Monday, June 27, 2005

World Making More Sense / 5 Right Now Meme

Finally, a supreme court decision that has the justices I like on my side and the justices I loathe on the other. Perhaps my sense of progressive/liberal freefall over agreeing with The Dark Side on the eminent domain/property rights debacle and the medical marijuana idiocy was premature....

Anyway, it's Monday morning and creativity ain't exactly squirting from my pores. So, I'll just do the 5 Things Meme (via Karl and Ray).


5 things you feel right now:
  1. Hungry
  2. Hopeful
  3. Achey (leg muscles still aching from running this AM)
  4. Distracted
  5. Punchy
Last 5 things you bought:

I'm going to ignore groceries, since that was the last thing I went shopping for and the resulting list (chikcen breasts, frozen chopped spinach, cherries, 1% milk, Scooby Doo mac-n-cheese...) would be terribly uninteresting.
  1. Cookie Mintster in a chocolate dipped ice cream cone at Cold Stone Creamery. $6 for an ice cream cone. Fucking insane.
  2. "Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way," by Bruce Campbell
  3. Tan guayaberra
  4. Corona beer flip-flops
  5. An hour of indoor rock climbing for me, Christine, and the kids
5 objects of lust:

I'm skipping the obvious "hot women" list -- here's my "I'd Hit It" list if you want to know those --- and will instead limit my use of "object" to the less dehumanizing, more inanimate sense...
  1. Absurdly tricked-out Black Mini Cooper S Convertible
  2. Special U2 Edition iPod (not for the U2 connection, just because black+red=sweet)
  3. Sonos Digital Music System
  4. Alienware ALX with SLI
  5. Sony 61" HDTV Plasma WEGA HDTV
5 things in your pockets or purse:
  1. Wallet
  2. Cell phone
  3. $1.24 in change
  4. Keys
  5. Shiner Bock bottle cap
5 things you collect:
  1. Video games that I barely have time to play.
  2. Books and magazines that I barely have time to read.
  3. Music. My digital music library is over 147GBs, with over 27,000 individual tracks. Needless to say, I hardly have time to actually listen to much of it, but it's comforting to know it's there.
  4. Small gargoyle statues (more of a "used to collect" realy -- haven't bought them in years, but I'll eventually kickstart this collection again)
  5. Aches and pains in my ankles and feet (220 lb. men are not really that well designed for running...)
5 true statements you can make that most people can't:
  1. I fell in love with, dated for 10 years, married, and remain happily married (13 years this August) to my high school sweetheart.
  2. I have (had? He may be dead by now) a paranoid schizophrenic uncle that was called in for questioning regarding the Son of Sam murders.
  3. I had an "outie" belly button for 36 years, but now I have an "innie."
  4. I have almost no recollection of the majority of my childhood prior to age 9 or so, and almost no memories of my father at all.
  5. In my mid-teens I briefly, but very seriously, considered attending Junior Seminary. Luckily, they declined to admit me at about the same time I realized that maybe it wasn't such a good idea...
Mood: Pleasant
Now Playing: Foo Fighters, "In Your Honor"

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Best. Blog Entry. Ever.

Just read this over at Waiter Rant. I think it's one of the most beautiful things I've read in years. Just wanted to share.

Mood: Misty
Now Playing: White Stripes, "Get Behind Me Satan"

Good Deed for the Day

OK, I need to take a few minutes to pat myself on the back here.

So, anyone who knows me knows I'm a mush, especially for animals. Sometimes it gets me in trouble (like this time, a few months ago), but mostly it makes me feel good to help a dog find its way home, or just to help make sure it survives long enough to get picked up by its owner.

So, today, I'm heading out to the gym at about 7:45. I hop in my car, head out of my driveway, and before I even reach the main intersection this little tiny dog comes trotting along across the road right in front of my car. I stop, hop out, and the dog comes straight up to me. Sigh. What to do now? So, I pick up the dog and start looking around, trying to see whether anyone is out looking around with a concerned look on their face. Nope. No one. So, I get back in my car with the cute little thing. I mean, look at her...

So cute!

I drive around the neighborhood for a few minutes, still hoping to see someone looking all panicky, but no dice. so then it's back to the house. The kids, of course, go NUTS. A NEW PUPPY!!!! We explain that the dog is lost and we are trying to find its owners, and I assume the kids hear something like "bbuzzzzzzzzbuzzzzzzzzzzz puppy" cause all they want to do is hold her. My other dogs, of course, go into a frenzy immediately. Totally freaking out, wanting to get a look at the new competition.

Sigh. It's almost 8:30 now. Guess I'm not going to the gym.

So, I snap a couple of digital pictures and slam together a few posters to hang up. I mean, this is a small dog (no more than 5 pounds), and when I found her she wasn't even remotely tired or freaked out. She couldn't have been running around for long -- she HAS to belong to someone in the vicinity, right?

So we give the dog some water and settle her down in our newly decorated bathroom and head back out to hang up some "Found Dog!" posters. I see a woman kind of walking around her driveway down the road from me and stop, to ask if she lost a dog.

"Nope, but I just saw one running around."

I ask does she mean the little tiny brown one I found, and she answers "Nope, this one was gray, with a white ruff. Sort of a terrier mix looking dog."

Oh, Jeez. TWO strays running around. Someone must have left a gate open or something -- they probably don't even realize the dogs are missing yet.

So , back in my car, hang up the signs, start heading home and I spot the gray dog. I stop of course, chuckling at what it's going to look like when I bring ANOTHER stray home, but this one won't even get near me. I try to coax him to come over but he keeps skitting past me or growling if I try to corner him. So, I figure it's probably best I don't continue to alarm him -- don't need to feel like I helped panic him, causing him to dive in front of a car or something. Instead, I head back home, and call animal control. Better he be picked up by them, even if they have a (ugh) 3 day kill policy. If nothing else, 3 days of chances for your master to pick you up beats getting hit by a car today.

Anyway, I finally head out for work at about 9:45, figuring I've done pretty much all I can, and knowing that if the owners don't contact us, we've probably just added a new dog to our family -- I mean, she cute, she's small, and she's sweet. She sheds, which would be a problem (allergies), but Christine would never allow anyone to put that dog down, so we'd figure it out. Happily, I just got a call from my mother-in-law, who is at our house with my son right now. The small dogs owners came by and picked her up, and they found the other dog as well, unharmed. Both were theirs. A plank in their backyard fence came loose and the dogs decided to squeeze their way out this morning while the mom and daughter (about 8 or 9) were at the store.

The daughter was totally beside herself, laughing and crying at the same time. This is her dog, and she sleeps in her bed every night. I think some fence repairs will be completed post haste.

I feel really good about me, right now.

Unfortunately, I also know that MY daughter is going to be sorely disappointed when she gets home from camp and finds that the puppy is no longer at our place. But oh well, she'll manage.

Mood: Pretty darn pleased with myself, thankyouverymuch
Now Playing: "Horror Graffiti," Various

Monday, June 06, 2005


So, yeah. Quiet lately.

Damn, this is annoying.

Basically, there's interesting things afoot at my job. Perhaps a light at the end of the tunnel. Who knows. But the frustrating thing is that, being all the usual hush-hush stuff, I can't discuss what little I know, even though the potential occurrences, as well as the potential resulting situations in which I could find myself, are taking up a larger and larger part of my thoughts on a daily basis.


What's more annoying, though, is I've found that when I muzzle myself on one significant issue that is taking up a lot of my attention, it has the irritating side effect of dampening my urge/ability to discuss anything else. I keep trying to come up with stuff to blog about, and it's not like I haven't been busy, and I do have things I'd like to jot down. But when it gets to be time to actually start writing, I can't seem to muster the focus to really get my non-hush-hush thoughts to gel.

Fucketty fuck fuck fuck. Annoying.


So, saw Revenge of the Sith the other night, and ... well ... meh. It was crap. Better crap than the last two pieces of crap that Lucas squeezed out, but crap nonetheless. Horribly written dialog, atrocious acting, and a good 30 minutes too damn long. Granted, it looked spectacular, but by the time they arrived at the big finish (and, what, the 439th light saber battle?) all I could think was "man, I would have liked this better about 30 minutes ago...."

And good lord the writing and the acting was beyond bad. A couple of the actors managed to pull something worth watching out of their asses (Ewan MacGregor does a solid Alec Guinness imitation, and all the bad guys are fun -- when you're dealing with absurdly underwritten cliche characters, evil always has more to work with, even if "more" means having an eyebrow to arch and a mustache to twirl), but Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen are locks for Razzie nominations next year. Horrid performances, lifeless and mewling respectively. To be fair, they are trying to act against green screens, with no props, opposite computer generated "actors" who are typically represented on-set by a tennis ball, mouthing atrociously poor dialog, and directed by a man with as much sense of drama as your typical high school gym teacher, so it may simply be a matter of not having anything at all to work with. Portman, in particular has done better work (she's not stellar, but I enjoyed her in Garden State and Closer).

It got me thinking, though, about what exactly is wrong with these movies. I mean, obviously George Lucas is what's wrong with them, but how so, exactly? So we went back and re-watched Star Wars (oh, sorry. I mean "Star Wars Ep. IV: A New Hope." Assholes.) to try to figure out what was lost.

And, well, it's a bunch of stuff. The most prominent, though, is a sense of lightness and fun. The first Star Wars had it in spades. It never really took itself too seriously, and while the writing had all the clanging awfulness that characterizes Lucas' other scripts, the delivery (especially by snide Carrie Fisher and wry Harrison Ford) saved it from overwhelming, fatal clumsiness. The droid banter was fun in an Abbott and Costello/Laurel and Hardy way. The whole thing moved along at a nice, brisk clip -- it's masterfully edited, never getting too bogged down in the less engaging elements. Even the mystical shit was handled half-seriously (Ghostly voice overs! Does it get any goofier?). Dumb lighthearted fun, poorly written but delivered with energy and panache.

Most of these elements were jettisoned for Empire, but that's OK because instead we got the one, solitary, well-written SW script (courtesy of Leigh Brackett, who died of cancer before it was released thereby enabling Lucas to steal far more credit for the script than he deserved when he revised it with help from Lawrence Kasdan) and terrific directing by Irvin Kershner. It was more serious and darker, but it was also so much better written and acted and directed that it didn't get bogged down by the darkening mood.

And then, well, Lucas decided he was Orson Fucking Welles, got back in the driver's seat for Jedi, decided to try for dark plot elements and light moods simultaneously (Cute and fuzzy ewoks! Adorable cherubic kids that go bad! Absurd racial stereotypes disguised as alien races! Cutesy dialog between robots everywhere you turn!), and the whole series rapidly swirled down the shitter. Jedi was bad, but fun. Phantom was awful, but tolerable. Clones was literally unwatchable -- I've never managed to see the entire thing in one sitting, but have instead watched far-more-tolerable 15-20 segments of it over a 2 year period, finally assembling the entire thing into a sort of extended, patchwork, quilt-like viewing experience.

And, well, now Sith. It's a slight return to something approaching acceptably enjoyable entertainment. Perhaps a tie for 3rd place, along with it's brighter, dumber cousin "Jedi." But a distant 3rd all the same.

I hate that I even care, but there it is. I'm such a geek.

Mood: Hungry
Now Playing: Beth Orton, "Superpinkymandy"