Tuesday, June 30, 2009
That's all for now - I'm so tired that if I go on much further I'll ramble even worse than usual so I know when to cut my losses.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Not a very effective day at work; I find that I am busy all day but I feel like I'm essentially spinning my wheels because I'm not seeing anything technically go away from my project board or my desk, I'm just putting out the fires that come my way on a minute-to-minute basis. So I guess that's something, but I'd really like to see some stuff going away soon.
Unfortunately I'll be seeing my desk area going away in about two days because I'm getting moved...again. Third time in about two years, which is kind of frustrating. I'm also getting moved into an area I'm not too thrilled about moving to, but hey, whatevs I guess. I think I'm going to go through withdrawals being away from the rest of the creative team I've been able to just shout across the hall to, and the priceless looks between Jeanne and I are going to go away, which makes me sad. Maybe I'll actually get more stuff done over there though, who knows. I guess I can't completely discount it until I work through it a couple of days.
The fantastic news from the weekend is that after spending about two days on it, the kitchen is finally done. It was so great to work in my kitchen for about two and a half hours last night, watching Red Zone Cuba on MST3K and prepping meals for the week. And tonight I cooked my first meal - it was kind of cute sitting at the dining room table with Chris and discussing our day over chicken and noodles in a cream sauce. Afterward he ran to Dairy Queen and got me a brownie batter blizzard because he's a good guy. I paid for it though, of course hahaha.
That's about all she wrote for tonight. I still have to write my review for "Up", so I should probably get to that in the next couple of days. Again, I really question doing that for some of these movies because they are so outdated by the time I see them and review them, but I guess it keeps me in practice until I can get my site up and get accredited.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Anyway, the day was mostly spent doing that stuff, so I couldn't argue when Chris asked if we could go to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner tonight. As an added bonus he stopped off at the store and took further advantage of the mega sale on Coke products they had OH MY GOD I'M TURNING INTO MY MOTHER.
Sigh. Well, I knew I probably should have just skipped the blog for tonight, but hey, my stream of consciousness rule for blogging got the best of me. Meanwhile, I can hear Chris wrestling in the kitchen with some stuff so I'd better see what's going on and then maybe we can watch some of Dead of Night Theater before going to bed. Even though I still have a laundry list of things to do tomorrow, he did such a great job today that I won't even give him the stink eye when he gets up at noon again tomorrow. And I'll go see Up with him since he wants to see it.
But only if we finish the laundry list... hehe.
P.S. I just noticed that one of the examples for labels for the blog posts is "scooters". What the hell?!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
It started this morning when he came by and we went to Gamestop to pick up the latest Guitar Hero (nerds) and then I treated him to some lunch. He then came back to the house where we proceeded to "rock out" for about an hour and a half after which I sat around for a bit and then futzed on the computer before taking a great hour-long nap (but I had the most bizarre dream where I had a really bad brace job on my teeth and I had all of these wires poking out - I even woke up and felt my teeth, strange). Then he and I went to see "Up" which was one of the most charming films I've seen. I really can't stand animation, unless it's something like Miyazake or some anime (and even that is limited to like, 4 titles I like out of the tens of thousands that are out there) and Pixar is particularly annoying to me. However, this was a great movie and I laughed so hard I cried and cried so hard I was afraid I was going to embarass myself and my brother. Hopefully I'll get to the review today or tomorrow.
Anyway, it was a nice day and it put me in good spirits for when Chris came home with the groceries, and we set about putting them all away right away and cleaning out the fridge. He's already promised me that we would work on the kitchen tomorrow so that should be really nice to do. I'd like to do some weekend prep so we can have easy meals this week.
Speaking of Chris, it's kind of cute that he's sitting in his office watching Michael Jackson videos on the computer.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I've been thinking about death for the past day or so, before I even heard about MJ or Farah Fawcett dying today, because last night I watched the exhaustive two and a half hour documentary, Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures. I had seen this documentary about five years ago and was both blown away by its thoroughness as well as the fact that it was clearly made by filmmakers and film lovers for filmmakers and film lovers. The material was not remotely dumbed down in any way. Tom Cruise, of all people, voiced in the documentary exactly what I was thinking the first time I saw this film, "There will never be another Stanley Kubrick film". And that fact, combined with the sheer adulation I feel for the man made me cry (though to my credit, I think he had died just a couple of months prior to me seeing the film) because it kind of put the finality of death into a tangible perspective for me. Of course I know that after someone dies, that's it. But when someone makes such incredible contributions to film and art history, the knowledge that you have only what is in the past to hold on to, and nothing new to look forward to, is a really depressing notion. Another thing I noted this time around was that Martin Scorsese mentioned that seeing a Kubrick film was like an event because you had to wait so long between films, but you always knew that it would be worth it. That just reminded me that no matter who you are, if you're a film buff, and if you love experiencing films so much that it physically hurts sometimes, you're going to feel the same way others do. It's gratifying to me to know that I have even just one thing in common with men like Scorsese and Woody Allen, even if it's an insatiable love of film and a deep reverence of Kubrick.
On the personal front, there hasn't been a whole lot happening. I helped Matt out a little with some work things and finished most of what I should have this week at my own job. I started the kitchen somewhat (mopped the floor, including under the stove, moved the microwave and cart, etc.) but there is still a great deal of organization to do so that is something that will have to be completed this weekend by Chris and I. Tomorrow being Friday I have off, so I plan to take full advantage by hopefully knocking a couple of movies off the DVR and just doing some general relaxing. This week was pretty uneventful for me, but sometimes that can be a good thing I guess. I definitely think we need to complete a laundry list of stuff this weekend, but remember to do something fun at least once as well.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Adequate & Dull
You just can’t keep a good symbologist down, apparently, no matter how hard the religious ne’er-do-wells try. Dr. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is back to decoding religious symbiology in an attempt to save the world, or some aspect of it at the very least. This time he is helping the Vatican decode a plot hatched by the Illuminati against the Catholic Church (timed with the Pope’s death) as retribution for the church’s mistreatment of the secret society centuries ago. Now they are wreaking their revenge by threatening the lives of four cardinals, and ultimately, blowing up Vatican City with a nifty little stolen gadget called anti-matter and it’s up to Langdon to find and solve the clues in a four hour time span.
With all due respect to the millions of people who read this book and went nuts for it, there was absolutely nothing about this story that I found interesting. Though I actually really enjoyed reading The Da Vinci Code (and this is the first and last time I’ll compare the two novels/movies) and had high hopes for this book, when I tried reading Angels and Demons I couldn’t get through the first 30 pages without giving up because I found it to be incredibly boring. I can barely even keep my eyes open reading the synopsis I wrote about the movie and that’s my own writing. I didn’t buy that they were working urgently (it seemed like an hour was more like a “movie hour” of about an hour and a half at least) and found the developments and “twists” so obvious that I entertained myself by pretending I was as smart as Langdon and could figure out the riddles just because the camera pointed out the answer to me. (“Of course it’s under the floor – one of the three dozen angels’ arrows is pointing right at the spot!”) And speaking of predictability, I was once again intellectually offended by a filmmaker forcing several possible villains down my throat in a bid to be suspenseful. Honestly, good writing and direction is all you need, not five people giving furtive sidelong glances like the shifty-eyed dog on The Simpsons.
The acting in the film was decent, though certainly not inspired. Tom Hanks always seems very natural in his films, and I was pleased to see one of my favorite contemporary actors, the under-valued Stellan Skarsgard in the film. Once again, however, the female lead (Ayelet Zurer) was completely ineffectual and Ewan McGregor simply chewed scenery without a lot of panache. I also don’t know when Armin Mueller-Stahl become completely unintelligible, but I couldn’t tell you most of what he said in the film because I couldn’t understand a word he said.
Having completely bagged on the story and an elderly German actor, I do now have to admit that the movie was actually somewhat easy to watch, if only in an “I don’t feel like I’m completely wasting my time” way, the same way I will watch a Lifetime Movie Network flick to fall asleep. Realizing this sounds fairly negative, one has to look at Ron Howard’s films in general: They are always easy to watch but not challenging, and adequate but not exciting. Unless someone is really interested in a subject matter that he covers, I think that his films tend to be the culinary equivalent of a Little Debbie snack cake. They are good when you’re hungry, but other things are so much better; yet, you know what you’re getting into when you take a bite. I really enjoyed Frost/Nixon after seeing it, but I’m also a history nerd, and the interesting thing about that movie was after seeing all of the other Best Picture nominees of last year, it quickly fell to a definite last place in the running for me. On a definite positive note, however, I can say that, whether the locations were simulated or not, as an art and architecture lover I thought the location shots were great, and my experience was further enhanced by my parents leaning over occasionally to whisper, “We were there!”
I can’t completely pan Angels and Demons, but I also don’t have a lot of good things to say about it either. The best thing I can truly say about it is that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, which is sometimes all you can ask for in a summer popcorn flick.
Coming soon: www.thecinemaphile.com
Monday, June 22, 2009
I did indeed attempt to do SOMETHING with the kitchen at least, even without the benefit of an air conditioner or the cunning use of fans, but it seems that part of the problem we are experiencing with the broken dishwasher has caused the hot water to not be so hot and really is more of a cold trickle. So much for attempting to wash the dishes that have accumulated in the sink. The good news is... ta-DA! our dishwasher is allegedly getting fixed tomorrow. I cannot freakin' wait. The bad news is that Jeff ended up coming over and busted me watching Jon & Kate Plus Eight. I was so embarrassed that I just went, "YES I'M WATCHING JON AND KATE PLUS EIGHT!" Ugh. I've never seen a more drawn out separation/divorce in my life. The whole "will they or won't they" thing isn't just tacky in sitcoms when it comes to characters who are going to sleep together and cause the show to jump the shark - it apparently is just as appropos for TLC reality shows about people getting divorced as well. Just do it already, christ. Everyone will live, Jon will get laid by some college student while bar-hopping, Kate will maybe find that her life actually isn't so bad and she shouldn't have been channeling and they'll all make millions. A truly heartwarming end to a true 21st century family.
In bad news, I guess my Dad has to have some kind of gum surgery tomorrow, which is never pleasant. In true Dad form, he didn't let on about this one bit yesterday when I was over there for Father's Day; instead I heard about it from Kathy via her new iPhone. (By the way, I hope I can love a non-breathing object someday as much as she loves that iPhone - I think it's adorable.) Anyway, Dad's having surgery, doesn't want to make a big deal out of it, and doesn't want any of us to do anything for him. I suspect I will be bringing some soft foods to him in the future. I called Matt to tell him and I think he was half-listening, which kind of pissed me off, but whatevs. No big deal. I just forwarded the e-mail and called it a night. I can't qualify any feelings I'm having today, happy, sad, good, crappy, whatever because I am just overall pissed off due to a limited number of sleep, hot weather and general malaise mixed with frustration over feeling like I haven't accomplished anything that isn't work-related lately so I'm just letting everything roll off my back today and tonight like they are do-overs so I don't overreact to something that just isn't there. And I STILL haven't written my freakin' Angels and Demons review. I think I just need to take like, twenty minutes tomorrow and just bang it out. I don't want to start populating the blog with other reviews until I start that one.
LOL I just overheard Chris say to Jeff in the kitchen, "And that's LOW speed!" so I think that things are looking up. That's a nice thought to go to sleep to.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Pizza's ghetto car's window won't go up all the way, so Chris and Jeff spent the night trying to work on it in our garage while Pizza was at work... to no avail. So it was pretty much a waste of a Friday night.
I should have been writing or something but all I could do was sit in my chair in the living room catching up on my DVR'd programs that were a half hour long since I had absolutely no idea how long any of this was going to be. At some point I just have to start doing my thing and if something comes along to interfere the hell with them/it.
Time for bed, but first I have to investigate some really odd sounds coming from the kitchen - I thought it was Atticus screwing around but when I yelled at her I looked down and she was looking up at me like, "What, Mom? Geez!" And since making loud metallic noises isn't normally Matisse's milieu I'd better check it out.
And speaking of last night, it was fun, for the most part. A bunch of us went to Bluemound Bowl and though Pizza was told that they had open bowl until 2am, when we got there at 8 there were two parties going on so we just all sat around in the bar until 9:30. At first we just kind of stared at each other and then I got really nervous because Pizza had to borrow my car (he'd driven with Chris and I) because there was some kind of small emergency at the Times he had to deal with, so I realized that I pretty much had to engage everyone in conversation - not a completely easy task for me. To top it off, I think that one person was morose and withdrawn because she is having issues finding a job in her field, her boyfriend is normally pretty quiet, but I don't think he wanted to be all effervescent, in support of her feelings, and my other friend was clearly not too happy (understandably) because she had driven a decent distance and now was not going to be getting any bowling action because she had to leave early. So that left Chris and I, which meant that left me with trying to keep the conversation rolling, which I find completely exhausting sometimes. To top it off, Dave didn't show up, so that didn't all come off like I had hoped either.
But, Pizza got back, Jeanne left, and everyone bowled. Mostly shitty bowling, but bowling. I of course fed the jukebox with awesome music but I sometimes felt like my attempts to keep things light were appearing a little shrill perhaps, so who knows. Anyway, Pizza and I got together this morning and he was like, "What did you think about last night?" and after we had pretty much the same discussion as I wrote in the above paragraph, we both definitely hope that the next foray will have a bit, shall we say, more levity. Hell, I'm happy just doing my own thing so I don't feel like I should have to work at it this much for everyone else's benefit...haha.
Anyway, that was the night. I'm looking forward to getting a couple of things accomplished this weekend, I just hope that it doesn't continue to be this muggy or we'll have to fast track the purchase of some fans. I can't have a beverage on the table without it completely sweating out within 30 seconds.
I am also really curious about our upstairs neighbors. They have two kids that are probably under the age of 10 but they sound like they weigh 400 pounds when they walk or run on the floor above us. And every time I come home there's a new piece of debris on the porch to push aside with my foot, and it all just collects on our supposed "communal" space. This is the space that they are actively shoving me out of somehow, even though I just have a tiny gold urn that I inherited from the previous tenant where I deposit cigarette butts, and a space as wide as my butt on the stone ledge where I sit before I deposit said cigarette butts . Somehow they've passively begun to put the kid's bikes "just close enough" to the pillar so I can't sit there without moving them, and this plastic snow shovel kept appearing in front of the urn. A shovel in June - uh huh. Chris has been having fun playing "passive-aggressive hide and seek of the urn" with them, but it's all just weird.
I just want them to fix my fucking dishwasher already and they never need to hear from me again.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I think that this weekend, despite it being Father's Day on Sunday and doing the fantastic bbq thing with the family, and wanting to get the kitchen organized, I have to make a point of watching a few of the movies on the DVR and sitting down to write reviews of them. I had every intention of taking a crack at my Angels and Demons review today, but work got too intense and then I ended up going out tonight until late, so that fell by the wayside...again.
The intention and desire to write is there - now I just have to work on the will and timing everything else in my life around it!
Tomorrow night we're going out bowling with a bunch of people and that should be fun, especially because Dave will be joining us. I haven't seen Dave in almost two years, and only recently exchanged a couple of e-mails with him these past few months. Everyone is delighted he will be there though, and I'm really looking forward to that. I'm a terrible bowler so I don't even try, but I'm the best DJ and trash-talker in the bunch.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Good intentions plagued me at work today as well, though I did find that I was able to get more accomplished than I thought I would, by knocking out a couple of items off my project list, albeit small items. This month has been a challenge because I didn't really get more than a couple of days rest from proofing the paper since the editor is going out of town and (understandably) wants to put as much of July's paper to bed before she leaves as she can. I'll hopefully get to a couple more things tomorrow without too much interruption.
On a final note tonight, I have to say that I'm really enjoying this new summer tradition that seems to be building of going to the Times with my parents and brother once a week to see a film. It's great to see my parents on a regular basis, and what better venue and activity for us, since movies are such a big part of our lives. I also had to go and play the big sister lecturing my brother while I drove him home tonight though - I just worry that he's going to burn himself out between work and obligations to everyone he knows. He had a couple hours free today during the day so instead of just relaxing he came over and moved the old stove downstairs, among other things. The good news about that is that it's done and now Chris and I can put the kitchen together (finally) this weekend. The bad news is that I feel badly that he's putting so much on his plate. Hopefully he'll get a more solid work schedule going and won't have to be doing so much outside stuff after a couple of weeks.
Hopefully I'll post my first review here tomorrow. Too bad it's for Angels and Demons.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Other than that, work was pretty much... work. I felt like I didn't accomplish anything meaningful because I was busy doing necessary grunt work while the piles of meaty projects I have lying everywhere lie dormant. The nice thing is that the work I took home to do last week is yielding me an afternoon off on Thursday, and with Fridays off this summer... it's going to make for something to look forward to at least.
I have a million and one films recorded on the DVR that I just have to make time for, but I find myself not wanting to invest more time than it takes to watch an HGTV or Food Network cooking show I've taped, then the next thing I know it's 2 hours later and I could have easily knocked down a movie. Maybe it will be crappy out this weekend and I won't feel guilty about killing a couple of those movies off the DVR. I've seen a couple of them (In This Our Life, Hannah and Her Sisters) but a couple of them I haven't (Interiors, Rodger Dodger) so we'll see how that goes.
No movies at home for me tomorrow night because I'm pretty sure I'll be catching Angels and Demons at the Times with my parents and brother tomorrow night. I have absolutely no expectations for it, which could be a good thing, considering I couldn't get past the first 40 pages of the book when I tried to read it a couple of years ago upon my brother's recommendation. I'll admit, even though I'm not a big fan of mainstream bestselling books (unless it's written by Doris Kearns Goodwin and involves history) I did enjoy reading The DaVinci Code years back. Too bad the movie was as poor as it was, though again, I don't know what I expected out of it. Ron Howard is like a sub par Steven Spielberg - Unlike Spielberg, who I would never consider to be even remotely one of my favorite directors, but I can appreciate that he makes solid, good movies, Howard is more hit-or-miss. He can make a really great film like Frost/Nixon, but then he makes something like A Beautiful Mind which was just meh. I guess that would be the word I would use to best describe Ron Howard's films: "Meh". No chances taken, nothing out of the ordinary, but decently made and certainly marketable to the masses. In other words, "Meh".
To bed, I'm wiped. Another long day tomorrow and I haven't been sleeping too well, or for too long lately.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
My brother did a bang-up job at the theater tonight, despite some pretty hefty obstacles, and I think that overall, the people who had the fundraiser there, Team Fox, could not have had many complaints, if any. I had no idea what Team Fox was about, and it turns out that it is a group of volunteers who do their own fundraising for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Most of them receive sponsorship for running marathons, or in one case, climbing ten mountains in ten years, and it really was heart-warming and interesting to see what they did. They showed a video before the film that was a benchmark for stuff that the Federation should do for fundraising for their annual campaign in terms of emotional impact. It's something I may talk to Laura about this week, though I'm pretty sure that creating a video far exceeds anything we have in our operating budget this year.
In other news, I lost almost nine inches of hair today. I finally kicked myself in the ass and went and got my hair cut. I don't know why it's such a difficult thing for me to do - it's not a matter of being afraid of getting my hair cut; I could honestly care less how it comes out, it's just hair. Besides, how much can they screw up "all the same length"? I think that a lot of my apprehension comes from just having to sit there and make small talk with some anonymous stylist who is just there in what is essentially a hair cutting factory, since I refuse to spend any actual money on getting my hair done anymore. Been there, done that, wasted plenty of money on it. But, I finally went in, with Chris in tow so I wouldn't chicken out, and about five minutes later, almost nine inches of my hair was on the floor. Despite my "Pinko Scum" tshirt and olive drab cargo pants, I felt like a million bucks and practically flounced my way down to Caribou for a few games of backgammon with Chris to pass the time before the movie started. (I creamed him, by the way, four to zip) And of course I had to keep asking, "Doesn't my hair look fuller??" as I threw it around like an idiot. Eh, it's nice to feel girly once in awhile I guess. I may even break out the makeup that's been hiding in my Burberry purse that is currently stashed in the back of the closet one of these days.
On the home front, I don't know if it's the (finally) warmer weather, but I'm starting to get antsy about getting the place done and little obstacles are beginning to become bigger by the day. I think that I've been using some things as an excuse to not do other things by saying, "Well, once THIS is done, I'll be able to take care of THESE things". The problem is, THIS is usually something I can't handle myself (like moving major appliances) so I just need to get my butt in gear and concentrate on the things I CAN do so that I feel like things are happening around here. I'm sure it will get better once Chris has his office situated, because living in chaos can't be that much of a fun thing to deal with, so I'm optimistic. Maybe picking one small project a night after work will get things going, because I really want to have people over for a housewarming. A housewarming party when you've been in the place for over two months will be just kind of pathetic, but that's the reality we're facing starting in July.
I just love this place though. I seriously am so thankful for it daily and really take the time to stop and look around and appreciate it. I don't think I've ever lived in a place I love so much, which is part of the reason why I want to get things going around here. Another thing is that my work area is so much better now and this den is really conducive to sitting down and digging in (though there are a few things left to do in here) so I really want to take full advantage of everything, especially since I'm really trying to get my writing thing going again. It's time.
Work should be interesting this week. Things have been really chaotic lately with budgets and allocations, etc. This week I'm really hoping to get some of the projects done or at least started that I have had to drop or table due to emergencies coming up. (It's amazing how I can mainly have worked on "emergencies" only for the last month!) After tomorrow's paycheck we have one more before we start seeing our pay cut so that is going to be a huge adjustment to make, especially since a couple of my bills have slightly gone up. (Another good reason to stay home and write!) But the good news is that I think that we have purchased most of what we have to around here in terms of big ticket items, with the exception of needing a few bookcases still for my gazillion books so I'm not terribly worried. Chris is even talking about going to Gen Con this year so I think that the lower bills is working out for him, and I'm really happy about that because despite how much we squabble, I really do want to see him get out and do some of the things that he loves doing, even if it's without me, and Gen Con is one of those things.
This week I'll be seeing Angels and Demons so we'll see how that goes. I have absolutely no expectations and I have a feeling that's the best way to go into this film.