, which was introduced by Robert Osborne and one of the stars, one Arlene Dahl, who we'd just seen in the restaurant an hour and change earlier.

The movie turned out to be a helluva lot of fun, and something I really wish the wife would've seen with me, but I'll be buying it if possible after we get home, so I'll foist it on her soon enough. The wife woke briefly when I got back to the room, so I kinda ran through a few scenes in the movie, then settled into bed and finished up the notes for this post while re-watching part of The Third Man off the TCM Channel in the room.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day Four: The Grand Caymans And A Catered Affair

We slept with no alarm last night, so the telephone startled us awake when the Mother In Law called to see what our plan was, which pretty much consisted of no plan whatsoever aside from lunch in the Grand Caymans and maybe some sight-seeing or what have you.

The wife and I dressed quickly to join them in their room before heading downstairs to go ashore. We also got an amusing tale of the In-Laws getting called out for their in-room smoking, which honestly didn't surprise me, as they were doing it casually in front of the room service types, so I figure it's only a matter of time before someone bitches about it.

We headed downstairs unsure of where we needed to be to go ashore, so the wife and I gambled and guessed the same deck where we came aboard, which was naturally not the case. We made our way to deck one and boarded the tender, which navigated the gorgeous green (yet choppy) waters to deposit us on the island itself.

Once ashore we kinda circled a bit before finally nailing down a taxi driver who agreed to take us on a tour of the island, trying to see more than the tourist-ridden beaches and shopping areas that were in our immediate vicinity. This was a fun little ride, revealing some interesting areas that still have yet to recover from a hurricane that ravaged the area in 2004. There are also a ton of wild chickens that populate the island, which naturally amused me to no end.

We had a fairly early lunch at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, which we had to wait around to actually see open, but we had fun sitting in the nearby public area and just kinda people-watching for about 30 minutes waiting on the restaurant to open. The food was great and I decided to try their twist on the Manhattan, which was super tasty and inspired me to order one for the MIL, as she'd enjoyed the sip I gave her. We finished the meal with a couple of coffees, then met our impromptu driver, who gave us a winding tour of the rest of the island to slowly make our way back to the docks.

The In-Laws In The Little Holding Area,
Waiting To Return To The Ship.
The Beau joked a bit as the tender floundered a bit as it docked and unloaded, saying that he might wait for the next one since the guy driving this one had him anxious for his life, then I'll be damned if the guy didn't fight with it for about five tries before we could get the boat aligned to the little gangplank area. It was definitely a tense moment, because he basically kept slamming the little boat against the side of the cruise ship as the guys on the ship tried desperately to rope things together long enough to get our asses off of there safely. Not the best way to end the nice little outing, but at least we survived it.

Back on the ship I took a nice long shower before heading down to one of the bars/wi-fi hotspots to check e-mail and work on the blog while the wife slept for a bit. I had a few Old Fashioneds (since the bartender seemed to actually know how to make one) and kinda people-watched for a bit. Happily, I was able to punch up the notes for our first day of travel, which had thus far eluded me due to simple fatigue and disinterest.

I finally headed back upstairs to see what the wife was up to and what our evening plans might be. We ended up several floors below at the (in)formal dining room with the Beau, where they feature open seating and a more casual attire, which was a nice change of pace compared to other ships we've been on, which will kinda force you to sit in a certain area and assign you to a table full of random assholes that you'll be stuck with on the entire trip. The MIL elected to chill in the room, as the day's outing had kinda taken it out of her. We were sat with a delightfully friendly group of random folks, which hasn't always been the case in the past, so the meal was passed over interesting conversation and some really good food, which was kind of a change from the buffet experience from our last few outings as well.

Ya Can't Keep Up With The
The wife and I dropped the Beau off at the room, visiting a bit with the MIL, then we headed downstairs again, stopping for a cocktail at the casino bar on our way to the theater to catch Robert Osborne and Debbie Reynolds introducing The Catered Affair, in which Reynolds plays a girl from a poor family whose mother and father (Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine, respectively) are put in a financial bind when Davis decides that her daughter must have the lavish wedding that she herself was denied. The film was really good and Reynolds is still cute as shit, especially when giving little anecdotes about her time on the movie. The wife found the film rather sweet, and we both enjoyed it immensely.

We finally headed back to the room and got comfy, the wife crashing out while I watched some random crap off Adult Swim until I got sleepy.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day Three: The Screenings Begin

After absolutely ruining the bathroom last night I was surprisingly able to get some rest, waking with no alarm shortly before 8:00 in the morning as the sun began to peek through the curtains. I tossed and turned a bit more before the wife stirred as well and we both dressed while comparing notes on the previous evening, then headed up one level to the little buffet area for some breakfast.

We ate and I did my best to re-hydrate after last night's chaos, then we went back down to our floor to bug the In-Laws, who were in the middle of their room service breakfast. I gave them a broad sketch of my evening, sparing them the truly gory details, then the wife and I left to attend Fragments, a feature length documentary piece about various lost films, of which only the presented snippets or trailers remain. It was pretty interesting and actually made me a bit more curious to look into the work of Clara Bow, who I've always thought was cute but had no real idea about her career other than that she was a silent film star.

My Intro To The Lovely
Arlene Dahl. Good Stuff.
We tried to look in on the In-laws after the movie but found their room empty, so I let the wife crash for a short nap while I read for a bit and flipped channels on the television, then we headed downstairs to the larger theater in the front of the ship where Robert Osborne and Arlene Dahl introduced Journey To The Center Of The Earth, which was a first time watch for both of us. It was pretty good, though I will say that I was kind of feeling that second hour of the film, as it seemed to drag on for me slightly and I was ready for James Mason and Co. to be done with their titular 'journey'.

We found the In-Laws at 'home', so we caught up with them and then the Mother In Law joined us in the buffet for an early dinner so that we'd be done by the time the wife and I's pedicures were supposed to happen. The buffet takes on a much more depressing vibe once the sun goes down; there was just a weird look to everything that reminds me of Las Vegas for some reason.

We deposited the MIL back at her room and then headed downstairs to the spa area, where two Jamaican ladies did our feet. They were quite a pair, and they cut up a lot with the other ladies as they slowly started winding things down for the night. On the walk back to the room we passed through a largely deserted indoor pool area and were both pretty sure we interrupted some lady giving her old man a hand job in the public hot tub like some kind of animals, so that was something to write about. The wife's comment later: "I don't know that we interrupted anything, they didn't seem to care that people were walking though!"

I dropped the wife off at the room and then went a few floors down to look into the logistics of using the Internet cafe. The Beau had given me his pre-purchased interweb info because he was having issues connecting with his phone due to browser issues, so he figured if I used it at least his time wouldn't go to waste. I was able to finally get the iPad connected, so I breezed through my email just to see if anything important had come through, which, big surprise, it hadn't.

Those Darned Hoods And
Their Dames, I Tellya!
After making sure to sign out so as to not burn through the remaining time, I headed back up to our room to chill for about an hour and debate going back down to the theater for a final film for the day.

I finally decided what the hell and left the wife to crash for the night and went downstairs to watch Underworld, which was introduced by Ben Mankiewicz. It's a silent film by Josef von Sternberg from 1927 that was accompanied musically by the Alloy Orchestra, and I dug it quite a bit. I was also very surprised to see that the 'orchestra' consisted of a mere three men playing various instrumentation, but they more than made up for it in their sound. It was a really nice way to end to day, snacking on some popcorn and enjoying a soda in the dark with a bunch of strangers.

Watchable, But Still Largely
Afterward I headed back up to the room and found the wife still surprisingly awake, so we visited a bit, then she went to sleep as I stayed up for a bit giving The Amazing Spider-Man a re-watch off the in-room movie channels. It's an okay watch, and I might up my initial rating by a point or so, but it's still such a big pile of pointless that it's hard to imagine why they would bother making it. I do think that Andrew Garfield looks a helluva lot like the Mark Bagley version of the character though, that's rather impressive to be sure, but do we really need another Goddamned version of the character's origin? Radioactive spider, we get it. Moving on, y'know?

I finally crashed out around 2:00 or so after working up the notes for this post, which is more in line with my normal sleeping schedule.

Be seeing you.

Monday, January 21, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day Two: In Which I Am Overserved

Come Sail Away...
We both slept like rocks last night , then woke this morning at 10:00, dressed and touched base with the In-Laws to see what their plans might be. We dropped our luggage off in the In-Laws room for later transport downstairs by the bellman, then we headed down to the Edge Restaurant for an early lunch. We were pretty much the first people in the restaurant for lunch, so we were easily seated and had a great meal before meeting the In-Laws in the upstairs lobby and heading down to the ground floor to meet our driver, who turned out to be the same gal as yesterday.

Janie drive us to the Port Of Miami, where the whole boarding process turned out to be amazingly simple compared to other cruises, so that was pretty cool as we breezed through the various checkpoints and information desks to get on board the ship. Once aboard ship we found our room and kinda took it all in, then reconvened in the In-Laws' room for some complimentary champagne and general visiting while we waited for the ship to finally get underway.

Debbie Reynolds, Looking As
Spry As Ever.
The muster drill found us in the casino, where we didn't even have to wear our life vests, which I suspect was due to the average age of the Turner Classic Movie Cruise participant, because I can't imagine how much a ton of old folks would bitch if they made them wear a silly vest unless they absolutely had to be wearing the stupid thing, y'know? Who knows, maybe I just assume that old folks are grouchier than they really are, but it just felt like the sort of thing that the cruise line had given up on fighting them about. We watched an employee run through the routine for putting on and adjusting the vest, then were amused to see celebrity guest Debbie Reynolds trotted through to kinda kick things off. I was able to snap a blurry photo of her on the fly, so that was cool and possibly the only celebrity sighting I expected to have on the cruise, just because I didn't want to come away feeling let down. Once the drill portion was over we poked around for a bar, ending up a bit down the way at the Martini Bar where we found some seating and I spent time at the bar trying to catch the bartender's eye. While standing around there for what felt like forever I found myself standing next to Ain't It Cool News creator Harry Knowles, who I said hello to and spoke with briefly.  He's apparently onboard with his wife and father and seemed like a nice enough guy, so that was something of an unexpected surprise to kick off the trip.

Next we headed up a few decks to the 'sail away party', celeb-spotting a bit as we finally caught sight of Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz, Mickey Rooney (who's still alive ?!?) and Alex Trebek of all people; I think he's meant to be a surprise guest. We kinda cooled our heels by the railing for a bit and had a hamburger from the nearby grill area while watching the crowd and debating further exploration or finding someplace to kinda chill for a bit.

The Mother In Law was curious to hit up the casino once it had opened, so we headed down there and it's around this point in the evening that things get a bit sketchy. Y'see, if I'm doing the math correctly, I'd had several drinks (at least 3 at this point), coupled with very little food and the earlier champagne (why the fuck would I mix and match my alcohol?) at this point in the evening, so I was feeling kinda green, and by the time we headed back up to the room I was immediately ill, then passed the fuck out completely  until around 2:00 in the AM. And when I say I was ill, I mean that I completely ruined the bathroom for the entire week, like, in a big bad way. Yikes.

I woke up, noted a clogged sink that I had a sinking feeling involved me, barfed again from the motion of the ocean, but that finally felt like I'd 'hit bottom' as it were and would allow my stomach to relax a bit. I took my normal handful of medications and crashed out again after dummying up notes for this post on the iPhone. I made a point of doing the notes at this point just because I knew I'd start losing details immediately after the rough evening I'd brought on myself.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

TCM Cruise Trip Day One: Our Houston Nightmare

Today we woke at the crack of dawn, packed our stuff around the increasingly anxious Yorkie, put the key out front for Brian and then headed off to the airport to catch a plane, first to Houston, then a second flight to Miami, where we were to spend the night before the cruise.

We found parking and then met the In-Laws at the ticketing counter and made our way through security and  piddled around a bit before boarding the plane. We were flying United Airlines this time around and the plane was an over-heated shitbox nightmare because they couldn't cool it off for some random reason. We spent almost an hour on the ground as they tried to fix...whatever the fuck, then we finally departed, though we are flying lower than usual or some such shit due to the heat and FAA regulations. We hit Houston airspace and were put in a holding pattern while we waited for fog to burn off. This didn't happen, and after an hour or more of this shit we were diverted to Austin to refuel and basically wait around to see if the fog would eventually dissipate, which blended from a 40 minute wait into almost 2 hours before it was all said and done. We finally made it to Houston, by which time the Mother In Law's Beau had re-scheduled the connecting flight, one of the only saving graces of the fog being that no one else could get in or out either, so we still had a flight to actually catch.

We traipsed our way through the Houston airport, which looked like a more hopeless version of Ellis Island after everyone's flight was bumped or canceled all morning, leading to this ridiculous sea of people that you had to fight your way through as you got off the plane. I mean, people were just laying on the fucking floor looking defeated at this point, it was kinda crazy. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and took a prowl through the little newsstand before hopping in line to catch our connecting flight.

View From The Four Seasons
In Miami.
We arrived in Miami with little fanfare, then walked the fucking entirety of the airport before we finally found the baggage claim, where our driver Janie was waiting for us. We loaded into the suburban and were driven to the Four Seasons, which has their check-in on the 7th floor, then the guest rooms above that, which is a bizarre system in my experience, but what do I know about hotel management, right?

The wife had made noise about getting out for dinner but after the grueling slog that the day had become, spending 7+ hours trapped on airplanes we pretty much decided to just be in for the night and let room service take care of us.

I grabbed a nice long soak in the tub while the wife ordered in food, then we ate and watched a good chunk of the normal Sunday night animation fare before crashing out.

Since we don't have to leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow we slept with no alarm, which always makes me feel like a wildman.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scary Saturday (Or: An Idiot Packing)

Today was to be the 'big day', as it were, my last day to get the blogging stuff updated to a reasonable point before we went out of town for a week, but after I got up with the alarm and worked on it for a few hours this morning it became apparent that my best laid plans to get things caught up (both blogging and nerdlist-wise) were just not going to happen, because I could essentially spend the entire day on the web and still maybe not get it done, so I finally said fuckit, because I'm well past caring about this stuff save for the daily rituals of it. I'm sure it will all get published eventually, but I'm just not going to kill myself to get it together, because it has a following that I can count on my fingers and I'm sure they can get by without it until the end of this month.

The wife had made plans to have an early lunch with Brian, who is also supposed to be our house sitter next week while we're out of town on this cruise we're taking, so we dressed and met him at Olive Garden ahead of the normal crowds that proliferate there. We had a good meal, then stepped across the way to poke around at Barnes & Noble, where I turned up a cheap book and grabbed a coffee. The wife had been questing for a Sudoku book for the plane but didn't find anything that she wanted, so we eventually said our goodbyes to Brian and went our separate ways. We made a deposit at the wife's bank then headed back to the house, where I spent more time on the web while the wife crashed out for a nap.

Since I had very little time to try to squeeze in a movie this afternoon, I naturally ended up re-watching a total piece of shit that the TiVo had randomly recorded as a suggestion. Thus, I found myself in the den sitting through Scary Movie 3, which was as silly as I remembered it being the first time around, but there I sat, taking it all in, quietly judging both the movie and myself the entire time.

They Are Very Animated Characters,
Har De Har Har. 
The wife busied herself with some preparations for packing, which we're trying not to do until the last minute so as not to upset the Yorkie any more than necessary, then she stepped out and picked up our dinner around 6:00 or so. When she returned we watched a DVD that'd arrived in today's mail from Shout! Factory, Kevin Smith's SModimations, which animates the podcast that he does with Scott Mosier in a similar fashion to The Ricky Gervais Show on HBO, though these are a lot looser than what Gervais and co does just because of the riffing nature of Smith's show. We also caught a video-taped version of Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, which is the show that Smith does with Jason Mewes that more often than not riffs on Mewes and his on-again, off-again sobriety.

After that ended we dug straight into the season premiere of An Idiot Abroad season 3, which this time sees Karl Pilkington dispatched on a series of adventures accompanied by Warwick Davis, who Ricky seems to think will prove to be a great irritant for Karl, as Davis is so upbeat about things.

We called it a night shortly after this, because we have to be up at the crack of fucking dawn to catch a plane, and I mean, we literally have to set an alarm for 5:00 AM or some such shit, which feels a little ridiculous unless this is the only flight out of here tomorrow, but I suppose I should just say thanks for the nice trip and try to be upbeat about it.

Be seeing you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Farewell, My Friday

But Back To JERSEY? Yeesh.
In keeping with the habit of the past few days I was up until around 3:00 re-reading more of the Hate stuff by Peter Bagge (into volume 4 now: Buddy Go Home!), then crashed out and slept until sinus issues woke me about four hours later, because who needs a good night's sleep? I was up and down because of that a few times, then finally woke with the alarm at 9:30 feeling pretty rested in spite of myself. The wife and Yorkie were already up and about, and the wife was kind enough to make a cup of coffee for me to help get me moving, so I thanked her for that and got the house opened for the day. I was relieved to see that the Yorkie looks to be feeling back to normal, so we'll just be hoping for the best as we go out of town next week.

As with yesterday, I spent the morning in the Office listening to podcasts off the iPhone while working on updating the nerdlists. The wife busied herself in the Craft Room in the front, drifting in here and there to sort through different stuff, and I eventually came to a stopping point around 1:00 and decided to grab a bite to eat. I took the wife's order and hit up a drive-thru for a burger and a chicken sandwich for the wife, then headed back home to chill and eat in the den with a little something off the TiVo.

She Gave Me A Smile I Could
Feel In My Hip Pocket.
Farewell, My Lovely is a 1975 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel of the same name, which stars Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, and I really fell for the film from the opening credits, which went a long way towards capturing a certain feel for the Los Angeles of the Noir classic while also being a color film. I really enjoyed Mitchum's delivery of the hard boiled dialog and it was really amusing to see Sylvester Stallone and Joe Spinell in early bit parts, since they both looked so young. Well, Sly looked young, Spinell looked like a young pineapple - sorry, but that poor bastard just was never a handsome man, not even in his youth. The movie was a lot of fun, and I was amused to note that the female lead was a younger Charlotte Rampling (around age 30) playing opposite Mitchum, who was pushing 60 at the time if I'm not mistaken, so I guess Hollywood will always be cool with older men/younger women, but rarely vice-versa.

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's An
Both the wife and I piddled with our various projects some more in the late afternoon, then finally settled in the den of the evening as I made myself a dirty martini and popped in something short off the To-Watch Pile to pass the time while Nikita recorded. Secret Origin: The Story Of DC Comics is a random Big Lots purchase that (duh) covers the history of the company from the '30s up to present day, or at least present day a few years back. It was interesting, and while it didn't exactly give me any huge insights that I dork like myself wouldn't already be aware of, I did find it enjoyable and interesting to hear the various creators speak about it in their own words.

We ordered in pizza because it just seemed easiest, then caught tonight's new episode of Nikita while the series finale of Fringe recorded. I've decided that I'll be just breaking down and giving the entire series a re-watch so that I can just breeze in and marathon my way through the final series, which I watched about two episodes of before falling behind when we were out of town. Now the real trick will be avoiding assholes anxious to spoil everything for me on the web in the interim, but I'm hoping for the best. Since it's not as popular as something like Lost I'm thinking I may be able to avoid stumbling into details that I don't want to know, but definitely want to get into it sooner than later.

We wrapped the night with another couple episodes of Portlandia, which we're now finally current with, which means we'll be digging into them as they air from now on, so that's cool.

I put the wife and pup to bed, then half-assed watched a couple Family Guy re-runs on Adult Swim before finally getting started on this post.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cooley Thursday

The alarm woke me this morning at 9:30, with the wife out of the house and the Yorkie still alive, which was a relief. When I went to bed last night she was still moping around and acting as if she couldn't get comfortable in any of her normal positions, which is always nerve-wracking, as you know she's hurting or whatever but have no idea how to help her exactly. I went to sleep after reading for a bit with the assumption that she'd end up at the vet in the morning, so I was surprised to find her still in bed with me when I woke.

I texted the wife and asked if they'd been to the vet or not, just to see what to expect, and she told me that the dog had seemed better in the AM and had eaten after taking another dose of medicine, so I guess fingers crossed, eh?

I spent the morning in the Office with the various nerdlists, which I continue to plug away at for no good reason other than I will by God fucking get them caught up if only to satisfy my own meager interests in the whole process, then started to think about lunch as it got closer to noon. When I started moving towards the door the Yorkie showed some signs of life, so I took the opportunity to let her take a ramble through the backyard while she was up for it, then I grabbed some drive-thru Mexican food for my lunch and finally settled into the den to eat and watch a little something off the TiVo.

It Was The Best Of Times,
It Was The Worst Of Times...
Cooley High is a Blaxploitation flick that I'd just never gotten around to over the years, and I was really happy to finally have a chance to give it a peep off the MGM HD channel. Glynn Turman and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs play the two leads, though we sort of follow a small group of friends (all of whom are decent kids) as they skip school, play grab ass with girls from the neighborhood and basically try to act older than they really are. The film is set in mid-'60s Chicago and seems to capture a very real feeling of what the various lower class neighborhoods would be like to live in or wander through. The film is really well made, and I enjoyed the characters immensely from start to finish, even if the film manages to end on a fairly sad note compared to how it started off.

The wife turned up in the middle of the movie to be on a conference call, so we exchanged brief greetings, then she went to do that while I was finishing the film. She split shortly afterward to go and get a manicure, so I ended up back in the Office to work on the nerdlists for a bit more until the wife returned.

We eventually ordered in deli food and watched a handful of Portlandia episodes, finally making it into the new season that's been collecting on the TiVo. We moved on to the new 30 Rock, Parks And Recreation and The Office, then wrapped the night with the season premiere of Archer. I put the wife and Yorkie to bed, then picked up the kitchen a bit before finally getting started on this post, even if I'm not entirely sure I'll get it published anytime soon.

The Yorkie has now eaten several times over the course of the day, and has shown more life than she did last night, but she wound the evening down looking kinda mopey in the bed with the wife, so I don't know if we're out of the woods yet. I say again, fingers crossed.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Upgrade And Maid In Television

Fun Being Something Of A
Relative Term Here...
When I went to bed last night I devoted another hour of my time to my ongoing re-read of Peter Bagge's Hate series, starting in on volume 3 of the series. The book holds up well, and is as funny as it was on the first run, reading issue by issue back in the '90s. The funny thing is that I don't even remember what first got me into this revisit in the first place, but I did have to pick up the last two collections, just because I'd never grabbed them as they originally came out, and I wasn't sure if I actually had the entire series in individual issues, so I figured I'd just hedge my bets and grab the trades to be safe.

I set the alarm for 9:00 this morning, because I knew that we had the Maid allegedly on the schedule, so I wanted to have time to shower and get some stuff together before she was underfoot. The wife was already up and moving, so I greeted her and the pup before opening the house for the day and then settling in the Office to get a few DVDs ready to take to Best Buy to dump as part of their 'upgrade and save' promotion.

I picked up the bedroom a bit, mostly sorting some piles of books and junk that'd be a pain in the ass to clean around should the Maid actually fucking show up as we expected. I hopped in the shower next and got cleaned up, then finally settled in the Office to work on the nerdlists until 11:00, which is when the Maid was supposedly going to arrive. By ten minutes after the hour I was telling the wife that I was going to look into a professional service this afternoon, once we had the house picked up (assuming she turned up), because she's MIA for a month, then we tell her 11:00 and she blows the time? Fuck off.  When she rolled in around 11:15 or so I let the wife answer the door, because I would just have been an asshole about it, then got ready to go run my errands, because I wanted to get a few things done in advance of meeting EL for lunch.

The throw that I had bought back when J From Little Rock and DD were in town was still hanging around, not matching anything in the Library, so I ran it back to Target to return it, then made my Best Buy run, turning up a decent little assortment of titles, including an upgrade of Fight Club, just because they actually had a copy with the little slipcover and for $5 out of pocket after the coupon. I figured what the hell, right? I used the final coupon the drop the newly released Taken 2 down to $14.99, just because it came with a free t-shirt, which for some idiotic reason sweetened to deal for me. So...marketing works, I suppose, sue me.

Since I was ahead of my self proposed schedule I decided to pop into Barnes & Noble, where I found a few periodicals to add to the always growing pile and then made my way over to the restaurant that EL and I had agreed upon. He turned up shortly and we visited over a nice meal, during which he told me a wild story about how DR has become bizarrely interested in a waitress over in Odessa, but in a kinda creepy way, as she's half his age (21) and from all evidence not interested in him beyond a tip, but he'd gotten it in his head...well, he's just a very one track minded kinda guy, so it's easy for him to read volumes into situations if someone doesn't give him a reality check here and there. EL had apparently talked him down before he got too creepy about things, but I was still glad that I kinda missed out on all this nonsense.

After we said our goodbyes I hit up Starbucks on the way home, then ignored the Maid, who was still at her tasks and headed to the Office and started working on the nerdlists until the wife got home, then she and I caught up on our respective days and eventually sent the Maid on her way. I called the local service immediately and got details about how we could get on their waiting list for service, so fingers crossed for that, but evidently we can't shitcan our current useless one quite yet. Drat.

The wife and the pup relaxed in the bedroom while I spent the next few hours working on first the blog, then the nerdlists, which I'm determined to get somewhat current by the end of this week, leaving me two more days.  Fingers crossed.

When the wife and Yorkie surfaced we discussed dinner, then the wife and I got out to grab some take-out, returning to find the Yorkie moping around, so I gave her fresh food in hopes that she was merely holding out for something other than what she had. She did finally eat, so the wife held off of giving her any medicine and we all chilled in the den while watching new episodes of Arrow, Supernatural and The Soup.

We were nearing the end of American Horror Story: Asylum when the Yorkie barfed up her undigested food, then immediately tried to eat it again, which isn't anything she's done before (to my knowledge), so we broke down and gave her a dose of the allergy stuff to try and settle her stomach, both wondering what the hell had suddenly upset her. As usual, it's a complete mystery, but it does fall in line with her near infallible habit of getting sick within a few days of us leaving for a trip; it's almost like clockwork. So frustrating, and of course there's that awful paralyzed feeling of not knowing exactly how to help her, knowing that she's uncomfortable, etc. She and the wife relocated to the bedroom, though she eventually came and joined me in the Office, still looking as if she can't find a position to be comfortable in.

Poor thing, it's driving me crazy.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


The wife had the day off from jury duty today, but was instructed to call in the evening to find out if she'd been released for good or not, so when I woke (without the alarm, which was set but did not go off for whatever reason), I found both she and the Yorkie in the Office. I said good morning and got the house opened for the day, then settled in to work on the nerdlists, which will be my focus until the end of the week I guess, as I need to get them caught up before I can 'close the books' on last year, which I'm only 2 posts shy of doing at this point.

After piddling with the PC for a few hours I took the wife's lunch order and stepped out into the frigid afternoon to grab us some take out, which was pretty painless in spite of being in the thick of the lunch rush, so thank God for small favors. Back at the house I delivered the wife's food to her in the bedroom, where she ate while watching her usual afternoon trash TV stuff, so I settled in the den after making a fire and ate my food over last week's episode of Elementary, which was pretty interesting in that they finally teased the Moriarty character, though they did a bit of a mislead to allow for further twists down the road.

Holmes At His Very Snarkiest, And
What's Not To Love?
That show got me in the mood to re-watch the Robert Downey Jr. incarnation of the character, so I fetched the Blu-rays of those films from the bedroom and hunkered down for an afternoon of Guy Ritchie action, starting with Sherlock Holmes from 2009. It's something I've seen a few times before, and it holds up well, especially the bickering and banter between RDJ and Jude Law's Watson, they have a really fun rapport.  I was pleased to blow through that re-watch while checking in on The Simpsons and enjoying the fire, then even had a nip of the Absinthe that we still have hanging around in the late afternoon, just because it felt appropriate for the time period portrayed in the film.

A Pony, Har De Har Har. Still
Worth A Watch Though.
I eventually moved on to a first time viewing of Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, which was a pretty decent sequel, though they did kill off a character fairly casually that I was expecting to be around for another sequel or so, but what are you gonna do? There was also a fairly silly bit about Holmes refusing to ride a horse because of an irrational fear of them, so they throw him on a Shetland pony, which just felt kind of dumb and a sight gag just for the sake of having a sight gag, but again, it's a minor quibble in the face of fun action bits and gorgeous set pieces.

The wife and Yorkie joined me, or at least the wife did; the Yorkie kept her usual distrustful distance from the den due to the fire. We watched a few more episodes of Portlandia before ordering in some deli stuff for delivery. Once we had dinner in hand we watched the season premieres of both House Of Lies and Californication, which were amusing, but Jesus Christ is Californication just spinning its wheels at this point, with the same arbitrary complication to Hank's life that sets off the season, all of which will be wrapped somewhat conveniently by the end of said season, then wash, rinse, repeat. It's watchable, but it's just the same basic formula over and over again and I fully expect that they'll renew it for another season after this one just because why the fuck not.

We wrapped the evening with the new Justified, then I spent some time picking up the den a bit, as we supposedly have the Maid on tap for tomorrow, which is something we're going to make do with until we can secure a new one, then I'm definitely telling her to fuck right off, as she's unreliable and half-assed in her job. Bah.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.