grrgoyl: (Default)


A bit of fun with my new phone. Pardon the darkness, the flash only works with the camera evidently.

Is it cruel of me to mock her ignorance of Harry Potter trivia? No more cruel than her making me guess the mascots of every athletic team in the country, INCLUDING some college level. But my attempts to guess aren't nearly as humorous.
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: (Vendetta Evey)
This weekend was the judging of the Christmas lights in our complex. Tery went even more crazy than last year, but her secret weapon was something I bought for her -- one of those boxes you plug the lights into that makes them flash in time with musc. They were originally $100 and I said "Oh, HELL no," but then after Christmas when the markdowns start kicking in I bided my time and watched and waited, finally swooping in when they were 75% off. That was quite a coup.

(I was a little hesitant about buying something meant to be blared loudly into the neighborhood, but since most of our neighors are literally dead and gone it's not such a big deal anymore.)

Good thing, too, because she actually had some serious competition this year. The renters below Tracey FCW (and also evidently her friends -- she solved the problem of how to shovel dog shit off her porch without her neighbors complaining) had a really nice display up since last week. Tracey herself was out literally two hours before the judges came around, frantically hammering and drilling to get her stuff hung. Two problems -- they were the exact same decorations she had last year, and the eleventh hour installation kind of defeated the purpose of the contest to encourage people to get into the holiday spirit (if history repeats itself, she'll take them down again tomorrow).

Tery invited her bar friends and our neighbors Mike and Anna for an anticipatory victory celebration. Tery was pleased to see parents from the neighborhood bringing their young children to view her work. Anyway, she took first ($75). Second went to the renters ($50) and third to Tracey ($25). Justice was served, and I guess that isn't too shabby for an hour's work. We invited the judges in for some food which I was glad for, so they could see our spirit extends to every possible inch of our house, not just areas visible for judging purposes.


Award-winning display


I think the only way Tery can top herself next year is to hire a chorus line of snowbunnies or something.

Tery also outdid herself for the party, making an enormous amount of hors d'ouvres for us. My favorite was a Martha Stewart idea, pea pods with Alouette cheese and tomatoes with pesto.


It's a Christmas tree! I had to snap this before it got completely decimated


Christmas also came a little early in the form of someone finally closing our neighbor's door downstairs. Thank god.

~*~

Funny thing is, I was talking to neighbor Anna about how the only thing I really hate about working at the hospital is never knowing what I'm walking into. I had to leave Tery's party to go into work, where I discovered Dr. Norton still present; I hate finding anyone there when I arrive -- it typically means they had a last minute emergency come in that would be left with me. Not the case, however, she was staying with a seizure dog, Colby, who had been there a few days already who she was afraid to leave alone. Terrific.

It turns out this dog was on a continuous Valium drip, absolutely crucial fluid maintenance. We were also having a Valium shortage, never having to administer it in the massive doses this dog required. Dr. Norton hinted if we didn't control the seizures soon, we'd have to send him to an emergency 24-hour facility (so I spent the rest of the night praying for just that to happen).

In the ten minutes it took her to explain everything to me we started having pump difficulties. I was nervous, because in my experience once a pump starts giving me problems, it's nonstop all night long. We thought we had fixed it and she went on her way.

She hadn't been gone ten minutes when the pump started again. Normally I'd do everything I could to fix it myself, except liquid Valium can't be exposed to light or it loses potency, so the tubing and connections were wrapped up super tight, making my troubleshooting work twice as challenging. Rather than futz with it I decided to call her before she got too far away. She came back, fortunately.

Again we had it licked and she left, and again it started alarming on me. The second time she brought a pillow to stay overnight. I felt terrible, she'd already worked a full day, but she insisted.

The trouble with Colby was he was a 4-year-old lab, and when he wasn't seizing he was strong and willful and impossible for one person to do anything with without him fighting to get away. Dr. Norton eventually decided to re-lay the catheter, succeeding after two attempts. This made me feel much better, as I would never have been able to do this myself. The one she removed had a defect in the line that puzzled her.

But that wasn't half as puzzling as when we got him hooked up again and the pump STILL complained about an occlusion. There was no reason in the world for this that we could see and the doctor was stumped (again, making me feel better about keeping her there).

We finally got it going, though it was a tentative victory at best. She went upstairs to try to get some sleep, I tried to accomplish something else on my list of duties. The other trouble with Colby was he had occasional very violent sneezing episodes to boot, during which he would smack his head full force against whatever surface was nearby. The recurrent head trauma couldn't have been helping his condition, and from the next room sounded identical to a seizure, making me dash back into Recovery about every ten minutes.

He had his first seizure since my arrival at midnight. The head smashing with sneezing was nothing compared to what he did while in the throes of an epileptic fit. I fetched Dr. Norton and we sort of nursed him through it. He had a second one about fifteen minutes later. The good news was when he was post-ictal he immediately became sleepy and passed out, making him much more manageable. We pulled him out onto the floor where he seemed more comfortable and she again retreated to her office.

I gave up the idea of doing anything else that night and settled in beside him. The fluids would still inexplicably stop flowing occasionally and need some messing around to restart so I had to keep an eye on the drip. Let me tell you, if you ever suffer from insomnia, don't waste your time with pharmaceuticals -- try staring at an IV fluid drip for about 20 minutes (or perhaps a more practical substitute might be a steadily leaking sink faucet). I absolutely couldn't keep my eyes open, and settled instead for checking in every five minutes or so.

Also for obvious reasons, there would be no setting up my cot that night. By about 3:30 a.m. I was so exhausted it turned out the desk chair with my feet propped up felt just as good. All told I slept about a half hour that night, and I really felt it the next day. Hard. But these medical reports don't type themselves, you know?

Colby was okay the rest of the night (except for more of those alarming sneezing runs), and I was extremely happy when 5 a.m. finally arrived. I called Dr. Norton through the intercom and she sounded as cheerful and refreshed as if she'd slept a solid 8 hours. I asked how she did that, and she replied, "Many years of practice."

She still had to stay, as the next seizure was due in the next hour or so, judging by the previous trend. I felt just as bad leaving as I did making her stay, but she's not hourly so wouldn't impact Tery's payroll the way I would. It turned out the morning doctor let her go home and come back later in the afternoon rather than work through.

Reportedly the kid who owns Colby has no money, so it will be interesting to see what becomes of the bill resulting from essentially four days of intensive around-the-clock care for this dog. Also the kid was going to pick up the dog the next morning, but then leave town at 2 p.m., trusting his roommate to watch over him in his absence. The Valium was all used up at that point, so they sent him home with rectal suppositories to administer if (when) he seized again. I'm sure the roommate was thrilled.

My point is, the dog is only four years old and having these problems, with an owner who has no money. I think the kid is going to have to make some very difficult decisions very soon about what he plans to do with his pet.

Fortunately I only had two boarders that night, one of which looked like the American werewolf in London:


Kasey the Keeshond, who was actually much sweeter than her cinematic counterpart


~*~

Finally, Tery is very interested in seeing the movie Slumdog Millionaire, but since she hates leaving the house on her day off and it wasn't available on Graboid, instead we watched Milk which WAS on Graboid.

I won't bother cutting, I don't have much in the way of spoilers or length. Sean Penn did a predictably outstanding job as Harvey Milk, first openly gay elected official. Well, he was a bit more buff than I'm sure Harvey was, but he had the voice, the accent, the hair, everything else down. Josh Brolin was also perfect as Dan White, the insecure, frustrated co-worker that ultimately assassinated him -- if anything, he was a little underused. I didn't really get any idea of why White was driven to commit murder. The scenes between him and Penn, with the knowledge of how their relationship ended, seemed very tense and charged to me.

I think hanging out in the [livejournal.com profile] boy_touching community has completely inured me, as I saw nothing at all titillating or unusual about watching Sean Penn and James Franco kiss. Perhaps if the rest of the world joined, two men together would no longer be such a controversial event.

My one complaint (apart from Penn's bordering-on-prizefighter physique) was the first scene of the movie; Penn passes Franco exiting the subway, and greets him warmly. At this point the viewer isn't sure if they are already together or not, and the rest of the scene really does nothing to clear it up. They talk like old friends, then they share a passionate kiss. It turns out that no, they were complete strangers and this is the first time they hooked up.

I didn't buy it, until coincidentally while browsing Netflix's "watch instantly" selections as our afternoon entertainment, Tery chose a documentary called Gay Sex in the 70's (making it quite the theme for the day). This is full of aging queens reminiscing about all the free gay love before AIDS hit the scene, when the community was pretty exclusively about random anonymous encounters, and hooking up really was as simple as walking down the street. So I'd like to think this quick scene in Milk was a brief nod to that time.

The end of Milk, obviously his assassination and the famous Candelight March, had me predictably crying like a baby. It was very understated and very well done, no over-the-top Hollywood dramatics. Tery, equally predictably, reacted not at all. She chastised me for crying so early in the day, as if crying was the same as drinking. As usual I did my best to ignore her.

The movie was very relevant to our time, portraying a major step in our as-yet unwon struggle for equal rights. In particular, I think about Obama's much-criticized choice of evangelical homophobe Rick Warren to perform the invocation at his inauguration. No, it doesn't make me happy, but this is how I see it: It's a two-minute prayer, not a cabinet position. Obama is trying to bring the two extremes of the political spectrum together, not an easy or enviable task, because right now our differences are what is tearing the country apart.

Milk operated the same way. In the film, he challenges one of the biggest anti-gay rights proponents of the time, John Briggs, to a public debate. But he does so with an extended handshake and a warm smile. Because screaming at each other is getting us nowhere. Because if you can't shake your enemy's hand and look him in the eye, how can there be any real communication?

~*~

Is this what it's like getting old? While flicking around, Tery stopped on something called "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour." I watched this young, not particularly talented chick leaping all over the stage in front of thousands of squealing teenage girls and asked, "Now which one is she?" Tery rolled her eyes. "They're the same person, goofball."
grrgoyl: (Sweeney time for song)

Don't glare at me like that. I didn't tear your family apart


At last, it is mine. A bit later than I would have liked. Tery gets irritated when I shop for myself a week before my birthday and/or Christmas. So this time I vowed to be good, no matter how much it hurt. She had assured me she wouldn't wait until my actual birthday (Apr 8) to give me this present. However, she also wasn't terribly keen on going out at the stroke of midnight to get it as soon as it was on sale, as I would have done (even if the tables were turned and it was her birthday). She used the excuse that she had to go into work a bit earlier in the morning or else she would, but I know damn well she was up watching Big Brother anyway.

Part of me hoped it was all a bluff, that she'd sneak out after I fell asleep and leave it at the foot of my bed as a surprise (which is what I would have done), but no. Then I hoped she would leave early, pretend to go to work, then pop over to the store and back to surprise me (something else I would have done, failing Plan A), but no. My point is, she had ample opportunity, but instead made me wait until she got home from work (late), when she of course wanted to watch baseball. At least she's going out tonight so I can have the TV.

I have the DVD propped up staring at me while I work, kind of like a carrot on a stick. It's full of juicy extras, all of which seem to be trying very hard to ignore the fact that Rickman is even in the movie. "Depp! Burton! Depp and Burton! Burton and Depp! And Bonham-Carter!" *sigh* My man will never get the recognition he deserves.

DreamWorks isn't the only company guilty of this. I was excited to see a small article in this week's "Entertainment Weekly" about the long-standing affair between Burton and Depp -- that is until the author started heaping lavish praise on Johnny's singing, even comparing him to David Bowie, then had the nerve to add, "Rickman can't sing a lick." No, Alyson Hanigan can't sing a lick (BtVS, "Once More with Feeling"). Cameron Diaz REALLY can't sing a lick (A Life Less Ordinary -- her singing actually causes physical pain). Alan can at least carry a tune without murdering it, and I sent in a letter to them pointing this out. Tery rolled her eyes at my passion. "You're the only one who feels that way." She really likes to imagine I'm the only one who cares about Alan. This is what gives her joy in life (that and baseball).

Anyway, tonight is all about the Sweeney, so Do Not Disturb.

~*~

Another chapter in the People are Asshats book: I left the house once yesterday to get some milk from the gas station across the street. The place was pretty busy around 5:30 pm, people coming home from work and whatnot. As I pulled in, this joker in an SUV (yeah, surprise!) started pulling away from the pump. The angle wasn't quite right, however, and if one of us didn't stop moving we were going to hit. As I was the one entering the lot and already in motion, as opposed to just starting from a parked position, I felt I had the right of way and kept on my course accordingly. He FINALLY gave in, but not without him and his passenger making lots of violent, where'd-you-learn-to-drive gestures in my direction. Maybe they were just testy after dropping $50 into their tank, but I half expected them to follow me inside to really start something.

This is why I can't stand leaving the house -- because every time I do I step into this Bizarro World where the rules of the road as I learned them have been replaced with some kind of Mad Maxian society where the asshole with the biggest axles must be deferred to.

~*~

Our mystery Christmas neighbors have reappeared. Tery had a confirmed sighting of them on their porch. Which isn't to say the unit has been restored to a post-holiday condition. The lights and wreath still hang, and it might be my imagination but I'm sure I can still see the silhouette of a tree in the window behind the blinds. No, they were outside to clean up all the doggie mess from their Rottweiler. Remember, this is one of the complaints leveled against Tracey and her "balcony-trained" mutts. I don't understand why people think it's acceptable to just let dogs do their thing on the balcony, especially if you live anywhere higher than the ground floor. Nasty. And if you can't be bothered to walk your dog properly, maybe you should consider not getting one. Radical thinking, I know.

Speaking of neighbors, The Alcoholic has finally bought a house and is moving. From the day she told me she was closing it was practically a matter of hours before the moving van showed up and she was gone. She REALLY couldn't wait to get out of here (into a "nice neighborhood" she smugly informed me. She hasn't lived many places if she doesn't think this is a nice neighborhood, meth labs notwithstanding). She told me her unit was bought by a nice woman, fresh out of a messy divorce and just as desperate to move, also a vet assistant. Which I thought would be really cool to have as a neighbor before Tery pointed out the chances of her having a dog that will spend all summer barking at our cats on the balcony. We shall see. Stay tuned.

~*~

Lastly, this is what Cadbury has reduced me to by not selling their irresistible Creme Eggs year-round:


Every day is Easter now


This, my friends, is a box I salvaged from the 50% off cart. I plan to freeze them to tide me over until next Easter. I chose my checkout line carefully, trying to find a big, fat clerk who wouldn't judge me. Unfortunately, the woman I selected naturally went on break literally just as I got to the head of the line, being replaced by a petite teenager who probably weighed about 75 pounds soaking wet. She was just happy I had counted the eggs while waiting in line rather than making her do it. Hey, I'm an ex-inventory specialist. I still got the skillz.
grrgoyl: (Darjeeling)
Saturday morning on the way home from my shift at 5 a.m. I stopped at the store. As I paid for my groceries, the cashier asked if my day was starting or ending. Since the true answer, a little bit of both since I grab a 3-hour nap before returning to my day job, was more involved than she was looking for, I just smiled and said "Ending." Close by was a vaguely Eastern European-looking man who jumped in. "I always wonder the same thing too when I see people at this time of day. My day is also ending." I felt like I was part of some secret club: the in-between people. He walked me all the way out to the parking lot, expanding on the admittedly miniscule thread of what we had in common. Unnecessary, but sweet.

I think people look at me differently when I'm in scrubs, like I work with hospice patients or something. Once a Wendy's drive-thru cashier noticed the togs and smiled benevolently, murmuring, "God bless you." Again unnecessary (and a bit misplaced), but sweet.

And Sunday, my favorite day of the week basking in the relaxed afterglow after my 48-hour work weekend, Tery and I watched The Darjeeling Limited. She wasn't terribly impressed. I, on the other hand, ::was:: )

My only possible complaint was that Bill Murray was sadly under-utilized. He is to Wes what Johnny Depp is to Tim Burton, in my opinion.

I think I related to this more than Anderson's other movies thanks to the brothers' familiar picayune bickering and sniping. Sadly, I think it would take much more than a trip across a foreign country to repair our family.

Despite this, I absolutely loved it, and I don't think that's just the feel-good Sunday talking. Detractors call Wes a one-trick pony, but I can't get enough of his off-center cinematography, quirky quiet humor, dramatic slow-motion and obscure Rolling Stones soundtracks. An enthusiastic 4.5 out of 5.
grrgoyl: (sweeney)
Cloverfield, in 10 words or less (not counting these), is about a gigantic alien stomping through Manhattan, Godzilla-style. Which tells you nothing at all about why I thought this movie was so very awesome, why I almost went back to see it a second time while I was pointedly ignoring the Super Bowl, why I can't WAIT for the DVD (perhaps even more than Sweeney Todd). Let me start at the beginning.

I knew as much about this movie as anyone else, thanks to J.J. Abrams' "stealth marketing" campaign. For Tery and I, we needed no other incentive apart from Abrams' name being stuck to it -- we adore Lost and all the twisty, turny, surprise-y "No fucking WAY" moments it contains. Still, I found Tery's interest in a monster movie a bit suspect before realizing that it takes place in New York and therefore she was hoping for some scenes of her beloved Central Park. Guilty as charged, she confessed. Sometimes I swear she loves that damn park more than me.

This movie heavily, heavily reminded me of Blair Witch Project, a movie I loved but a comparison to which might turn most others off. It's okay, you actually see the creature(s) in this one. Filmed 100% on a handheld DV camcorder, the jittery movement takes some getting used to (Ryan's friends had to leave, they never got over it), but once the action starts, the technique becomes instead a brilliant way of keeping you there in the middle of things rather than removed and detached. It's also led me to the tentative belief that it's far more effective watching people's terrified reactions than just being shown the scary stimulus alone.

Never fear, I solemnly vow to cut before spoiling.

The movie begins with a military title slide, explaining that the tape was found in the "formerly Central Park" area (This of course made Tery sit up and take notice immediately). Just like Blair Witch, you know from the beginning that whoever took the video probably didn't have a happy ending. Also similar to BW, the beginning of the tape is just boring setup, in this case a going-away party for one of a group of look-alike Yuppies whose promotion is sending him to Japan. Not terribly exciting, but for the fact that the circle of friends at the party is larger than my circle of people I know in the entire world, and judging from the size, decor and location of the apartment, they would all have had to live there to afford the rent. Unfortunately, the only person at the party I COULD tell apart from the others (the lovably bizarre Marmaduke from "Carpoolers" (ABC Tuesdays, check local listings, bitches)) is put behind the camera for "testimonial duty" and ends up wielding it throughout the rest of the movie.

There's a small attempt at giving them emotional depth in the form of a cheating one-night stand between two of them, but this doesn't have much time to develop before the monster hits.

An earth-moving, booming crash shakes the city, so naturally the partygoers all run into the street. An oil tanker has been capsized and Lady Liberty's head is skidding down Park Avenue, an image that was quite chilling before Tery pointed out how ridiculously small it was (check out the spoilers section for more ways Tery tried to suck the joy out of this film for me). Panic in the streets ensues in an obvious parallel with 9/11. New Yorkers stand dumbfoundedly staring into the distance until the appearance of the enormous alien provides sufficient motivation, something else difficult to believe of anyone who lived through the fall of the towers. "Perhaps they're all newly-arrived immigrants fresh off the boat," Tery murmured.

In the confusion our partygoers are whittled down to a core group of heroes, who start to make it off the island until Rob (the guest of honor) gets a call from his girlfriend who's trapped in her apartment and can't move. Hence the reason they all must head back towards the monster, because who wants to see a movie about people making it to safety unscathed?

::Manhattan doesn't contain any foreign, obese, handicapped or homeless people:: )

They finally make it to Central Park, where disappointingly (from Tery's perspective) we see only a stretch of grass and the underside of an undetermined bridge (she questions whether what we saw even WAS the park, since they didn't thank the Conservancy in the credits, something she insists they are legally obligated to do). To say anything more at this point would be to give away the ending, which I won't do.

Yes, there are some moments that don't strictly hold up to logic. Yes, it is at the heart simply a monster movie that probably sounds silly and like a waste of time based solely on a description. There's no commentary on the human condition or current events, just people running for their lives. None of this matters to me because this movie scared me. I mean adrenaline rush, gripping the arms of my seat scared me. I mean at times jumping OUT of my seat scared me. Like walked out of the theater with a huge grin on my face scared me (and also made me glad to live in Denver -- no one ever tries to destroy Denver). Feeling that genuine kind of fear during a movie is becoming increasingly rare, and therefore increasingly priceless, for me. For such a low budget, the effects were very well done, even the creatures. As I said earlier, the handheld technique added to the feeling of immediacy and jeopardy -- even if another logistical impossibility is the existence of a camera battery that lasts not only through a party, but presumably hours of running around New York (even after using night vision in the tunnels).

Tery rolled her eyes. She said she felt nothing, that she'd only be that scared if the Patriots were trailing four points in the Super Bowl -- prophetically, she got to experience her own idea of fear later in the evening. She called me saying she "wished the Cloverfield monster WOULD destroy New York" after the Giants won. Sore loser much?

This one gets a 5/5, a score I don't hand out often.
grrgoyl: (Default)
Here's an update on Baby and his crazy mom, which I had really hoped wouldn't be necessary once the cat was laid to rest. She called me back last night around 8:00. I let it go to voicemail, and good thing. "Hi Elaine, this is Ellen. My cat is Baby, you took care of him this past weekend" she began, as if I need clarification of which crazy pet owner is calling me today. From there she became progressively weepier and more irrational, saying she was wracked with guilt because she had bought something called a "scat mat" designed to deliver a small electric shock to keep pets off the furniture. She was convinced this fried Baby's kidneys. I don't know anything about the medical consequences of shocking your pet, I just couldn't get past the fact that her beloved cat, her Baby who she swaddles and cuddles and treats exactly like "her baby," wasn't allowed on the sofa. As my sister said, Baby didn't die of kidney disease, he died of mixed messages.

I feel bad ignoring the woman in her pain, but I'm really not trained as a grief counselor. I think not answering the call was the best thing I could do for both of us, as I really wouldn't know what to say to make her feel any better. It's one thing if we had a longstanding relationship -- there are a lot of elderly clients who have been bringing their pets to the hospital for years and Tery has an established relationship with. She even sometimes picks up the pet for appointments because the owner isn't mobile enough. But I don't know this woman from Adam. If she wants some kind of reassurance that she didn't kill her cat, I really think that's a discussion for a doctor and not a weekend worker who sweeps kennels and occasionally gives injections. I'll gladly sign the condolence card, but these phone calls on my days off have got to stop.

Hopefully I'm done.


~*~

Tery's Christmas balcony display is complete (unless she comes home tonight with more stuff, which is entirely possible). You know that house on the block that sets their front yard ablaze every year with lights? The one that makes you slow down in utter disbelief? In our neighborhood, that house is OURS.

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Victory for the home team!!


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Prettier but blurrier without flash. Giddy Giddy really didn't have that much to do with it.


She's insane. Note the large disco ball thing smack in the center of the ceiling, the coup de grace in my opinion. She's especially fond of the huge bulbs near the bottom. Our balcony will be burned onto our neighbors' retinas for months to come.

In other Christmas photos, here is Kitten Mitten With Whom I'm Smitten (who, it should be noted, has free run of all our furniture) posing with the tree:

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I tried a version with red eye removal, but I think you'll agree she looks ready to tear my throat out at any second:

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~*~

Finally, going here will take you to an assortment of clips from Sweeney Todd (many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana and [livejournal.com profile] minikitkatgirl!). "Behind the Scenes Footage Part 2" has the much anticipated Alan/Johnny duet. "You Gandered at my Ward" literally gave me shortness of breath (MyFriendDeb's reaction was similar: "I'd gander at his ward in a minute if he'd talk to me like that"). Once I finished hyperventilating I told Tery about them. Her response was "I don't think Alan Rickman is even good-looking, let alone hot." *cries* How cruel the Fates are to me. Her title as a joy-sucking robot still stands.
grrgoyl: (AD Chicken Dances)
This goes out to all you cat lovers:

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Cleo, 3 months old


Cleo has a "Will Bite" sticker on her cage. If these people need to stick warnings on a kitten, it's amazing anyone has the guts to open Beowulf's cage to feed him. Although in their defense, she did hiss at me a few times. It was about 2 decibels louder than air escaping from a balloon. "Too late! There he is!" "What, behind the rabbit?" "It IS the rabbit!"

~*~

Tery's finally home. Goodbye to my clean house...but also goodbye to eating 6-month-old TV dinners from the back of the freezer. It's no way to live, let me tell you (but a good way to clean out the fridge). I didn't greet her at the airport as happily as I should've, but hey...she chose to arrive smack in the middle of my very narrow napping window between jobs on Saturday night. It took her about a half hour to get off the plane and get her luggage, leaving me sitting in the hot sun in the free waiting lot. To my left, a woman in a huge black SUV kept her windows closed tight and her engine running the entire time. To my right, a jackass didn't want to stink up his own car with cigarette smoke, but saw nothing wrong with strolling back and forth by my open passenger window puffing away. I was a bit grumpy.

But how could I stay mad at her? Not only did she bring me home a cool book about the history of my hometown of Lebanon, CT, but also a sweet Lebanon T-shirt (which I would never in a million years have bought while actually living there) -- it says in collegiate lettering "Lebanon Est. 1700" which is the year the town was incorporated. I also lamented to her my lack of funds when I realized I couldn't live without Season One of The Upright Citizens Brigade a second longer, and hours later she called to confess she had bought it (and Two) for me.

Wait, that last paragraph makes it sound like I only love her for buying me presents. That's only half true -- she also cooks delicious food for me.

~*~

Finally (slow news week) I read in Entertainment Weekly that Paris Hilton is suing Hallmark for using her image and her "signature tagline" "That's so hot" on some of their cards. Just when I thought my contempt for her couldn't run any deeper.
grrgoyl: (snarry imaginary)
The Search for John Gissing: Arrived. It came via DHL which, you'll remember, isn't my first choice in a delivery agent but it wasn't up to me. After yesterday they're even less of a choice. I toodled on over to the tracking site to check its progress, and you can imagine my astonishment when I saw it was marked "Delivered" and "Signed for" already. WhatWhatWhat???!!?! I immediately headed to the mailbox only to discover it sitting on my doorstep. Which means someone climbed 3 flights of stairs and put it there (or tossed it over the railing from below) but couldn't be bothered to ring the doorbell and deliver it properly. What is wrong with them? This isn't brain surgery. "Abandoned" is not a synonym for "delivered." Thank god it wasn't something truly valuable like, say, a passport.

Passport: Arrived! Just when I was ready to lie and claim I was traveling sooner than I was. I can't help but think it's no coincidence that my earliest date of travel on the application was July 23, which if it were would be cutting it very close indeed. I had hoped its delivery would coincide serendipitously with a sudden drop in fares, but no dice. Amusingly, the passport was packaged with a pamphlet cheerfully proclaiming, "With a U.S. Passport, the world is yours!" because you're an AMERICAN and therefore foreigners must defer to YOU. Or so I preferred to interpret it in my current bitterly anti-American state of mind.

Creepy old neighbor Louis: Is still spending every day out on his balcony. Which I don't care about except every time I pass the window, he's looking straight up into our house. When it gets this hot, I don't much care to wear clothing, and I don't want to don a shirt just to walk around my living room. So he gets a little peepshow every now and then, which I guess is incentive enough to keep him staring hopefully. Ewww. But when it gets this hot, my comfort takes first priority, even if it's giving an old man his jollies.

Speaking of crazy neighbors, I got cornered into a conversation with The Alcoholic, who can't believe Tery and I don't use our air conditioning every single day (we don't break down until it tops 100 degrees). She uses hers at the first hint of mugginess, she told me proudly. A bigger sweatphobe I've never seen. I explained that we're New Englanders and used to 100 degrees plus 95% humidity, so it really doesn't bother us that much. I gave the excuse that we're nervous about running out of freon and needing it serviced. 5 minutes after we returned to our respective homes, she called me excitedly, telling me to check the user manual for our AC unit. Hers doesn't specifically mention freon servicing, so she reckons it doesn't use freon. Yes. She believes she has the world's first totally environmentally friendly air conditioner, that she bought 10 years ago. I didn't waste time trying to correct her, as it's not likely to change her usage anyway. But this didn't do much to raise her intelligence in my estimation.

Harry Potter: Finished "Half-Blood Prince" (again) and am more excited than ever for "Deathly Hallows." Meanwhile Tery is more stubbornly in denial than ever. We were talking about something and she made the comment, "Whatever, it's just Harry Potter." She HATES that Harry is so popular because she is, as my tag so aptly describes her, a joy-sucking robot. Which is perhaps for the best, so we aren't fighting over the book when it arrives. I'm holing up all day Sunday and Monday, NO INTERNET/NO SPOILERS whatsoever, then Monday night plan to see Order of the Phoenix in IMAX with my friend Rebecca. I also expect to gloat my face off to her silly sister-in-law, who refuses to believe that Snape is anything other than pure, unadulterated evil -- no complex motives, no hidden layers, just straight up exactly what Jo has made him seem to be. That will be fun.

Gideon: Has an adrenal tumor (common among ferrets). Unfortunately the gland in question is wrapped by the vena cava so it's a very complicated surgery. Tery brought him to the premier vet specialist in Colorado, Dr. Fitzgerald:

Gideon's brush with celebrity


Some people might recognize him from an Animal Planet show called "Emergency Vets." He didn't want to do the operation at first, until he met Giddy and had to admit he was a great little guy and worth trying to save. He's still strong and healthy enough that he shouldn't have any complications. We'll see. Fortunately too Dr. Fitzgerald's hospital recently joined the VCA family so Tery can use her 70% employee discount.

That's all. Internet radio silence begins Friday evening just to make double sure to avoid spoilers. Will resume communication Tuesday morning. Over and out.
grrgoyl: (firefly kaylee)
Hammock Song
(lyrics by TeryandElaine)

Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Today is Hammock Day
I got it on eBay
The shipping was delayed

Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
The colors are so gay
I love it anyway
Caribbean getaway!!!


Yes, it's here. It was technically here Saturday, but instead I got the dreaded peach slip saying "Parcel too big for locker. And I know it's Saturday and you're probably home, but it's hot and this is my last stop so I can't be arsed to climb three flights of stairs to deliver what you could easily drive to the post office to pick up yourself on Monday."

Which is what I did. And yes, the box is indeed too large for the locker. I could deal with that if not for the fact that the hammock itself was packed inside in a box 1/4 the size of the outer one, sliding around like a marble in a lunchbox. Why do you hate me, Collections Etc.? And why did you bother packing a catalog and a 10% off coupon for my next order? Cuz THAT ain't happening. So it was with the greatest pleasure and vindiction that I left what I felt was a truly deserved neutral feedback. Toy with ME, will you?

(Just checked the seller's feedback. They had the nerve to claim that they shipped the next day. So I left a followup to their followup. It doesn't matter, my feedback has already been moved to page 3 by the tidal wave of subsequent transactions, but I really, really hate liars.)

But enough of that unpleasantness. It's everything I hoped for and more. I've wanted a hammock forever, but Tery, being the Debbie Downer that she is, kept telling me it was impossible. See if I let HER sit in it (highly unlikely anyway, as she regards it as a deathtrap).

I swear she's made it her life's work to destroy all my happiness, like any good spouse. Look what she did with my dollies while I was peacefully dreaming of Snarry:

GabrarrySnena


Notice how Harry is trying to let Gabrielle down gently, while Snape stares blankly into space hoping Xena will take the hint. Perverse (though I will grant you the respective scales work better with the girls).

~*~

Weekend at the kennels had some excitement, which I think would be best described with a monologue by Miss Jane Seymour from the Lifetime movie "Marry Me":

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Beowulf, my first love

::Other doggy pics, cut for cat fans:: )

~*~

Last but not least, I finally got to catch a movie with the resplendent [livejournal.com profile] dopshoppe, though it wasn't 1408 as we had hoped, but rather Sicko.

I should stop watching Michael Moore movies. They make me so ANGRY, and this one was no exception. I don't have health insurance. I'm one of the millions of Americans who, as Moore puts it, gambles on my continued good health. And if I were considering getting individual insurance, I would have second thoughts even before seeing this movie. At least once a week I type a letter from a doctor begging an insurance company to reconsider their denial of coverage for a patient's necessary treatment. Tery has insurance but never sees a doctor, terrified of being billed anyway. Insurance companies devote all their energy to finding the flimsiest of excuses to deny coverage, actually rewarding employees the more denials they send out. It's positively sickening. My question is, how do these people sleep at night?

::Oh, there's more:: )

There might be some embellishment of the truth going on, some sensationalism in an effort to prove his point. But as MyFriendDeb says, the opposite side can't come up with a very convincing argument to prove he's wrong. Moore's movies all have two things in common: they make me hate America. Make me hate it with a bitter, acid-burning hatred, make me want to leave it if I had the means. Moore loves America. But just like you love your longtime partner or spouse despite their flaws, that doesn't mean you wouldn't rather have some of those flaws fixed. I think that's how Moore feels about America.

The other element they share is that they're only watched by people who are already sympathetic to his issues. Preaching to the converted, as they say. I came away from Fahrenheit 9/11 absolutely steadfast in my conviction that there was no way in hell Bush would be re-elected, and we all know how unhappily that history lesson ended. So I think pessimistically that this movie will do very little to change anything either. The rich will keep getting richer and the poor will keep getting angrier but remain paralyzed.

I did take one lesson away from the movie: Life is better for everyone when we all take care of each other. So when I saw a homeless man begging on the corner on my way home, I gave him two dollars, something I never, ever do (mostly because I don't want them spending it on booze). He looked me deep in the eyes, saluted me and thanked me profusely. I thought maybe I'd start carrying cash just to have some to give to every person I saw begging on the street, but then I remembered I'm not really that well off myself. If I were, I would though.
grrgoyl: (snarry imaginary)
I don't know why I'm updating so much. Guess I'm tired of saving up material for one massive word vomit.

Anyway, it was completely by accident that I read this morning that Borders had worked out a deal with NECA and were carrying the figures early. WhatWhatWhat????

So Harry's not lonely anymore:

Dollies 1
"Don't fight it, Harry..."


But he is a full inch shorter than Snape, which makes it look like total chan (under age 16, which I'm really not down with), necessitating the clever application of a twist-tie to bring him, er, up to snuff.

That picture was very difficult to get right. Snape, even in collectible form, is better suited to dimly-lit spaces. Direct sunlight is exceedingly unkind:

Dollies 2
"My god, I'm an ugly and sloppily-painted bastard..."


Were I a more avid collector, I wouldn't have been so surprised at the difference between the finely-detailed hero version they trot out at toy shows, and what actually ends up on the shelves:

Dollies 3
I'd almost prefer they not include this picture of the doll I've been expecting for months


Given this huge discrepancy, boy am I glad I didn't shell out $90 like some eBayer with more money than patience did the second the auction went up.

Tery's already got a headache from rolling her eyes over the phone. I told her to be thankful their clothes are painted on and it's impossible to form their arms into a proper hug. "What were they thinking?" I wailed to her. "Of 7-year-old boys" was her callous response. See if I let HER play with my dollies. *sniff*
grrgoyl: (satan)
I wanted to take a better picture of my little Lulu this weekend, but sadly my phone battery was too low and it wouldn't let me.  I'm not sure how much longer she'll be at the kennel, since she's all better (except for a gaping hole in her throat that must just be a missing layer of skin because no blood comes out of it) and there are lots of employees in the hospital who have fallen equally in love with her and would happily adopt her.    Tery finds it hard to believe that such an affectionate dog doesn't have anyone searching for her, but sometimes (most of the time) people are fuckwads and abandon perfectly sweet animals for the flimsiest, most selfish of reasons. 

Speaking of blood (and bodily fluids in general), this weekend I got to run the gamut.    I had a heeler, Ty, on IV fluids.  When I unhooked him to take him outside, I stupidly forgot to cap off the end of the catheter line.  In my defense (which is a phrase I seem to use quite a lot), unlike the average vet tech who works with IV catheters 10 times a day, I do it so infrequently that when I am faced with a dog on fluids I kind of freak out on the inside and tend to forget important things.  By the time we came back in, he was bleeding out of the line.  Furthermore he had already peed in his kennel (obviously dogs on IV fluids need to pee a lot more) so I needed to set up a new pen for him.  Ty happily wandered around, sniffing the other dogs and dripping blood everywhere.    By the time I finished and had him all hooked up again, the place looked like an abbatoir, the floor and my scrubs covered with blood (okay, I exaggerate a tiny bit, or else the dog might have died.  It wasn't a life-threatening amount of blood, but it was spread everywhere).  Another lesson learned (hopefully for good) the bloody hard way.  Pun intended.

I also had an older Sheltie (Haji) who wolfed down his breakfast too fast and immediately threw it all back up again in a big steaming pile.  Plus a kitten diagnosed with a common syndrome, ADR (which I am told stands for "Ain't Doing Right") who needed a fecal sample taken.    Kitten poo is enormously stinky, considering their tiny size.  Thank god Lulu has gotten over her pus-oozing stage or I would have thrown in the proverbial and literal towel.

However, I finally had my dream come true of a weekend of very well-behaved dogs that didn't bark all night long.  So naturally instead I had to listen to the clothes dryer continue its downward spiral of death.    Tery was forced recently to replace the decades' old washer, which would spin out of balance every 14 seconds if you tried washing a blanket and towards the end would practically walk out the door if you didn't sit on it and bodily hold it down.    In the three days it took to replace it (because naturally it waited until the weekend to give up the ghost) we amassed about 12 garbage bags of dirty laundry.    Now there's a sleek new High Efficiency model in there beside the decades' old dryer.    The dryer has developed this very high squealing sound that I would compare to nails on a chalkboard, except that sound has never particularly bothered me that much.  Occasionally the squeal is mixed with an even higher metallic shriek that sounds for all the world like I've got a dinner service for 4 tumbling around in there.    As much as this sound puts my teeth on edge, I can't begin to imagine what it translates into for the poor dogs with their super sensitive hearing.  But the batch this weekend never so much as whimpered.  I made sure to thank them for a quiet night the next morning, again as if any of them speak English. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Today I got to wreak sweet, sweet revenge on dchatonly.    I received an email from Amazon offering me the opportunity to leave feedback.    "Oh, are you SURE you want to know what I think?" was my first response.  I kept it fairly levelheaded, because no one wants to read a string of obscenities.    I tried filing my claim to get my money back but that has to wait until the 12th, for some reason.  None of this fazes me anymore though because on Saturday I received my DVDs finally, from a seller on Half.com for roughly the same price and shipped in only 4 days.    Everyone in my house breathed a collective sigh of relief and I spent almost the entire day in bed Sunday watching them.

The best part about not catching the eps on TV the first time is when I get the DVDs they're almost all new to me.    Season 8 is worth the purchase price due to including what I consider the funniest ep of the entire series, "Woodland Critters Christmas" with the devil-worshipping squirrels and chick-a-dees.    Almost as funny was "Good Times with Weapons," when they pretend to be anime ninjas at Butter's expense.    Or was it as funny?  When I watched it right after waking up (again, in that crucial post-third shift period when I love the world and everything seems fabulous to me) I laughed until I cried.  Later in the evening I made Tery watch it, and some of its charm seemed to have vanished.    Truly not as funny as I first thought, or had all the laughter been leached from the room by Tery's black hole of stoicism?    I'm still not really sure.   

Wow, these last entries have been more pointless than normal.  Perhaps I should adopt the tag my friends [livejournal.com profile] dopshoppe and [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana use, "entries that suck."   
grrgoyl: (jayne calm)
As we speak I'm watching my new X3 DVD.  I thought it came out last week and I had missed it, that's how closely I had been monitoring the release date (in other words, not at all).    It's really just for completionism's sake that I got it.  I bought it at Walmart and, probably for the first time in recorded history, I didn't insist on getting the extra-special deluxe edition.  Even though the cover art is 10 times classier, ultimately it appears the only difference between the packages is an "exclusive" Stan Lee comic.  Feh.  I'm sorry, X3.  I'm just not THAT into you.

My Spaced series arrived in only 2 days, which simultaneously delighted and angered me; delighted because it deserves every word of praise that's been heaped upon it.  Angered because it reminded me of my South Park DVD, not here yet despite being ordered more than a week before Spaced and coming from inside the US.    Last night I returned to the site to see dchatonly's feedback has dropped to 90% negative.  Un-freaking-believable.  Why me?  In a fit of frustration I sent him this email, despite still being a week within the shipping window.

It's been well over two weeks now and no sign of my order. I received a DVD from
Spain within a week and one from the UK in 2 days, so I really can't imagine
what your excuse might be. Furthermore I'm pretty discouraged by your rapidly
plummeting feedback score on Amazon. If it's all the same to you, I'd like to
skip the BS and just file a claim against you at the end of the promised
shipping period (Oct 9, I believe). Let me know if this is a problem for you and
if you'd like to offer some explanation of when my order might arrive.


A bit pissy?  Perhaps.  But I consider that my prerogative as a customer, as much as I try to avoid being so in face-to-face encounters.  Not that I'm afraid of an angry response; half the complaints against him on Amazon say he ignores emails.    A fine policy to have as a seller.    Nor am I afraid because I'm the first person to admit when I'm wrong, and I'm that confident that I'm not wrong and that I've been ripped off.  And I am getting very, very sick and tired of being ripped off by online sellers.  But who knows?  Perhaps he'll be impressed by my pluck and deign to actually ship me what I paid for.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

We went to see Paula Poundstone this past weekend at Denver University.    I've loved her for ages, even saw her once in a tiny nightclub back in Mystic, CT when she was still mostly unknown.  I'm pleased that she's gotten some new material since then, including becoming more politically outspoken.  "I suffer from short-term memory loss, or as I like to call it, presidential eligibility."    She can afford to be an openly liberal Democrat:  her audience was a HUGE lesbo fest.  I haven't seen that many lesbians at an event since we saw David Sedaris live.    Of course it would be tedious for me to recount her entire act here, but suffice to say my abs were KILLING me by the end of her 2-hour set. 

I was laughing so constantly that, halfway through the show, I had the oddest thought pop into my head (as they sometimes do).  What if the woman directly in front of me thought my laugh was the most annoying thing she'd ever heard and she was silently cursing every explosive outburst?    I mentioned this to Tery later and she pooh-poohed me.  She said that comedians want an audience full of me's because my laugh is so "infectious and genuine."  Whereas an audience of Terys is their worst nightmare, because she laughs mostly "on the inside."  I only heard her audibly chuckle maybe 3 times the entire night.  I don't know how she does it.  She's a stone.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Lastly, my weekend at the kennels was again uneventful, except for Lulu.  Lulu was a stray mutt with wiry hair and one brown eye, one Marilyn Manson blue.  She had had her throat all but ripped out by coyotes, and now was stitched up with a drain jutting out of two oozing holes.  Ew.    The first night she was a little wary of me, and struggled and twisted and writhed whenever I tried to carry her outside.  Suddenly the second night I was her BFF, including rolling onto her back for a tummy scratch at the slightest urging (which made it very easy to apply the warm compresses to her neck).    As I carried her in from the yard, her little body was wrapped around my torso lovingly and I was kissing the top of her head and telling her how pretty she was.  That is until I heard a loud, wet, squelching sound and I noticed a thick, brownish fluid virtually fountaining out of one of her gaping wounds.  Oh.  My god.  Apparently on the day shift when an animal is brought in with an enormous abscess or a similar pus-filled structure, the call goes over the intercom and the vet techs come running.  They LOVE shit like that.    I do not, least of all soaking through my clothing, and I spent the rest of the night professing my love from a safe distance (like all dogs, she was just happy that I was looking at her. And yes, I cleaned the poor girl up first).   

The beautiful people, the beautiful people
A face only a mother could love
grrgoyl: (Monkeybone)
To my consternation, I opened my email box this morning to find another message from the Alcoholic regarding, of course, the Crankwhore:

I have seen obvious evidence that there has been activity in the condo next to you (wouldn't it be more succinct and to the point to simply say "Tracey's condo"?).  Do you know anything? Have you seen HER? I only saw her once early in the morning as I was leaving for work.

*sigh*  I'm starting to dread Tracey's return not out of fear of her resuming her drug cooking/selling activities, but because apparently every sighting of her is going to prompt these pointless, melodramatic emails from the Alcoholic.

I waited a bit, and told her what little I knew.  I ran into my girlfriend Leah from the testing service a few days ago and she told me everything was done, and if the place passed this last test Tracey was free to move back in.  I suggested to the Alcoholic that we were just going to have to get used to the idea.  Her mature response?

NEVER

I'm not happy about Tracey coming back either, but I don't need this chick's ridiculous histrionics fueling my already barely-controlled anger.  Especially considering the extent of exposure she'll have to suffer is the occasional once-a-week encounter in the parking lot, vs. sharing walls and a landing with the CW.    GET OVER YOURSELF.    And please decide once and for all whether you're handicapped or not (she's still parking one way or the other based on a whim).

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Tery has returned.  Thus ends my nice clean house, but also ends meals that come compartmentalized on a plastic tray.  AND resumes having someone to share in the seemingly endless farm chores around here.    In the golden afterglow of vacation, Tery was eager enough to make me happy to actually volunteer freely to sit through V for Vendetta (though I suspect it has more to do with her realization that resistance was futile).  Even though it was fully expected, her tepid reaction was severely disappointing to me.  I simply don't understand it.  I attribute my passionate love to my equally passionate hatred of Bush inasmuch as I choose to interpret the film as a scathing criticism of his administration.    But both Tery and my sister agree with me about Bush, yet don't draw the same parallels that I do (my friend Gerry did, so I'm not imagining them).    Knowing Tery wasn't really enjoying it (but was too thoughtful to say so) made the movie seem to last 4 hours while watching it with her.  I found myself apologizing and assuring her it was almost over.    Not fun.  I guess I'll have to accept the fact that the only thing that gets her pulse racing is watching men either catch or miss a ball, or drive in endless circles around a racetrack (something else I don't understand).

(I'll have to cling to the thrill of turning on [livejournal.com profile] jaaaaamas, [livejournal.com profile] dean_r and [livejournal.com profile] vagynafondue (and hopefully soon, [livejournal.com profile] dopshoppe)  to it.)

And that's really all I have for now.  Unless you want to hear about my fabulous new wireless laptop capability or search for a new camcorder, and even my superior storytelling abilities can't make those subjects terribly entertaining.  So I'll quit while I'm ahead.   
grrgoyl: (pangea_tongue's Monarch)
At last, it is mine. You know what I'm talking about.

A couple of days ago Tery, no doubt trying to be helpful, mentioned a promo at Best Buy: the new Harry Potter for $13.99 and a free lithograph with purchase. Sounded pretty sweet so I waited until yesterday to investigate at the website, but not a mention of it anywhere, which I thought odd. I called her to ask for more clues. "Maybe it was Circuit City," she said carelessly, completely oblivious to the importance of the issue. I surfed on over to CC's website but there was nothing there either (though both sites were shamelessly using images from the film to sell $300 plasma TVs, just to tease me). "I don't know, maybe it's a secret sale," she offered. I said, "I would think the point of the promo would be to motivate shoppers to buy the DVD from them. It would sort of defeat the purpose if no one knew about it." Realizing she was hopelessly outmaneuvered, her only response was, "I've got to get back to work now." That's it. Run and hide when faced with flawless logic. (Boring conclusion: I did eventually find the promo on page 19 of CC's online weekly specials flyer (pretty damn close to secret) except it was for the plain old, no-frills widescreen version, not the super sexy, super extras-packed deluxe version. People should know me well enough by now to deduce what my preference is).

I went to bed at 9:30, exhausted after a particularly grueling day at Sears, plus I reasoned that the sooner I went to sleep, the sooner it would be today. This however backfired on me when I awoke at 12:20 a.m. out of a dead sleep with butterflies in my stomach. I tried to go back to sleep, only to wake again at 12:40 with the same problem. I was, like the kid on the Disneyworld commercial, too excited to sleep. I lay there staring at the ceiling, imagining gleaming towering displays of Harry Potter DVDs, barely touched by human hands, just sitting there waiting for me. Damnit. I asked myself what I had to lose other than a little gasoline. At that time of the morning I could be there and back in 15 minutes and no one would even know. I figured if the DVDs weren't on the salesfloor yet I could just buy cat litter instead. We always need cat litter, and it's not at all unusual to buy it at 1 a.m. Right? After several more abortive attempts to resume unconsciousness, I gave in.

I went out to the living room and to my surprise Tery was still up. I told her where I was going. She sighed, not remotely surprised, and told me to be careful. Okay....?

I'm sure there's some snickering going on at the lengths my obsessions drive me to, but it's no easy thing to stroll into Walmart at that hour and affect any degree of nonchalance, just as if I HADN'T gotten up in the middle of the night for one purpose and one purpose only. To walk by the display of new releases and try to pull off a "Oh hey....the new Harry Potter. I had no idea it was out already. Well, as long as I'm here, I might as well pick up a copy...", then pretend to browse in the Men's Department while surreptitiously reading the back of the case to make sure it's the right edition. It only took me a few minutes to admit to myself that I didn't much care if I was fooling the other 5 people in the store (and that the other 5 people probably didn't much care themselves what I was up to) and went to check out. If the girl at the register thought me strange, she gave no sign (although she was clearly none too pleased about working the third shift and had her own problems).

I got home and walked in the front door with the DVD clutched possessively under one arm. Tery was in the kitchen and, seeing no shopping bag, asked gleefully, "Nothing?" Oh, she would like that, wouldn't she? Thanks for the support. As I drooled a little over the pictures on the cover and debated whether or not I wanted to sleep with it, she said, "If you were a NORMAL person you'd be getting out of a bar at this hour and THEN go shopping." It's really quite remarkable that we have anything to talk about at all together. Fortunately for me March Madness is starting so I will be a brackets widow, while Tery will be a Harry Potter widow (well actually, not much is changing from her perspective there). So it all works out okay in the end.

3 guesses what I'M doing tonight?

P.S.: I'd also personally like to thank Warner Bros. for not using a single exclamation point in the DVD plot synopsis. If there's anything I hate, it's DVD makers who pepper the summary with tons of exclamation points to try to drum up artificial excitement in their product.
grrgoyl: (Default)
I spent the better part of my weekend feeding my Snarry hunger. During work I idly bookmark various recs if they look halfway promising, and I finally got time to sit down with some of them and decide yay or nay. But not before spending a good 12 hours or so reformatting and printing out the existing chapters of the Tea Series by Telanu, all 556 pages of it...chuckling and gibbering to myself all the while as I slid a few hundred yards further into madness. I couldn't help it. The story is perfection, perfect enough that I want to read it in bed before going to sleep at night, which is out of the question if it's only on my hard drive.

It's so GOOD to be back in the grip of a full-fledged obsession again.

Tery didn't understand at all. Not only did she snark about the massive amounts of paper I was using (until I pointed out that I bought it), but she was horrified when I chose to compile the pages into a used (but still in almost new condition) work binder with the word "Surgery" on the spine. Tery has this bizarre hangup where she has to buy brand new materials for every project. She'll use five pages in a composition notebook and then discard it, buying a whole new one the next time she needs to write. Her defense is some nonsense about needing a "clean slate" for her creative energy, but if you tear out the used pages, what you have left IS a clean slate and nobody's the wiser (unless you're freakin' Rain Man or something). Such wastefulness (but means plenty of free notebooks for me, so it isn't all bad).

After completing my labor of love (or "my precioussssss" as I refer to it....I know, how original), I was ready to begin navigating the treacherous waters of fanfiction. I've never loved anything enough to really get into the fanfic scene (I dabbled in a bit of Xena slash and even less Buffy/Giles) so there was nothing to prepare me for the very bad writing that is presently consuming oodles and oodles of bandwidth space. This is the problem with starting with such a pinnacle of talent -- it's all downhill from there. I know what you're thinking: sure, it's easy to sit and criticize without ever lifting a finger to try it myself, but that's the bed in which every writer must lie. And there are some truly bad, bad, spectacularly awful stories sitting on the internet, just waiting to suck up gobs of your time that you will never get back. I don't have a lot of free time, so I violently resent these pieces of smeg trying to steal it.

For instance: "At the End of All Things," which has something to do with Harry receiving the magical equivalent of chemotherapy, naturally administered by Snape, though there is no reason given why the school nurse wouldn't be the more obvious choice (other than the fact that she just isn't sexy enough). The author of this piece is clearly in the medical field, as they go into very involved descriptions of the procedure. There is such a thing as TOO involved though, and this certainly falls into that category. Sorry, cancer and chemo treatments really don't light my Christmas tree, if you know what I mean.

Speaking of too involved, I started on another, "Mirror of Maybe," that started out pretty good. Harry is sucked into a mirror where he's trapped for 13 years, coming back to the present within 20 minutes but with the mind of a 28-year-old man stuck in his 15-year-old body. In the future Voldemort has been defeated, leaving Harry a battle-scarred War Mage named "Ash." (Unfortunate choice of names there: Ash Potter??? Pot Ash????) I was willing to overlook all the Terminator overtones, was silently gritting my teeth every time Harry referred to Snape as "Sev" in his mind (arrrrggggghhh), until the author devoted practically an entire chapter to explaining in excruciating detail the complex metaphysical intricacies of a spell Harry uses to disguise himself in the present. I. Don't. CARE. Go back to your damn Dungeon Master's Guide and Evil Dead DVDs and STOP WASTING MY TIME.

I won't touch anything with a rating of mpreg (male pregnancy) with a 10-foot mouse cord. I will cheerfully accept a world of magic and even borderline pedophilia, but men getting pregnant from their gay lovers? This is such an appallingly stupid concept I was hesitant to tell Tery about it, even if it meant proving that plain old Snarry wasn't the most degenerate level of fiction out there.

*sigh* So it's back to wading for me. As a consequence I've gotten quite adept at speed-reading the first chapter and knowing within a few paragraphs if it's what I want. A snap decision, perhaps unfair judgment, but there is simply too much and life is way too short to spend it reading shite when there are real treasures to be found like the Tea Series.

Tery's a good sport though. When she's channel surfing she'll always stop on a Harry Potter special for me (they aren't in short supply these days with GoF opening up). She likes to rub in the fact that Snape barely appears in any of them (much like he barely appears in the movie), but I pointed out he would become much more important in the next two.

"Oh, I heard they weren't making any more," she said offhandedly.

"Did you now?" I humored her.

"Yep. They said 'enough is enough'."

I said it was perfectly understandable that they'd just walk away from the single most lucrative franchise since Star Wars. Quit while they're ahead and all that. I don't envy her. It's got to be hard being one of about 20 people on the planet who don't care about Harry Potter. I imagine them as Death Eaters, meeting in secret, biding their time and waiting for their chance to take over the world again. Not an easy life, to be sure.

Thoroughly unrelated, this morning in an Albertson's inventory they played "Here Comes Santa Claus." Not terribly noteworthy, except there was a line in there that I didn't remember from childhood that seemed very out of place. It was:

"So let's give thanks to the Lord above that Santa Claus comes tonight"

I was raised in a good Catholic household and our version didn't contain this line. I thought it was inserted as an insidious plot by the poor, oppressed Christians who are having the holiday RIPPED out from under them by callous store employees who refuse to say "Merry Christmas" (I mean really, people....is this honestly the biggest problem you can think of in the world today??), but Tery assures me it's always been there. I say it's a jarring clash of Christianity and secularism, kind of like Jesus and Santa duking it out WWF-style on South Park. And I won't have it, I tell you. I won't.
grrgoyl: (Default)
::i ♥ huckabees:: )

Tery took away from the film only the message that our enemy is another side of us, so we should embrace rather than hate them. I took away an overriding urge to return it to the store before noon so I could get a dollar discount on my next rental. In a word, I for one do NOT ♥ huckabees (heh heh. Bet no other reviewer has used THAT line yet). 1/5

::Finding Neverland:: )

The DVD has tons of extras, none of which we watched because we both knew its purchase was inevitable. Johnny just gets better with age. Tery commented (100% accurately) that I would like nothing better than a Scottish!Johnny/Ewan sandwich. She also noted that both of them are married to gorgeous French women. On a more thoughtful and less lascivious note, she feels J.M. Barrie is the perfect prelude to Willy Wonka; the roles are actually very similar, as two men who love children but hate the loss of innocence. Wow, and I thought she was just counting the minutes before she could mindlessly channel-surf again. A resounding 4/5

At this point in the evening we ran out of things to watch, since she wasn't quite ready for more Johnny so soon (I can't explain it, don't ask me). I have been subtly pressuring her into Shaun of the Dead for weeks now, but I know how pointless it is to try to make someone enjoy something if they aren't watching it by choice. She kept insisting she didn't like zombie movies. I was equally insistent that it WASN'T a zombie movie. I even showed her the disc that states clearly "A Romantic Comedy. With Zombies." But I dropped it and we played a few rounds of "Whatcha wanna watch? I dunno, whatchoo wanna watch?" before we settled on some Season 5 South Park. I knew she couldn't tolerate an entire disc full of episodes like I do, but what I didn't expect was halfway through one ep ("The Entity," in which Mr. Garrison creates his exciting new "IT" mobile) when she turned to me suddenly, took a deep breath, and announced, "I'm ready to watch Shaun now."

Yes, our tastes are so disparate that she actually has to steel herself to watch one of the funniest movies ever made (no, she's not an alien, although some days the question is perfectly reasonable). And she claims to love British comedy! So it was especially satisfying when she laughed multiple times and claimed to have enjoyed it very much. She even enthusiastically offered suggestions for my new Shaun icon. I bit my tongue before saying "I told you so." Then the next night, over Easter dinner, it was on to:

::Secret Window:: )

What saddened me was how excited the Hollywood Video girl was about it, how many times she assured me what a good movie it was. Perhaps I should leave her a note suggesting instead you-know-what before she innocently misleads other movie renters. But Johnny was still dreamy. 2/5
grrgoyl: (Default)
Yay! My "Monty Python" Megaset arrived yesterday, making it probably the fastest shipping I have ever seen (only 2 business days! Thanks SuperDuperDVDs!) Thank God it was shrink-wrapped to protect it from the drool I was helpless to stop. Such a thing of beauty. (Tyler Durden would undoubtedly despise me, as virtually all my pleasure in life is derived from material possessions. Hey, we are living in a material world and I am a material grrl. I just wish the degree of my materialism bore a slightly more realistic correlation to my income. When oh when will I meet my Sugar Daddy/Mama?)

I watched DVD #1 last night and was pleasantly surprised that sufficient time has passed for me so that some of the lesser known skits were unremembered and seemed shiny and new (I really don't care much for Madonna, so I will stop quoting her NOW). For instance, I couldn't remember at all the "Working Class Playwright" (the playwright father (Graham Chapman) is disgusted with his coal miner son (Eric Idle) and his work ethic as a common laborer. Hilarious!) On the other hand, other sketches were well remembered but still just as funny as the first time (like "The Restaurant Sketch," aka "The Dirty Fork Sketch" John Cleese as the murderous chef is almost worth the price of the whole DVD alone). My eyes just misted up at how young the lads looked. My favorites have always been Michael Palin and Eric Idle (not always in that order) because they were such sweet-looking, innocent young men (therefore the most likely to inspire very naughty thoughts in me >;)

Tery came home and noticed the massive boxed set on the coffee table with a subdued eyeroll, and for the millionth time I wondered what on Earth has kept us together for 12 years with so little in common. (Lucky for me she understands me, though, as she barely batted an eye when I proclaimed the set my new most prized possession and expressed a desire to sleep with it that very night. I didn't, if only because real estate in my bed is at a premium with my 25-pound cat Alsatia hogging it all the time.)

With this massive set to entertain me, I assured Tery if she didn't want to come home for, say, 3 days that would be fine with me.

At the risk of squealing like a fangirl, I ♥ Monty Python!

-=Lainey=-
grrgoyl: (Default)
Follow-up: well if anyone really wants to know, Tery came home last night and we had it out. She was predictably teary-eyed and repentant so I did most of the talking. I threw out some theories of Tabby's. See, whereas Tabby can 100% see my side of things, she has more often been in Tery's position. She tried to describe to me how drinking a certain amount of alcohol impairs your judgment so badly that part of you KNOWS you should go home, part of you KNOWS what the right thing to do is, but the alcohol insists more loudly that you are having a great time and you don't really want to leave and you shouldn't have to leave. Tery agreed that this was part of her problem, and I broke down and apologized that I wasn't as much fun as "a pitcher of beer and 6 of her closest friends." (Note: Massive guilt trip here.) We both cried and I asked what was going to happen now. She thought for a minute and said "I need to grow up and stop hurting you." I agreed. She also recognized that this only becomes a problem when she has no days off and she feels she has to make any free time she can get last. Between working two jobs, she never has a day off (the only reason she has been better lately is because for the month of July she had every Friday off, but now all the college kids are going back to school). I suggested she tell her boss at the bar that she needed Saturdays off; the bar might be going out of business soon and she doesn't make much money anyway on Saturdays, so I didn't think this would be too great a sacrifice. She agreed to talk to someone, but I know her very well. A.) she dreads confrontation and speaking up for herself with practically a phobia-like intensity, and B.) she hates letting people down (apart from me, apparently), and takes on too much responsibility and then feels stuck with it. So I will have to keep pushing her but hopefully we will resolve this.

In brighter news (?) rumor has it President Bush came to Denver yesterday. There was going to be a massive Democrat protest organizing to meet him and my friends were pushing me to go downtown. Probably the biggest thing stopping me was my aforementioned dislike of crowds (sad, huh?) I gloomily joked, "Oh, so if I wanted to assassinate him, this would be my chance?" They laughed but said I should be careful about saying such things. So I guess my belief that America was the land of Freedom of Speech was misguided. (note: if there are any Federal agents reading this, I was honestly joking and would never kill anyone. I believe murder is wrong. Although I won't deny there are certainly some people whose deaths would not be mourned by me. Like outspoken homophobic clergy members for instance.)

Wow, where did all this bitterness come from? sorry.......

-=Lainey=-

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