Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday at Aunt Dolores' House

My Aunt Pat, who is limited, aerobically wise, by a bum heart, turned 80 yesterday, much to her doctors' embarrassment, who have been giving her six months to live since the Clinton administration.

I went to visit her today over at my Aunt Dolores's house in Beaverton. I had never been to her house before, so I had to Google map it and worry about it a little, but I made it even though the 405 bridge was closed this weekend (again), which I should have remembered but didn't, so it took me twice as long with all the traffic, kind of like this sentence.

It's always so mortifying to realize how happy your Aunties are to see you, when it has been so long since you bothered to visit them. They are really sweet people. And, you know, it's not that much time out of your charmed little life. And it's not that they haven't invited you before.

Ah, well. Another thing to resolve to be better at in the future. Get in line, Aunties. Right behind washing the windows, painting twice a week and vacuuming the house every day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

$3 Movie Review: Star Trek - The Other Movie

Here is a copy of my iPhone notes I made while watching Star Trek at the Mission Theater on Tuesday night. I deedled away on my iPhone as an attempt to let Drew enjoy the movie in peace. But sometimes I just blurted out my inane snark anyway. A Logorrhea of Lameness. (Me. Not the movie.)

  • That star ship is being eaten by a sea anemone!
  • I'm glad they kept the old, dopey space shuttle design.
  • Ooh, wrong answer! (this nameless dead-meat captain is about to get terminated for not knowing who Spock is.)
  • (Of buildings built like stalactites on the planet Vulcan:) I want an upside down building NOW.
  • (It seems Vulcan children go to school in giant glass muffin tins:) It's amazing vulcan children haven't developed skateboards.
  • Who is Spocks dad? (Turns out he's played by Ben Cross. Been in a million movies, but probably doesn't get followed by paparazzi).
  • Live long and prosper = fuck off (at least when Spock doesn't want to go to your hoity-toity Vulcan academy).
  • Legend-making time! (And here we meet James Tiberius Kirk, getting his ass kicked by four big dudes for mouthing off and continuing to mouth off after his mouth is pulpy with blood).
  • If they have jet Motorcycles in the future, you would thing they would have wet wipes (James Tiberius Kirk continues to discuss the pro and cons of schoolin' while covered in blood).
  • So that's what technology gets us? Invisible hubs and spokes on Motorcycles? (Underwhelming).
  • Facial tattoos equals badass (this is soooo movie shorthand these days - even in the future).
  • Did Chris Pine get cast because he has the Shatner nose? Oh, he's not bad as Kirk, but that nose. It's eerie.
  • There it is! NCC 1701! Ooh, nerd shiver.
  • Oh, no! Not the red matter!
  • Mano a Romulano (I believe at this point Kirk and Sulu are doing some hand-to-hand jujitsu on two Romulans whilst on a tiny platform suspended over Vulcan. Or something just as exciting.)
  • Time travel is a big cop out. (Well, it just is. You can remake a movie a hundred times with time travel. Think Terminator.)
  • Not convinced by New Spock. (It's true. His voice is way too high to be Spock. Nimoy has one of those booming voice-over voices.)
  • I'll be monitoring your frequency. (This is my new favorite way to say goodbye to my loved ones.)
  • Did the two Kirks have the same nose surgeon? (Really. That nose is just a little too wee.)
  • I hope Steven hawking isn't watching this. (I'm no physicist but this is effed up.)

In summary, I thought the movie was entertaining, as long as I could unload the ridiculousness building up in my brain every once in a while. Sorry.

FP in an SB

Patton Oswalt. Cultural commentary with funny words.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Coco Day

The damn dogs always get all the attention. They outweigh, outbark, outpuke, and outplay Coco, a kind of midgetty, curmudgeonly cat. Besides all that, she's black, which is a challenge to photograph without ending up with a camera full of black blobs.

But she does do some cute things occasionally, and even less occasionally when I have my camera handy.

So here are a sorry few photos of Coco.

Now it's 5:00 p.m. Time to feed the cat. I know because she is reminding me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Infected - The Movie

I have an infection that I'm trying to clear holistically by drinking copious amounts of water and cranberry juice. I'm doing this not because I believe wholeheartedly in the shunning of western medicine over the gentler, less chemical superiority of alternative wellnessness, but simply because it's the weekend and I would prefer to stay clear of the Urgent Care Sputum Cesspool.

I'm not sure whether the sores in the back of my palate are due to the infection, possible water-induced hyponatremia, or possible fever-induced eating of too-hot jambalaya (I swear it wasn't hot to me, but Drew, the fire breathing oven mitt non-user, had to let it cool), but whatever the cause, they are a constant source of annoyance today. I can't seem to ignore the bumpy surface, and it's too far back on my palate for my tongue to do a thorough investigation, so I am constantly noodling around with my tongue to no avail.

Since I can't stray far from the bathroom in order to send all that cleansing water out the other end (I'm making up in toilet paper usage what I am saving in Urgent Care visit copay expenses), I am spending a lot of time folding laundry (unrelated but necessary), watching Netflix instant movies, and eating things that will momentarily mask the palate-scab feeling.

Speaking of movies, here are some that I have watched on Netflix recently and my ratings (Netflix rates movies on a five-star system):

The Real Dirt on Farmer John
I gave this one four stars, which may be a little generous, but I really enjoyed this story of a farmer's son, one part salt-of-the-earth farmer and one part bohemian drama school butterfly, who lost his father while still in his teens, and yet tried to keep the family farm going through his college years, his hippy years, the gobbling up of family farms by corporate interests in the 80's, and his own broadway style wanderlust. I had been wanting to get around to seeing this since it was released in 2006 and I'm glad it finally made it to the top of my queue.

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
This is about a football game played in 1968. It seems to be a legend at Harvard and Yale that leaves hard feelings to this day. Very well-made documentary using film of the game and interviews from the players on both teams. Four stars.

Reefer Madness (with Rifftrax)
I thought this 1938 antimarijuana propaganda movie would be a prime target for Rifftrax, the audio auxiliary of snark from the cast of MST3K that can be added to lots of new and old movies to make them much more hilariouser, and it is, but never having seen the movie before, I was a little stunned by the bizarreness of the movie itself. One of those movies so odd, they really take no effort to poke further fun at. The movie itself left me shaking my head. That's just nuts. Three Stars.

Rescue Dawn
Werner Herzog's dramatization of the story of Dieter Dengler, Vietnam War POW who escaped to freedom through the Viet Cong and leech-infested jungle. Drew liked it. I enjoyed it even more, having previously watched Herzog's documentary about Dengler, entitled Little Dieter Needs To Fly. Also recommended. Four stars.

Hellboy II
Fell asleep. Even though I rather enjoyed the first Hellboy (I stayed awake), this one did not capture my interest in the least. (What? A magical elf kingdom? An evil pixie world? Are they trolls? Bat people? Zzzzzzz....) Drew liked it. One star for me, three for Drew.

Night of the Living Dead (with Rifftrax)
I like this movie. I like that it had a black hero in 1968, I like that Romero knows a thing or two about suspense, I even like that he doesn't spare anyone for the sake of a happy ending (Oops - did I say spoiler alert? Ah, hell, it was made in 1968. If you haven't seen it by now, it's your own damn fault.) Seriously, that ending gets me every time. I DON'T like how the women are all hysterical screaming fools who must be dragged away from danger by their dainty wrists. Okay, I know, 1968. Still. They got the race thing right. Deep breath. If you have already seen it, it's worth seeing again in the Rifftrax version (yes, the Rifftrax is integrated into this DVD, instead of being a separate audio file that you must sync up. Nice.) Four stars.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Oh, my God. Awful. One star.

Yeah, she's happy-go-lucky and all, we get it, but a movie still requires a plot. Two stars.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Miracle of Dirt

This gets me every year, kind of the way the sun going down earlier and earlier seems to surprise Drew every winter. You put a seed in the dirt. Dirt. It's dirt. Bits of dust and rocks and rotting plants from last year, maybe some bunny poop and worms.

You mix in the rotting stuff and bunny poop, and maybe some extra rotting stuff if you have some. (This dirt is mostly clay, so this rented tiller was a back breaker for Drew. I think it would be a hoot to get one of those riding tillers for our two little ten-by-ten garden plots next year.)

You plant a seed and give the seed some water. Somehow the seed gets the message, and knows what to do. It sticks out some feelers, finds some of that dirt and water, and makes something out of nothing. Out of dirt, water and sun! What?

Here it goes! Whoops! Time to put down some mulch.

And before you know it, you are eating stuff that was dirt a few months ago. It boggles. Just boggles.

Scotty likes to sleep in the garden. The onions and green beans have suffered for it, but when I'm not around, I can't really shoo him out. I guess some people like to eat their garden vegetables, some just find them comfy.

Next year: less spinach (goes to seed too quickly) and more Swiss chard. And maybe get the onions in the ground a little earlier.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some Assembly (and a few trips to the hardware store) Required

I spent the last two hours assembling an Ames True Temper 2388700 Hose King Hose Reel. In that time, I've managed to put it together to the point where I'm supposed to mount it onto the side of the house to finish the rest of it, but it's 7:15, I'm missing several screws, I have a few screws loose, and I'm spent.

I've managed to scrounge eight (8!) screws from the old coffee can that are close enough to the right size to work for the holes that the manufacturer forgot to include screws for. I still have to find several more, in two different sizes, to complete the kit that was supposed to be sent to me. I would send it back, but it's easier at this point to go to the hardware store than go to the UPS store.

I've seen this thing in action, and it's a pretty slick set-up. A real time and hassle saver. But I might have changed my mind if I had known how much time and hassle was required to install it. I'm not sure how many years I will have to own it now to make up for the money and effort I will have put into it. Think about it: how many times do you have to roll up a hose to make up the three+ hours it took to install the hose roller?

No, I'm not going to do the math.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Incomplete! Incomplete! Incomplete!

Okay, I owe my several readers much more than this, but it is past my blogging hour, and I'm still far behind in the general duties of living, so here are the first five shots that Blogger would let me download, and a promise of more to come.

These are photos from our recent trip to The Other Vancouver (BC), mostly so Drew could participate in the World Police & Fire Games, but we squeezed in a couple of goofing-off days in order to give the world a picture of a crazy dude who feeds raccoons in Stanley Park.

For reals. These raccoons were hissing and fighting with each other over this dude's scraps, but it didn't seem to phase him any. Man, those things are cute, but vicious and rabies-y.

The view from a fricking gondola, people! We were way up there. I wasn't scared though. This is a two-gondola-and-one-chair-lift loop you can take up in Whistler. Whew, it's like there's money just flying around in the breeze up there.

What country are we in again?

About a hundred forest fires going on in BC while we were there. Maybe good for sunset photos, but not so great for middle-of-the-day photos.

This one's for dad. This was the view from our hotel. It's a pretty busy little float plane "airport."