grrgoyl: (snowcake scrabble)
This was posted on arickman.com, had to share (redux).



Sadly does NOT include the you-know-what scene (won't say it again, won't say it again) but still a high quality video that gives me hopes for an equally high bootleg still to come, maybe. Hopefully. Please, God, I'll do anything.
grrgoyl: (snapecast)
This was posted at arickman.com, had to share:



My man knows how to rock a pair of trousers... This was the last few moments of the play, during the infamous "She sucked my balls" act. I might need a "she sucked my balls" tag if I don't stop soon.
grrgoyl: (snowcake scrabble)
As promised, I have returned from my trip to New York, and I bring stories. I was going to try to write in bullet points in an effort to keep it short, but as usual my wordiness got the better of me. So ::for your scrolling pleasure:: )

And that was it! Back to my dull, Alan-less life for the foreseeable future. Although I'll always have "she sucked my balls."
grrgoyl: (snowcake scrabble)
The good news is I FINALLY have my Parade of Homes posts sorted. I'm dividing them into five days so I don't deluge you all at once. You're welcome.

The REALLY good news, in case you missed my previous post, is I got tickets to see Rickman on Broadway!!! They went on sale at midnight (10 pm to me) and I was on the site at five minutes of. I got front row seats in the most expensive section we could afford, which unfortunately is the rear mezzanine, but still, front row!

My excitement over this development is only slightly (okay, pretty heavily actually) marred by my morning-after realization that the date I chose is the precise date of my period that month. I was so prepared three months ago that I got an app to plot my periods (don't roll your eyes at me -- they're not always the same length and I'm still not exactly clear when you're supposed to start counting the 28-day cycle, and anyway my last day isn't as well-defined as my first as they just sort of gradually taper off, and gentlemen, I apologize at this late juncture if all of this is TMI). Then in the heat of the moment I panicked that all the best tickets would get bought up quickly (you can imagine how Tery snorted at this) and the thought of my period just evaporated into thin air. Ironic, considering I'm actually on it right now.

So on my sister the nurse's advice, I'm seeing a gyno for medication options, because I'll be damned if I'm spending the day traipsing all over New York with a backpack full of maxipads and needing to find a bathroom every two hours. Dear Alan Rickman: I'm willing to chemically mess up my hormones for you. Call me!

~*~

Okay. Without further ado, the Parade of Homes 2011!

Sorry. A little more ado. Because I've been promising [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana for so long, the tale of standing up to MyFriendDeb: I've complained about this before, but as a refresher course, Deb has this peculiar habit of never being ready to go on time. I mean ever. And I mean I'll call to say I'm on my way right now (this is usually after calling 30 minutes previously to establish that I was starting to get ready). She lives ten minutes away. She KNOWS she lives ten minutes away. And without fail, I'll knock on the door and be greeted by the sight of her lagging woefully behind in preparations. Like, with no shoes on (big deal, you say. Well it wouldn't be if it didn't take her ten minutes to get shoes on, and don't ask me what in God's name she's doing that whole time to draw it out like that). Or still finding a coat. Or in this instance just starting in on what appeared to be lunch (and the woman eats like a bird. She can make a meal last 45 minutes).

I would estimate over the course of our 15-year friendship, I've spent a solid month standing at her front door watching her get ready (keep in mind we only hang out once a month or so). It's inconsiderate and selfish, and I doubt she's even aware she's doing it.

This time I had even deliberately stalled after making the "on my way right now" call, KNOWING this would happen. I sat in my car and fiddled with my phone's mp3 player a good ten minutes before leaving. I knew she would still make me wait, and I thought of what I would say if I had the balls.

Well, it turns out I DO have the balls, although I swear I hadn't made the conscious decision to actually use them. I took one look at her starting her meal when she knew I would be arriving at any second, and my mouth opened and I heard myself say, "Don't take this the wrong way, but my dream is to one day show up and have you actually be ready to go when I arrive."

She took it exactly the wrong way and I could feel her bristle. She mumbled some excuse that she had been ready, but she sat down and lost her momentum, which of course didn't explain why a loss of momentum would involve initiating a meal, but whatevs. Her excuse is she has no excuse, other than the fact she's lived alone for so long she's forgotten how (or perhaps never cared in the first place) to accommodate other people even minimally. This is Deb, and I doubt my statement will make a bit of difference next time, but at least I got an iota of anger off my chest.

I diffused the tense atmosphere with an observation that there was a single sneaker sitting on top of the carport outside, we laughed about it and the fight (and believe me, for us this was a fight) was forgotten.

So, NOW without further ado ::Parade of Homes 2011; Day One:: )

Coming soon: Days 2-5
grrgoyl: (equus)
What's new with me this week? Well, for twelve nail-biting hours there was a chance I would be jetting off to New York to see Rickman in a play.

He's not on Broadway, but rather off- (off-?) Broadway at BAM performing "John Gabriel Borkman," an Ibsen play about a corrupt banker just released from prison trying to plan his strategy in the new economy. Sounds terribly dry and talky, but hey, Rickman -- as has been said in the past, the man could read a grocery list and enthrall an audience.

The play sort of snuck under my radar. I had read murmurings about it over at [livejournal.com profile] alanrickman, but I sort of just ignored it. I think that proves how well I've trained my mind to avoid the thought of spending any money that isn't on a bill or groceries. And with good reason; once upon a time I did think almost nothing of flying across the country for a two-day trip to see a naked Harry Potter. Make no mistake, it was worth every penny, but those were my young, carefree days before medical bills and sweating about paying mortgage next month.

Just to reassure myself, I peeked at the website. Yep, tickets were $80, on top of plane fare. Totally out of the question.

Then [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk announced she got a ticket. I thought that was great, at least I could live vicariously through her (as I very often do). She attended, and even got an autograph at the stage door (no picture with him though; her CelebMojo™ was only at about 75% that night). I could have wept with jealousy. To not only have been in the theater and breathed the same air as him, but then to come face to face with him -- it would have been too much for me. I doubt I would have had the courage to actually say anything, nervous about it turning into a hysterical fangirl tirade, but she has met enough stars at this point to save the squeeing for afterwards.

I was going to think nothing of it again until she casually mentioned she might go back for a weekday performance, when tickets were only $25. WHAT.

Suddenly it seemed the only obstacle was air fare. I clicked over to Kayak.com, to learn that a flight into Newark from Denver would be only $180, and the train into the city only $1.50. This was when my heart started racing. Suddenly very, very attainable.

I'll spare you the stress I endured for the twelve hours when the idea seemed tantalizingly within reach. Ultimately too many factors weighed against me. First, it was do-able, but would certainly make next month's mortgage payment a bit too close to the skin of my teeth. Second, M. didn't have room for me to crash at her place. I might have used Tery's brother's couch again, but I wasn't comfortable doing that the first time and that was with several months of planning ahead. Third, getting the time off so quickly, even for just a day or two, would be no picnic -- my employer tends to prefer about 30 days' notice. Fourth, and probably biggest of all, the sheer amount of traveling required; round trip on a plane with a layover in both directions, train trip to and from the city, subway to Tery's brother, subway to M., all in the dead of winter with unpredictable weather conditions. Way, way too many chances for something to go wrong, and just writing it out exhausts me.

Funny, I'll think nothing of climbing a mountain alone and then barreling back down it on two wheels, but the thought of navigating New York for more than one leg of a journey terrifies me.

[livejournal.com profile] kavieshana, safe in her midwest home, egged me on and questioned how much of a fan I was. I would have done exactly the same thing in her shoes.

Of course, the most compelling reason to do it is Rickman and the fact that he isn't getting any younger. It's horrible to say it, but every week when I get my issue of "Entertainment Weekly" I scan the obits section hoping not to see his name. Morbid, but hardly irrational, particularly with the past couple of years' worth of celebrity deaths both young and old. I've never been obsessed with an actor his age before. It will be devastating.

At any rate, today the decision was taken away from me once and for all when air fares bounced back up to $300+. Thank god, because the stress of wondering if I made the right decision was taking its toll.

So will there be another opportunity to see him on stage? God, I hope so. M. seems optimistic, though it seems lately he's been more interested in directing than acting. We'll see. Hopefully if/when it happens I'll be in a better place financially to jet off at a moment's notice. And M. will have a couch for me ;)
grrgoyl: (Default)
Still playing games with Comcast.

I had hoped paying the $50.45 would be the end of the matter. Then I made the mistake of checking the website a few days later, only to see my account, which remember hadn't updated for weeks despite all the changes I had made, showed the payment, as well as the outstanding balance between the $50 the phone said I owed and the $68 the website claimed.

Calling the phone line again gave me the message that I owed nothing. Games, I tell you. Games.

Not wanting to be disconnected over $18, I again logged online with a rep to ask about the discrepancy. Rather than go into the whole sordid affair, I kept it simple, asking whether I owed the $18 or not. He said I didn't. I have something I can print out as proof. Can't wait for next month.

~*~

A far more pressing matter that I'm sure has you all filled with concern is whether or not I got to see the new Rickman thing, "The Song of Lunch." I have, no thanks to the BBC, who have the nerve to post videos on the World Wide Web, only to block anyone from outside the UK watching them. Fuck you, Beeb. YOU are contributing to internet piracy and file sharing (and of course a mere 48 hours later it was on YouTube, so fuck you twice).

I instantly emailed [livejournal.com profile] meamjeffyjeff, who disappointingly reported back that he got the message 36 minutes into the broadcast, and anyway would have to hook his VCR back to his TV and of course UK videotapes are useless to me without an expensive conversion process. I passed this on to [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana, who answered, "I'm just impressed he got that email back in 1992 where he's living with his VCR."

So yes indeed I saw it. ::And this is what I thought:: )

Not quite what I had expected, but a nice little taste to tide me over until Deathly Hallows comes out next month.
grrgoyl: (cleese)
Against my better judgment, I went with my friend Kristin on Monday to see Alice in Wonderland. Opening weekend is usually my last choice in times to see a movie, but we were both really excited, and as my Avatar experience proved, some movies don't make a difference how long you wait. And that evidently no one works on Mondays anymore.

Sure enough, we arrived at 10:45 for an 11:30 IMAX 3D show. We tried buying tickets online but for some reason IMAX isn't available. We were first in line to buy tickets, not to be confused with the line to enter the theater populated by people who must have some inside information because they already had their tickets. Maybe they weren't going to IMAX.

We were alarmed by a sign in the window that said "Alice in Wonderland IMAX 3D sold out:" followed by what looked like every showtime for the day, until two women behind us (who seemed to make a career out of movie-watching) assured us they normally black out the sold out times.

By 11:00 the line stretched farther back than the line for Avatar did. No one works on Monday anymore. There was no sign of a theater employee, until we finally spotted one leisurely strolling up at about 11:10. She told us there were "plenty" of tickets for IMAX, but it was still nice to be first.

As we joined the ticket-owning line, we watched another customer heading back from the box office announcing to everyone "IMAX sold out! IMAX sold out!" Kristin looked at me skeptically. "IMAX sold out in the 60 seconds it took us to walk to this line?" I figured the woman saw the same sign we did and panicked. Pretty damn irresponsible, if you ask me, and why I refuse to believe anything before speaking to someone in a position to know for sure. That there seems like a good policy to employ for life in general.

So anyway, ::Alice in Wonderland:: )

From what I'm reading the movie is getting a lukewarm reception from just about everyone, which is a shame. It's hard to tell if it's a critique of the movie as a movie or a result of sky-high expectations due to the source material, or sky-high expectations of Burton in general. It reminded me most strongly of Labyrinth and everyone loves Labyrinth, so I suspect the complaints are more a function of the latter two than the first.

I personally thoroughly enjoyed it, until the end when Johnny breaks into an out-of-place Michael Jacksonesque dance, set to even more out of place, rather jarring Oingo Boingo-type music a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, followed by an even more out-of-place pop song over the credits that turned the movie into just another vehicle for some Miley Cyrus-ish star and made it as cheap and hollow as critics complain the rest of the film is. I blame Disney for that last more than Burton.

EDIT: Video courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk: Mad Hatter futterwacken. It's blurry, but see for yourself how completely un-frabjous it is.

Shoe-in for a Blu-ray purchase. Whether that means anyone else will enjoy it, you'd be better off speaking to someone in a position to know for sure.
grrgoyl: (GQ fuck)
Quick addendum to Boston

  • As we sat in traffic at a light, I saw a Cooper Mini that was somewhat reluctant to enter a particularly frenzied rotary. As I watched, the car behind it suddenly slid forward and tapped its bumper. "Holy crap!" I exclaimed, "That car totally just hit that Cooper!" Both drivers moved on though, and my sister replied blandly, "Sometimes you just gotta give 'em a nudge," as if this sort of thing happened all the time. When did honking the horn stop being good enough? Like I said, everyone is in such a big damn hurry.


  • I saw a flight attendant nearly come to blows with a passenger because he wasn't returning his seat back to its upright position quickly enough for her satisfaction. Meanwhile small children and infants are allowed to sit in parents' laps completely unrestrained. Has there ever been any scientific evidence supporting the life-saving properties of moving that extra 12 degrees forward in the event of a plane crash? Or is this just flight crews drunk with what little power they have?



It's like he's right in the room with me


Evidently my new Rickman desktop wallpaper is so lifelike my Schminky turned around, noticed it and meowed at him, mistaking him for an actual person.




Me too, Minky. Me too.



"Who the hell is this guy and why is he in every room?!?"


Tery's only comment on the new look: "It's awfully....Rickmany."



Coming soon: My review of Paranormal Activity
grrgoyl: (snarry dollies)
It all started with a post on one of my Snarry communities, a random art post by [livejournal.com profile] laeticiav of her BJDs (which I learned today stands for "ball jointed dolls"):


A posterized version titled "Hush"


It reminded me there were Snape things out there I hadn't shopped for yet (or specifically, Rickman things -- I've concluded that now that I own every piece of Rickman movie footage money can buy (and even some it can't), now I have to turn to Rickman dollies. And since no one has put out a Colonel Brandon figure (have they? why haven't they?), that means Snape dollies).

When I run out of dollies to buy, I fear my next step will be pillowcases and keychains and potholders, any tacky old thing with Alan's face silkscreened on it, to get my fix.

Unfortunately this particular doll is apparently a DIM (Doll in Mind™) "Minimee", made by a Korean company that released a doll head modeled after Rickman. From what I gather, the head is a blank that requires you to not only paint it yourself but apply your own hair and eyes. I tracked down one "Snape" Minimee for sale by someone who said she paid $350 all told. SKATCHAMAGOWZA.

In the course of my frantic Googling I also tracked down this doll made by Tonner:



Supposedly also modeled after Rickman's face (though I'm not really feeling it), this retails for around $170. Limited edition of 1500, which normally would be the magic words to make my wallet appear, except something about the hair just looks too silly and seeing Alan's face is too much of a stretch for that amount. I might live to regret passing this up, but it wouldn't be the first time.

Still, I think we can all agree the workmanship has come light years from the original Snape put out by Mattel all those years ago:



(OT: Can I just mention this? I'm really sick of websites with a "click for larger" button, which then pops up the exact same sized picture in its own window. Is anyone fooled by this?)

Anyhoo. Dolls weren't going to work, but in the course of my travels I came across resin busts. There are two very nice-looking ones made by Gentle Giant.


This one came out a year or more ago and is sold out everywhere (also limited edition 1500), though is pictured on enough websites to keep me on a merry chase that could take hours if I let it


ADDENDUM: I found one site that tantalizingly didn't have an order form, but rather a "submit request" page for item availability. Not wanting to leave any stone unturned, I submitted a request. I just heard back from the seller, who admitted he "packed so much stuff away when eBay raised their prices" he didn't know if he had it or not (he doubted it though). So I get to live with the slim possibility that he DOES haunting me the rest of my life.


This one apparently made a debut at the latest Comic Con and is still "pending approval." I approve! Let's get it out there!


Let me tell you, there's not a lot of satisfaction to be had from shopping for things that aren't actually for sale. So instead I turned to this sculpture from NECA:


I really hope it looks better than my exceedingly disappointing NECA 7-inch Snape action figure


While I was over at eBay, I noticed some of these life-size cardboard standees in my search for "giant." And, well, I bought one.


I remember when I first joined the fandom and saw pictures of a superfan posing with one of these, and thought "Oh boy, crazy." I had no idea what a thin line it actually was


Speaking of eBay, if you think it's easy searching on there when the engine is adamant that I meant to search for "snap," think again.

I just have to throw this out there too, something else I wandered into:


"Mrs. Ludacris Snape." Do you think that's photoshopped on, or the guy is really that secure? For reals, yo


I guess for now I have to be happy to have a collection of photos of Snape collectible items.
grrgoyl: (Snape clapping gif)
First, the matter of Friday's. I ended up doing nothing, and received in the mail $32 worth of coupons. Very nice. This is why I complain (with reason): most of the time you just get a letter of apology and meaningless ass-kissing. But sometimes you get a company that puts its money where its mouth is.

~*~

Neighbor troubles again, and this time I don't mean Tracey. The woman for whom I house-sat last year, the crazy one with five cats and highly dubious health standards in her home? She now has a sixth cat, a shy little girl, midnight black. That isn't the problem. The problem is she for god knows what reason is setting her sights on a puppy.

Her place is about the same size as ours. This is too many animals for a place that small. Who am I to point fingers? Well, the two ferrets in size and activity level equal just about one young cat. And one of our cats has three feet in the grave and essentially sleeps all day and night. Which just leaves the very manageable Kitten and the bird, who hangs out on the top of her cage. Six cats and a puppy is CRAZY TALK.

Again, really none of my business. Except she's a teacher with only about two weeks of vacation left to train this animal. And she asked me, because I work from home, if I would mind stopping in once a day to walk the puppy and play with it for 15 minutes. Of course I mind -- between working the hospital on the weekends and Tracey's fucking beasts, frankly I wouldn't mind never seeing another dog again as long as I live (except Babyface the greyhound. And Navi the I don't know what she is. And of course Beowulf).

But I didn't say that to her. I answered with a cheerful "Sure, no problem!" but I could feel my face telling a different story. Hopefully she read that story, or saw something shiny that took her mind off it, because it's been over a week and I haven't heard any more about it. It's enough to leave me in dread every time the doorbell rings though.

~*~

I finally saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Don't ever again say that I lack patience. Actually I was determined to see it in IMAX 3D, before realizing that meant waiting until July 29th. I can be patient, but I'm not SUPERHUMAN.

Especially considering how everyone in my HP circle was virtually fainting dead away at how Snape-centric the movie was. This surprised me -- I mean, Snape IS the Half-Blood Prince (see inside for my view on spoilers for this film), but I fully expected Warner Bros to gloss over this fact entirely in their ongoing campaign to ignore Rickman as long as possible.

So I compromised between going opening day and waiting until the 29th, and went Monday morning. Not a clever enough plan, it turns out, to avoid every asshole, but it could have been worse.

::What I thought:: )

The ending was a good setup to the final two films. It reminded me strongly of the end of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, sort of a "This was all well and good but we really need to start thinking about the next movie."

Despite going to a 10:30 a.m. showing (which still, with the help of 20 bloody minutes of trailers, consumed most of the day), I couldn't escape the assholes.

15 people in the theater, and a woman and her 20-something daughter (?) sat two seats away from me. Which wasn't a problem until we had barely arrived at Hogwarts and she flipped her phone open. She was trying to be discreet about it, shielding it in her purse, but that wasn't doing much to protect me from it.

I gamely gave her the few beats needed to check the time (but again, the movie had barely begun. If your schedule is this tight, what are you doing in a movie theater??) When she appeared to start scrolling through menus, etc. (just like the asshole in X-Men: Wolverine) I asked nicely, "Could you please not do that?" When she ignored me, I said louder, "You're being really rude."

At this her companion popped up on the other side of her and began whispering something angrily at me. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I really wonder what argument she came up with that she thought would make me say, "Sorry, my bad, don't let the movie interrupt you checking your Facebook." I put up with the mouth breathing. I put up with the constant pawing at your popcorn. Please, lady, give me just one tiny fucking break.

I'm getting to the point where I can see a future of avoiding movie theaters entirely. The stress of expectantly waiting for my fellow audience to become bored and restless is starting to outweigh any actual enjoyment of the movie. It makes me a little sad, because everyone should know by now that movies are my biggest joy in life. But the only solution that I can think of is to confiscate all phones at the door, and I don't see THAT going over well with everyone else.

Not that renting a movie at home is any guarantee of pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ::Lost Boys: The Tribe:: )

Not as terrible as you'd expect. Not as good as you'd hope. Probably better than the Lost Boys 3 that's threatened on IMDb.
grrgoyl: (Dr. Horrible)
As promised, I plan to review The Worst Movie I've Ever Seen. But first, some old business:

The Pet Safe Outdoor Bark Deterrent ended up being a spectacular failure. Either the dogs' stupidity, or boredom, or pigheadedness proved more than the device could handle.

I had given up on it earlier, even emailed Amazon for a return authorization. No sooner had I got it boxed up ready for shipping than the dog let loose with the longest jag I'd heard since installing it. Hmmm, perhaps it WAS doing something. So I put it back for a week until I eventually determined that there really was no relation between the presence of the unit and the dog's activity (or lack of). Certainly not for the amount I paid.

We have video evidence of Tracey peering at the device, which had a very obvious green blinking light on it. Tery thought it would be funny just to keep putting up things with flashing LEDs and then randomly taking them down, just to fuck with her. I concur.

*~*

Now, onto the movies:

::Momma's Man:: )

They say the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy. It is on these grounds that I elect this movie The Worst Movie I've Ever Seen. Because I've seen plenty of bad movies, but usually they at least give you the pleasure of mocking them to entertain yourself. This movie is so "meh" it doesn't even do that.

Lots of film snobs over at IMDb are raving about it. "Poignant." "Touching." "Love letter to his parents." I think I originally added it to Netflix based on a favorable review in "Entertainment Weekly." I must have skimmed over the part where they compare the director to Jim Jarmusch. Had I read that I would have run screaming. Because Jarmusch directed my previous Worst Movie Ever Seen, Dead Man, equally stultifying but at least starring Johnny Depp. Momma's Man is the new bar to which all other bad movies will be held up.

Next, the honest-to-goodness last Rickman movie I hadn't seen, Bob Roberts (I had previously thought it was Michael Collins). This will be short so I won't cut.

Tim Robbins is Bob Roberts, the fictional grassroots, anti-60's, vaguely evangelical folk singer turned senatorial candidate. Rickman is his shady Karl Rovian campaign manager and barely appears at all in the movie, which was my fear.

There's an impressive cadre of cameos, mostly playing reporters and news anchors: James Spader, Susan Sarandon, Peter Gallagher, as well as John Cusack as a subversive SNL type comedian and, most amusingly, a young, wee, skinny bit of a thing Jack Black as a wild-eyed zealous young Republican type.

The movie is eerie for the way it foreshadows the descent into religious conservatism the country took after it was made (not to mention the underhanded stunts used by the party to manipulate the public and achieve its ends). Robbins has the perfect glassy shark eyes and vacant Howdy Doody smile of a rightwing politician with strong spiritual leanings. Rickman is really hot (deep in his blond feathered hair phase), even as he's playing sinister. The movie is worth a gander even despite his shameful underuse.

Finally I saw ::Ghost Writer:: )

The movie was....bizarre. Written and directed by Alan Cumming, the entire point of the film seemed to be to create a flimsy pretense to sadistically and pseudosexually torture David Boreanaz.

Alan as John was especially trying. He was offensively flaming and unbalanced, and I just wondered through the whole thing if he'd always been this bad an actor and I was just too besotted to see it (and wondering that made me sad). Is Alan Rickman not that great (as Tery maintains) and I'm too blinded by lust?

The script also struck me as very film school, very college theater, very amateur. It was painful, only because I used to love him so much. As an indication of how far I'm over him, the special features consist of commentary by him, and I flat out couldn't stomach the idea of watching the movie a second time. Sorry Alan. Perhaps if your last name was Rickman we could talk.
grrgoyl: (UCB I'm not even here)
I'm experiencing a bit of a Rickman Renaissance, a Ricknaissance if you will. I realized that a lot of old titles that I watched casually back before my love was in full bloom are now available quite affordably on most sites. Specifically, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

I know, I know, I couldn't stand that movie. However. That was before I realized that the two-disc extended edition contained an extra 15 minutes, most of which evidently focus on Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham. "Interesting if you like that Richman guy, but doesn't add much to the movie" reviewers say on Amazon. Reviewers who no doubt resent any focus being dragged away from Kevin "no British accent for me" Costner. Add to that screencaps of Alan smiling and messing around from the bonus features on rickmanistareview.com (my new favorite site) and ownership of this is a no-brainer.

There's also a special edition of my second (or third) favorite Rickman flick (Rickflick? I'll stop), Galaxy Quest, on the horizon. It's all coming together nicely.

~*~

Of course I planned to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine, just not under such unpleasant circumstances.

Saturday night Ryan, after more than a week of blowing off our workout routine, swore to me up and down that Monday was the day. He was going to start up again, yesiree. A bike ride, the gym, he didn't care, he was there.

Then Monday came and it was a very different story. After giving Ryan ample opportunity to call me, I finally texted him, only to be told he had "overbooked" his day and was now too busy for me. When was he planning to let me know? Hard on the heels of this rather rude slight came his invitation to see the movie with "us." As Tery put it, the afterthought invite: my very favorite kind.

The problem is the "us." Ryan has a shiny new roommate, Lucy, a friend of John's. This was my first time meeting Lucy. My impression of her is she looks the way John would look if he were shorter, female and more butch -- if she isn't a lesbian, she'd certainly be on the short list to play one on TV. But Ryan insisted she wasn't much of a drinker, and she agreed that John was "disappointing," so I guess she was alright.

I was irked by Ryan putting me off, but was doing my best to keep a happy face on. Ryan sensed the turmoil beneath and repeatedly asked if everything was alright. Either he's super-intuitive or I wasn't hiding it as well as I thought I was.

I mentioned our neighbors going to Mexico in the middle of the flu scare (they've returned home with only a garden variety viral illness, fortunately). Lucy eagerly chimed in, "We had the swine flu last night!" Apparently some bar somewhere in Denver (I'm sure we aren't alone) is tasteless enough to have named an alcoholic beverage after a pandemic that has the country in an iron grip of terror. Whatever. I was reminded of Ryan's insistence that she wasn't a very big drinker.

We took our seats, the movie started, and Ryan and I had more or less returned to normal.

After the movie I tried one last time to get Ryan to join me at the gym, but he put me off until Tuesday. He did ask for some free passes for Lucy. Apparently our duo is about to become a trio. Meh.

Tuesday. Ryan texted me midday to beg off the gym, claiming severe depression. I'm being patient with him, but I did helpfully suggest that maybe exercise would help him snap out of it. No response.

So I opted for a bike ride. I've been having trouble with the bike ever since trying to attach a rear rack and mistakenly removing the back tire. I had no idea the back tire was a bit more complicated to reattach than the front. Consequently I've been having trouble with it refusing to stay attached. It's especially fond of coming off when I'm trying to pedal across a huge intersection one block from our house, when roughly 50 motorists are staring at me as I cross.

It had come off a couple of times on my ride, until the last time no matter how securely I thought I had it on, I couldn't pedal more than once before it popped off again. Admitting defeat, I resigned myself to walking home. It was about a mile and a half; it felt like ten. And I was afraid I wouldn't get a very good workout away from the gym.

I called Ryan hoping for some sympathy. I didn't expect his phone to be answered by a very drunk-sounding girl, presumably Lucy (you remember Lucy, the not very big drinker). Ryan came on and immediately said that he couldn't help me, he was downtown. Not too depressed to go out drinking, evidently.

I was too worried about my immediate plight to think much at the time, but I woke up the next morning pissed as hell. It was good to know that had I been in trouble, Ryan would have preferred to stay at the bar rather than help me. And he can get his own damn free passes for Lucy. I've since learned she's unemployed and living rent-free off Ryan's goodwill (he's got a real talent for attracting losers who for some reason mistake him for Mr. Moneybags Sugar Daddy), so I don't really see how 7 free days of gym usage is going to do her any good.

(Hopefully the bike problem is solved. I brought the bike back to the shop where they tightened the tire on really well. I don't know if I'll ever fully relax on it though.)

Wednesday. Ryan called in sick to work because he "wasn't feeling well." Which in Ryan-speak means hangover. Good thing Lucy isn't a very big drinker.

Anyway, ::the movie:: )

Overall a respectable addition to the franchise. Certainly better than Last Stand. Will most certainly be purchasing.

~*~

Last but not least, this is what my lazy postal carrier has come to in delivering my packages:


Hai. I live next to a drug addict. Please to not be leaving valuable things on my doorstep


Can anyone explain the point of draping the welcome mat halfway over it? The welcome mat that's full of big holes?
grrgoyl: (Alan Alone)
Wow, it's been awhile.    Nothing big has happened, but life isn't always big.  So here are a bunch of small things instead.

First is breaking news. Our good neighbors Mike and Anna very foolishly went to Mexico on vacation -- just after swine flu started making headlines here. As I told [livejournal.com profile] aurora_z, there's not panicking needlessly and then there's playing fast and loose with your chances. Tery said we now have two new cats (theirs, which she is watching for them). She just added, "Alas, Mike and Anna Takagi won't be joining us for the rest of their lives." (Recognize it? It's a variation on probably my favorite line in Die Hard. There'll be a quiz later.)

~*~

Working out is still...working out, with or without Ryan (who has started making excuses).  My only complaint is that no one ever makes eye contact with you, and forget about a smile.  All those endorphins raging and people working to better their health, and you won't see a grumpier group of individuals.    What I like about it, however, is it doesn't matter how obese or out of shape someone is -- they're at a gym and they're trying to do something about it, and that makes me refreshingly nonjudgmental (unlike the contempt I feel for F-booms that sit around stuffing their faces when they should be working (e.g. the majority of Tery's workforce)). 

Except this one guy.  Granted I'm not an expert on gym etiquette, but what's this all about?    Ryan and I had done every machine in our routine but one.  However, this guy had spent the last 15 minutes or so sitting on the machine next to it, occasionally doing a few reps but mostly just sitting there.  Ryan thought he was waiting for our last machine.  I agreed, but I also thought if you're waiting for a machine, you shouldn't be hanging out on another machine, creating the illusion of using that machine, while waiting for a different machine.  So when ours became free, I darted in and finished my set quickly.  Sure enough, as soon as I left the guy finally got off his ass and boarded it.    I still didn't feel bad though, because his workout "method" (if you can call it that) involved the occasional 2 or 3 reps followed by a whole lot of sitting there staring off into space, veeeeeeeery similar to his "waiting" mode.  In fact, he was still at it when Ryan and I had finished our quick cardio about 15 minutes later.    Me, I have things to do.  I'm not interested in spending more time at the gym than I have to.

I've figured out the trick though.  Some exercises are unique to only one machine.  Others have three or four machines that all do very similar movements.  The trick is to get the unique ones done first, so if it starts getting busy you can finish up on the ones with more choices.  Gym smarts...I haz dem.

~*~

I've recently resurrected my interest in biking just in time for summer.  I went on one ride, but then our final freak snowstorm hit two weekends ago (80 degrees one day, six inches of snow the next.  Only in Colorado) and that was that for awhile.  I was going to go the following Monday when it cleared up, but when Ryan bailed on me again I decided a day on the couch relaxing sounded more appealing.  Tery flipped out on me, as if it was my last chance rather than my first. 

Then Wednesday was Earth Day.  I wanted desperately to kill two birds with one stone (probably an inappropriate metaphor when discussing Earth Day):  Bike to the grocery store.  Exercise and shopping in one!  However, sadly I didn't need anything that weighed less than 10 pounds:  kitty litter, laundry detergent, gallons of milk, tub of butter (fortunately we were set for concrete blocks and lawn furniture) -- big, heavy bulky things that would be impossible to secure to the bike, never mind pedal back two or three miles with.    So I very begrudgingly took my car instead.  Sorry, Earth.

I consoled myself with the knowledge that for me, every other day of the year is Earth Day.  I walk (and now bike) whenever possible, recycle as much as possible, shop with canvas bags, refuse to drive an ecosystem-devouring SUV.  So why do I still feel guilty?  Because those of us who care need to go that extra mile to make up for the many, many who don't.

~*~

Our galley-style kitchen is quite small, and necessitated us keeping our garbage can inside one of our lower cabinets.  Unfortunately the combination of something forbidden being shut away out of reach was irresistible to the ferrets, necessitating installing childproof locks on the door.  This proved quite perplexing to our occasional guests, and so annoying to Tery that she preferred the trash lying around the house.  So we've decided to try a low-profile can in the corner.

Obviously a more visible can should be somewhat nicer-looking, which means stainless steel.  I've never priced stainless steel trash cans before, so had no idea anything bigger than an office bucket gets up into the $100+ range.  One hundred dollars!!    For a trash can!!  And not even a 13-gallon.  The biggest I found was 10-gallon, and required special bags from the manufacturer.  Any bigger and we were looking at closer to $170.  For a garbage can.  Tery wanted it for her birthday, and she spared no expense for me, so I was willing to consider it (the $100, that is).

I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I stopped into Target and found a 13-gallon option for only $40.  That was more like it.  It was Target brand rather than SimpleHuman (the most popular brand I was finding online), but hey.  The price was a lot easier to stomach, and Tery said she didn't mind a more reasonable option.

Upon getting it home, the reason for the price difference was immediately apparent.  The "retaining ring" meant to hold the bag in place was flimsy and could barely hold itself in place.  And the lid didn't have the tiniest bit of cushioning (unlike SimpleHuman's patented "LID SHOX" silent hydraulic lowering system), making it clang loudly with every closing (Tery has taken to exclaiming, "Ancient Chinese secret, huh?" with every gong-like report).   

It seems crazy to me that for these little extra touches you need to shell out an additional 60+ bucks.    I would happily say as much on Target's product review site, except suspiciously this particular can doesn't show up in any searches.    Clever, Target.  Very clever indeed.  But it is pretty nice to throw trash away without stockpiling it first on the counter to cut down on opening the cabinet repeatedly.    And now Tery is giddy with the possibilities opened up by regaining that cabinet space.

~*~

Okay, I lied.  Something exciting DID happen to me.  JeffyJeff sent my birthday package, a magazine, a CD sampler, a card and a nondescript piece of paper.  I read the accompanying letter first, where he described how a student of his attending a West End play spotted Alan in the audience and acquired his autograph that now sat in my hands (there was no mention of how Jeffy got it from the student.  However, since she addressed Alan as "Professor Snape," I suspect she's not the president of the Rickmania Fan Club).  I.....WHAT????   

I shakily unfolded the scrap of paper, and yes indeedy, it was Rickman's autograph.  The original too, not just a photocopy:


Well, THIS is a photocopy


My eyes literally filled with tears.  I couldn't believe it.  Normally my opinion on autographs is what's the point if you can't meet the person and get it face to face, but I will most definitely make an exception in this case.  Tery even recommended I keep the extraneous layers of scrap because Alan had touched them. 

But now the quandary of displaying it.  Problem #1:  Despite my enormous cache of Alan photos on my hard drive, I didn't have a single nice glossy print to frame.  Problem #2:  I didn't have a frame designed for displaying a photo and autograph.  There were several nice ones on eBay that contained cheap reprints of photos and autographs of famous people.  But much as I loved the idea of buying an Elvis Presley autograph (reprint) and discarding it for Alan, with shipping it came to $20.  I thought I could do better at a local hobby store.

I thought wrong.  First stop:  Michael's, where I found no less than two aisles devoted to shadow boxes for every imaginable collectible you'd ever wish to display -- except, naturally, autographs.  Flags (the most popular).  T-shirts.  Baseballs.  Record albums and CDs.  Watches.  ANTIQUE KEYS.  Autographs?  Nothing.  Hobby Lobby had even less, so long story short I settled on a frame with a diploma display (8 x 10") with a smaller cut-out for a 5 x 7" photo that was only $10 on sale.

Even more frustrating was trying to find some kind of preserving agent.  My first internet stop after receiving the precious document was to search for advice on how to protect it.  The site I found recommended a spray that would neutralize the acid in the paper to prevent yellowing and breakdown.  I thought I'd have no trouble finding such a thing at a craft store.

At Michael's, I asked the guy in Custom Framing, who said it was called an archival spray and they no longer carried it.  Have you ever set foot in a Michael's?  They carry hundreds of thousands of products.  They couldn't possibly fit in one more? 

Still better than Hobby Lobby, where the girl had never even heard of such a thing.  Disgusted, I took the initiative and ended up in Scrapbooking, where I found a can of something called, helpfully enough, "Make it Acid-Free!"  I brought it back to the girl, who I doubted appreciated my attempt at education.

Anyway, now I'm good to go.  I found some delicious publicity glossies on eBay (no film stills or shots of the side of his head as he scurries away from paparazzi), and got three after not being able to choose.  I'm displaying actually a photocopy and squirreling the original away in an acid-free pouch into my fire safe.  It may very well be my most prized possession, even more than my Dan Radcliffe Equus poster.


Eat your heart out, Robert Pattinson.  I like to think he was wearing something similar to this when he signed my paper


~*~

Now for some movies: 

::Untraceable:: )

I don't know if I'm just getting old.  I sat through all five Saw films with barely a flinch, but this movie made me positively queasy.  Not just the torture murders, but the message perhaps hits a little too close to home.  I often participate in the online culture that occasionally victimizes others (to my knowledge not killing anyone though).  It turns a cold, unforgiving light on the phenomenon.  The problem is the movie isn't really good enough to be as effective as it should be.


A far better movie is the classic suspense thriller ::The Bad Seed:: )

Well, I've gone and flouted the hilariously dated plea that appears before the closing credits imploring people "not to divulge this film's truly shocking ending!!!"    Bad Seed, meet my friends The Crying Game and The Sixth Sense.    But seriously, for a 50's movie based on a play, it was very well written and well acted.  I normally can't stand such an obvious stage script, but this movie deserves the title "classic."  I even watched it a second time with commentary, that's how much I enjoyed it.  It was apparently the first time anyone had suggested a possible hereditary factor in sociopathy, and I found the psychobabble pretty fascinating.    Not surprisingly, this movie is also pretty popular among teh gays, probably because it isn't hard to see the metaphor in a parent turning on a child after discovering their true nature.    5 out of 5, I think.  At the very least worth a rental.

Finally, the last widely available Rickman movie I hadn't seen (oops. Besides Bob Roberts), ::Michael Collins:: )

Alan plays Eamon "Dev" De Valera, the president of the Republic -- which sounds very important, except in a movie about Michael Collins.  However, there's a scene where he's dressed as an altar boy (my heart just about stopped beating) and yet another where he breaks out of jail by dressing as Michael's auntie, and yet another where he delivers a rousing revolutionary speech to a town square full of Irish extras (in which he sounds more like Rasputin than De Valera).    Damn you and your movie-stealing abilities, Alan!!!    So, I guess I'll be sitting through all that other boring historical crap repeatedly for these scattered gems.   

~*~

I'd like to dedicate this post to my dear JeffyJeff, not only for his amazingly thoughtful and wonderful gift, but for giving me the kick in the ass I needed to finally finish this post. 
grrgoyl: (snarry dollies)
I don't have a lot to say, but a week without updating is like a week without showering (which has been known to happen rarely, and doesn't do much to endear me to the ladies, if you know what I mean).  And since my readership appears to have dwindled again, the beauty of talking to yourself is you don't get tired of listening.

I think I can finally put a period on the iClone.  The auction ended at $113, a satisfactory increase from the starting price of $70 (which one joker stopped by and offered me on the spot, hinting that it would be the best I could expect since the phone was used.  As the saying goes, I was born on a Monday, but not LAST Monday). 

For the longest time my winning bidder was a guy in Germany, which kind of sucked considering I offered free worldwide shipping to entice buyers.  Fortunately he was outbid by a guy in New York, whose Asian name, right or wrong, set my mind at rest about his ability to deal with the bizarre Korean programming the device features. 

I had intended to ship it First Class, but didn't take into account that the package size fell outside the parameters.  The clerk, accustomed to my normally rushed attitude (I typically pop in there before starting work in the mornings), didn't really make my options clear, and before I knew it I had paid $9 to send the thing Parcel Post, the most agonizingly slow shipping method.

I left, but couldn't stop thinking about it.  I thought about how much I hate waiting for my stuff.  I thought about how sometimes I'm willing to overlook small flaws in my purchases if the seller is friendly and it comes quickly, and as far as I'm concerned this phone, practically new or not, is one of the most flawed pieces of engineering I've ever seen.  Sure, I can't be blamed for how it's made, but unlike ccslickscompany, I wasn't willing to leave anything to chance.

So I went back to the post office and I upgraded to Priority, a difference of only $1.65.  Which I would've done in a heartbeat the first time if I'd known.  He received it yesterday and left me positive feedback, so I think I can finally move on.  I'm sure that's a relief to all of us.  See, ccslickscompany?  Was that so hard??

~*~

A bit of a PS to Mr. Tony from the party, the fanboy psychostalker. 

Deb and I had retreated upstairs to look something up on the computer.  Tony followed us up and, as is his way, totally took over the conversation.  I showed Deb my spiffy Rickman mousepad and he exclaimed excitedly, "Oh, I love that guy!"  Surprised, I of course concurred.  "Have you ever seen him in that movie when he plays Jack the Ripper?"    I had not, and Deb and I both looked at each other quizzically.    "It's AWESOME!" he enthused.

At this point I've seen just about every second of Rickman that's been committed to celluloid, with the exception of Michael Collins (don't know what I'm waiting for) and of course his more obscure BBC stuff.  I think, in all my covetous drooling over his filmography, I would have heard of him playing Jack the Ripper. 

The answer of course is that he never did.  Tony was thinking of David Warner, who played Saucy Jack in a sci-fi flick called Time After Time (I like David Warner fine, though thank god it isn't an obsession.  The man's resumé is longer than my whole body).  Based on Tony's exuberant description -- something about Jack discovering a time machine and being chased by HG Wells across time -- it sounds unbearably cheesy and silly, and lord knows my cheese tolerance is pretty high.  Plus, how do you confuse Alan Rickman with David Warner?   

Then as Tony was exiting the loft area, he stopped long enough to feign shock and outrage over my Snarry display (see icon), which from there was a natural progression to the rampant homophobia we saw downstairs.  Just get back into your closet, you self-hating homo.

~*~

Now, for some ::quickie movie reviews!!:: )
grrgoyl: (snapecast)
Some post scripts from yesterday:

First, Tery demands that the story of her accomplishment be told, but she doesn't have the motivation to keep a blog of her own.

Last night she replaced most of our ancient metal kitchen sink pipes with PVC. Before you become unduly impressed, she was the one who clogged them irreparably by shoving a lemon into the trash compactor (an attempt to deodorize), a venture I advised against. When she started taking them apart to clear the clog, the 30-year-old metal just disintegrated in her hands. Water started gushing out of the pipe and all over the floor.

Some might think of calling a plumber at this point. But after spending $138 to have a plumber install our new faucet just because we panicked when one pipe didn't seem to fit right, I vowed never again.

With fifteen minutes until closing time, we dashed to Lowe's, the dessicated and crud-filled pipes clutched in her hands. We accosted Dan, a plumbing associate, who from half an aisle away saw the pipes and in under fifteen seconds grabbed the appropriate replacements off the shelves, almost without looking. I was the one who insisted on getting more pipes than technically needed replacing, as I saw no reason to go through this rigamarole twice.

For about 12 bucks we got all the PVC we needed. Tery did the manual work while I held the flashlight, because I have a powerful aversion to the sludge that lives in pipes of all varieties. Not Tery; she poked her finger in and swiped it around without a single qualm. I did talk her through some sticky spots where we couldn't immediately see how the pipes went together, and of course handed her the tools -- sort of like a surgical nurse.

Job completed. Tery declared what a satisfying feeling it was to work with her hands. She wondered if she could get a second job as a plumber in between being a hospital manager. I said be my guest, I could probably quit both my jobs if she were making that kind of money. Then she began fantasizing about being a lesbian plumber and visiting ladies' homes all day and I put a stop to that dream toot sweet.

She insisted on photo documentation, so here you are:


She's so butch

New mostly plastic pipes


She attributes her success mostly to me not yelling at her while she was working. Another contribution of mine.

~*~

My Truly, Madly, Deeply DVD arrived today. Perhaps the story of this movie needs some qualification. Of course Alan is adorable and funny and romantic in it, all the things he's never allowed to be in almost every other movie. He sings! He's got grab-fuck hair! I don't go 100% for the mustache, but it's the only Alan movie Deb would care about enough to own. The funny thing is back when I was first starting to seek out other Alan movies, before it was an official obsession, I caught it purely by chance on cable. Apparently it hasn't been on TV since, and I've searched. Cosmic conspiracy? You decide.

The problem with the DVD is it comes in two versions, a no-frills and one with director's commentary. Those who know me best know I would never be happy with just the no-frills version. But the special one was out of print and not selling anywhere for less than $50, which was a little too rich for my blood, even burning as it does for Alan.

I don't know what made me search eBay for it again, but I did, and found someone selling a brand new copy, with commentary, for $25. Of course I couldn't resist. I was half afraid it was someone trying to pawn off the no-frills version, but no, it's the correct one (leaving me with an unprecedented lack of saga).

I just watched it again tonight. It's definitely a must-own for Alan fans, however, I'm forced to admit I really prefer him a little older and a little...meatier. He was really scrawny when he was younger. I still wouldn't kick him out of bed but his appeal, at least for me, has definitely increased the older he gets.

No time tonight for the commentary, but I did watch the interview with director Anthony Minghella. This was pretty disappointing. I seek out commentary on some movies because I like the movie. On others I'm hoping for some behind-the-scenes tidbits on whatever actor I bought the movie for. I want to hear what it was like working with them, how they were chosen for the part, stuff like that. Minghella's interview talks a bit about his process in writing the movie, his first time directing a movie, the reaction to the movie, etc. He spends a LOT of time talking about his star Juliet Stevenson (who I found really annoying the first time. She was considerably more tolerable the second time). About how this is their 10th time working together. About how he discovered her in the RSC and instantly wanted to work with her in everything. About the rehearsal she went through to reach the gut-wrenching depths of grief required for one scene in particular.

Oh, yeah, and Alan and a bunch of other people were also really wonderful in the film. Literally, in a 30-minute segment, this is all that is said about Alan. I hope the actual commentary track takes some time out from self-aggrandizing to mention him at some point.

What is it about Alan Rickman that drives the movie makers to avoid doing anything to acknowledge he was a participant? The only commentary I've seen that makes any decent mention of him is Die Hard. It's also the only commentary I've seen that's in text form, so that's a bit annoying.

The rest of the film aside, it amuses me to no end that Juliet Stevenson later co-stars with him again in The Search for John Gissing. It's hard to see them outside of their TMD roles even though they barely interact in Gissing.

~*~

Since my 10% pay cut went into effect this month, I've been really trying to buckle down and concentrate on the transcription work. I think my new attitude of not caring as much about filling in blanks has helped, but it's still a stone drag not being able to idly surf in between reports as often as I used to.

YouTube obviously had to go. I can has cheezburger I can get through faster, and frankly some days I need those guaranteed laughs more than caffeine. I've only just discovered why women hate men; I try to save it as a little treat at the end of the day. The real trick is to stay as far away from cracked.com as possible -- this site sucks more time than YouTube, and delivers more laughs than the cats.

I've cut waaaaaay back on reading my F-list all day, but you people are so damn addictive.

They offered us a conference call to discuss the pay cut with our fellow MTs and supervisors. The catch was since it wasn't actual training, it would be unpaid. Yeah, give up an hour of work for a call that might address my concerns, but more likely would just be an unregulated bitch session, in between listening to a bunch of barely socialized women sharing stories about their day I don't care about, preparing dinner and letting their kids scream in the background? No, thank you.

~*~

Last but not least, this dog's name is Cuddles:


Cuddles


I discovered what an appropriate name it is when she was literally the only dog boarding one weekend, all alone in B ward. I felt bad for her so let her run loose all night, like I do with Beowulf. Unlike Beowulf, she climbed up on my cot with me and curled up behind my knees to sleep. Adorable. Until the morning when I returned her to her cage and she started howling mournfully. Because dogs, unlike cats, can't just say, "Well, this has been lovely but now it's time to move on." Nope, you give and give and then they say, "How much more have you got?"

She was there again the next weekend. Again I let her roam. There was a postop cat in the bottom cage in Recovery that Cuddles just fell in love with, but the cat wanted none of it. Poor Cuddles sat outside the cage all night hoping for another glimpse of her. It was actually quite sad.
grrgoyl: (Alan Alone)
This past weekend it was -8 degrees in Denver. MINUS EIGHT DEGREES. I was obsessed, as I am every year, with draft-proofing our house with the cheap, generally ineffective measures available at Lowe's -- until the tragic news story of a family of four found dead of monoxide poisoning in their home. MyFriendDeb said these fancy new houses being built are so well insulated that it's much more of a threat, whereas our older, leakier home paradoxically is much safer. After that I decided I'd rather just put on an extra sweatshirt to combat the chill. We made an emergency run to Target Sunday for a space heater for the bird, the only creature Tery is really concerned about staying properly warm.


This is what happens to the inside of cheap, decades-old windows in minus eight degrees. Yes, Virginia, that's ice. The brown part is the color the frame normally is


We've decided the next time we have a large cash windfall (ha) we're looking into getting some better windows. Cuz dayum.

I contented myself instead with putting up a black-out curtain over the balcony door, the largest culprit. It does a fantastic job of keeping out cold. Unfortunately, it works equally well at keeping out light. Deb would never tolerate such a measure, afflicted as she is with seasonal affective disorder (which is actually year-round).

The nice thing about -8 degrees in Denver is the 6% humidity, which means the snow covering my car when I got out of work Sunday morning was as dry as fine desert sand. Fell away with barely a touch. That's what I love about Denver.

I don't let the cold get me down. When we bought our Christmas tree it was literally 70 degrees and we wore shorts. THAT'S fucking depressing, if you're as concerned about global warming as I am.

We're also concerned about pipes bursting, mostly because for the first time we have two empty units below us (and when you walk barefoot in our place you can tell. I used to think our place should be warmer with heat rising from Kent's place underneath us. Now I see the difference. We miss you, Kent). I highly doubt the families have the heat turned on. Whereas I can't blame them for not wanting to pay to heat an empty apartment, if the pipes burst they'll have one hell of a mess on their hands. We'll fortunately only suffer the inconvenience of being without water.

However, the bottom unit, which belongs to the elderly woman who went to a nursing home, has had the inner door wide open for weeks now (outer storm door closed and locked). I've called the property company no less than three times about it. They keep saying they're having trouble reaching the family. So if pipes DO burst, the off-site families most likely won't be reachable for that either, in which case we WILL have a problem on our hands.

Again, it's mostly my inability to control the rest of the world that's the real source of my frustration. That and the unbelievable depths of stupidity and inconsideration the rest of the world is capable of.

~*~

I mentioned a few posts ago how this Christmas is cursed. My poor sister who had her boyfriend's gift stolen didn't get a scrap of sympathy from the seller, who basically said, "It's not my fault since you didn't ask for insurance. And no, I can't knock a couple of dollars off another one for you." I'm an occasional eBay seller and that really surprised me. I personally would have tried to work with her a little bit, even if she wasn't my sister. As a buyer, at that point I would have said "Sayonara, bitch, and thanks for nothing" but Amy was so convinced this was the perfect gift for him that she swallowed her pride and ordered a second one.

(For the record, this is what she was trying to buy:



Yeah, nothing special about it, except Amy's boyfriend I guess really likes beer and finds that tag line humorous. But the price of the auction with shipping came close to $20, both times, just because it's framed up all nice (because lord knows it would be unbearably tacky to hang just a bare beer ad). Except it's not even an original, just a laser inkjet printout of the ad, making $40 an outrageous price. The auction it turns out doesn't claim to be an original, but holy rip-offs, Batman, it takes some stones to charge that much for a fucking photocopy. Twice.)

I had ordered three things from asseenontvguys.com. The package came quickly, sadly containing two things I hadn't ordered and missing one thing I had. They fixed the problem quickly, but still. I thought I was safe from going anywhere near a shipping facility until some time in January.

I thought I had finished my shopping finally, when I received the email that my order for my other sister's present had been cancelled by the Amazon seller -- forcing me to track it down elsewhere.

I hope Christmas gets here before anything else goes wrong.

~*~

Watching Nobel Son has reawakened my obsession with Alan, which was never really dead, just waning a bit. I've been rewatching all my old favorites, even ordered Truly, Madly, Deeply from eBay (a film that didn't particularly impress me back when I wasn't sure how far my love for him would take me).

Via my f-list, I wandered over to check out this video of Alan signing autographs after Jimmy Kimmel. The video itself isn't as interesting as the comment section, wherein I felt the need to defend him to someone snidely mocking his aging features. "Yep, and if you're honest, you dream of having half his sex appeal when you're his age" I smacked them down.

I've garnered quite a little fan club from this (well, two people), which makes me happy. Mostly because I'm still having trouble convincing Tery of his appeal. I was sharing in the Rickman love with one of them when she made the observation, "If I met him in real life I'd be resisting the urge to rape him or something." Whoa, stalker girl. That's going a bit too far. If I ever were lucky enough to meet him, I'd have trouble making eye contact, never mind considering anything remotely sexual. I think he'd be enormously intimidating in reality, between the English reserve and his built-in gravitas.

Via the same F-list person, Alan might be apartment hunting in Manhattan. I'm not sure how this was deduced from the pictures posted, but it's thrilling all the same. My theory is he's getting lonely with Daniel stuck in New York for months and can't wait any longer for him to come home to London (no disrespect to Alan's actual partner, of course).

Speaking of Daniel, this one is for my Equus peeps (from the Gypsy of the Year awards, where Equus won the top fundraiser position):



~*~

Tery got the word today that their sister vet hospital had to fire both their medical director and hospital manager, for letting a girl known to have hepatitis C (and possibly a drug user) live on the premises (where narcotics are kept) for an unknown length of time. Which I feel really puts my fifteen-minute Heelys practice into sharp perspective, not that we'll say as much to Tery's medical director.

~*~

Finally, Kitten Mitten has suddenly, after two years living here, noticed the ledge that runs around our kitchen to separate it from the living room.


She can do whatever she wants when she does that little head tilt thing (and she knows it)


Here are more to give you a better idea:




She really is the most beautiful cat in all the world.
grrgoyl: (Snape Sexyback)
I've known about Rickman's new movie, Nobel Son, probably for at least a year now. I had given up hope of it ever coming to theaters, was pretty resigned to it going straight to DVD. Then I saw that it was opening here in Denver! As if we were a REAL metropolitan area!

I invited MyFriendDeb, though I had my concerns about her enjoying it. Bottle Shock was her cup of tea. This edgier, blacker tale of a son faking his own kidnapping to get his father's Nobel prize money (I think), sounded significantly less so. I did my best to warn her, but she still agreed without doing a lick of research on her own (please note [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana -- these are the actions of a TRUE Rickman fan).

Before we got to the movie, we went to Village Inn for some lunch (we both become unbearably unpleasant when our blood sugar drops). We paid our bill to a well-groomed, well-dressed man (possibly too well-groomed to be entirely straight) who overheard us talking about heading to the theater. "Ooooh, what are you going to see?" he asked excitedly.

"Nobel Son," we told him, smiling.

"Oh," his face literally fell.

"Sorry to disappoint you," we laughed. "What would you prefer we see?"

"I thought you were going to say Twilight."

"Do we look like 13-year-old girls?" I said.

"It's actually a good show," he insisted. Yep. I rest my case.

"Okay, we promise to watch it one day," we assured him before leaving. He was absolutely crestfallen that we were going to see something besides Twilight. Honestly. Sorry. If Robert Pattinson lives to be 100, he'll never accumulate the sex appeal Alan has for me. Least of all with that ridiculous floppy head of hair.

For the longest time Deb and I were alone in the theater. First to disrupt that peace was a guy who sat in the second row, and produced a Blackberry that he proceeded to fondle obsessively for the next half hour. I said to Deb, "Great. It's just going to be us and him, waving his fucking phone around through the whole movie."

Almost close to the truth. We were joined by a few other people. One couple left ten minutes in, never to return. I didn't think it started THAT badly.

Anyway, the movie. I agree with every review I've read: namely, it's unnecessarily violent, absurd and too ambitious. I'll take it a step further and add that it's one of those movies that, if you sat and really puzzled out what happens, might not actually make complete sense. And I hate movies like that. Movies that rely on you just going along for the ride and not examining them too closely. It's lazy, is what it is.

Some kind of bait-and-switch hijinks with a Cooper Mini in a mall that doesn't bear too close scrutiny, a guy's suicide is faked and no one questions it despite it being completely out of character, the kidnapped title character is suddenly in cahoots with the kidnapper, then he's turning the tables on him. Loyalties flip faster than hotcakes, and over it all is a driving, pounding soundtrack by Paul Oakenfold that did nothing to alleviate my headache, and furthermore never let up, throbbing frenetically through every scene equally so the viewer had no idea what was a significant plot point and what was transition. Also, the director seemed overly fond of lighting scenes so his actors had the same distracting, unnatural points of light in their pupils. All of them, in every scene.

Through it all, there's Alan. He wins the Nobel prize for chemistry, an award that cements his position of intellectual superiority in his own mind. He's pompous, selfish, childish and clueless, spending the entire film either pouting, flouncing or farting -- or, his specialty, acting supremely put upon. The term "chewing the scenery" never applied more than it does here. But the second scene of the film is him having very loud, exuberant desk sex with his teaching assistant, and the next to last is him handcuffed in a warehouse wearing a tight t-shirt and even tighter boxer shorts AND NOTHING ELSE. At the risk of sounding sexist (what's wrong with being sexy?) and exploitative, I must own the DVD for these two scenes alone. It's also probably your only opportunity to hear Alan say the words, "latent homoerotic wet dreams." Gah.

He runs yet again in it, very briefly but it still counts. To date the only movie he doesn't run in is, ironically, the action blockbuster Die Hard (unless you count the little dash he makes out into the lobby before firing the gun in the air, and I don't).

There's an awful lot of crap to wade through to get to Alan, but that's virtually the defining quality of any Alan movie (other than Snow Cake, which I've decided is the perfect Rickman film). I would still rather see it than Twilight, even if I had known how tedious the rest of it is going in.

Mr. Blackberry in the second row suddenly got up and walked out with only five minutes left to go. If you're going to walk out on a movie, waiting until the last scene doesn't make that much of a statement.

~*~

When I get home from my overnight shifts I'm usually starving. I don't know why, since I'm not hungry at that time the rest of the week (though in fairness I'm usually sleeping at that time the rest of the week). I crave dairy especially, so my typical after-work snack is some yogurt and a tall glass of milk. Yum.

This past week I saw a match.com commercial where the guy's whole "thing" was junk food, and he ate a Hostess cupcake at the end. Ever since seeing it, I haven't been able to stop thinking of Hostess cupcakes. So I picked up a box on my way home.

In the kitchen in the dark at 5 a.m., I wanted a cupcake bad but I also wanted to hurry up and get to sleep (I only have a 3-hour window or so on Saturday mornings before I have to be up again for the day job). I couldn't see/be bothered with the proper flap opening so I just tore through the top of the box to get to my prize. As always, the cupcake looked much more scrumptious than it actually tasted. I always forget that fact.

The next morning Tery surveyed the damage I had wreaked on the helpless cupcake box. "This box looks like a velociraptor attacked it," she exclaimed.


Never get between a woman and her cheap mass-produced pastry
grrgoyl: (Default)
My default icon has changed, and yes, there's a story behind it.

I finally grew tired of playing the same favorite songs over and over on "Guitar Hero" (while never advancing to the Hard level, because that orange key still gives me mad headaches). Tery, who never really got on the GH bandwagon, had an employee who raved constantly about "Rock Band" (GH's concept stolen and improved upon by MTV, adding a karaoke mic and drums). When I realized I didn't need an entire band (which would necessitate, you know, having friends) and could actually just play guitar, making it in essence new GH, not much time at all was wasted in pounding the virtual pavement.

Oh wow. If GH was marijuana, Rock Band is heroin. This game lets you mainline fun. After a day I had almost mastered drums (on Easy; that bass pedal still gives me mad headaches), and vocals have been on Expert from the start (the game is not terribly discerning about singing talent). I also started the guitar on Medium because 3 editions of GH was pretty adequate training ground there.

That was day one. Day two I ran out to a retail store (yes, they do still exist) to pick up the expansion pack of songs. This was also when I drafted Tery into the band, thinking it would be fun to play together. She was game to try and decided to videotape it. She insisted on playing drums since guitar was a little too difficult. We settled on what seemed like a simple song, "Buddy Holly" by Weezer.

What I didn't realize was that I had to re-calibrate my guitar to the new edition. I realized it after crapping out of the song about four times. Tery bravely tried to maintain the illusion of enjoying herself while I became increasingly frustrated and hostile, because this ability of hers is a major contributor to our 16-year longevity (it helped that she had a tiny buzz going). Thus we come to the icon: off-screen I'm engrossed in haranguing her about her inferior drumming skills while messing with the guitar, and never saw her giving this look to the camera (and then me) until we watched the footage later in the evening. Something about her expression, the childish defiance that at the time I was completely oblivious to, makes me laugh until I cry. Even sitting there alone, if I think about it I start giggling to myself like a madwoman. I knew it had to become an icon.

~*~

Next, because [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana is waiting on pins and needles, I have a short review of Bottle Shock, or as Tery likes to call it just to irritate me, "The Bottle that Shook the World."

I had to see this for precisely the same reason Tery refused to: because Rickman is in it. Never mind that she loves wine enough to own a wine cooler separate from the fridge. She can be almost as unreasonable as me sometimes.

This was nothing compared to the stroke I almost suffered when [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana admitted she wasn't "enough in love with Alan to drop everything for a wine movie." Contrast to my fangirlness that means I'd not only watch a documentary on dryer lint if he appeared in it, I'd most likely buy the 2-disc special edition.

Alan plays Steven Spurrier, a real-life wine snob who decided to invite vintners from California's then-unknown Napa Valley to compete in a blind test against the French, who until then had the world market cornered on wine -- kind of like America calling it "the World Series" without letting any other countries participate. According to the movie, he extends the invitation to Napa not so much in the spirit of adventure as to answer a dare by his solitary customer, an annoying American. Bill Pullman is Jim Barrett, owner of Chateau Montelena, a struggling winery. Chris Pine is his hippie son Bo, whose hippie wig becomes increasingly and distractingly unkempt as the film wears on. Freddy Rodriguez is Gustavo Brambila, a second-generation Mexican immigrant without a trace of an accent.

This is one of Alan's rare comic roles, and he's delicious in it. I wanted to lick his porn 'stache something fierce. Oh yeah, and there's a bunch of other stuff about wine that's just padding in between his scenes. Fortunately MyFriendDeb DOES love him enough to drop everything for a wine movie (well, to be fair she doesn't have a whole lot to drop). We thought it spoke volumes that the only "inside" reference she recognized was a line about Thunderbird, evidently a cheap street wine, kind of the Ripple of viniculture -- which is still one more reference than I got. (EDIT: Evidently Ripple IS wine. I KNOW NOTHING.) The things we do in the name of Rickman.

It was worth the trip even beyond Alan's contribution because we got to see this trailer, which looks FREAKIN' AWESOME (my advice: crank that sound):



([livejournal.com profile] kavieshana, if you disagree, I might have to reconsider your band membership)
grrgoyl: (Buffy Giles headache)
Oh, so much to say.

Murderous!dog is still around, though not for much longer. Sunday I had spent a peaceful, quiet morning in my hammock with my Mitten, until the stupid beast emerged and immediately began its usual noise, again for no discernible reason other than perhaps it noticed the sun shining. I tried to ignore it, but the mood had been utterly shattered. Stupid bloody useless creature, and I didn't hesitate to yell as much across the short distance between our balconies, before angrily stomping inside, Kitten in tow.

Then a couple of hours later our doorbell was rung by our neighbor. He had come to apologize and explain his family was in town for his son's graduation, and they (and the dog) would be gone by Tues. Furthermore his mother was allergic to dogs, explaining why it was so often shut out on the balcony. He agreed that "she's crazy" (the dog, not his mother, presumably) and that he personally preferred Yorkies. I thanked him for speaking to us about it, and said as long as it wasn't permanent we could put up with it for a short while longer.

I regretted being such a bitch, but was also thankful we hadn't actually filed a complaint against him yet.

~*~

The Things I Do in the Name of Obsession


I had decided some weeks back that my thirst for more Alan couldn't wait for the November release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and that there was nothing to be done but buy Sense and Sensibility, a movie I'd seen once with MyFriendDeb but that obviously didn't make too much of an impact on me at the time, other than Alan was completely edible in it.

I found it cheapest online at DeepDiscount.com, for $9.66 and free shipping. A mere few days after placing my order, I received a text from [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana that Target had it for only $5 (pure coincidence on her part, she didn't know I had ordered it. She's very insightful that way). I flew back to DDD, only to find the price lowered to $5.99. Worse and worse. I emailed them outraged, demanding a partial refund, threatening to return my order and buy it elsewhere. Within 12 hours they had complied, to my huge relief.

Then I waited. And waited. And waited. Saturday, close to the 2-week mark, I had decided enough was enough. Free shipping or not, 2 weeks? From Illinois to Colorado? Was it coming by wagon train? I checked the Target website where it was listed for $7.49. Slightly higher price, but if my principles demanded I fight for a $3 refund, they also didn't mind paying another $2 to prove a point. My life is so complicated, and all by my own design, but I believe a life without principles is no sort of life at all.

So Sunday I bought it from Target (win-win, it was actually still only $5), and sure enough, it arrived today from DDD, Monday afternoon. It's almost as if someone was watching me, planning out an elaborate and completely unfunny joke. So it's going back, along with a hefty piece of my mind, and I'll certainly have second and third thoughts before ordering from them again, free shipping or not.

::Again, cut because no one cares except maybe one:: )

~*~

I'm including this part at Tery's insistence. My newest hobby is faux stained glass -- glass painting that comes close to stained glass at a portion of the cost. One of the simpler projects that I just completed is a lampshade. I thought it would make a cool idea for Christmas gifts, so I looked into buying cheap lamp parts to create a lamp from scratch. I found a base on eBay and a lamp kit on a craft site. I hoped by buying a kit I could avoid having to wire it myself, but in vain.

Today all the parts arrived and I tried to build a lamp. Despite following instructions I found online, it wouldn't turn on (leading to many nerve-wracking, but ultimately anticlimactic, attempts). I called Tery to tell her yet another tale of me biting off more than I could chew, leading to this exchange eventually (cookies to who guesses the movie first):

"I'm an idiot because I can't make a lamp?"
"No, you're a genius because you can't make a lamp."

I'm currently communicating with the eBay seller to see if she can talk me through wiring it, or returning the base if I can't. We'll see. Why can't things ever be simple for me?
grrgoyl: (greg skatch)
Our excitement this weekend had nothing to do with the kennels. A couple of weeks ago I came home from a shift and noticed our elderly neighbor's dome light on in her car. Seeing her living room light was on, despite it being 5 a.m., I decided to take the chance of stopping her heart and ringing her doorbell to let her know. She didn't answer though. The next day the light was still on so I tried again, with the same result. Ah well, much longer and it would be a moot point, so I gave up.

Then we never saw her again in the subsequent weeks. Her car stayed in the same spot day after day, even when we were ordered to clear the parking lot for sewer line work. Tery saw half-full drink glasses sitting untouched on her coffee table. We tried not to think the worst, but she was very old and sickly (had a stroke last year, and is a devoted smoker). On the other hand, she also has family that visits her occasionally; surely they were on top of the situation?

So it was with great trepidation indeed that I came down the stairs on my way to work Saturday night to see three uniformed policemen struggling to get into her front door. They asked me if I'd seen her lately and I had to admit no. They asked for contact numbers, anything, so I called Tery to see if she could help them after I left. She called me regularly to keep me updated. She gave them the HOA emergency number, thinking they had to have personal information, but apparently all the numbers they had for her were disconnected. Tery said she heard them knocking on everyone's door looking for contacts, even the FCW's (Tery said, "I was going to tell them not to knock on that door unless they wanted to open a whole new can of worms," because yea verily Tracey is back to carrying things into her unit in covered plastic bins and, one memorable night with a large male friend's/customer's help, muscling some sort of very heavy air conditioner-size piece of machinery up the stairs and inside. Of course, it might have been an air conditioner).

There's a happy ending, sort of. When Tery told them her name they were able to put out an APB to the hospitals and found her in one. Not good news that she's been there so long, but certainly better than dying alone in her condo and going undiscovered for weeks.

It's very stressful living near elderly people.

~*~

My love for my dentist remains intact. I saw him yesterday. He's still hot as ever, but the point is he looked at my mouth, declared it to be in "good shape," and admitted that my bridge was still functionally sound, it was just a matter of aesthetics whether to replace the missing tooth. He said there hadn't been many advances made in bonding porcelain, and if he tried sticking the original back on I'd be back within a week after it falls out again. The other alternative is ripping out the entire bridge and starting over, and that sounds expensive and hugely unappealing. So I said if it was just a question of aesthetics, I'd live with the missing tooth. He shaved down the rough edges, charged me for the visit and the x-ray and sent me on my way (after insisting that I really should still have a yearly cleaning, which I plan on now).

~*~

Speaking of my love for older men, I finally got The Barchester Chronicles from Netflix, a very early BBC series (well, 1982) featuring the Rickman. Hoo boy, guess there's no avoiding the truth anymore: I am obsessed. ::cutting because I'm absolutely positive no one cares about this but me, with possibly one exception:: )

I thought all the scenes without Alan were unfathomably dull, but there are scores of rave reviews over at IMDb, which I suppose makes me an uncultured heathen.

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December 2011

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