Monday, June 23, 2008

Very Productive

I had a very productive weekend, and by productive I mean I got a lot of reading and movie watching done. This no TV thing really gets me motivated to do other stuff, you know like watch movies. Actually, if you will indulge me for just a moment - and you kind of have to because this is my blog - I got to thinking yesterday about entertainment, as in holy god, how much entertainment do we need? Even without the TV we still have netflix, and the internet, an xbox 360, and a bunch of audiobooks, podcasts, and music on our ipods and that's just electronics. We also have lots of books and magazines, so many that I often feel like I'm getting behind, as if reading things for pleasure is my job and I'm missing deadlines or something. I think that the big difference with TV vs. these other types of entertainment is that I actually have to make a choice in the evening. Hmm which movie will I watch, or book will I read, and with TV the choices were basically being made for me. Last month when it got down to it and we realized we were only looking forward to watching 2 programs (Lost and Battlestar Gallactica) and everything else was just filler we decided to turn disconnect it after the season finale of BSG. So in essence, all the time during the week when I, not really so much Mike, was watching and neither of those shows were on, it was just filler, crappy noise pumped in to fill the time because I was too lazy to chose something else for myself. Anyway, it made me feel really gross, so in beginning week 2 of no TV I'm feeling pretty happy about the choice.

On to my weekend productivity. Friday night I watched Prairie Home Companion. I love Garrison Kellor and the NPR Radio Show by the same name, which the movie basically mimics. Really this movie is just a little love letter to the show, which has been on the radio for many many years and was very well done. Lindsay Lohan is in this movie, along with Merryl Streep and I was shocked to learn that both of them can really sing quite beautifully. Lilly Tomlin, who was also in the movie made a good effort but sadly cannot. If you do not like the radio show, you are not going to like this movie. It's like people who don't like fish being surprised that they don't like sushi, just because it's in a different form doesn't mean it's going to be more palatable for you. I give this movie a woot! it misses a double woot because it's kind of cheesy.

Last night I watched The Darjeeling Limited, which if you don't know is a Wes Anderson film. Who is Wes Anderson? What? Are you kidding? Only one of the best writer/directors ever - Rushmore, Royal Tennenbaums, Steve Zisou - sound familiar? Of course Owen Wilson is in this movie, as is Angelica Houston, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman (who was involved with the writing) all familiar actors that Anderson works with often. I really like it when directors use the same actors in their films over and over. It really makes sense to me as in there must be a huge level of bullshit that doesn't need to be worked through when new actors are brought in for each project. Wes Anderson movies are beautifully melancholy. This movie took place in India and was so stunning, and the shots so beautiful it was like watching a moving painting. Many people don't like Anderson movies because they seem slow moving, or too symbolic but I have loved each of them,the combination of music, dialog and cinematography keeps me on the verge of tears throughout the entire film because of the beauty and sadness. The plot is this - 3 brothers, Owen Wilson, Jason Shwartzman, and Adrian Brody are on a train traveling through India to visit various spiritual sites and visit their mother. This is the first time in a year the brothers have been together since the death of their father a year previously. The relationship between the siblings is perfectly represented. The movie is an examination of that relationship - adult siblings and their relations with one another. How quickly they revert to childhood roles, and simultaneously embrace yet resent them. Ok, enough said, Double Woot.

I pounded through a book this weekend as well. The Devil and Miss. Prym by Paulo Coelho was so good I read it in about a day. A man comes to a small town and tells the townspeople if they murder one of the residents, he will give them 10 gold bars. He does this because he figures it's an easy way to find out if people are basically good or evil. It was a bit slow at first, but after about 20 pages I couldn't put it down. I have read a lot of Coehlo's stuff, I loved the Pilgrimage, the Alchemist etc. lately his books have been pretty Christiany which I don't like at all, and though this did have a lot of references to the Bible etc. it wasn't too overwhelming and I was still able to enjoy it. Double Woot!

Finally just an exercise note - not a big deal for you active people but I ran a half mile today without stopping. This is a huge huge deal for me. As I was running I thought about the Presidential Fitness Test I had to take in Jr. High, and how after I ran a mile for that I barfed in the girl's locker room. Anyhow, I got to thinking that I should look up those goals and see if I can be as fit as what the gov. says a 17 year old girl should be :) Although, just now I saw that they have a lifestyle thing for adults, maybe I will sign up. Only if I can get a gold plated plastic medal with JFK's face on it though...Ok that's it I'm out. Thank you for reading.

PS - do you like the links?

Friday, June 20, 2008


Just returned from Dr. toe is indeed busted. And, not much I can do for it except tape it up. I am extremely superstitious in that I think things most often happen in 3's bad things that is, so we now have 2 visits to the Dr. for me in two days.....


So yesterday will not go down as one of my finest. It started off with Maggie sleeping in, and by sleeping in I mean 7:45. Usually she is awake around 6, which is why when I made an appointment to get a Tetanus shot at 8:30 in the morning, I assumed it would be no problem getting there on time. I hear you all out there, a Tetanus shot? What did you do, step on a nail or something? No. I was building this:

Not the doghouse part, just the wire part. Chicken wire is really sharp, and I being super smart was not wearing gloves and sliced the crap out of my hands more than once. While I was bleeding and stapling I thought, Hmmm I wonder when the last time I had a tetanus shot was? I called my doctor's office who informed me, not since high-school. They also informed me that I should come in and get one within the next 48 hours so I don't get lockjaw. I'm not really sure what lockjaw is, but it sounds painful and like it would seriously inhibit my ability to talk.

I'm not afraid of shots, I'm tough. Maggie was super excited to come with me to see Mama get a shot, which I thought would be good. Anyhow, she woke up late, so I woke up late and just had time to take a shower, get both of us dressed and run out the door. It is important to note that I did NOT consume either any food, or more importantly coffee before I left. Shot was uneventful. Though I will note, they also updated my Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, there has been a huge resurgence of the disease because people (in Maine especially) haven't been vaccinating their kids and so these diseases which aren't usually around are back, intermingling with us vaccinated people and making super bugs, so now they are re-vaccinating adults. Thanks Hippies!

After the appointment I really really needed coffee. I need coffee like a crack whore needs crack. In fact, the previous evening I was discussing coffee with my grandmother, who is, to be blunt, on her death bed. She is not allowed to have coffee for a number of reasons most of which would contribute to her dying much more quickly than she is. Anyhow I told her that I pretty much don't even want people to speak to me before I have coffee in the morning, which is not an exaggeration. I really don't. The one place in Wiscasset that is on the way back to my house which might have served coffee, and I made the mistake of telling Maggie also has huge cookies, doesn't open until 10. WTF! 10? They are missing out on a lot of angry people that need coffee and huge cookies. Maggie was promised a huge cookie because she has successfully filled in an entire row on her potty chart. I am some how adding this onto the 30 list, even though technically it's her accomplishment, it's a big fracking deal around here. No more diapers.

No coffee, no cookie, now add screaming kid because no cookie. Get home attempt to make coffee. Once about every six months or so, the coffee pot freaks out - I don't think it's human error since I make coffee successfully every other day so I attribute it to an act of god, or kitchen elves - and the coffee just spews everywhere but the pot. Grounds and water run everywhere. As you can guess that is what happened yesterday morning. So, I did this:

What is that you ask? Oh that's my cabinet door sans panel, because I kicked it and busted it out. Wow! I'm strong! No, not really I kicked it pretty lightly, ok moderately with the toe of my ugly dress shoes. Clearly my cabinets are not made of very strong stuff. Am I embarrassed I had a temper tantrum and kicked out the panel of my cabinet door? Yes indeed I am. I should be made of stronger stuff. Lack of coffee and a shot first thing in the morning should not send me off the rails, but it did, so there you have it.

Ok, but that's not all. In a cruel ironic twist - later on in the afternoon I was running across my living room barefoot. I don't recall why. However, I smashed my pinkie toe on our hearth which is made of huge rocks. I am quite sure it's broken. I'm quite sure there isn't much that can be done for a broken pinkie toe. I am quite sure this is going to put a major crimp in my jogging since it hurts so bad I can barely walk. It should be noted, my arm hurts like a bastard where I got the shot yesterday I can't even lift it over my head.

On to the actually 30list update: I knit this bag:

It just needs to have the button sewn on and it will be 100% done.

We disconnected Directv which contributes to a few categories: less tv watching, more movie watching, something I've been meaning to do, and reducing household expenses. Don't worry, we still have netflix - we aren't neanderthals for god sakes. But honestly, we were paying like $70 per month to watch Lost and Battle Star, and now since they are both over until January - goodbye TV!

I finished a fantastic book: Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, by Tom Robbins. For some reason it took me a long time to get into reading Tom Robbins, a lot of my friends read his stuff in high school, but I'm glad I'm discovering it now, I think it makes a lot more sense to me than if I was 18. Anyhow, what can be said about this book without giving too much away. It's about this guy named Switters who is an ex-CIA agent confined to a wheelchair and goes on some crazy adventures around the world. Um, I can't really say too much more than that. It's really hard to sum up a Robbins novel. Seriously, please check it, or anything else he's written, you will like it. Double Woot!

We watched Part 1 of Grind House - Planet Terror, the other night and I absolutely loved it. Grind House was that Double Feature homage to B-movies that Tarrantino and Rodriguez did a few years ago. Planet Terror is a super cheesy zombie movie. A lot of people didn't like these movies because of their cheese, but hello, it's mimicking these particular movies. It was hilarious, super gross but so over the top gross it was grosser than gross and so not that gross, if that makes any sense at all. If you like zombies and super cheese, you will love this movie. Double Woot.

Ok, that's enough for now. Practically a novel.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Part Deux finally

Oops, my posting that was going to be tomorrow has now been like 3 weeks. First off, you may have noticed I finally updated the bars on the side. I had a major 30 list crisis that should be fixed now. You see, all my progress is tracked via an excel spreadsheet, and me being me completely fracked up the formulas so my list was all messed up. Some of the things are still a little dicey, things that I can't tangibly account for. It's easy to go back and list all the books or movies I've watched over the past six months, not so easy to remember how much water I've been drinking. Anyhow, the progress bars should be pretty damn close to accurate.

Big jump on books and movies. Recently I went with Mike and some friends to see Blade Runner at the Strand Theater in Rockland. You may remember that I went to the Strand a few months ago to see This American Life, It's my new favorite theater, it's all retro and it has a bar. Yes, I've seen Blade Runner and in fact we own it, however I'm counting it because this was on the big screen and it was awesome. If you have the opportunity to see it in the theater, do it. Blade Runner of course - Double Woot!

I watched the movie version of Running With Scissors which I'm going to give a Meh. Probably it should get a poop sandwich, but I'm feeling generous. It's about this kid his mom is crazy, she gives him to her crazy psychiatrist sort of. I'm pretty sour on this book/movie since I read this huge article in Vanity Fair about how the main characters in the book (allegedly a memoir) are suing the bejesus out of the author for slander and fabrication.

Last night we watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which I think is called Dead Man's chest. It was really good, if a bit too long, and didn't suck nearly as much as everyone told me it did. It's you know, about pirates and whatnot. Lots of swashbuckling and things of that nature. It's the third of a series so I'm not really going to get into it all that much. Though there was a cameo by Keith Richards which was brills. It rates a woot.

Ok enough Movies, on to books. I listened to Freakonomics on my ipod. It was really enjoyable and I recommend it, lots of statistics and things like that. It's kind of hard to explain I give it a woot, even though I thought the author was kind of pretentious and some of the theories were a bit of stretch.

I finished Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger. This is a book I read in high school and remembered that I really liked, but had totally forgotten what it was about. Oh Salinger, why did you disappear? You were so good. Still so good. This gets a Double Woot. It's a story about a family in NY in the fifties. But more than a story it is, as the introduction says, sort of a written home movie that is but a snapshot of events that transpire over a day or so. I highly recommend it. I read it in a day. Salinger, of course Double Woot!

So, I promised in my last post to tell y'all about my new exercise regime. Don't laugh. I have started jogging. Today I finally got to .6 total. yes, that's .6 - a bit over a half mile. But that was not all at once. I think by next week maybe I can get to .5 at once. this does not seem like a lot right? Well I am jog/walking 1.5 total each time so it's not like I'm doing a little tiny sprint up the road and coming back. So there's that. Plus on days I don't jog, I walk 3 miles. SO there. But here's what's important to note, in your judging of my physical fitness 1. I have been smoking for 15 years. Gross right? Especially since I am only 30. That's for half my life. I took 2 years off when I was preg and nursing but have since started again. Though I do smoke only one cig a day, and sometimes none at all, I think that it should be noted. 2. I have never been a sports person at all. In Jr. High and High-school my sport was cheer leading. This was the early 90's, there wasn't all this gymnastics business with cheering. Mostly it was synchronized clapping and yelling with some sweet jumps - which it will be noted if I have enough to drink I may attempt for your viewing pleasure. It is almost surely to end badly.

So enjoy the updates, thanks for reading.

Oldies but Goodies: