M-T-W

I’m in too good a mood to write the war and destruction my NaNo needs. That’s a lame excuse. But since I am procrastinating:

Monday:

Started off with Obscure Music Monday: Kerbdog.

Went to see Quantum of Solace. The criticisms of it have been pretty harsh and are somewhat undue. I think many people have hyped up Casino Royale in their minds and this movie isn’t nearly as good. It’s not that bad though either. The villain’s plan is lame and the action is too fast, shaky and jumpy. But Bond gets his quantum of solace in the end. In a way, these two movies feel like the second and third part of a trilogy. In the second part of a trilogy (usually the best portion of a trilogy), the protagonist gets the crap beat out of them, mentally and/or physically. In the last part of a trilogy (often the weakest part), things get resolved and that isn’t necessarily satisfying. I think Quantum of Solace suffers from that.

My joints felt like hell. Despite that I managed 2300 words.

Tuesday:

First game of pool play. The fields at Quail Run were very hard. My back and knees, while better, weren’t happy. My upper back was fairly unhappy as well considering I hadn’t managed to exercise in any meaningful way since last Wednesday. I played pretty well, all in all. Handled well, did alright on D. We won 13-6. Nice way to go into finals on Saturday.

Wrote 1676 works.

Today:

Wednesday disc! It was good, as it generally is. I was feeling good, running well (for me). Did get hit in the leg just below my right knee with a disc (damn Volo!) and it’s bruising up nicely.

Decided to get some shopping errands done and walked up to Target. Probably not a great idea, but my back is feeling much better after a nice hot shower.

Haven’t written much *cough*.  I really should get at least a 1000.  Chris is coming into town Friday and we’re having dinner with him.  And he’s turned 21 since we’ve seen him last.  We’ll be drinking.

A couple of interesting links from the week thus far:
Effect Measure : Serendipity and bleach:

An interesting side light is that the human body produces its own version of bleach by generating hypochlorite during the course of inflammation, one way the body combats bacterial infection. When immune cells produce too much hypochlorite they can damage our own cells, not just bacterial cells.

Molecule of the Day : Desloratadine (It’s different, I swear)
Uncertain Principles: Athletes Aren’t Different

And she goes on and on and ON!

For some bizarro reason, Firefox is not letting me download anything. I minor problem, I guess, in relation to fixing Eric’s blog.

I don’t even know what went wrong with Eric’s blog. I’ll assume that it was due to me fiddling around with databases on Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, yesterday I procrastinated working on it. And then our internet went down. We’ve been having quite a bit of weather and figured something got knocked loose. Cox said they wouldn’t be able to get to us by Tuesday, which was not happy-making. But what are you going to do? So, I spent the morning feeling like a putz until I discovered, after my shower, that internet service had resumed. *shrug* I puttered with the databases for a while, became frustrated, deleted *everything* and reinstalled from scratch. That worked. I had backed up the database on the 4th and Eric had a backup of all the posts, so all we probably lost was the meta-data for the month.

I never did hear anything from the WordPress forum. I should probably let DinoHost know that contacting WordPress.org support isn’t a very helpful suggestion.

Trip to Michael’s was okay. I bought acrylic paints instead of oil pastels. I’ve never worked with acrylics, so that’s something.

Also, on a partial whim, I decided to hit Nationwide Vision and get some glasses. I fully realize that 2 Pair for $69.98 is a total bait and switch. The frames covered in that deal should be in the dictionary to define cheesy. I did find a nice set of wire frames for $30 and filled out paperwork for an examination. The up-shot? My eyes are healthy, I’m no more near-sighted than I was, my lack of depth perception was reconfirmed, and I ended up buying two pair of glasses for $110. Unlike when I went to a place covered in our insurance, I didn’t feel like I had been completely and utterly taken advantage of.

My joints feel like hell today. On day’s like today, I wish I had some good sedatives. Just sleep through this.

Movies watched lately:

The Godfather. Nope. Up until a few days ago, I had never seen Thie Godfather. It’s a brick wall of a movie. It lays down the story brick by brick and builds on it until what you have is complete and solid. It’s not the prettiest, unless you can appreciate the work behind and the purpose of a well-made wall. Which I can. I like movies like this. There’ve been some good ones lately, though none have gotten the reviews The Godfather has. Now we have Part II to watch.

The Vanishing (original version). Occasionally, remakes are better than the originals. And often the originals are *so* revered that the remake cannot be accepted as good by critics. Get Carter comes to mind. Without seeing the original, I thought the remake was pretty good. And when I saw the original, I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. So, after hearing over and over again about how Hollywood had ruined the great Dutch thriller, I had to see The Vanishing. Again, I like the remake. Yeah, it has a Hollywood ending, but it does a good job setting up the story, making the characters believable, and does an awesome job with the tension. The original? Any scene with one of the females leads seemed stiff and stilted. Any scene with Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu was excellent. The ending? Didn’t work as well for me. But knowing what’s coming, I can’t compare to the first time I saw it, so it’s hard to really judge.

Sweeney Todd.  I had been on the fense about this one.  Burton-Depp-Carter vs. A Musical.  The last musical I saw was Moulin Rouge and I just didn’t care for it.  But…all in all, it was good.  Oh, the Joanna song annoyed the hell out me, but the rest kinda worked.  For me at least.  I’ve been sorta humming the tunes.  The visuals were very Burton.  The acting was alright, the story…well, it is a musical.  If you can’t see what’s coming, you’ve been doing something other than watching the movie.  I kind of regret not seeing it in the theater because we couldn’t turn up the music.  And I’m really intrigued at how it might be done on stage.

Anyway, the Husker’s are winning and I might manage to stay away for the rest of it.

Girly Movies?

Cinematical Seven: More Than One Woman … (The Bechdel Rule) – Cinematical

Not only am I not a feminist, feminism confuses me–if this is what a facet of feminism is. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t even notice when there is an overage or lack of female characters. It doesn’t appear on my radar screen. But my thought on The Rule is: why would I want to limit myself. Yeah, I realize The Rule has been done partly for humor, partly as commentary, but my immediate response was to think of all the great movies I wouldn’t have watched if I were as biased as this Rule. My top ten-ish list of movies is full of films that don’t have two women who talk to each other in them (Tombstone, Pyscho, The English Patient, The Sixth Sense, Strange Days, Se7en, Ghostbusters) though they occasionally have a strong woman character or two and occasionally have female characters that meet bad ends. Some of the best movies of the past year or so didn’t have (many) women in them: Zodiac, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Breach. And although two others had strong female characters (Eastern Promises, Mr. Brooks), they didn’t talk to some other woman about…stuff. This isn’t to say that I avoid movies that would qualify under The Rule, I just don’t understand why I’d want to pick and choose based on that other than standards of actual quality.

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Speaking of movies, we’ve watched a couple lately.

The Bank Job
It was really no better or worse than I expected and I’ll put up with a lot for Jason Statham. There’s some instances of the bank robbers being pretty stupid and the rest of the world being pretty clueless. I don’t know if that’s in the realm of the “true story” upon which this is based, but it can be pretty frustrating watching characters do dumb things. The ending had a few nice turns though, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. And hey, shirtless Statham in the end scene.

21
And if you weren’t sick of watching working class criminals doing dumb things, than 21 has some “genius” types doing dumb things to send you over the edge. Keep in mind while watching this movie that card counting is not illegal nor is winning a huge pile of loot while playing cards in Vegas. Why a particularly dumb thing is done in this movie, I’ll never know. But the card playing was pretty cool. I’ll give them kudos for keeping it interesting and pretty to watch.

A couple goodies via SciAm:
Why Migraines Strike
How Anecdotal Evidence Can Undermine Scientific Results

Feel like I’ve been playing catch-up since Wednesday. Fought off a little plane crud, but the swings in barometric pressure have made my joints very unhappy. And that makes me very fatigued.

Done with laundry, the last of post-vacation cleanup. Having a hard time getting back into work. Been playing some EverQuest, watching some “TV.” Burn Notice is the fun show of the moment.

Eric replaced Hefty’s radiator and gave his poor old truck some attention. Better, financially, than buying a new vehicle. The first good test of the repairs will be going up to Mark’s tomorrow for Hannah birthday.

Saw The Dark Knight yesterday at the Cine Capri. Cine Capri is Harkins’ spiffier theater. Bigger screen, mostly, with some old movie house glamor. Reminded me of the Indian Hills theater in Omaha or the Stuart in Lincoln. These were theaters with one screen and seating that included a balcony. No balconies at the Cine Capri. The best innovation in movie theaters was stadium seating and I’ll take that over a balcony any day.

The film was good, but with an asterisk. A meditation on justice and whether the ends should justify the means? Sure. A very good performance by Mr. Ledger and a massively underrated performance by Mr. Oldman? Definitely. A movie (like so many others) in which I expected more realism than I got? Unfortunately. With something like Hellboy or Iron Man, I expect reality to be stretched. It due to the comedy element, I suspect.  Even the Spiderman movies have it.  Even X-Men has it.  The Dark Knight does not.  Therefore it really bugs me when…

Spoiler-ish

Weekedges

Have been waking up early, probably due to the angle of light coming into the bedroom.  Not an entirely bad thing.  I need to start getting up earlier to run unless I want to use the treadmill at the community center.  It’s getting way too hot to run at 11am or noon like I had been.  (This is not to say I wouldn’t play disc at noon due to the heat.  It just seems much hotter when it’s something both physically strenuous and boring.)  But considering how stiff my back is when I get up, it’s hard to roll out of bed and go for a run.  I need a good two hours to become ambulatory.  I foresee disc being moved to mornings this week, which is another reason to start getting up earlier.  ‘Course, that’s taking into account that people won’t wuss out on disc.  No Wednesday disc puts a serious strain on my caloric balance.

Also, got to watch tennis during these early mornings.  (Watch being defined as having a live scoreboard updating on my desktop.)  An earlier morning will come in handy fro Wimbledon in a few weeks.

(Trying to convince myself that 6am is a good idea…)

Watched Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead yesterday.  It falls into that category of movies with not very bright characters doing very stupid things.  It wasn’t very compelling and reminded me of the Coen brothers’ movies that I don’t like.

Other than that, spent a good amount of time reading yesterday.  Reading fiction.  From a book.  Yeah, I know.  Wild.

And some online reading done this weekend as well:

SF Signal: MIND MELD: Scientific Accuracy in Stories
SF Signal: MIND MELD Makeup with Jay Lake: Scientific Accuracy in Stories

The Exhibitionist: Sold Out – Cinematical

The Uneven Playing Field – Girls’ Sports Injuries – Michael Sokolove – New York Times:

“I get more compliance from the boys,” the school’s athletic trainer, Dwayne Owens, told me. “Boys are actually willing to sit if that’s what I tell them. The girls want to get back out there. They want me to tape them up and let them play.”

Talking About Girls : OUPblog

Finished rewriting the Decazzi scene. Not sure if it’s good enough, but maybe Eric will have some ideas to make it better.

Anyway, some stuff:

Watched Stardust the other night. It was…okay. I can see why it’s being compared to The Princess Bride. It has the same post-modern take on fairy tales, giving the genre a more adult slant. But it doesn’t do as good a job in my opinion. It’s humor isn’t as acute. Oh, it has some moments, but it isn’t as satisfying. The ending is way too happy and tied up. Even in Princess Bride, Prince Humperdinck is left alive and shamed. That ending leaves something just a little bittersweet behind. If I were thirteen, it would probably be in my top five movies. As an adult, I wanted a more complexity in my characters and situations.

Restaurant #7:
Had dinner tonight at D’Arcy McGee’s. It was…okay.  I had the shepard’s pie.  It was tasty enough, though had nothing special aside from being serves with a nice side of steamed veggies.  It would be the perfect dish for a cold, rainy day.  Too bad there’s only about 20 of them a year around here.  Eric had the fish and chips and felt about the same.  Good, but nothing special.  His fries were outstanding; I had a couple cold and they were better than many I’ve had.  The most pleasant surprise was that they serve Kiltlifter and that it is on special on Wednesdays.

The Weekend

Had dinner at Anne’s on Saturday night in honor of Hailey’s birthday. Drank too much beer, ate too much food. Got slightly sunburnt while sitting near the pool. Talked to Jim about stuff including Phoenix landing on Sunday. He gave it about a 90% of landing without incident. I’m sure he was a pretty happy camper on Sunday.

Sunday. Goofed off. Started up EverQuest 2 accounts again. Watched The Lookout. Not a bad movie. I’m not sure if they did a great job with the character’s mental disabilities, but it was passable. Jeff Daniel’s is great in it and I was really fun watching Deputy Donut kicking some butt. It was pretty much exactly as I expected it would be.

Today, I was really intending to work. And then didn’t. Got bit by the EQ2 bug and the laziness bug.  I could do a little work this evening, but I’ll probably just catch up on the goof-off stuff I’m behind on.

Ran today, but probably pushed a block too much.  My knees have been unhappy.  I think I need new shoes.

Ice Cream #10 – Haagen-Dazs Green Tea Ice Cream
I really hoped that this would taste like a Thai ice tea. I could imagine that it might. You know, green tea, sugar, cream. It was possible. But it is not the reality. I suppose this ice cream tastes like green tea, not I couldn’t find it. Eric could, but he agrees with me, there’s some other taste that just doesn’t work. My brain says avocado but that’s only because it is the color of guacamole.  I added cinnamon, and it helped, but not enough.  Sadly, this is an ice cream that I won’t be eating any more of.

And that ends my 10 ice cream list for the 1001 challenge.  As with the candy goal, I wanted to do this to try new things instead of eating the same old thing.  My favorite of the bunch?  Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter, which is surprising since I generally go for vanilla bases.