Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Looking For It (Finding Heaven)

So HBO got to wrap up the cancelled-a-year-ago show, Looking.

I liked the series, and was kind of thankful that HBO allowed a cancelled series to have a completion after the fact.

The 'movie' was ok. Nothing outstanding on most levels. The problem with these finales is that they try to wrap things up - and it is usually too quickly or too neatly.

Some of the conclusions are wrapped up - kind of with a bow - and some of them are not, but you see the potential path.

All the storylines seems to be expedited for the sake of the two hour block of time HBO allotted.

So much gets done in a weekend. Nine months away from San Francisco and Patrick - arguably the nucleus of the show - has it figured out (kind of). Two hours after breaking up, a new couple has formed and started road-mapping their life.

I don't care how much you might love someone - planning your life around someone who is newly single for 120 minutes, seems ludicrous.  I mean, they're not lesbians. They're gay men.

The performances were solid, but it was all satisfying - like a eating a PBJ when you're hungry because you can't be bothered to make anything more substantial or invest more time.

It seems that for gay men - you either loved Looking, or you hated it. I might be an exception, I liked it. It's hard for me to love.

The gays who weren't fond of the show,criticized it. Apparently, that's are cardio. Gays want unity and to be accepted, yet we turn on each other faster than any straight person would. And usually the claws come out.

So many gay males just ripped the show to shreds for any number of reasons. My lord - it's just tv (well, no....it's HBO) and if anyone can think one show can represent any and all of us, then they are the ones who have the issue. Maybe the gay (non-professional) critics saw the mirror being held too closely to them and didn't like what they saw, I don't know.

It's no coincidence that Doris chimes in: “I love it when gays fight with other gays about being gays.”

And it's no coincidence when Patrick sarcastically yells at someone who clearly doesn't like him. The show creators certainly got to take a jab at those taking jabs : "I’m everything that’s wrong with the gay community. … I promise to read more of your articles and hope that one day I can finally learn how to be gay and be as perfectly adjusted as you!

There were real-ish moments with the 'movie'. I sort of like Patrick and Kevin's coffee shoppe encounter. Though if someone yelled at me like Kevin did - I'd have walked out, either angry at them or embarrassed of what he was {probably} rightfully being accused of.

And like the original series, I probably still like Ritchie the best, though most of his dialogue here is advice-speak. As Derek Zoolander might say, "oh, so now he's a philosophizer".  And Agustin is still the cute one.

It's probably no surprise that my faves are the two actual straight men in the cast.

So - it's over.  The series didn't end at a great point in time. The movie doesn't either - - it's just neater.



Song by:  Jann Arden

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wildebeest

On a 90+ degree Sunday afternoon, we were looking for a way to beat the heat, as we have no air conditioning, and we'd already killed time at Costco, so we decided to head to the movies.

AbFab was the movie in mind....until a friend of ours pulled into the parking space right next to us. He was on his way to see Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and did we want to join.

We had seen the previews a few weeks ago, and we were somewhat interested. We very temporarily weighed which of the two movies would be around for another week.

As much as I like Eddie and Patsy, I'm still skeptical that there is an audience for a that movie on the big screen - let alone for any amount of time. But the person we were with used to head the Cleveland International Film Festival and he was trying to get in Wilderpeople before he thought it would go away - even though it just opened this weekend too.

So into the Wilderpeople we went. (I did peak into the AbFab audience as it assembled - about half were middle aged gay men.....as you might expect).

Let's start out that I thoroughly enjoyed 90% of the movie. There were two parts at which I had to turn away, but I won't delve into those details lest you go see the movie.

I'll stay away from spoilers too.

The basic premise is: two societal outcasts - one young, one old - are thrown together when circumstances demand.

While Sam Neill isn't as old as Ed Asner's character in Pixar's Up, the kid is a little portly, like the kid in Up. And instead of having adventures on top of some cliff, they are in the New Zealand bush. Though like Up, the two characters in Wilderpeople do spot an extinct bird. And like Up - the two are chased....hence the 'hunt' part of the title.

That's about all I'm truly going to give you.

Save the Piano and Jurassic Pork (that is the porn version name, isn't it?  shouldn't it be?), I'm 99% sure I've never seen Neill in anything else. He was much better here than being chased by dinosaurs. The kid, Julian Dennison, was just great.

I know we are just halfway through with 2016 - but I can easily see Hunt of the Wilderpeople in my top 5 movies of the year.



2016 Movie Count / Goal:  17 of 18


Song by: Laurie Anderson

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Music Monday

Thank g-d this month is over. I feel as though I've failed.

{sigh}



Ok.  I'm over it now.

I'm not even going to go on and on about it. I think my last selection of the month and theme speaks for itself.

Done.

Blobby Out.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rooftops and Invitations

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.....so they say.

David and I are morons.

We did rooftop yoga on one of the hottest days of the year. We are morons.

To be fair, we didn't forget anything, but we thought we could beat the odds.

Yoga was to start at 09:45 and was to last an hours. Perhaps, I thought, we could beat the heat. No such luck.

While the title image looks like the yoga crowd was sparse - and it kind of was - but due to the heat, people were spread out wherever it was comfortable. I was in a tiny patch of shade. But due to the haphazardness of where people were, some of us (myself included) weren't facing the instructor. I get discombobulated.

Before the practice, someone from some news something or other was there to take pictures of the us. It was all slightly staged, as it happened before the scheduled practice. No one knows when, if or where the pictures might pop-up.

After the practice, David and I sat around the roof-top. And I took pics of the skyline and cityscape.


Oddly enough, after the practice, we were asked to stay to do more photos for someone else who is looking to establish her own yoga and boot camp studio. She seems like a totally horrid person. And this time, we were out in the blazing sun - my black mat burning the bottoms of my feet.

I finally just walked away. It's not like I was getting compensated for helping this person who never even bothered to introduce herself to any of us. Nor did she even thank anyone.

I can't believe how hard it is to be a supermodel.




Song by: Dashboard Confessional

Saturday, July 23, 2016

the House I Live In

Oooooh.  The Mavericks have a new single out.

I know, it's not My Music Monday. It's not a full recording, so not a Record of the Month post either, but you have to read this entry......to the end.



Per their PR firm - or something / someone like that -  "the song was used in a short film released by the government as a racism public service announcement in 1945. The band thought that it really related to today’s political atmosphere."

They also go on to say that the song is to be released before the political conventions, and until then it's existence is supposed to be "hush hush".

Since 'conventions' was plural, in theory the song would have to be released before the GOP convention. I mean, it stands to reason. It seems it got released between the two.

And while I haven't heard this version of the song in advance, I did go sample others - and it has been covered a LOT.  Sinatra. Cooke. Danza.

Oh yes. The incomparable Tony Danza.

Frank might be the Chairman of the Board, but Tony is the Boss. Oh, who are we kidding - that was always Mona.

Oddly enough, I'm blogging about the Mavericks, but I'm not really. I'm really blogging about the cover art.

My cousin David took the photograph for the artwork. I believe he took it at his father-in-law's house in Iowa.

My first thought was: well, there are no single sleeves anymore....since there are no singles. But then I guess each selection in the iTunes has an image, so.....why not?

I'm always proud of David, but I love that he got this opportunity.

As the Mavericks are pretty much self-releasing their stuff now - which is possibly the only way to make money in that industry, unless it's touring and merchandise - it's unknown what kind of reach they'll have.

I got a live version of the song, which kind of sounds familiar, but kind of sounds like another song on to which I cannot place my finger.

I agree it has a patriotic bent to it. Perhaps a little heavy-handed, but maybe the message is what this country truly needs right about now.

Congrats to David for a new market to his career.






Song by: the Mavericks

Friday, July 22, 2016

It's All Over but the Crying

By the time you read this the GOP convention will be over and "these people" will be packing up and leaving town.

Good riddance.

I am sure I'm missing stuff {again} by not watching a second of this thing. I just can't even.

I just can't.

More power to you people who can even watch for part of the night. I don't have that kind of strength.

Granted, I missed Michelle's Melanoma's speech. I missed Satan Cruz revoke (t)Rump. And like Kasich before him, I'm feeling dirty that I have a smidge of respect for Old Ted. But just a little. Minuscule in fact. Electron microscopes couldn't even pick up on it. But I know it's there.  Drats.

There is no fucking way I'm watching Trump's speech. I'm hoping he'll implode, but I'm not wagering any cash. I'll get the highlights later this morning with screen caps with witty sayings on them via Facebook.

The head of Log Cabin says that Donald (t)Rump is their friend.

I know that throughout history, mostly in the way way past, that the homos have limited choices in friends. But is this what it has come to?

Again, this is my lack of understanding.

With such blindness - not even blind faith - people are dropping to their knees for this man. A man who cannot prove he can do a thing - or answer a question directly - he can treat you like shit, and then all is forgiven.

I mean, unless your Ted Cruz.

Cleveburgh has made it through. No riots. No looting. No shootings. At least as of 22:02. After that - who knows?

I'm sure I'll read about it.


Eventually.



Song by: Garbage

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Liar

I really really really don't get the GOP and especially (t)Rump at all.

I get it - I'm stating the obvious. Sue me.

And let's really hope he doesn't win - if for the only reason I don't have to type out '(t)Rump' for the next four to eight years.

Actually, if he wins, I just might be shutting down this blog altogether. ("I might just be shutting down this blog.")

Let's start with "the speech". Hours and hours and hours of 'it's not plagiarized'.  Hours and hours and hours of 'Melanoma wrote it herself' after rejecting a written speech weeks ago.

.....and then the inevitable, 'yes, it was a speechwriter who didn't vet the speech after Melanoma gave her idea from one of the women she so admires..............Michelle Obama'.

Ok.....let's go with that, shall we?  The (t)Rump campaign actually lets it out that someone in the family likes an Obama??

This is madness.

I still don't believe a word of it. Any of it.

....and no actual apology for stating an untruth over and over and over and over and over.

The bigger lie(s) pertain around John Kasich - and Donald's campaign offering / not offering the VP slot to him.

Donny says it's "a lie" and that he never offered that role. Technically "he" didn't. Don Jr. did. So, I suppose he's off the hook on that one.

Still, who to believe?  Since (t)Rump lies constantly, and Kasich is a scum who will screw you over to your face - I'd have to go with John on this one.

I loathe Kasich as a human and as a politician. He's vile as all get out. He just plays it better than the rest of crazies that ran for the GOP nomination.

That said - I have to give the guy a little respect. He refused to endorse (t)Rump. Unlike Rubio, Cruz* and all the rest (well, except for Ms. Lindsey Graham), who rolled over and spread them for Donald full access for penetration, Kasich is a man of his word.

He hasn't endorsed him. He refused to go to the convention for his own party in his own state. And he {allegedly} turned down an office in the Old Executive Office Building.

But this is the part I still don't get.

Blatant Blatant Blatant lies. One after the other. Easily exposed. Stupid ones that in the big scheme of things mean nothing if admitted as foibles or blunders.  But Donald is like a kid who gets his hand caught in the cookie jar and tells one lie after another claiming it wasn't him.

.....and since I think he believes it so much that others feel sorry for him and let him off the hook.

I can't really think of another explanation.

And by "others" I mean the voters, the delegates and especially the press.

I get that there is no reasoning with this man, but the media must kowtow to him to get him on their stations and hopefully the ratings that go with. Yet they don't hold him to anything.

As much as I didn't care for Connie Chung - her interview with Gary Conduit was great. For the first 10 minute she asked him the same question over and over because he wouldn't answer it.  My lord, I'd give anything if the media started doing that with (t)Rump.


* I really should watch, I guess.  I hear Teddy didn't endorse Donny and was booed off the stage. That is excellent on so many levels. 



Song by: Dar Williams

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Imitation of Life

"They" say 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'.

FLOTUS must be flattered to death!

The problem with refusing to watch any of the RNC convention is that well, you miss out on 'breaking news'.

I was already at work before I heard about 'the speech'. Singular speech. Used multiple times.

I'm sure you're already aware.

This is what I get for not blogging about almost real-time political events. Now this post seems like, "yeah dude......we've heard it all before".

And now you'll hear it again.......and LIKE it!

Poor Melanoma (t)Rump. Left was left hung out to dry on her own, when you know some lackey (read: former adviser) "wrote" the speech for her. I mean, Lisa Douglass had a better grasp on the English language and could converse better than this woman - so you don't actually think she had anything to do with "writing" this speech do you?  I'm not sure she's even smart enough to plagiarize.

Of course she's not smart enough - look at her life choices.

But you gotta figure - she. is. PISSED.

Now, being all conspiracy theorist about, well, everything, how is it that everyone knew about the similarities immediately. I mean, I love Michelle Obama and all, but I'd never remember a speech she gave.  Ever.

Allegedly, some laid-off gay journalist has a better memory than Blobby - and tweeted the he noticed they were close to the same.

But what people aren't saying is that Melanoma isn't the only plagiarist in the family.



I had to look up the Tweet to see if it was real, but yes, Donny (or whomever writes Donny's tweets) wrote word for word (save the name of the wife), right down to the exclamation point.

In a way, I'd love to know the campaign spins all of this, but then I'd have to listen to them. So, the risk-benefit analysis I did in my head doesn't pay off. I won't be listening or reading anything they have to say.

Including last night's stuff.  I'll just be late with the news in tomorrow's post.


Oh oh oh - I almost forgot.

I love that neither Michelle or Hillary have to do a fucking thing with this either. Social media has taken over - humiliating Donald and Melanoma over and over and over again.

And I would pay three kerjillion dollars to have Bill Clinton come out at the DNC convention and just do one of (t)Rump's speeches. Word for word.

It would get huge laughs and mock the republican candidate with no mercy whatsoever.

Now......to raise three kerjillion dollars.



Song by: R.E.M. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Warning Sign

They're here.

And so far 0 reported shooting deaths.

I'm wildly disappointed.


Ok, I'm not. Maybe no one cares. Or maybe no one cares that the Fuck Dynasty guy and Charles in Charge are the two big "gets" to speak at the convention.

When Tim Tebow and Franklin Graham not only bail, but that claim they were never attending in the first place has to hurt. I mean, they were the D list.  I'm not sure where Chachi ranks.

I'm sure this probably happens at a lot of political conventions, but the billboards have been taken over. No longer are they cigarette and beer ads. Nooooooooo.............

But it's made for some interesting look-see. I'll just say, it's a good thing 710 was driving.

Oh yes- t(Rump and Cruz freedom kissing. 

Five minutes from the main venue, and allegedly paid for by the Westboro Baptist Church. I hope that part is true too. 

A more to-the-point message. 

Stupid telephone pole was in my way, but I'm sure you get the idea. 

I honestly don't know what this one is for. 

I should probably Gooooooogle it just s to see. 



 But honestly - this is the mother of all signs.....and it hangs right in Quicken Loans Arena, where the RNC is holding the convention.

I shit you not.......


That is not a Q sign.  Nope - notice the GOP logo at the top. That's theirs and theirs alone.

I'll give this to them - they're owning it; putting it out there for all to see.

At least in Ohio, the GOP has literally nothing to lose. A recent poll of African-American registered voters showed that  t(Rump had 0% of their votes.

ZERO.

At first I saw it on FB, so I discounted it, but it is actually true. And according to NBC News - and you gotta figure Lester Holt knows what he's talking about  - support for the GOP amongst the black population is the lowest since 1964.  (to be honest, would have guessed longer.)

I get why the "new" Black Panthers are marching here - it's mostly a police / shooting unarmed guys thing, but that's all it should be. I would hate to say I'm caving, but this is a group of white men (and women) who are not about to change their mind on race.

Well...I take it back. They have changed their mind. They've decided it's ok to hate based on skin colour.....and religion. It's all broad brush stroked with this bunch.

I should say they've "kind of changed their mind"  - as after the photo of the White Stairs went public....and viral.....someone had the good taste to take it down.

Maybe they are still hiding in the shadows somewhat.


.....but only somewhat.



Song by: Talking Heads

Monday, July 18, 2016

White Walls

You get a two-fer today.

As you can see from the title image, the RNC has come to town.

I fear you might be getting a daily GOP post this week. Hopefully with some amusement here and there.

Perhaps that day is not today.

Trying to get from our place to the movie theater on Saturday, traffic detours became troublesome. At that time, everything scheduled to be shut down had yet to be enacted. Today it is all in place. Troublesome is not compacted into improbable.

Where the protesters, the shootings both by and of the police were enough to put everything on high alert this week, the events in Nice certainly kicked it up the paranoia a bit.

The barricades were expected. Double fenced barricades, maybe not as much......


video

....and this wasn't even that near the convention site, but there are miles and miles of fencing. Well, it's near the convention center, but not near the Q, which is the arena, where the main stuff will happen. Still, it's in the "perimeter" just not the more compact 'security zone'.

Yes, fences, xray scanners, mirrors for under the cars and barricades were all expected.

The large-ass vehicles - county, city and state - placed at strategic areas of town and manned 24/7 so they could be moved into place blocking access in or out of town. These are the highways. Some of the other public areas, those mobile barricades were put into place right after Nice.

That part was a little sobering. As 710 mentioned, it's like every apocalyptic movie he has watched, trying to keep people - and usually a deadly virus - contained. Of course, that never works. But now it's not on the big screen, just right in front of us.


Mind you - open-carry laws are still ok, except in the security zone. But do NOT even think about bring a water pistol or super soaker. Those, are banned.

I shit you not.

I'm sure Ann Coulter would melt if someone doused "her" with water, but really?  Ok. I get that those can be filled with bleach or acid. So what?  A gun with bullets or hydrochloric acid both still maim or kill. And did the framers of the 2nd Amendment say what had to be loaded in the guns?

They did not!  Where's the ACLU on this one?

Oh - you also can't bring locks, chains, rope or tape. I suppose it's a good thing there isn't a bondage convention already booked in town, cause they'd be outta luck.

You can't bring canned goods in either. Spam I get. But sometimes tuna is good.

The real crazy starts today. (t)Rump will no doubt be staying less than a mile from our house. It's the only hotel in town with a penthouse that has bulletproof glass.

It's unclear whether a shoulder mounted missile can penetrate that hotel.

I'm not advocating it of course.........just thinking out loud.


Song by: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

My Music Monday

Since I can't quite adhere to the monthly theme (tattoo songs released before 1990), I am trying to haven an affiliation with said theme.

Tattoos are done on skin. So I can do "American Skin (41 Shots)" Bruce Springsteen and his band.

I suppose with the time as they are, you can say the song is poignant. It deals with white police killing an unarmed black man in NYC. The cops fired 41 rounds, 19 of them hitting the victim.

The scary / sad thing is: the song was recorded in 2000.....and in 16 years, the issue has only gotten worse.

While Springsteen is a musician - when he really wants to, he is a storyteller (think "The River", "Point Blank"). And so it is with "American Skin".

Like a tattoo, the shooting of innocent (usually people of colour) is a permanent stain.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ghost World

Way back in 1984 I was working in Manhattan when the original Ghostbusters opened. My parents happened to be visiting, so my oldest sister and I went with them to see it on its opening weekend.  It was pretty original and very funny.

Five years later, my friend Jon and I went to see Ghostbusters 2 at the Grandview Theater. It was $1 movie night. Let's just say, while the viewing was only a buck, I felt I was owed at least a fifty-cent refund. It was that bad.

So no one was more surprised than myself when we found ourselves looking at a rainy Saturday afternoon movie - - and there we were at the 3-D version of the new Ghostbusters.

It wasn't high on my list - and for no good reason. I knew nothing more than it had female leads. I wasn't 100% sure if it was a remake or a reboot. It is more of the latter than the former, but trust me, there are shades of the original.

While the new version isn't Ghostbusters 2 bad, it's not original Ghostbusters good either.

The original is highly quotable...........and funny.  This one? Not so much.  There isn't a memorable line in the flick and I think I smiled 3-4 times (mostly all at Kate McKinnon and never once out and out laughed. That was kind of sad.  I even audibly and involuntarily groaned near the end of the movie.

The special effects - even in 3-D - were marginal at best, which is unexceptable with a movie with that kind of budget. One effect was just downright bad.

Almost none of the actors were bad. Melissa McCarthy played a toned down version of herself. Kristen Wiig hasn't quite made the leap from character acting to lead. She's a milquetoast version of her Bridesmaid character. McKinnon was the strongest.

Chris Helmsworth solidified the notion that he might be hard pressed to do any character other than Thor.

The cameos of most of the original cast seemed a bit forced. Annie Potts may have been the most natural. The best might have been a fleeting shot of a bust of a man who I believe was Harold Ramis.

Honestly, the movie wasn't horrible, but I'd be hard pressed to call it a comedy either. I would say if you go in with expectations of not a laughable comedy, you might enjoy it more.  If our theater - on opening weekend - was an indication,  this movie isn't making bank. I'd say 10% of the seats had butts in them.....at best.

And poor Huey Lewis. 32 years later and he still gets no co-writing credit for the theme song. I think Ray Parker Jr still has to cut him a check though.

On the plus side, we saw the shot in the movie that we witnessed being filmed when we were in NYC last September.


Mind you, they put CGI ghosts and stuff in and on the Ghostbusters mobile in the movie version. But I got a knowing jab from 710 when it hit the screen.

On the walk out of the theater, 710 goes - "well that wasn't worth $14". Unfortunately he meant 'each'.



 2016 Movie Count / Goal:  16 of 18


Song by: Aimee Mann

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Refuse

It's my first Saturday without a pet pic in a while.  The week was such that I ran into no doggies. Sophie wasn't putting up with the camera shit, so........it's just a regular old post time. 

So.......it's no longer "allegedly" Mike Pence. 

I'm sure you've seen the (t)Rump / Pence logo.  I'm sure you've seen the mocking and take-offs of the (t)Rump / Pence logo. No need to post those here. 

So Mr. Pence doesn't think bakeries in Indiana should have to bake wedding pizzas for homos and lezbos. Sad is the gay couple who orders carry-out pizza for their wedding. 

And in Toledo, a baker is refusing to make a birthday cake for a lesbian's partner......because she's a scrod chomper. 

I'm guessing they were struggling financially and wanted some right wing loons to send them free cash. That was probably their business model all along. 

I know people thing this GOP ticket is ridiculous, but the entire GOP platform is anti-gay. They've kicked up a notch - almost like that pathetic, sniveling, self-loathing faggot, Ken Mehlman, was still head of the RNC.  (I really just hope he Goooogles his name often.)

Seriously though, they're looking at ex-gay therapy, which every credible breathing person has discounted as nonsense. 

And of course, the religious freedom shit. 

But gay weddings and birthdays are kids stuff. They bakers have got to up their game. One in California {allegedly} is thinking bigger. 

Fuck. Forget the croissant. Don't bother with the torts.  Just sell an 8 year old to make your rent.

They're much more delicious too - and they don't go stale as quickly.


.......I've heard.




Song by: the Cars

Friday, July 15, 2016

Candidate

I can't say I'm surprised. But really - what were (t)Rump's other options?

That fat fuck from New Jersey?  Or a thrice married adulterer?

Sure, Don has been married three times too - and is an adulterer - but you can't have people pointing out that they have six marriages between them.

Newt had to go.

And hey, you gotta try to carry the mid-west, so {allegedly} Mike Pence to the "rescue".

What Mikey-boy might not realize is that he might have just dug his political grave. Or worse, he'll be the new Sarah Palin. You know - loser VP who now has a soapbox.

Well if t(Rump) waffled on gay rights and marriage (and he has), let's be clearly, he's about to make someone else tow that line, so he can get the evangelical and far right wing vote. He'll have Pence be his henchman - and job I think he is all too willing to do.

You know, besides his Religious Fraudom law, Pence was (and is) very much against gays in the military, same sex marriage and even civil unions.

During the vetting process - or the talking about potential VPs - Donald said he liked Pence because he's a fighter.

A fighter?

If you mean a man who stands by his convictions, until he has severe political repercussions and then revises his just signed-law - then yes, by all means, Mike Pence is a "fighter" and not a "caver".

Bully for you Donald.

While for some unknown reason, Pence's approval ratings will get a bump from this move, in reality, he's polling in the 40s for being liked. If this were a test - he'd be at an F.  Maybe F-.

In theory, I'm am excited for the debates - VP and POTUS.

In reality, I am not sure I can watch.

Thanks to FB, I'm not sure I'll have to.



Song by: Joy Division

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Don't Stop the Music

So, I mentioned we (read: 710) got two free tickets to a movie screening.

On a Tuesday night. At 21:00.

Date night in the middle of the week? I'm barely home before 21:00 and 710 is usually an hour behind me. Still we made it work.

The movie? Florence Foster Jenkins.

It was on my list anyways, since seeing a clip from the beginning of this calendar year. It's slated to come out in the states - or at least Cleveland - next month, but we got in a month early.

Oddly enough, they used one of the smallest theaters to screen it. And it was packed. And we got there over a half hour early. And, honest to g-d, I think we were the youngest people there. How is this even possible? The really weird thing was that there were two security guards. Odd.

Anyways - Meryl Fucking Streep (say it like Billy Eichner) has the title role. The director, Steven Frears did the excellent the Queen and the very good Philomena. The story line is about a wealthy patron of the arts who wants to sing, and can't.....except that nobody bothered tell her.



Good trailer.  How will this movie not be great?

I'm not 100% sure why it's not - but it's not.

The acting Streep is good. Nuanced where she should, over the top when it's needed. The "singing" Streep is amazing.

Amazingly bad, that is.

As it turns out FloFo (as I'm calling her), is one of the worst vocalists to come along in history, that is, until being dethroned by Paula Abdul.

I won't say in real life Streep is a bad singer - though she isn't winning any awards for Mama Mia. (though she is sooooo much better than Pierce Brosnan - but who isn't?  I mean, even Paula Abdul is better than that!) But I liked her singing in Postcards from the Edge. I didn't see Riki and the Flash, but apparently nobody did.

But it takes true talent to sing this badly.....and on purpose.

I am stepping back on the why I know it wasn't great. While Streep is technically great, the director doesn't give her much heart in the part. There are moments for sure, and more of those would have been welcome. Needed, even.

Surprisingly, Hugh Grant gives a much stronger performance. Well - let's dial that back a little too - maybe not quite stronger than Streep, but a lot stronger than most of the stuff he produces. Who knew?

I suppose that I expected more from the combination of Streep and Frears. Florence Foster Jenkins isn't bad by any means, but it's not as emotional or have a depth that Frears' last few flicks have gone.

If you go - go for the musical performances.


Oh - on the way out, I axed one of the security guards, why the need for such an audience. They said they have them for all sneak previews, because people try to sneak in. Really?

And two women were writing down people's reaction (?) as we walked out of the theater. Not asking any questions, just if people were smiling or talking of the movie.

For the record: we were chatting about what to do for dinner.



2016 Movie Count / Goal:  15 of 18



Song by: the Michael Stanley Band

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 76th 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just Erik (and sometimes Jim) and myself - that I know of. 

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.

05:45. Starting the day

06:10.  Oh no! The bowl's empty. 
Or so someone would have you believe. 


06:33.  Readying the dishwasher to run while we are at work. 


 06:50. Waiting to catch a break. 

7:10. The (b)eagle has landed.........at work. 

08:00.  Month-end close. 
It's not pretty, but I'm positive to budget by $126k +

09:35.  First conference call of the day.  They're muted. 

12:40. The remains of the lunch. 
The less you know, the better. 

13:05. Hunky construction dude, taking a break in one of my under construction areas. 

13:55.  I'm early for the next meeting - a webinar.


17:45.  Pulling up as 710 arrived home in his rental car.
In bigger news: I was home by 17:45.

18:20.  Tuesday night date night.

We got two tickets to a movie premiere (I see a new movie review coming your way).
We were there 40 minutes early and still got one of the last two seats together.

Your Baker's Dozen

21:15.  Carmel Cone and Carmelized Chocolate Ice Cream

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Poker

I think I'm losing it now and then when I blog.

I had nothing to write about - and still don't - and I almost jotted something about Pokemon Go.

Really.

I shit  you not.

I never really knew what Pokemon was two decades ago (I only know the timeframe because my now 23.5 year old nephew was into it...........when he was like 4). So I really don't know what this new version is. But it seems to be everywhere in the last five days.

I am uniquely unqualified to write about some weird-ass cultural phenomenon.

And since it is now 22:13, I don't suspect there is another subject on which I can expound upon.

I am almost looking forward to the GOP Convention.  I should be able to pull some shit out of that one, right?




Song by: Electric Light Orchestra

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Music Monday

I've scoured my music liberry.  I've search all of iTunes for songs to use. I just can't find any.

The subject was specific, no doubt - songs about tattoos that were released prior to 1990.  Somehow I thought I could prevail, but alas, I could not. I couldn't even do it if it went right up to today.

Apologies to Erik.  He can pick next month if he'd like.

I'll try to make today's selection somewhat relevant though. I was saving it for another 'covers' theme, but sometimes you do what you must.

The Folksmen, a fictitious group from Christopher Guest's movie, A Might Wind, has the honors.

Mind you, the Folksmen look an awful lot like Spinal Tap. Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Guest are in both - and play and write their own music.....for both groups.

Except for this selection.  The Folksmen take on the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up". The Stones originally released the song on Tattoo You......so that is the closest connection I can make.

I dare say, the song is better and funnier if you're familiar with the original.


the Folksmen - "Start Me Up"

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Shoot

I don't even think I'm going out on a limb when I say that no NRA member or 2nd Amendment stalwart would be able to see the irony or the disparity (or possibly the lack of it) with these two news items, when it comes to "government overreach".



Seven months ago I wrote about the reaction to Ebola versus gun deaths.

In the same vein, I kind of laughed when looking at CNN on-line.  But only kind of.

I have yet to hear anyone lamenting that the federal government is attempting to take away their cancer treatment. To be fair, the U.S. Constitution does not have vague, horribly outdated text regarding medical treatment.

I wonder how many gun nuts enthusiasts with a family member who are ill would be willing to play Russian Roulette with those lives - and tell the FDA they can pry their chemo out from of their cold dead hands. Very few.

But how many of the same group would sue the FDA regarding a chemo trial that killed one of their loved-ones?  Every. Single. One.

And I certainly wouldn't demean the three deaths, but let's look at my blended image, shall we?   7,110 gun deaths in 2016 as of two days ago.

7,110 is not 3.

Yet, here we are again, doing next to nothing.

I will be honest. I have seen the headlines and the screen caps of the video of the police gun pointing into the car window. I get there was a video on the death. I did not read a word.

I saw there was a killing in Baton Rouge. I did not read a word.

Of course, I saw the above the fold stuff on Dallas, but I did not read the article.

Did Not equals Could Not.

I'm not burying my head in the sand exactly. I might  - might  - delve in to any of those stories had there been anything new with any of the stories.

I'm not even getting into gun control per se here today. Like the news, there is nothing new under the sun with that one here at this blog. You know my stand. I think.

I just get confused by the lack of anybody pointing out the absurdities of comparative stories like the CDC, FDA and NRA.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  if it were a disease with this many deaths, people would move heaven and earth to cure it. Maybe we should say 'getting shot to death' is a disease. Then maybe someone would be all over 'curing' it.



Song: by: Sonic Youth

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Four Legs Good

Sure yesterday I said it was difficult to blog. It is easier with dogs.....and cats. Even if all of them are not mine.

I won't disagree with (the other) Brett. If we adopted (I'm assuming he meant a dog, and not some spawn), then I would have tons to write about.

Not yet.  Not yet.

Though apparently our neighbor and our vet were placing guesses on when we'd get a new dog. Though Dr. Smith was probably tabulating how much money he'd be getting from us. I'm ok with that, he treated Petey like a king.

Anyway - on with the pet parade.


Boomer post-grooming. 

I just love Esmé. I haven't actually seen her since we lost Petey. She's gone grey.

 Pippa. Curious about outside, but never actually venturing there. 

Eleanore, growing up so fast.  And Oliver. They may have gotten lots and lots of treats. 

We don't really allow her to lounge on tables, but it was scorching hot these last few days. If cool wood feels good on her belly, so be it. 



Song by:  Dust Poets

Friday, July 08, 2016

Read My Heart

Since getting this "new" job almost seven months ago my blog reading has gone to pot. My commenting is even worse.

I fear my writing is headed in that direction too.

And that's kind of sad.....at least to me.

It was easy to peruse blogs during the day when I worked from home. I suppose I could at work too - but you just never know what they monitor or block.....not that any of my blog reads are risqué, but who needs the hassle of IT bringing down the hammer.

As it is, my work days as of late have been roughly 11.5 hours long. It's all I can do to get home, prepare dinner and eke out a blog post, let alone read them. Or worse, not having anything witty to say upon commenting.

I've been blog reading in bulk. But every time I feel the need to chime in, someone did it (and better) days before I get around to even contemplating it. So, it's not that I'm not reading you - it's just that I haven't been timely.

The eking out of a blog post hasn't been fun. It used to be I'd have a few queued up just ready for publishing. Now it's a day at a time - and usually at the last minute. That can't be fun for you.

I've toyed with the idea of not doing a daily post. In theory that sounds good, but it's a slippery slope. And that slope would end in a big-assed cliff.

Hopefully, work will settle down a bit - though there always seems to be one big challenge after another - and maybe that will determine how I progress....or don't.

No worries - no big decisions coming anytime soon. I just need some inspiration.



Song by: Marti Jones

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Muffin Top

It's a 'nonsense' day.

We are wrapping up - or trying to - the second season of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I still like it, but I normally enjoy the buried and quick jokes more than the storylines themselves.

30 Rock did the same, though their stories might have been stronger.

Both shows are made for DVR. There is need to pause, rewind and hit play again - for visuals or aural queues.

Like the new bakery that went into Kimmy's neighborhood


Yes, you'll need to enlarge the pic.

It just made me laugh and laugh and laugh.




Song by: Jenna Maroney

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

G-d and the FBI

So Hillary won't be charged for her email server.

And predictably, the GOP melts down, as you all well imagined. As does one of my cousins - whom I love, but cannot stand his politics (nor him mine).

I get they need the distraction. Benghazi didn't quite do it for them, so they gotta do something.

Now the GOP wants the FBI to release the files to them, or the House, or something. Is the FBI usually in favour of just opening their files to whomever?

I do love how none of the GOP have bothered to mention that the head of the FBI was a republican selection. Facts. Who needs those?

But to be fair, while some in the media have tried to compare Clinton's faux pas with that of David Petraus, it's apples and mangoes. What they're not doing is comparing it to the RNC having an email server in the White House when GWB was "in charge"......and losing upwards of 20,000 emails.

Oh. Sorry.  I meant "losing".

Nor did the media really play up the fact that Condaleeza and Colin did the exact same things as Hillary, and there wasn't any actual policy to not do it.

But that doesn't play well for the GOP or ratings, I suppose. All that's the past so for some reason it doesn't count?

The GOP will have the news cycle for the next few days. There's no way around that one. And that's on top of the one they had with potential First Husband Bill and his complete and utter fuck up.

I used to think of Bill Clinton as being this great political operative. Clearly, he's not. He's just a stupid fuck from Arkansas.  Or I guess I could just say, "he's from Arkansas". It's basically the same thing.   (sorry Erik.......you're the exception.)   Bill the Bumbling Buffoon.

While I don't hold any of the State Dept. stuff against Clinton - her, not him - I can't say I have ever warmed up to her in the slightest.

I'm sure I'll vote for her, but she's not making it easy.



Song by: Janis Ian

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Jupiter Rising

By the time this gets posted, Juno, a solar powered spacecraft will have entered Jupiter's orbit.

Taking a five year journey - which really doesn't seem that long for that far - Juno should be in place shortly before midnight.

While there is no way Jupiter can support life, as it has massive gravity and you know, lots of nitrogen and carbon, but no oxygen, for some reason one of Juno's functions is to search for water.

I shouldn't say there is no oxygen, but if it exists, it is scarce.

If the spacecraft finds water it is possible that it's current orbit wasn't original and that the planet formed farther from the sun than where it now resides.

The planet's density and gravity will be measured and can potentially tell if the core is rocky or formed from a collapsed gas cloud.

As with any approach to a planet this whole thing can be for naught:  solar panels might not open, or turn towards the sun to be recharged, it flies to close to the planet and implode (the probe, not the planet), and there is debris (hey, we all saw Gravity) and of course, there is rocket fuel on board, so, you know.....kalboooie.

I'm just intrigued by space travel - as I've said before. I will have to be in bed since it's a work day tomorrow, so I won't be awake for the live NASA feed.

I mean, I'm sure I'll be awake.  People are setting off M80s for days, disturbing poor Sophie....and keeping me from getting a good nights sleep.

Thank heave at 22:00, it's pouring rain.  Maybe it will continue and keep that BOOMs down to minimum.



Song by:  Emmylou Harris

Monday, July 04, 2016

Liberty

I am at a loss this 4th. This Independence Day.

Is there any independence these days?  Quite the opposite actually, with the potential to be even less so.



Making America Great Again.

Please, won't someone tell me what that means.

When exactly was this mythical time?

Was that when "we" were fire hosing or lynching people of colour? Was that when "we" passed along venereal diseases to the natives of this country - before we slaughtered them and stole the land? Perhaps it was that one time since 1775 when we haven't been at war?  Or that time we were oppressing the Jews? Blacks? Irish? Women? Gays?

Maybe that 'great' time was when men wore suits, had 2.3 kids a job and they weren't fat fucking retards with their guns, 4x4s and GEDs.

Of course, what they really mean is that great = white.


And at least Rick Tyler is saying what (t)Rump won't actually come out and say -though he clearly means it. Donny doesn't want to offend his "African-American over there".  As much as I'd loathe a man like Tyler, I'll give it up for him being honest.

And besides the white aspect, let's be clear, they mean .....christian....and straight....and male. Because that is what 'they' really mean by 'great'.

Still - this is what America has become: the dumbing down of......well.....everything.

I am, and never was, the most patriotic guy, but never in a kerjillion year would I ever have thought we could have sunk to the level at which we currently reside. And I don't even think we've hit rock bottom..........yet.

Well.......at least I'm white and male. 




Song by:  Duran Duran

My Music Monday

When it comes to themes, Erik might have selected the most difficult - and specific - one yet.

Songs about tattoos. Not necessary in my wheelhouse. But he complicated matters of that the songs had to be pre-1990.

He may as well have said and the lead singers must also be right handed with a blood type of A-.

I won't lie - this will be a stretch. Not that the post 1990 would help me that much. A Sade song. And apparently, just using any song from the Stones' Tattoo You won't help. No actual songs with the word in any of them.

And paybacks are hell.  For August I'll have to be extremely clever...............and cruel.

My first stab is a lesser known song from the Who, from the Who Sell Out.