grrgoyl: (Wii smack)
Tying up loose ends: The Wii Cyberbike has arrived and it's actually pretty fantastic. Only works with Gamecube compatible games, but it provides a fairly intense cardio workout ("Need for Speed: Nitro" damn near gives me a heart attack) that flies by because you're concentrating on the game and not every passing minute of pedaling that you could be doing something else. Oh, and the reason it sold for $50 less than new was because the left handgrip was missing, which I suspect the seller knew and conveniently neglected to mention, because it's like new otherwise. I was offered the option to return it, but Tery said nonsense, got some PVC pipe, wrapped it with electrical tape, and Bob's your uncle...problem solved, and I still saved $50. I just ordered some used Gamecube racing games dirt (and I mean DIRT) cheap, so I say let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

~*~

Facebook is still destroying lives


Tery's medical director had the nerve to confide to her that she suspected me of getting on Facebook on her computer overnight at the hospital. While this accusation isn't as absurd as it once might have been (I'll admit, I've drunk the Facebook Kool-Aid, and now actually get on it before LJ in the morning), the truth is I spend enough of my work day at home on it (mostly following up-to-the-minute Occupy news) that I'm all social networked out by 5 pm. Besides, Tery pointed out to her, if I REALLY wanted to get on at the hospital, I would rather use a) Tery's computer or b) my smartphone. And, I added, I'm also clever enough to delete my browsing history behind me on the rare occasions I do go online at the hospital. She should point her finger at almost every other employee whose lives literally revolve around Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, it has driven the final nail in the coffin of my friendship with Ryan. Well, Facebook/Occupy.

As a reminder, I announced I was more or less done with Ryan way back in September when he blew me off for John. I had continued to "like" things here and there on his FB page, the kind of casual, noncommittal friendship the internet makes possible, but I was by no means ignoring him completely while not really interacting like I used to.

I was kind of shocked last week when he posted a pic of a GI holding up a note explaining how he earned everything he has through hard work and not whining in the streets for free handouts. The pic was insultingly captioned "A young soldier has posted the truth!" Even my Libertarian brother-in-law has laid off the Occupy comments for the most part (or wisely blocked them from me), and has even stopped waving pom-poms for Herman Cain (which I find really freaking funny).

But back to Ryan and his criticism of Occupy. At this point in the movement I thought our concerns about the corrupt government and banking industry had been heard loud and clear, and the only people who still thought it was only lazy kids who didn't want to pay back student loans were Fox News viewers (and their children, which Ryan evidently falls into this category). I couldn't let it pass, and I left him the comment "Do you even know what Occupy is protesting?"

A few days went by with no response, so I figured either he didn't know or didn't care enough to debate it with me. Until a couple of nights ago when out of the blue he texted me asking why I had said that, and "for your information honey, your comment pissed me off royally!!!" I naturally assumed he was drunk (he's a mean drunk) and didn't know how to respond that wouldn't quickly become ugly, so shrugged it off.

The next morning I logged on to FB to discover that he had continued his attack. He answered my question "Your mom told me it was all about her so I joined in (Author's Note: VERY mature). Haha. Of course I know, don't underestimate me, I'm way smarter than u think I am. Honey." Followed by "What is your problem w me anyway? U don't call and when u write, u always put me down (Author's Note: Alcohol-induced paranoia. I've never put him down, always taken pains to remain coolly civil). I don't need any more of that in my life." Drunk Facebooking. Friends don't let friends do it.

The repeated condescending "Honeys" got to me a bit, so I let him have it. I set him straight on the finer points of Occupy that he might have missed from only watching conservative media, then went on to remind him that I haven't called him since the John incident and "I don't need any more of that in my life, so please don't play the poor innocent victim with me. Honey." Let me tell you, that felt too damn good.

Without another word, he unfriended me from FB. Not sure if it was the reminder that he's an asshole too sometimes or the evidence that he's been spoonfed lies by his parents that did it, but there he went. I didn't bother to return the favor, implying that I don't care enough about him to complete the process. However, the Ryan Reynolds issue of "Entertainment Weekly" I've been saving for him since June is going straight into the recycling bin, fuck you very much (pre-June is the last time we hung out together, just as an indication of how deep and meaningful his friendship has become).

Then he went on to unfriend Tery, who had had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. I mistakenly thought FB was also used by grown-ups and not just high school kids.

According to a fellow mutual ex-friend, we're only the most recent in a long line of friends he's managed to alienate after slights real or imagined. So I hope John is being a very, very good boy, because he'll literally be the only person Ryan has left in the world at this rate (oh, and his parents. He'll always have mommy and daddy, and that might be part of his problem).
grrgoyl: (Bad Jesus!  Very Bad!)
My, my, my I've been quiet. TOO quiet. Which is good news for everyone, because instead of writing a hugely epically long post, I'm forced to reduce it to key highlights from sheer lack of memory. So I have those, plus a large number of mini-movie reviews.

First, to wrap up the Parade of Homes 2011! I've been back to MyFriendDeb's to go on an unrelated outing. She wasn't exactly ready when I arrived, however, her pace of preparing to leave could be described as "hustling" if not "frantic," and we walked out the door five minutes later rather than twenty. If you knew Deb like I know Deb, that right there is as good as an apology, my friends.

In fact, Ryan was supposed to join us that day, but bailed at the last minute because he was spending the previous night with John (translation: drinking). While I'm not thrilled he's regressed back to him after more than a year's break, hey, whatev, I'm not his mother. But as I told Deb, I just knew it would be followed by a Facebook pity party about how much his life sucks and bemoaning being surrounded by losers all the time.

Sure enough, that night Tery was checking her page when she read it to me: "Last day off for 8 weeks and I didn't even do anything fun -- laundry and Facebook. Yippee." My first impulse was to comment "Awww, too bad you don't have cool friends that invite you out to an awesome day in the mountains." But I knew he was probably hoping for/expecting something from me, so I gave him stony silence instead. Because I'm done. And if you know me, it takes a lot for me to be done, but I'm there.

~*~

Tery FINALLY gets mountain biking. She lowered her saddle by two inches, and that has made all the difference between feeling like she was in control and feeling like she was going to pitch over the handlebars any minute. It also helped her feet reach the ground for dabbing, something she couldn't do before and something I was unaware she couldn't do. I wish I could take credit as her mentor, but the suggestion was made by an older woman hiker on the trail who noticed Tery sitting too high. Consequently we returned to Little Scraggy and, as predicted, she loved it--though probably wouldn't have without the adjustment. She is putting together a little video of our adventures that might be published here. Turns out she's quite the Steven Spielberg, because there wasn't much to work with.

~*~

Oh right, so I'm on the pill! Which still sounds weird to say a week later. I'm happy to say it was simply a matter of going to the clinic and asking for it: No intrusive questions about why I wanted it or lectures on the moral implications, etc. (Of course I did go to Planned Parenthood which might have had something to do with it). Didn't even have to lie about only wanting it until November and that was all, just "how many packs would you like?"

Tery's first reaction to the news was "Great. You're free to sleep with guys now," as if her only objection was with unwanted pregnancy (it certainly is not).

I spent the second day researching possible side effects, which include headaches, nausea, breast enlargement (PLEASE GOD NO), weight gain and mood swings. This last one worried me the most (not helped by [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana's reassuring "You're about to turn into Queen Megabitch") -- I'm unsettled by the thought my mood can be artificially affected (control issues), and I spent the day imagining that a mood swing was gestating inside me like a chestburster alien. Tery isn't concerned about it; she thinks it's not something I would consciously notice, and anyway she's holding out hope that I'll be nicer, as if I'm so mean now there's nowhere to go but up (I really don't think I am).

There was one incident when we realized twenty minutes too late that the new "Office" wasn't recording, but I'd like to think that would have happened with or without chemicals. Other than that I've experienced a few episodes of random and extremely intense horniness, which I might blame on the medication. But if that's the worst that happens, I can certainly live with it.

~*~

In biking news, I think I've seen the guy whose picture you find when you look up the word "dickhead."

On my route I have to cross traffic three times, which is only a big deal during rush hour, as I've stated before when people don't care about anything but getting to work (or home) and God help anyone that gets in their way. One of these intersections is by far the worst, and that is where our story is set.

In fact this was afternoon, so the traffic was (mostly) returning home. I waited on the curb with a fellow lady biker and a male pedestrian. At one point the traffic cleared, no cars coming, so we all started across (it wasn't just me taking liberties here). We had almost made it to the opposite curb when traffic started coming over the hill. Let me explain that from the top of this hill drivers have clear visibility all the way to the intersection, a good 100 yards or so. Plus there were three of us in a big cluster, not one lone hard-to-see person. In theory, should be plenty safe for everyone, right?

As we were all just about to reach the opposite curb, the guy whose lane we were crossing (an SUV. Act surprised) suddenly slammed on his brakes so they would let out a dramatic ear-splitting squeal, as if it was a blind turn and he had just noticed us and came within inches of hitting us. You know damn well he saw us from the top of the hill, and you know damn well he deliberately avoided braking until getting right on top of us (in fact might have even accelerated a little) just so he could do that. Really? You want to be That Guy? Because no one likes That Guy.

Dick. Head.

I've found forums about traffic laws featuring bitter arguments in the comments over who the bigger idiots are, cyclists or motorists. Obviously it's a case-by-case basis, but I think motorists are by far more careless and dangerous -- most of the time they barely notice each other, let alone someone not driving two tons of death-dealing steel. And I include myself in this category: I'll admit I've almost hit people in the crosswalk because I wasn't paying attention. And conversely I'll admit I've done some stupid things on a bike because I made an incorrect split-second decision. But a cyclist's bad judgment will get themselves hurt more often than a motorist, whereas the converse isn't true.

I think one solution would be a mandatory day on a bike for everyone (I'd actually love a week, but let's be realistic), so they can get a tiny taste of how scary it is trying to negotiate traffic with people who either don't see you or who don't think you deserve to be on the road. And I nominate That Guy to take the first shift.

~*~

Now, movies! Oodles and oodles of movies! So many that these are mostly mini reviews. No spoilers really, except maybe for one or two you've never heard of/couldn't care less about. I've bolded all the titles so you can skim easily. Behind the cut: 127 Hours, Wrecked, The Reef, Trollhunter, Shiver, Piranha (1978 and 2010), Insidious, The Last Airbender, and Paul.

::I have too much free time:: )
grrgoyl: (Sweeney time for song)


Watch my video! If I seem painfully nervous, it's because I am. And I'm not reading off a teleprompter, though it sure looks like I am. This is actually version seven or something, and I could have typed the damn post out twelve times over. But hey, something different.

Vote in my poll!

[Poll #1717244]

In other news, Ryan is back to being our friend. He and John had a huge fight, nearly killed each other....literally. Ryan reportedly had bruised ribs, a swollen head and a sprained ankle the next day. It finally knocked some sense into him and he's left him for good. Hooray! So he came to hang out, and Logan, our semi-feral wild thing of a stray cat, made a beeline for his lap like they were long lost buds. He probably misses male companionship (Logan, not Ryan).


Dude, bitches be CRAZY


Finally, that movie review I promised. It's a short one, but well worth it I think.

::Home Movie:: )

I agree with most reviewers I would have liked to see what happened earlier, see why the children are the way they are. But for a tiny indie horror flick that no one's heard of, it gets the job done well enough. 77 minutes of my life I don't mind never getting back so much. Though not enough to buy it.
grrgoyl: (Satan's Energy Drink)
This week's adventure took place at Golden Gate State Park, accompanied by MyFriendDeb. Her idea was for her to hike (she has an ancient touring bike that isn't even roadworthy for pavement, never mind off-roading) while I biked. It didn't sound terribly appealing to me at first, but ended up working out pretty well -- even though biking with Deb walking a half mile behind me felt a little like we were fighting or something.

I won't bore you with too many details, since these adventures, while thrilling for me to experience, might not be as enthralling to read about over and over. I will say this is my second favorite trail so far, after the Audubon Loop, before Elk Meadow and WAY before Deer Creek.


Obligatory self-portrait. Still wearing the Adidas. Also the shades were completely unnecessary, it turned out


::cut for length and still more descriptions of escapades you couldn't care less about. However, there's a video that you don't want to miss:: )


My point is, if there's a sign for it, it can't be that forgotten. Also take note: Trails named after animals were unavoidable this time, though fortunately somewhat easier



Aspens. Beautiful and interesting looking


~*~

The real adventure of this post was Tery's. Sunday she did her first triathlon! Tri for the Cure. I couldn't be prouder of her.


I'm putting this before the cut because it's my favorite of the bunch


::CUT!:: )

Apropos of nothing, this here is my new favorite song, yo. My everlasting gratitude to whoever can find it as an mp3 (disregard. Found!):

grrgoyl: (Default)
To make up for my lackluster weekend previously, I was determined to have an adventure last Monday, so that's what I did. Ryan and I went to Waterton Canyon, and it was worth every minute.

Waterton Canyon has an old gravel mining road running through it, a steady climb uphill, but the lowest grade you can have and still be called a hill -- that is, until near the top, where it cruelly bends into about a 40% incline that neither of us cared to tackle for very long. Absolutely gorgeous scenery and hardly anyone else on the trail.

There was some urgency to get to Waterton -- it's a popular spot, and sadly scheduled to be closed for two years in August to dredge the South Platte River of its unacceptably high silt content. Typical, just as I discover this great place, I lose it again.

Anyway, some photos. They all looked sort of blah, despite being of breathtaking vistas, so I touched them up a bit with Photoscape, a surprisingly feature-packed program that's totally free and that I highly recommend to everyone.


Gorgeous. The scenery, not Ryan



I made this look like a postcard from the 70's



Yeah, the photoshopping isn't TOO obvious (note: not photoshopped with Photoscape)



A little tilt-shift effect here. Strontia Springs Dam. Why isn't there bottled water named after this?



Some antiquing. Those little rock-like formations square in the middle (behind the actual rock) are bighorn sheep. You'll just have to take my word


I didn't think Ryan was THAT out of shape, but I apparently "kicked his ass." Despite constant pleading to ride alongside me, he would hang back, even on the downhill. I'm never sure if it's because I'm going too fast (though literally I went down in my highest gear, pedaling as leisurely as I could and still stay upright) or because he needs some quality alone time -- or he's checking out my ass, which seems unlikely.

I got this book, "Mountain Biking Denver and Boulder," which lists 49 rides of varying difficulty. I scouted out possibilities for us, with an eye towards the easiest for Ryan. Have to keep reminding myself it's better than going alone.

A note on the thorn-resistant tube (henceforth known as "Thorny") -- performed like a champ, although this wasn't exactly rough terrain. I didn't feel the slightest difference in weight at Waterton. Different story on my return to Cherry Creek pavement. On the uphill it felt like I was totally bogged down, requiring a colossal effort to keep moving. So much so I spent the whole ride fantasizing about my lightweight standard tubes, wondering if maybe I could go back to one if the only culprit was the bit of wire I found.

I returned home determined to switch, but then reflected on the luxury of still having a firm, fully inflated tire after a whole week and decided against it. The next day I went out again and it was a little easier, so I think I made the right choice.

Speaking of weight, I compared Rogue Leader to Ryan's (nameless, not as loved) bike -- he also has a Specialized, though a much later model. It confirmed my fear that I have the heaviest bike in Denver, made back when they used cast iron reinforced with lead. Even Ryan was surprised at how much heavier it was. Well, guess it's good for an upper body workout too.

~*~

I'm constantly looking for more alternatives in my diet. Cutting out the fat is a good thing, but sure takes a lot of pages out of the menu. I haven't had a chicken pot pie since the ER, so looked at the Banquet pies at the store. I figured there couldn't be that much fat in such tiny little packages. WRONG. 22 grams! (I try to keep myself to around 10 per meal) Ludicrous.

This is why it pisses me off when Republicans like Rush Limbaugh point to obesity among the poor as proof that they're hardly starving to death -- the cheapest food is the highest in fat and the worst for your health, creating a vicious circle of bad eating leading to obesity and other health problems you can't afford to see a doctor about (like $3000 ER visits for a gallstone attack). There's a reason Whole Foods has a slightly higher class clientele; healthy shit's EXPENSIVE. Surely Rush must have noticed this fact when he started dieting?

Anyway, I found a new item that seemed promising, Tai Pei frozen Chinese food. It comes in Chinese take-out sized containers, and only 2.5 grams of fat! I bought three varieties, and tried the first yesterday.

Well. What I didn't notice when I bought them was that they supposedly hold 2-1/2 servings. And once you open the box, it's only about half full. Who eats servings that small? Wee little China men with bird-like appetites, that's who. It's like a piece of chicken, a couple of ears of baby corn and two pea pods, a teaspoon of rice and you're done. Try not to gorge yourself.

It still adds up to only 6 grams of fat, but it seems like a really shifty way to pass yourself off as low fat. I mean, anything can be billed as "low fat" if eaten in small enough quantities. Delivery pizza (which I miss maybe the most of all) is low fat, as long as you only eat one or two bites. That won't really hold you over to your next meal, however.

~*~

Finally, a movie review. I'm cutting, which usually doesn't bode well for a movie.

::Peacock:: )

By contrast, I've watched this about 20 times and it still makes my heart stop.



I'm going to be a mess when these movies end. An absolute mess.

~*~

Last but not least, I took this pic of myself while testing a new photo app on my phone. I want it to be my author photo on my first book, though Tery says I look like those stupid greeting cards with dog faces using the fishbowl effect. Phooey.



I made it my default icon, replacing the one of Tery when she was drunk (because I was reminded of that fact every time I saw it).
grrgoyl: (Donnie frankLOL)
Soup:

In traffic on my way to the hospital my eye was caught by a GMC Jimmy with all of its doors off. Imagining itself to be a war-time Jeep? I'm not sure, but it looked pretty damn silly. I thought I'd give the driver the benefit of the doubt -- perhaps he'd lost them all in an accident. The way some SUV owners drive it wouldn't be impossible. Then he moved ahead of me and I saw he had one of those scrolling marquee signs over his license plate, reading "Show me your boobs!!" Oh, just an ass then. An ass mistaking Denver for Ft. Lauderdale.

~*~

Appetizer:

I realize how pathetic it sounds, but getting mail is the highlight of my day. This is why I compulsively order stuff online, so I have an almost constant flow of mail to look forward to.

So maybe you can appreciate why my world came crashing down Thursday when I realized the lock on our box was broken. The tab inside that latches it closed was missing the nut holding it on the bolt.

"No problem," I thought. "I'll just replace the nut." After fishing around I found one that seemed to fit, except wouldn't hand-tighten properly. "No problem," I thought. "I'll just get a ratchet wrench." It seemed to be going swimmingly until suddenly the whole damn bolt snapped right off in my hand. Okay, THAT was a problem.

This was at 7 pm, so no hope of calling anyone. First thing Friday morning I called our post office and described my situation (leaving out my attempted DIY). His first (and second) question was did I know who did it? "No one did it, the bolt was really old and just snapped," I answered. Choice B was "I suppose if anyone 'did it' I did." Choice C was "Even if it was a criminal act, how the hell should I know? It's not like I monitor the mailbox (most of the time)."

Once I convinced him there were no suspects he could bring in for questioning, he said only, "Okay, I'll send Maintenance out today." Oh, cool. That was easy.

Except of course it wasn't, because I'm still me and they're still a government agency. After neither of us did anything more about it all day, I called again at the end of my shift to find out the deal. I spoke to someone else, who told me I had to come in, fill out a lock change form and pay a $25 fee. Huh. I wish I had known this 8 hours earlier. I also felt slightly less nervous about covering up my vandalism since I would be paying for it.

I rushed in before they closed to jump through their hoops. Fortunately the clerk was really friendly and funny, or it could have gotten ugly. As it was, I couldn't resist asking why guy #1 couldn't be bothered to give me correct information. "I hate to say it, but he was probably a supervisor. They don't know what's going on." I snorted. "So how did he get to be supervisor?" He shrugged. "If you can't do the job, you get promoted?" We both had a chuckle at The Man and I promised I wasn't taking his name or anything.

Nice guy told me 2-3 days, might even be done Monday. That wasn't bad, even if I had to suffer a weekend of essentially two Sundays.

Except it wasn't Monday. Or Tuesday. Wasn't in fact until Wednesday. But let's not be too hasty, I didn't actually get the call until this morning Thursday. I wish nice guy hadn't raised my hopes falsely. But hey, what's the point of complaining? It's not like I can threaten to go somewhere else to get my mail delivered.

~*~

Entree:

About two weeks ago Ryan invited me to a downtown thing, "La Piazza," some kind of pavement chalk art (I at first thought it was trompe l'oeil, but no); well, I should say he forwarded me the ad, and when I asked about inviting MyFriendDeb, he copied me on the email asking John permission (when if you ask me it should've been John begging us to be included. Thank god they broke up for good before we had to deal with THAT bit of awkwardness).

It took place this past weekend, and Ryan at the last minute sprang the idea of bringing Lucy along (you remember my pal Lucy?) It didn't thrill me, but I couldn't really say no.

I worked all night and got up to meet Deb about 10:30ish. Ryan texted me because he was having a hard time getting going, they'd be a little late, sorry. Whatever, Ryan, Deb and I were on the train halfway there already.

It turned out to be full of awesome:


Just after seeing this we passed a guy wearing a Max t-shirt in the crowd. We asked if he planned that. He laughed nervously because he hadn't seen the piece yet (then 15 seconds later put it together)


::More over here -- slightly bigger cuz they're purty:: )

We sort of regretted lingering respectfully over every little piece in the beginning, especially when it became obvious that the threatening rainstorm was no longer a question of "if" but "when." As big fat drops started plunking down, two guys with a ladder and a camera were dashing madly through the crowd, desperately trying to capture the masterpieces before they were washed away. Heartbreaking, but Deb assured me that was the point of the medium: the transient nature of beauty. (Deb's favorite was under a makeshift canopy so hopefully most of her survived.)

Did I say rainstorm? It began as a torrent and turned into hail. Kerrrazy. The kind of cool thing was the rain only washed away the loose chalk dust, leaving a subdued but perfect glassy image underneath:


Sad washed-away Bear.


We joked that such an event would be impossible in a place like Seattle, unless the pieces were all postage-stamp sized. I said a 4" x 6" piece would be the height of ambition. She laughed as I mimed frantically finishing a Polaroid-sized square before the rain hit.

Ryan never actually showed, instead bothering me with a stream of increasingly anxious texts asking about the weather and whether there was any point in them leaving the house. There wasn't, and I don't know if it was because I didn't have to see Lucy or because of my new self-protective, do-what-you-want attitude I've had to adopt towards Ryan, but I really wasn't that concerned.

Same thing with working out yesterday; Ryan teased me with an email asking if I minded if he rejoined me. Of course I didn't. Then he texted me all apologetic that he'd had a bad day and couldn't make it. Oh, Ryan, Ryan...I don't know what's sadder, the fact that you still think I'm actually counting on you for anything or the fact that I have to refuse to do so to avoid having my heart broken time and time again.

~*~

Dessert:

We've had just about all the foolishness from Tracey's dog(s) that we're going to take. Out there 24/7 barking their heads off at EV.RY.THING (which I grant you isn't as annoying as when they bark at NOTHING). Our only recourse is to keep fining her, and her only recourse is to keep paying the fines (presumably) and still not do anything about the underlying problem.

So I turned to Amazon, in search of a bark-stopping device you can put on your own property and not rely on your neighbor doing the right thing. It emits a painful (?) whistle only the dog can hear whenever they bark. The hope is that they're smart enough to make the association and think twice before barking again. Which is not at all a given here -- if these dogs had any trace of intelligence, surely they could learn after five years of watching the same people march back and forth twice a day that we aren't intruders or a threat (unless they can read our minds and see the murderous BB gun fantasies therein). But better get Board approval first -- they'd rather have a vicious dog barking at all hours than a bleeding eyesore of a radio device (it looks like a tiny birdhouse).

In addition to the numerous and occasionally humorous horror stories in the reviews that make us think maybe we don't have it that bad, there's a fair share of people expressing concern over punishing the animal when a bad owner is to blame. Fuck that. Until someone invents something that lets me inflict pain on Tracey without being prosecuted (voodoo doll? ski mask and a baseball bat? Doesn't need to be high-tech), I'll happily take it out on her dog(s).

Yes, I "love animals," but some animals need to work a little harder to earn it. Dogs most of all.

~*~

Aperitif:

I saw S. Darko. Being such a huge fan of Donnie, how could I not? Despite the massive online fan protest (which I wasn't aware of. Hell, I'd probably watch it even if I was).

Immediately afterward I had a detailed, thoughtful review planned out, most of which I have now forgotten. I'll cut anyway in case of inadvertent spoilage, and because after-dinner cocktails should be optional.

::What do you think God's farts taste like?:: )

In conclusion, it's obvious this was a labor of love (the screenplay was written by a guy who calls himself "Donnie's #1 fan"). But in his attempt to stay unswervingly true to the laws of Donnie's universe, he became too fearful to bring anything new to the table. I don't think it deserves the vitriol being heaped upon it by the faithful -- it should be seen by Donnie fans perhaps to satisfy their curiosity. Anyone else will probably leave hopelessly confused and wondering what all the fuss with the first movie was about.
grrgoyl: (AD Tobias)
I had cynically given Ryan and John a month before falling apart again. Thus I was a little surprised when Ryan texted me Sunday at midnight admitting moving back in with him was stupid and he was returning to his condo the next day. One week for him to remember all the things about John he hated that didn't get fixed with one counseling session and god knows how many "take me back, baby"s.

To come crying to me after all his talk about how he doesn't listen to his friends because they have so much "negativity" about John took some guts. I explained that we aren't in love with John, see him more objectively, and base our opinions largely on seeing how much John hurts Ryan. Maybe he'll start listening to us now. At any rate, I was a good friend and the words "I told you so" never passed my lips (errrr, fingers?) (although they gave me a bit of a headache from crashing around in my brain so violently). I just wish he'd let go of the apparent belief that his only two options are John or dying alone. He's only 30, for pity's sake.

Not that I have my workout partner back, but at least I've seen no sign of Lucy either. Although I suspect this change of situation might make him not so determined to kick her out for not paying rent.

~*~

Only minimal progress on the Crankwhore front. I emailed the property manager informing him about my conversation with Narcotics and my surveillance camera plan. His response was "Be careful with cameras and don't attach anything to the building without Board approval. We had a guy who did and he was forced to take it down again." A.) Yes, well, we certainly don't want to infringe on the rights of the convicted drug dealer, now do we? B.) Do you honestly think I'd be stupid enough to put up a huge honkin' camera pointed straight at her door that she would notice even in her tweaked-out state? C.) Sorry, Officer Jason, I'd love to help you in your investigation, but my HOA Board would rather have a meth lab in the building than the bleeding eyesore of a 1-inch tall camera.

As it is I responded with choice B (only slightly less snarky). It turns out he need not have worried; the new weatherproof night vision camera arrived, was indeed only about an inch tall, but unfortunately also glaringly obvious no matter where I positioned it (difficult to judge impartially since I knew where to look. However, we must also not forget how paranoid Tracey is). Anywhere above our chicken wire screen (to keep ferrets from falling three stories to their deaths) and it might as well have been one of the industrial foot-long models. Anywhere behind the screen and after dark the screen is pretty much all the camera sees. Annoyingly, an ideal spot would be on our satellite dish, since an extra piece of electronics would more likely go unnoticed -- however, anything stuck to it, even just the arm of it, disrupted the signal. Not a problem for me, who primarily only watches DVDs anyway, but Tery wouldn't budge in her veto of the idea. Joy-sucking (and now drug-abetting) robot.

So it was back to the peephole cam, which it turns out works beautifully at night when not confined to a peephole (our stairwell is very brightly lit at night). It has the plus of being a lot less conspicuous, but the minus of not being weatherproof. I hope to have this resolved before weather becomes an issue again, so we'll see.

And that's it! Slow news week. I'm using one of my AD icons since realizing they've gotten shamefully very little play recently.
grrgoyl: (Jayne momma's boy)
Monday Ryan did something that earned him the award for Most Clueless Act Ever Performed by Someone Not Named President George Bush: He texted me asking for permission to give my number to Lucy because "she needs a workout buddy." Not "Would you like to be Lucy's workout buddy?" (Answer: I would not).

I wondered why HE couldn't be her buddy. I knew he was planning to start counseling with John, so I joked to Tery that he was going to ride off into the sunset with him and leave Lucy with me. I guess the week-long silent treatment wasn't enough of a lesson in how I feel about Lucy.

It turns out, as I learned Tuesday, that was exactly his plan. John closed on a house Friday and Ryan wasted no time arranging to move in with him. After only one therapy session and a weekend free of arguing. Possibly one of the stupider decisions of his life (not being made with the big head), but you can't tell him that.

Part of his grand scheme is to ask Lucy to rent his condo from him (Lucy of no job or income). Yep. Definitely no big head thinking going on here.

Whatever. He can live his life and make his own mistakes, but he shouldn't try to foist his friends off on me when they become inconvenient.

~*~

In FCW news, the surveillance software is first class, but as it turns out my handy peephole spycam is pretty useless at night -- you can vaguely make out people-sized shapes, but she could be carrying crates of fully automatic rifles into her place and it would be impossible to tell. So I tracked down a second camera with night vision that I can position on the balcony facing the stairwell. This is how determined I am to catch her at SOMETHING.

Today I finally got a call back from Narcotics Division, an officer with a dry sense of humor who assured me he's had her on his radar this entire time, and would love nothing more than to kick her door in and find something to put her away, except that "pesky Constitution" has his hands tied without more substantial evidence.

I was happy I didn't get a "Meth lab what? Tracey who?" He also seemed very interested in my little camera scheme. Tery thought I was a huge dork, but I'm sure he wishes more private citizens stepped up and took a more active role more often. Part of it is my hatred of drug users. A bigger part is a strong desire not to have my home blown up.

He did say, somewhat ominously and mysteriously, "I have information that might suggest she's starting up again." He didn't elaborate, and obviously this comment didn't do much to put me at ease. I wanted desperately to ask about the odds of her getting off so easy after a second offense, but I'm always hyper-self- conscious when I talk to coppers.

So now I'm back on garbage watch, which the cameras should make much easier. If I know anything, so too will you.

~*~

Okay, F-list, your squeeing has not fallen on deaf ears. Monday I went to see ::Star Trek:: )

Final impression: More enjoyable than some of the films made with the original cast. I'm definitely looking forward to more films being made with these young 'uns. Particularly Mr. Quinto.
grrgoyl: (closer)
No progress on the Filthy Crankwhore, unless you count the Department of Vandalism rejecting my report and sending me the phone number for Narcotics. I don't really understand why they couldn't just forward it on themselves. Maybe they aren't speaking this week?

I've proactively installed my peephole spycam. I just need some recording software that won't devour huge chunks of my computer's memory (found something cheap on eBay, we'll see). I have no intention of sitting back and waiting for the slow ponderous hand of justice to move on our behalf again. And here's hoping if you're caught with a meth lab twice, you don't move back in 6 months later.

~*~

Sunday morning I woke up determined to forgive Ryan, after not saying a single word to him all week after he hung me out to dry Tuesday. I had hoped my silence would prompt him to broach the subject, but he remained either blissfully unaware or thought he could make it all better with a constant stream of stupid forwarded email jokes.

I texted him about going to the gym (Monday) and he agreed with an emoti-smile. I felt better, but knew myself well enough that he wouldn't escape without at least being told that I was angry with him.

He boarded the elliptical machine next to mine and we made small talk. He said he had been really busy with "issues." I saw an opening and said "me too" but he didn't bite. I asked about his issues; he didn't want to share. So I confessed I had been mad at him but got over it. "Huh?" Yep. Truly clueless. "I felt like you blew me off for little miss Lucy," I told him. "What-EV-er," was his response in that little bratty singsong way that makes me want to smack a bitch.

"Yeah, what-EV-er" I mimicked, and that was pretty much all that was said. To me, "what-EV-er" (which was Tabby's default response to many things that made me want to smack her) is the defense of people who have no defense. I considered it a slap in the face and possibly the final nail in the coffin of our friendship, at least as I had once known it.

The weird thing about Ryan is, he normally apologizes so often it's annoying. He'll apologize for not finishing his sit-ups fast enough. He'll apologize for breathing too hard on the cardio. But when it comes to something where an apology is actually warranted and would be immensely appreciated, he's tighter lipped than Rick Santorum at a gay orgy.

My sister (who had defended Ryan earlier when I told her what had happened) agreed that it was not a proper reaction to hearing that you had inadvertently upset your friend. She said there comes a point in every friendship when one of you abruptly comes up against the boundary of the friendship, and I guess I've found ours. We'll still be friends, I just won't ever think of Ryan as someone I can count on for anything ever again.

But at least I'm in better shape than he is.

Edit: I've been corresponding with K., a longtime friend of Ryan's. I shared the "What-EV-er" story with her. She expressed her sympathy, but explained that Ryan doesn't do confrontations well, and when he says that to her, that's how she knows that he knows she's right. Cold comfort, I suppose. On our bike ride today when I pointed out the spot where my trouble began to him, I got a better apology. It will have to do.

~*~

Quite an exciting Mother's Day weekend for me. Dr. N. called Tery just at the end of my day shift Saturday. A pregnant dog had come in, was going to deliver in a matter of hours, but Dr. N. desperately needed a break and wanted me to come in right away to relieve her.

"I don't know nothin' about birthin' no puppies!" was my first reply, and I don't (and I've never actually seen Gone With the Wind, demonstrating the forays it's made into the vernacular). I've never even seen puppies being born, never mind delivered them myself. Because the unfortunate phrasing the doc used was "I'll explain when you get here and you can tell me if you feel comfortable doing it." I could have told her right then, whatever I had to do, I'm far from comfortable with it.

But I'm a good little team worker so I saddled up and went. She had an online video of dog delivery queued up for me on the computer. She described the symptoms of imminent labor. Then she said she wanted me to call her the minute it started so she could hurry back.

"OH. I thought you were leaving me to do it alone," I told her. She said if she were me and thought that was the case, she wouldn't have come in. Apparently she was still expressing her amazement at my dedication all day Monday. Well, that's how I roll. I may not like my duties sometimes, but I still try my damndest to perform them.

She left and I watched the dog anxiously, a little Silky terrier. The problem was the dog was exhibiting all the behavior I was told to watch for (nesting, stretching out in an extended position on her side) to some degree almost constantly from the minute she left.

Thus the first puppy slipped out without me even noticing. Just peeked in and, oh hey! There it was. Fortunately dogs are convenient self-cleaning units -- the mother eats the afterbirth, which everyone should get to watch once before they die (when I described it to my sister, who is expecting in September, her reply was, "Ooooh, I hope I won't have to do that!" I said I was sure it was purely optional in human delivery).

Dr. N returned in time for the other four (I didn't realize there's up to a 30-minute break between babies. I thought they all came shooting out at once). She was absolutely knackered, but sat there patiently for the next three hours until they all came. Fortunately by the time the last one appeared, mom was too exhausted to cut the cord herself and the doctor had to do it. I say "fortunately" because it made me feel somewhat better making her stay there with me all that time (even though it cut seriously into my nap time, and by midnight I was dropping as badly as she was).

Once they were out we were free and clear and I was left alone. So, happy Mother's Day, Otta May! (the dog) (I spent the first hour there struggling to remember where I'd heard that name before. Bonus points to anyone who gets it (without cheating, but don't ask how I'll know).)

~*~

Finally, some movie reviews. The first one will be quick, so I won't cut. The Unborn, which is the one with the upside-down-headed dog in the ads. Surprising how freaky such a simple effect looks. The effects in general were very good. The plot, eh...kind of lost me in the middle.

Nazis performed unethical experiments on twins in WWII, resulting somehow in our young heroine being haunted by supernatural forces demanding to let "Jumby" be born.

She very circuitously learns that a dybbuk (Jewish demon) is searching for a gateway to our world. She seeks out Rabbi Gary Oldman (heh) for an exorcism, who initially refuses because he doesn't believe in mysticism. Then he encounters the abovementioned dog in the temple, and in the next scene offers his services. "Why the change of heart?" she asks. "I decided as long as YOU believe, that's all that matters," he answers. Really? The dog with the inverted head had nothing to do with it?

I won't say any more, except that the ending was one of those where you think it's over, then they start flashing back to snatches of conversation and glimpses of previous scenes, so you know a Big Twist is coming, unless you've been living in Siberia all your life. Ugh. I loved this technique in the first three movies that used it. Now it's just an overused and often disappointing attempt to build some excitement at the last minute.

A much, much, much better movie is ::Splinter:: )

Like I said if you clicked, for an indie I'd never heard of, this movie was a very pleasant surprise as horror movies go. Spend your (rental) money on this instead of The Unborn. 4 out of 5, I think.
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: (Bad Jesus!  Very Bad!)
Updatey datey:

Working out is going well, now that Ryan and I uncrossed our signals. He had a membership with John that had lapsed. He wanted to renew but said he couldn't afford to. Assuming he went to a different location (even though he lives 5 minutes away from me), I sadly signed on for a one-club membership ($50 cheaper than all-club). We exchanged emails where he repeatedly expressed interest in renewing. I would say the same thing: "I can only use the one near me." He would say the same thing: "I would only ever use mine anyway." We seemed to be at an impasse, until the day he used slightly different wording to clarify that he was talking about my club the whole time. OH. I don't know why communication is so difficult with him.

So we've been working out every other day if not more. We've tackled the girlier weight machines (Nautilus, etc.) and the cardio (ellipticals). In the middle of the floor are the free weights, and beyond that are the massive circuit training frames where the ripped, tattooed bad-asses hang out. All the while Ryan will point out men who have his goal body type. Then he confessed he'd like to try the circuit training someday. "Ryan, no!" I whispered frantically, "Not the Prison Yard!" Those hulking monsters would eat scrawny little Ryan for breakfast.

So far my plan is working -- the days I don't work out I feel restless, like I can't wait to get back. I also don't want to push myself too hard, since I did last week and spent the entire weekend barely able to move my arms. That was a mistake. It definitely makes a difference having a friend there, and I think the benefit is mutual, as Ryan is having a rough time moving on from John.

~*~

Funny tale from the kennels: Last weekend I was washing dishes when I heard what sounded like a phone ringing, though not the hospital line, followed by what sounded like someone talking. My first reaction whenever I hear a strange noise is to freeze in place with my heart pounding in my ears. I eventually had to move though, and traced it to Rica, an African Grey boarding with us. This bird had a whole routine, impersonating first a ringing phone, then an answering machine beep, and finally a creepily uncanny human voice saying, "Hello?" I wanted to record it for possible posting, but she clammed up the minute she saw me. However, when I covered her cage for the night she said, again in that near-human voice, "Goodnight cuckoo." I would trade her for our stupid screaming Amazon any day.

~*~

"Battlestar Galactica" is over. I think it suffered from this new trend in TV shows, to ramp up to the end by suddenly beginning all these exciting, complex new storylines with only three episodes to go. It makes you wonder, "How on earth are they going to resolve all this in such a short period of time?" Answer: They aren't. The "finale" will have so many plot lines left hanging it will be the narrative equivalent of a threadbare shawl, all for the remote possibility of a mini-series or even a movie in the future which will be the REAL finale. I say this after being severely disappointed by both BSG and "The L Word." I'm starting to fear that no finale will ever top "6 Feet Under." 6FU has RUINED me for all other finales. Though I suspect even people who haven't seen 6FU will agree that these finales sucked balls.

~*~

I had another run-in the other day on the transcriptionist board I hate so much. I hate it so much but it's incredibly helpful at times, if you can avoid the flame wars that is.

I had a stupid, simple formatting question, I won't bore you with specifics. I had found the answer in my AAMT Book of Style, the problem was the wording of the rule for some reason sounded like it only applied to one number rather than all. So I asked what I knew might be a stupid question, but I also figured it would be simply and quickly answered -- which is the only kind of question I ever ask anymore because people are so freakin' touchy there.

The first two people gave me straightforward, sensible answers. The third was a very sarcastic, "Did it ever occur to you that the #4 was only an example?" There was just no call for that. If you can't keep a civil tongue in your head, you're better off just keeping your mouth shut, and on this board most of all so. I answered politely but coldly, "I wasn't sure, which is why I asked. Sarcasm isn't really appreciated." Never heard back from that one (to my knowledge. The board makes it far too easy to post anonymously).

Then someone else chimed in saying they'd always wondered the same thing. This was very soon after Ms. Snarky, so I responded to them, "I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't know it all : )." Please take note of the big smiley face because it's important.

Someone responded, "Wow. Unbelievable!" Someone else said something about "the rudeness" and "I'm glad I'm not you." Others trickled in to join the crowd. The way the page is set up it's really not clear who is responding to who exactly, which is why it took me about 15 minutes to slowly realize they were all castigating ME for my incredibly rude comment. What??

This is WHY I included a big smiley face, the only way to express friendliness or positive intentions. If I could dot my i's with hearts I would. Because this damn board is FULL of these people just WAITING for an excuse to take offense, whereupon everyone circles in like vultures to carrion, and like vultures will pick you dry until not a scrap of flesh remains. Even without the smiley face I didn't see how my comment could be so grossly misinterpreted, but there we are. An entire industry of internet users who haven't graduated AOL IM Etiquette 101.

I ignored all the Nosy Nellies and instead engaged the one person struggling to maintain civility, and eventually the original person I had supposedly slammed so harshly. I was able to clarify that I was grateful someone else shared my question and there was no insult or irony intended, hence my BIG SMILEY FACE. They were both glad to hear it and everything was peaceful again. Do you think any of those people who were so quick to swoop in to attack me bothered coming back to apologize? Nope, all suddenly too busy to waste time on a message board.

~*~

Tery Tivo'ed a documentary for me, "The Most Hated Family in America." You'd think it would be the Mansons, but no, it's Pastor Fred Phelps and his incestuous little clan. I've heard of them, but this was the first special I'd seen devoted exclusively to them.

They run the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS, and their favorite word in the entire world is "fag." As in GodHatesFags.com. As in "Fag Priest" and "Fag Soldier" and "Fag Jews" and "Fag Enablers." It's just about the worst insult they can imagine, thus they apply it to everything and everybody.

See if you can follow this logic: America supports and embraces homosexuality (bear with me). Hence America is going to hell. Hence US troops fighting in Iraq are all fags for defending fag-loving America, and deserve to die. In fact, any misfortune that happens to anyone, anywhere, is evidence of God striking them down because they love fags, and makes the Phelps satanically gleeful. Your grandmother is dying of leukemia? Good, she's a fag-lover. Your church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground? God obviously hates it. 9/11? The best thing that ever happened to America. If you think I'm exaggerating just check out their website.

Don't try to point out to them that, while America might be slowly becoming more permissive of homosexuality, we're still a long way away from feeling America's unconditional love. Don't try to tell them that Jesus, in addition to being a Jew himself, preached mostly about love and probably would take a dim view of the message they're sending out. In fact, don't try to argue with them at all; they're unshakeable in their belief that pretty much everyone who doesn't belong to their church is a fag (either in actuality or sympathetically) and is going to hell.

I'm telling you, even teh gays aren't as obsessed with homosexuality as these people.

They routinely picket military funerals because, well, the soldiers are all fags. They stand on a distant corner (court-ordered) with bright neon signs screaming how you are going to hell. People drive by and curse them, make rude gestures and even throw things (their small son was hit in the head with a soda cup -- no rejoicing when bad things happen to one of THEM, I noticed); the response rate is 100% in the negative, which they consider a success. It perplexes them why people are so mean, though -- doesn't everyone LIKE being told their souls are damned and God hates them?

What is most terrifying is their cult includes children, tiny children, and don't ask me where they come from because the ratio is about one man to ten women in their God-fearing, devout and completely insular society. Tiny children wearing GodHatesFags.com T-shirts. When asked if they know what the sign they're holding means, they smile shyly and hide their faces. No, they don't. The brainwashing (and alleged abuse) will begin in earnest at the earliest opportunity though.

It's totally infected Bekah, the 19ish-year-old who tells the documentarian that yes, even he is going to hell, following it with a completely inappropriate schoolgirl giggle. She also has no plans to marry, since "we're in the end of the end times" and she'll be far too busy serving the Lord to worry about things like the future and having a life of her own.

Meanwhile her mother's mature retort to the documentarian's attempt to get reason to penetrate her thick dogma was, I kid you not, "Not a chance, poopy pants."

The documentarian tried several times to get an interview with Grand-daddy Fred Phelps, each time being treated with open derision and hostility. He called Reverend Phelps "a wellspring of anger," and isn't anger one of the Big Seven?

Tery predicted the show would make my blood boil, but it really didn't, I think because these people are so insane and so extreme that no one takes them seriously. Much less dangerous than the moderate radicals whose equally homophobic (and less nonsensical) message is heard and believed by thousands. Mostly I just feel sorry for them, because I know from experience that hating someone, actively and with the passion these people feel, is exhausting. Imagine hating the entire world and how much energy THAT takes?

~*~

Time to wrap up the Kitten Mitten series, I think. ::In here, because I'm thoughtful:: )

Finally, perhaps my favorite thing about any cat:


The ability, at any given time, to look equally silly and regal


~*~

I won't cut this because it MUST be seen. OldFriendBear took my Strawberry Series to the next logical level:


If I had nightmares about fruit


::Artsy Photo #2 and a little surprise:: )
grrgoyl: (Sweeney time for song)
I'm happy to report a happy (sort of) ending to the Ryan quandary.  Friday he was talking "therapy, working it out."  Saturday he was suddenly all "fuck this" and had kicked that loser John to the curb.  This earned a big "GoooooooOOOOOO, Ryan!" from me.  Because John, knowing full well that their relationship was on its last legs if something didn't change, didn't let that put a crimp in his weekend plans for getting trashed (again).  Ryan is a great guy and I'm certain can find a man who will try a little harder to respect his feelings.

My biggest concern in the break-up was Ryan not being able to afford his condo, until he revealed that he's been paying his bills all along AND helping John with his credit cards.  John is about 40 years old.  This makes John a DOUBLE LOSER.  As Ryan said (though with considerably less glee than I would have), "He's in for a rude awakening when he starts paying for his own stuff."

We did hang out most of the day Monday, first going out to lunch and then back here for an epic Rock Band session (no video documentation, sorry).      I'm sad Ryan is alone again, but can't pretend that I'm not happy to have my friend back. 

~*~

That was the happy part of my weekend.  This is the unhappy part.  ::The sad tale of Kane the dog: cut for animal death and bodily functions :: )

~*~

At last "The L Word" is over.  God.  If "Six Feet Under" was the best series finale we've ever seen, "L Word" had to be the worst.  We were thrilled beyond words when the season premiere featured Jenny, easily the most hated character, being found dead in the pool.  Until we realized the whole season would be one massive flashback, where every episode gave another person reason enough to want to see her dead, even more than us.  Making the finale a big whodunit (with a comically repeated reference to that dangerous railing over the pool they need to get fixed) without ever revealing the answer.  COME ON.  Our DVR cut off the last 90 seconds, and thank god I just happened to find it at that moment playing elsewhere so we could finish it properly, because those last 90 seconds weren't any more illuminating, and it would have SUCKED to sit through the whole episode a second time hoping they were.  Bleah, L Word.  You SUCK.

~*~

The next in my popular art photography series:

Series I:  Favorite Parts of a Cat; Feet Part Two



One of her namesakes -- her Tufty Toes



She got legs//she knows how to use them


Okay, I promise to move on from the feet next time.
grrgoyl: (Abyssinian)
This is the luxuriousness of my new schedule -- updating my LJ on a Saturday morning! Can you believe it? But my shift doesn't start for literally an hour and a half, and it was this or watch Flight of the Conchords Season One Tery bought for me.

So, some tidbits, like:

Question: How many strangers in the parking lot do Tracey's stupid dog have to bark at before realizing that none of them are a threat and none of them are particularly intimidated by him?
Answer: All of them.

~*~

I blame [livejournal.com profile] ms_hecubus, who a few weekends ago posted about her overactive imagination thinking a timber wolf was waiting in her garage to attack her. I smirked that she wouldn't last ten minutes in Tery's hospital at night, to which she agreed. Then that weekend in the early morning hours I fell into such a deep sleep that I had a nightmare. I dreamed I heard a racket and walked down to A-ward in time to see a man coming through the window feet first (the window is ground level outside but there are bars on it). We faced off across the short corridor between the kennels. He looked a little like Peter Horton from Thirtysomething, except with wide, crazed eyes and a sadistic grin. Then he reached for me with impossibly long, clawlike fingers and I woke up with a start, sweating, panting, and totally paralyzed. I felt like my spine was nailed to the dog mattress I sleep on now. It was one of the most terrifying feelings of my life. Thanks, Michelle ;)

~*~

Speaking of wolves, last night I had Lakota, who had been spayed that day:



Her cage slip listed her as a "husky mix." Yeah, husky mixed with timber wolf and maybe arctic fox. She was beautiful, but not leash trained and I spent a good fifteen minutes chasing her around trying to get her leashed. Thank god we weren't outside or I'd probably still be at it. She was a nimble one. Beautiful, but that constant (CONSTANT) whining/groaning was all husky. Tery said the day shift were all afraid of her (honestly, why do these people work at a vet hospital when they're so easily intimidated by animals?) but while trying to get this photo my biggest challenge was getting her head out of my lap.

~*~

Speaking of the hospital (oh, I'm full of segues today), one night someone had left a big note in the breakroom, "Overnight Sun-Thurs not cleaning." Which is kind of like saying, "I'm not naming any names, but our current Holy Father the Pope isn't putting the toilet seat down." The description can only apply to one person, so why tiptoe around trying to spare feelings? Of course, overnight Sun-Thurs is J., who hurt her knee again and was taking it easy for a few weeks. Which Tery could have told the complainer if they'd come to her instead of leaving accusatory messages.

Tery tried to ferret out the note-writer, after having to "talk J. off the ledge." Everyone pointed fingers at one person, who when confronted acted innocently appalled, "I'd NEVER write something like that! But if J. was upset, please tell her I'm sorry." Yeah, uh-uh. No one in that hospital is selfless enough to apologize for something they didn't do. No one. Mystery solved.

It turns out the mess that prompted the complaint was one empty box left in Surgery. To which Tery's response was, "A) I guarantee you J. isn't stocking supplies off the delivery truck, and B) It's one damn box. Break it down, throw it out back, and quit whining."

~*~

Finally, a quandary with Ryan.

Back at the Oscarâ„¢ party, I said I lurved my boys (Ryan and John). This is only half true. I love Ryan, love him to death. My feelings for John depend on Ryan's happiness, which at the moment is pretty low.

John has a whole entourage of single friends who sound like they're stuck in a permanent frat-boy mentality. Every weekend they lure John out drinking, binges that last literally from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, when he finally staggers home and passes out on the couch.

Ryan is less than pleased by this behavior, and I can hardly blame him. If Tery did this, I guarantee we wouldn't have made it past our first year.

Ryan has begged him to knock it off and grow up. John refuses to see the problem. They've been going back and forth this entire time, and Ryan is finally at the point of couples therapy or adios, John. John is resistant to therapy, and Ryan still thinks he can't live without him, so they're sort of at an impasse. Naturally I'm on Ryan's side. I do my best to offer advice, but unfortunately most of the work has to be done by Ryan.

At the risk of appearing selfish, this will be causing a problem for me very shortly. Ryan had suggested coming over Monday (he gets alternate Mondays off from work) to hang out. I assumed part of his incentive was avoiding John, who of course will be blitzed the whole weekend AGAIN. Imagine my surprise when yesterday he asked if John could come too? In fact John had taken the day off of work just to hang out with us.

WTF???? Ryan's acting like this is totally against his will, that he has no control over it (and neither do I), and yes we'd have more fun alone and yes he'll ruin everything, but what can we do?

It's like he's split exactly in two. Half of him has broken up with John and just wishes he'd disappear. The other half is hanging onto a faint hope they can still work it out. And I can't tell which half I'm talking to at any given moment. Most of the time a pathetic amalgamation of the two.

I followed Tery's advice and texted him to cancel. I feel like a shitty friend, but I just don't see hanging out with John as being anything but unbearably awkward until they figure out where they stand with each other. I apologized, but suggested if maybe John was too hungover to come Ryan was still welcome on his own.

Ryan texted me back: "LOL"

I don't know what I'm supposed to do with that. And it makes Ryan come off like he's in really deep denial (which is entirely possible). Almost battered wife syndrome denial.

So I guess I'll refuse to answer my phone, close the curtains and pretend I'm not home if they come around. Yeah, I know. Great friend, right? What would you do?

~*~

On a cheerier note, the photo stylings of [livejournal.com profile] she_was_stereo have inspired me to do a photo tribute to my favorite subject, Francesca Sofia. I don't have nearly her eye, and of course it's somewhat more challenging photographing an animate object. So we'll start slow and in no particular order.

Series I: Favorite Parts of a Cat



This is her left paw, which I love because of the little black "M" that forms a heart shape with the white.



Surprisingly more difficult to capture is her right paw, which is a cappucino-colored twin.


I can't promise they'll get any better.

~*~

Is that the time? I've got to get to work!!
grrgoyl: (ferrets attack)
Sunday Ryan invited me to Pride Fest -- actually, he invited Tery, who declined (she has an irrational fear of gay bashing, even though I'm pretty sure that, were homophobes to show up, they'd be decidedly in the minority). Ryan assumed I'd be too tired after working Saturday night. Foolish boy. Saturdays are usually very slow and I manage to sleep most of my shift away.

Megan was supposed to go, but sadly stayed out too late at the bar the night before. Boo. Happily, MyFriendDeb did go with us.

Sunday it was 100 degrees in Denver, so I was kind of glad Ryan didn't care about seeing the parade. We made our leisurely way downtown for the retail portion of the festivities, which turned out to be a lot like Taste of Colorado but with more rainbows. Honestly, these vendors think gays will buy anything as long as it's rainbow-colored (in some tasteless cases, they were right). I didn't see anything that appealed to me, telling myself that it would be pointless to buy jewelry when I only leave the house twice a week, and my only company is dogs when I do. I did cave and buy Tery a Black Ice Rugby shirt which I thought had many things going for it: 1) The logo was the classic, clean athletic style that she prefers, 2) it had "Denver" on it prominently; Tery takes great pride in local sports, 3) rugby is her new "favorite" sport, and 4) it's a lesbian team, which isn't obvious from the shirt. I had to have it -- the scantily clad players roaming the crowd trying to draw customers in were TOO cute.

Most people were wearing gay-themed T-shirts, which if you ask me is a bit of overkill. You're AT a gay pride festival with your girl/boyfriend hanging all over you -- you can't get much more out than that. I myself opted for my Serenity "Fruity Oaty Bar" shirt, which I'm sure threw most for a loop; with the exception of a delicious computer geek manning one booth who recognized it and commented. Yummy.

So apart from buying overpriced food (using the evil ticket system, so you don't realize you just paid $8 for a funnel cake and a bottle of water) there wasn't much to do but people-watch. Oh sure, there was a godawful lesbian band performing, which we quickly fled in favor of the opposite end of the park, where pretty shirtless boys were bumping and grinding to rave music. Ryan thought he'd died and gone to heaven, though I pointed out his chances of hooking up were slim indeed with Deb and I tagging along. I was just enjoying watching all the people: the boys kissing, the girls holding hands, the transexuals, the transvestites, the goths, the little baby butches. I wanted to stare and stare, not because I thought they were freakish, but because I couldn't get enough of them appearing so comfortable in the crowd, as if they were "normal."

The only hint of disapproval I spotted was a kid, a young man, walking alone carrying a bible with a stern look on his face. He didn't approach anyone though, perhaps trusting his presence to be sufficient to convey his message. Maybe he imagined himself walking among a den of lions.

But wow, was it hot. Just drinking water was an all too transient relief. I discovered it was much more effective to pour it straight down the back of my shirt. Considering the extreme heat and the very real danger of medical emergencies, it was quite galling that most booths were selling water for $2.50 a bottle -- with the exception of one selling "back alley" bottles for $1 (not tickets. "Don't tell anyone" the woman implored me). The temperature resulted in many of the crowd going topless (I've never wished more to be a boy) to Ryan's delight; but the coolest of them all had to be a boy clad only in a T-shirt and what from behind looked like girl's panties (Ryan assured me they had a Y-front though). If you ask me, that took more balls than the goth couple in full regalia with the girl leading the boy on a leash, and I'm sure came the closest to violating some public indecency law.

It was fun, but it was also good to leave. I passed out the minute I got home from heat exhaustion, not that our condo was any cooler.

~*~

Monday I tackled our balcony with a vengeance. First, fed up with being held hostage by pigeons that we in fact only see once every couple of weeks, I pulled down the chicken wire that has covered the front of it since last year. I then put it across the ceiling to protect just the rafters themselves. It was all very manly, butch work. I'll admit, as much as we enjoyed the feeling of enclosed privacy the previous setup inspired, opening it up created a sense of refreshing freedom, as if the fencing was keeping out the air.

I also bought a new screen door with the intention of installing a newfangled cat door designed for screens rather than glass. Yet another example of how "Easy to install!" is a highly misleading statement. But as difficult as that task was, I'm beginning to suspect it was a walk in the park compared to getting the cats to use the door. I'm the first to defend the superiority of cats over dogs, except in the area of training. They don't take kindly to having their heads pushed through the flap, that's for sure.

Now that the balcony is clean and habitable again, I'd like an excuse to spend more time out there. Towards that end, I've wanted a hammock for years and by gum, now I'm getting one.

The last order of the day was to get my used computer from eBay up and running. It arrived Friday (remember eBay rule #2) and I immediately saw why it was being sold for $35. It was a hideous, towering, ecru behemoth. Compared to my newer sportier black model, it looked like an industrial server. It came without an operating system, and I don't have any experience in rebuilding a completely blank machine. It wasn't easy, but few obstacles are any match for me when I'm determined.

First, the monitor wasn't communicating with it. I thought my LCD monitor wasn't compatible, but it turned out the video card had come loose from the motherboard (my thanks goes to my Sony Vaio that I had to open once a week to tweak sound and capture cards). Then when I tried to install Windows XP, I got hung up when it asked for an older version of Windows to verify my right to use XP (something like that); thank god I found an old Windows 98 disc I forgot I had. Then I thought I was home free until XP asked me for my product key. The disc was no longer in the original packaging and it turns out people on the hack message boards are pretty stingy when it comes to $100 licenses. I went back to my desk and, thank god x1000, dug up the product key. Luck was being every inch a lady for me. Until the last step, hooking up my internet. I fell into a cold, familiar panic when I started seeing the connection setup screens from my old wireless laptop days. I persisted, however; the whole reason I picked this auction was it promised to be "Great for high-speed internet!" Fortunately I remembered the trick that I always forget when it comes to my cable modem -- that simply unplugging it for 30 seconds resets it back on its merry way. This time was no exception.

So there we have it. A fully functioning, fully loaded (for work purposes anyway) computer for only $35. Not too shabby.

And that was my weekend! I wish I had a day off to recover.

~*~

Last but not least, please welcome my old friend Bear ([livejournal.com profile] lizzieloudotcom) to LJ. Be nice to her.
grrgoyl: (Manny locked out)
Ryan has a new roommate, a girl named Megan.

We love Ryan to death. He's like our gay little brother. So it's understandable if we're a bit protective and possessive of him.

Megan materialized suddenly a few weekends ago. She was all moved in before we'd ever heard of her. All signs point to a drunken contract made over a game of darts at Monaghan's. We met her over a last minute brunch at TGIFriday's.

Megan looks a lot like Jennifer Jason Leigh. Her voice is low and roughened by a combination of cigarettes and yelling at sporting events. She's ebullient and talkative, but as we shall see, sometimes knowing when to shut up is every bit as important as knowing when to speak.

She started talking about living in a great condo, with unusually considerate neighbors above and below her. When asked why she moved, her answer was "Well, they found a meth lab..."

"Get out! We had a meth lab next door to us!" we responded. It turned out to be no coincidence; she lived at the back of our building. Small world, eh?

If she had shut up there, it might have been fine. But she didn't. She claimed she shared laundry ducts with Tracey. Hazmat scrubbed her cat down in the parking lot out of fear of contamination. She was forced to live in a hotel for a year during the cleanup. It's a great story. But as we left the restaurant, we realized it was riddled with holes.

How did she share ducts on the second floor with Tracey on the third floor? (plus Tery has been inside a gutted building in our complex after a fire and she knows no one shares ducts with anyone) Tery was at the scene the entire time and never saw any animals being scrubbed down. Our animals never were and we share walls with her. And we had a big old hole in our attic between us and her for weeks, and no one was the slightest bit concerned about us leaving the building, never mind moving out.

Alright. So she's told the tale so many times that maybe she's started to believe it, never dreaming she'd meet someone else with firsthand knowledge. But after it was revealed that we knew all about it, she wasn't at all fazed, in the manner of a practiced liar. And we don't like liars.

But that's only half of it. She has an opinion about everything, she knows everything, and she doesn't hesitate to interject her thoughts. Loudly.

For instance: I started to tell Ryan about the new show, Confessions of a Matchmaker on A&E, and the 41-year-old virgin that it turns out "OH MY GOD I SAW THAT!" Megan butt in at top volume, "SHE TELLS HIM HE'S GAY AND SETS HIM UP WITH A DUDE!!!!" Thank you, Megan. I couldn't possibly have told it that well on my own. But I still would have liked the chance.

Watching Hot Fuzz with her was more of the same. A drunk falls off a barstool and she starts braying, "THAT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! I can't tell you how many times I've been in a bar and seen someone do that! Or try to sit down and totally miss the stool" and at this point she actually got up to demonstrate, "That's so funny!!!" Then later when Danny and Nick are firing guns in a high-speed chase, she volunteered "It's actually really hard to fire a gun while driving, did you know that?" No, I didn't, and didn't particularly want to know how she did.

Who doesn't love a know-it-all?

After Heroes ended, we all jumped immediately into Dexter and have seen almost all of season 1 together. When we went over Ryan's a few weekends ago, Megan joined us despite never having seen a single episode. It was right about now we began wondering if we had to include Megan in everything we did with Ryan. Anyway, it wasn't a hardship to bring her up to speed with the show so far. But then she started shouting out at random intervals, "He's the Ice Truck Killer! No, HE'S the Ice Truck..." Stop, will you please stop? Even if you had any idea what you're talking about, that's very, very annoying.

Ryan has a chihuahua mix dog, Ren, who has grown very attached to us. Megan's thing is to call Ren a cat to try to trick him into meowing instead of barking. She brings this joke up every time Ren comes anywhere near her. Here's a hint: If no one laughs at a joke the first time, the answer is not repeated attempts. It's just embarrassing and awkward for all involved.

Personal shortcomings aside, we hoped having a roommate might solve Ryan's perpetual financial problems. Not only does he not seem any farther from the poverty line (probably because he has someone to go to bars with), but Megan has also pulled him back from the brink of quitting smoking and he's lighting up more than ever.

Ryan says she's the best roommate he's ever had. Tery and I aren't so sure.
grrgoyl: (ferrets are love)
Christmas was a smashing success this year for us. In spite of the Great Blizzard, we had a really fantastic day, materialistically speaking. Here's a list of my booty, cut because I'm aware that lists aren't very interesting to read (though there is some commentary that's not to be missed):

::You know that we are living in a material world:: )

But of course only half the season is about receiving. I did more than my share of giving as well.

::The luscious Tery got:: )

Before you think me a capitalistic pig, keep in mind that last year we were so poor that Christmas was spent with some crusts of stale bread, a bottle of lukewarm water and a flickering candle stub, and we considered ourselves lucky.

But, holidays wouldn't be holidays without family. My older sister called from California and did her usual talking AT me for a solid hour. The problem is her stories blend so seamlessly into each other (by dint of never taking a breath, not because of skillful segues or anything) that there's no contributing anything of your own until the subject has long been abandoned. Not for lack of trying -- at one point I started to tell the tale of the bloodied hospital, but was interrupted so many times that Tery walked by and said exasperatedly, "It's YOUR story!!!!" as my end of the conversation was reduced to, "So I unlocked the front door and....uh-huh.....oh....right.....really?"

Yep, hectic weekends at the kennel, record-breaking snowfall and even Polo's death registered barely a blip on her radar screen. Not compared to story after story about her exciting life inventorying Home Depot. The good news is because of her, my sister Amy and I are hell-bent against turning into her and have become twice as thoughtful listeners to compensate. The other good news is her birthday is New Year's Day, so one phone call around this time of year covers two occasions. Am I a bad person to think this way?

MyFriendDeb came over for dinner, and we were later joined by Ryan and we all watched Little Miss Sunshine. The boys got their Christmas baths, so when Xandir emerged, he got his picture taken with everyone.

Deb and XandirBathtub BoyzRyan and Xandir
For being a shy boy, that Xandir does get around.


Happy New Year everyone!

Edit: Guess what? It's snowing again! Why does God hate Denver so?
grrgoyl: (greg skatch)
Sexy:

Eelaine & Frank 4evah

Sexier:

Hello Moto

Sexiest:

Where are all your red states NOW?


Tery and I voted, naturally. It was a pleasant surprise to find no lines, no waiting at the Meadow Hills Golf Course polling site. And, as opposed to last time, we feel that our votes made a difference as evidenced by all the Democratic wins.

However, while waiting for Tery to finish I stood around outside. It was here that I noticed my driver's license expired 7 months ago. What the.....? I've been driving around as a small-time criminal and didn't even know it. Oops.

As I waited, I also watched a man in shorts and Polo shirt abandon his golf bag and approach the election official standing by the door. He asked him where he could go to vote.

"I heard on the radio this morning that people could go anywhere to vote. Is that true, or does it depend on where you live?" He was told that it depended on where he lived, of course. "Oh, cuz it sure would be convenient for me if I could just vote here." Yes, I'll bet it would. He had no voter card on him and no idea what his precinct was. His little drama sucked in a second official who had to abandon his post to help this guy out. When he realized that the officials didn't have every polling location in the greater metro area committed to memory, he backpedaled a bit. "Well, I'm in sort of a hurry, so..."

In a hurry? Sir, you are GOLFING. Some people stood in line for more than 3 hours to vote, and this guy was stressed about missing his tee time. In my opinion, if you show up at the clubhouse and happen to notice that oh yeah, today's Election Day, you don't DESERVE to vote. Well, this opinion was aided in part by the suspicion, fair or not, that he was Republican through and through.

My poor sister got disenfranchised due to moving many times in the past 2 years and not staying on top of her voter information. She tried 3 polling places before deciding she'd tried hard enough. The good news is she lives in Boston so her vote wasn't that crucial to turning any tide, and she was going to vote libertarian anyway. I'm sorry, but I think this country is closer to accepting gay marriage than it is to accepting more than a two-party system.

This is still better than Ryan, who moved out of his parents' house 2 years ago and still hasn't updated his registration. "Those 2 years really got away from him, didn't they?" Tery snarked. I told Ryan that when gay marriage is banned for good in Colorado (which it was), I was going to blame him. He didn't have a problem with that.

I'm not going to make any deep political commentary here. I'm happy the Dems have some power back, but skeptical about anything really changing in the greater scheme as long as W. is still president. He did whatever he wanted before, disregarding House, Senate, UN, American people, why would that change now? Still, I think it's more than coincidence that Rumsfeld announced his resignation today. I thought it was because he felt he wasn't needed in the face of a possibly soon-to-change policy in Iraq. Tery thinks he's gettin' while the gettin's good before the Dems dig up any shit on him. Either way, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Rummy. Same goes to you, Santorum, and you, Schwarzenegger, and you, Musgrave. Oh wait, somehow those last two fuckers got re-elected. We've still got a long way to go.
grrgoyl: (Spaced Speedy Nick)
As promised, Ryan and I went out last night. I've noticed that my friends can be classified in one of two ways: those that agree with all sincerity and eagerness that getting together would be a great idea, and those who actually follow through and make it happen. Ryan falls among the latter, and I told him how much I appreciated it, because the first type is very annoying to me.

We went to see The Prestige, only because Saw III isn't out until this coming weekend and we couldn't wait that long to see each other again. But rest assured, we plan to see Saw as well. Oh yes, there will be sequels.

Before I get into the movie itself, a word on the audience. When we first arrived the place was empty, as I expected it to be on a Tuesday night. But then it began filling up with high school kids. The first couple of rowdy groups didn't faze me, but then more started appearing. I said to Ryan, "Don't these kids have school tomorrow?" He answered, "Fall break." What the....? Didn't they just start in September? Evidently nowadays kids go back to school in August. Imagine -- 2 whole months of school without a single break. The poor dears must be exhausted. Note: That there is good New England sarcasm. Why, back in MY day we went straight through, September to June, with a week off for Christmas and we considered ourselves lucky. No wonder kids are so damn lazy these days.

Anyhoo, the movie. I'll cut even though I really don't have much deep to say, and certainly no spoilers (well, there might be a few. So just to be safe).

::The Prestige:: )

By the end I was befuddled something awful. My confusion wasn't helped in the slightest by the way director Christopher Nolan plays with timelines, sometimes showing us the result of an action before the action itself; this device served him well in Memento, and he'll always have a soft spot in my heart because of that film, but here it just seemed to be covering up potential flaws in logic and leaves you with the feeling that if you don't get it, it's only because you couldn't piece together the actual chronology fast enough. Or perhaps this storytelling method was merely an illustration of the world of magicians, who depend so heavily on the art of misdirection. One thing I managed to take away is that those magicians are a sneaky lot and should not be trusted any further than one can throw them.

Jackman and Bale give very strong performances, and perhaps with sufficient extras on the DVD I could be convinced to buy it. 3.5 out of 5, since I suspect my problems with the story are all my fault rather than the movie's.



In addition, some thoughts on Lost (Season Two), ::again cut in case anyone cares enough:: )

Okay, I'm done.
grrgoyl: (perfect drug)
My beauty, my precioussssssss has arrived. I would take a picture of it but it looks pretty much like it does on the on the internet. It's sleek and sexy, with pretty lights and noises. Camera, FM radio, calculator, calendar, alarm clock...it won't be long before I will come to rely on this baby for every modern convenience from now on. All I'm missing is a karaoke machine and a rape horn (and an mp3 player, which some other phones actually offer nowadays, but they didn't get such good reviews).

I feel like absolutely the biggest hypocrite in the whole world. For years I have had nothing but disdain for cellphone users. Walking around like they're all that, carrying on their stupid, pointless conversations, adding more noise to an already too noisy world. Now it's my turn to be all that. Besides, have you tried finding a payphone lately? They're definitely on the way out, which is just as well, as I never have change anyway. Now when I'm grocery shopping and my mind goes blank on what I stopped for (which happens more often than I care to admit), Tery will be just three keystrokes away. Dinner disaster averted! I feel so hip talking on it, freed from the ties of my cordless phone that could never reach all the way to the mailbox (which, let's face it, is as close as I come to leaving the house 85% of the time). Like I said earlier, the main draw was having a camera handy. It doesn't take the greatest pictures, but my real camera sure doesn't fit in a lambskin swivel holster on my belt. My overriding rationale is that it's free, and that's good enough for me. If it works out and we can get rid of our landline, our monthly phone bill would be cut in half. A cellphone makes good financial sense right now. But I could still give it back tomorrow if I had to. Honestly.

Besides, I've already wasted a ludicrous amount of time scouring the internet for the perfect ringtone that tells the world who I am in 10 notes or less. What an agonizing decision. How do people live with the stress? Most of the tones I found are pretty useless. They start at the beginning of the song, taking their own sweet time getting to the more recognizable chorus. I can't foresee ever letting my phone ring long enough to get that far. I originally set out in search of "Jerk it Out" by The Caesars (the first iPod commercial theme). The beginning would be a kick-ass ring, so naturally every file I found skipped right to the chorus. Work with me, people. I abandoned that when I discovered the Buffy theme. THIS is da shit. Same with the Angel theme. Hours and hours later I finally stepped away from the computer after finding an equally awesome Rage Against the Machine tone (the piece at the end of The Matrix. Yes, it's repetitive and vaguely Chinese water torturish, but instantly recognizable). I was so excited about this one that I played it for Tery, who commented in the least enthused, yet most supportive tone she could muster, "That's pretty good, hunny." Other cool ones that were passed up were the Monty Python theme and The Final Countdown (aka G.O.B.'s theme...I can't be bursting into fits of laughter every time my phone rings). Please god let me be able to transfer these with the cable I found on eBay. I really don't want to pay $2 a pop to get my phone just the way I want it. I guess they figure if you can afford a cellphone, you've got money to burn on stupid things like ringtones. Rumor has it the phone supports mp3 tones too. There are some tracks on my new Depeche Mode CD that would be great, in all their synthesized glory. I hear ringtones everywhere I turn these days.

I don't even know myself anymore.

When I started reading through the welcome packet, chapter one included an enormous list of all the info I would need when I called to activate the phone, a 15-20 minute process. I despise talking on the phone so much that I dreaded making this call. Don't think the irony of this is lost on me. Fortunately LetsTalk.com had already pre-activated the phone for me. I just had to turn it on and start dialing. I ♥ them for this.

And I really hope this love affair lasts, because I just got a buttload of accessories off eBay to keep my precioussssss company. Because what's the good of a shiny new toy without the "sold separately" accoutrements?

Tery went out last night with Tabby and Ryan. I stayed home and watched the Saw commentary. Oh, yes, I ran out and bought this as soon as I learned of its existence. I couldn't possibly be expected to resist this brilliant marketing:

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There's a bladder with "blood" on the front cover (at least, I'm hoping it's "blood" and not...blood). This cover is rivalled perhaps only by the Evil Dead Special Edition, bound in "human skin." I don't own that one, not for lack of those marketing bastards preying on my senses just as hard as they can.

The extra gore promised was barely noticeable, but the extras on this version are a lot juicier. I'm mightily excited about the sequel.

The POINT is when Tery got home all she could talk about was how all Ryan could talk about was me. How much he loved me and couldn't wait to hang out again. I've met this guy ONCE. I refuse to believe I am THAT charming. I told Tery I was sorry that my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard (even the gay ones). She explained that he's a "dyke hag," which I didn't even know existed (the fact that I'm not a dyke notwithstanding). She called them to let them know she made it home okay and put me on the phone with him. I was really out of it (I've been getting up at 4 a.m. every day this week), but remember clearly the part where he told me he loved me, followed by a nervous (adorable) little giggle. He wanted to be the first person I called when I got my precioussssss (sorry, baby. It had to be my sister). I invited him to Halloween tomorrow night, but he went and invited all his coworkers to his parents' house in the mountains this weekend. Poor guy wants desperately to cancel on them to be with me us, but he can't. I promised I would take lots of pictures of the evening for him (and for this journal).

I wanted to invite him to the movies on Sunday, but Tabby informs me that Sunday is Broncos day, so that's right out. Guess I'll just go see Serenity alone (I doubt he would have been up for that movie anyway). (Yes, I finished Disc 4 of Firefly. So much promise, so much potential. I really love these characters. Maybe it will be like Star Trek and spawn countless film sequels.) Speaking of Tabby, we made up today, but I still anticipate a lengthy conversation tomorrow night. I think it will be good for both of us.
grrgoyl: (Default)
Crankwhore action:

That sneaky Tracey's at it again! She and her deceptively well-groomed boyfriend have been busy installing new hardwood floors in her place...and then spending days and days and days (from the sound of it) buffing and polishing them with a very loud machine. That is, until this notice appeared on her door.

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If it isn't obvious, those words behind the bars (where, ironically, that filthy crankwhore should be) are "Order to Vacate" and "Unsafe to Occupy." Followed by a lot of nonsense about "unsafe for human habitation until written notice" and "must vacate premises by Oct 12." Followed by a Penalty of a $1000 fine or 1 year in jail for removing the notice. She hasn't removed it, evidence that she can indeed read. Which you otherwise wouldn't be able to tell, since they spent all day on the 12th moving appliances out (a none-too-quiet process, I assure you) well past the 2 p.m. deadline, and have been sneaking in and out ever since to remove other little odds and ends. Yesterday they were in there for most of the day removing, I kid you not, the kitchen cabinets. WTF??? So the place has new hardwood floors but the kitchen is apparently completely gutted. Makes sense, in a crack-induced sort of haze. I didn't realize cabinetry had a large enough resale value to warrant risking being caught and arrested. But then, clearly someone with the level of determination required to break the law so extensively by setting up a whole meth lab won't be so easily deterred by a little piece of paper. Tery saw a suspicious-looking guy wandering around in front of the building, sneaking glances up to her place, and then getting on his cellphone. Because Mr. and Mrs. CW are just that stupid that they spent the whole day in the unit with their front door wide open. Sadly, I didn't get to see them haul her off in cuffs again (not for lack of me camping out at the peephole). I called the number on the door just to make absolutely certain someone is on top of it, just doing my neighborly duty.

Television action:

I know this will disappoint [livejournal.com profile] velmaneuwirth considerably, but I've watched discs 2 and 3 out of 4 in the Firefly set, and I'm just not moved to buy it. Don't get me wrong, it's a promising show. The characters are great, the actors are terrific. I'm amazed how quickly I got over my hatred of Nathan "Caleb" Fillion, amazed that he can play good and evil with equal skill. Alan Tudyk is always hilarious. Ironically my favorite character is shaping up to be Jayne, as much as I'm normally not into the "manly men." It just seems like he gets all the funniest lines. The episode "Out of Gas" absolutely blew me away. The clever interweaving of timelines, the humorous back story, the first time Mal lays eyes on his beloved Serenity. LOVED IT. (loved the commentary too, especially when they told the story of Alan Tudyk stealing the big red button off the set and sending it to Joss to "call back the shuttles" if he managed to save the show. I wept.)

But it has lots of big strikes against it too. First that comes to mind is, of course, no mention anywhere of Giles from Buffy. Yeah, his participation in the show would have been a huge draw for me. Second, I'm not a fan at all of westerns, even if they are set in outer space. Lastly, and biggest of all, just the one season. I might change my mind after seeing the last disc, but I think this will be just another one of those shows that could have developed into greatness if Fox wasn't so short-sighted. The potential is there, but now we'll never know. I think back on Buffy Season One. Good, sure, but not great. Season Two was when it really started getting great. Left to stand on just the merits of Season One, I doubt it would have become the smash phenomenon that it did. Given just one or two more seasons, I might have grown to love Firefly every inch as much as I do Buffy.

Another big strike against it is that there are about 5 DVD releases this month that I want more, and simply not enough money for all of them. Sorry, Jemma.

Just the opposite of this, however, is Lost. We didn't watch the first season on TV, mostly because I originally thought it was like a Survivor rip-off. And if there's anything I loathe in this world, it's any show that involves voting people off every week. By the time we realized it wasn't a reality show, it was far too late and the season was almost over. We rented the first disc last Sunday during Denver's "big" Oct snowstorm (3 inches. The news channels were freaking out. We New Englanders were rolling our eyes so hard we got headaches).

Oh. My. God. Holy SHIT. Why didn't anyone tell us how great this show was? From the very first episode we were on the edge of our seats. The mysteries. The drama. Sayid. What's not to love? (admittedly, Tery wasn't as swept away by Sayid as I was. She's mad, I tell you. Those big brown eyes, like luscious pools of dark chocolate? Long lashes a Cover Girl would kill for? The bronzed skin? The soft, black, curly locks? The undercurrent of danger beneath the gentle exterior? Yep. Mad as a march hare, I tell you.)

I could swim in those eyes for hours

Don't look at me that way, you naughty boy. I'll only break your heart.

We immediately ran out upon finishing disc 1 and got discs 2 and 3. We devoured them like boar's meat and went back for more (but not before sampling the commentary on the pilot episode, which had to be shut off suddenly when they drifted perilously close to revealing spoilers about the enormous thing in the jungle that we haven't seen yet). We talked about just buying the boxed set. Sexy as the packaging is, I tend to think once the mysteries are revealed the show wouldn't be terribly interesting to watch repeatedly. But I could be wrong about this as well.

I returned discs 2 and 3 and picked up 4 and 5, and this is when I encountered probably one of the stupidest people I've ever met. The young girl behind the counter at Hollywood examined the box closely, then started asking questions so vague that I'm still not really sure what she was asking:

"Is this still on?"

"Ummmmm.....the show is still on, but it's on season two now."

"So they're not showing this anymore?"

Huh? "...Season two is being aired now. Season one is on DVD, as you can see right there in your hand."

After some closer scrutiny, "Oh!! So this is just starting!"

If you could call two seasons into it "just starting" perhaps..."Yeah." I said, defeated.

Pause. Pause. Pause. "Is this the whole show?" she asked, referring to the cases in her hand clearly marked "Disc Four" and "Disc Five."

My god, it's a wonder she remembered to dress before coming to work. "No, there are 7 discs in the first season."

Pause. Pause. Pause. Letting it sink through the very dense strata. "I don't have much time to watch TV anyway, with my kid and all." Sorry, Human Race, too late. She's already spawned.

As a further demonstration of her shining intellect, she scanned my card to ring me up, noticed the previous discs still out on my account (I had just dumped them in the return box), and left me standing there while she checked those discs back in (despite having a full 15 hours before they were actually due), THEN completed the current transaction. Oh yeah. Be afraid, Human Race. Be very afraid.

Going out and having fun action:

Lastly, we were invited by Kay (the shallow, tactless Makeover Queen) to a night at the improv. We agreed, making it a group of 9 (a rather unwieldy number to make arrangements for, but I was hardly in a position to complain). We took the Light Rail downtown, myself, Tery and of course Two-Date Tabby -- who had the nerve to criticize me crushing on boys while being accompanied by her two current boyfriends, Tim and Ryan. "Lesbi-who-be-whatsit?" was my response to her. Though in fairness, Ryan might take exception to the label "boyfriend" (at least with regards to women). Here he is with Tery:

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He's quiet, shy, but funny and disarming and given to affection quickly. As you can see, Tery's a big fan of him as well. He's our newest, cutest gay male friend. He's in love with Tery's brother after seeing pictures, but sadly he's in New York and not likely to move. So I guess we'll do until he can meet Jason. I think Tabby's jealous that Ryan lives 5 minutes from us and not her.

The improv was enormously funny. I could tell because when it was over I felt like I'd done an hour of ab exercises, and I had to beg everyone to not make me laugh for awhile. Really, really fun, and we all swore on the spot to make a habit of returning to their little rundown theater in the city. We left and started walking, I assumed back to the Light Rail station. Tery led the way in a forced march 7 blocks away. People at the front started muttering, "This better be a great bar!" I overheard and said, "But we're not going to a bar...." But yes, we were. No one told those of us in the back. Fine, this was the kinder, gentler me who was trying to sympathize with Tery having fun and relaxing with friends.

We arrived at Fado's and the joint was jumpin'. It was nice enough, but the live band was very, very loud, and I screamed myself hoarse just trying to have a conversation with the people next to me. The cigarette smoke verged on the overwhelming, it was hot, crowded, loud, yeah, I wasn't enjoying it. The only nice thing was the waitress kept a steady stream of Cokes coming my way, Tery explained because she didn't have to wait for the bartender to pour them. When the tab came and everyone tried to sort out who had consumed $60 worth of shots, Tery pointed to my share of the bill, $1.75. Yep, I'm a cheap date and proud of it.

Everyone else present (except for Tery and Ryan) got pretty hammered. Audrey was there (she of the "this must be pretty hard for you, with your dead father and all") and still saying bizarre things to me that I had no idea how to respond to. Like, "I just love your profile, Elaine" and "You're such a good sport, Elaine, putting up with all us drunks!" I just don't know how to talk to that girl.

At 1:30 when the bar started closing down, Tery and I went to leave for the Light Rail. Everyone else there insisted it had stopped running for the night. Tery insisted it ran all night, just "slower" (she meant "less frequently"). Audrey and Kay burst out laughing at her choice of words and I swear I could have punched them. Our only choice was a cab, which I knew would be expensive. Ryan asked to share with us. After a not-so-amusing interval of plastered Audrey trying to teach me how to use a cellphone (in between fretting about what we were going to do, until I flat out told her that we were grown-ups and we'd handle it), we realized we could just go out to the street and flag one down (we're both small-town girls, give us a break). Lickety split we got one and piled in so fast we didn't even get to say goodbye to everyone in our group (not such a hardship, in my opinion).

We sat and watched helplessly as the fare clicked higher and higher. Tery bitched and moaned at the logic of Denver wanting people to come downtown and spend their money and have fun, but then fail to provide them with affordable transportation home again. $22 later we were back at the Light Rail station.....just in time to see a train arrive full of passengers. Motherfucker. Sure enough, I checked online this morning and the last train runs at 2:15. We would have caught it in plenty of time if we weren't so focused on getting a cab. But it was my first ride, so that was kind of exciting. I still think those people at the table who laughed at Tery should pay her back the fare, however.

I want to invite Ryan to Halloween.

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