Friday, December 09, 2016

Opening

Tonight is my cousin David's opening for his art show.

Well, it's Cleveland opening.

He's already had successful shows in New York and Boston. Now it's time to bring it on home.

I am a fan of the work - and not just because he's family or a friend. He also has a good eye.  You'd actually like to see that more in artists, but I fear most only think they have a good eye - regardless of their medium.

So, assuming weather cooperates - as temps plunged here and there are snow advisories everywhere - I think David will have a good turn out.

Mind you, he has already secured his own minyan. The cousins are congregating - Scottsdale, Portland, Los Angeles, New York...and Cleveland are all represented.

I'm very excited by this.

I see some of them some of the time. But let's face it, you only see all of them some of the time when it comes to thinks like certain birthdays or weddings or funerals. It is the nature of the beast when it comes to getting older and all leading our own lives.

The weekend is planned. Dinners, yoga, possible brunch.....and however much we can stand each other while the out-of-towners want to do non-family things. And rightfully so. They don't get back here a lot.

So I'm sure there will be a follow-up post. Not sure when, but......

Maybe I'll be able to lose this bandage on my head before I see them tomorrow evening for art, drink and food.



Oh yes, the bandage from last week is still there. At least until Monday.

Let me rephrase:  the suture is there until Monday. The bandage might go before that - like today. But then some moron (me) accidentally took the sutures out last Monday. And so, last Monday afternoon I was back in the doc's office while he sewed me back up. He asked if i wanted numb, but I declined. It wasn't horrible. But he triple secured it with multiple layers of bandages.....of which I'm down to one.

I know I'm vain (hey, I went to a plastic surgeon) but I'm not going to have pictures of me with my cousins with white steri-strips plastered in the center of my forehead.



Song by: Linkin Park

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Flame of the Uninspired

As Dr. Spo would say, the muses have abandoned me.

I feared it yesterday too, when I did a Shopping with Blobby segment within the first week of the month.

I could write about the Dakota pipeline, I suppose. It seems like a victory, but Dump (who allegedly has $$$ invested in one of the companies building it) could reverse the current administration's ruling.

I could write about how petty Dump is - after the Boeing CEO says something unflattering about Dump's trade policies......and then tweets about cancelling the new Air Force One - which shouldn't even be Dump's decision. And I'm not sure it is. It's a security issue, and not even for the incoming president. He's just a bitter, thin-skinned bully.

I'm not in a holiday mood...at least yet. I haven't been for the last few years. At all.  I could write about that.

But I'm not.  Not today.

Today - it's kind of a day off.


Kind of.


Song by: k.d. lang


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!



"Gee Your Hair Smells Afterbirth-y" 


....and red.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Choices

.....and the cabinet choices just keep getting more and more fucked up.

Will anyone on the right side of the Senate publicly admit how astoundingly unqualified Ben Carson is to head up anything, let along HUD?

The one - and only - thing I've heard as the 'plus' is that he grew up in public housing. So did a billion crack addicts. So by that logic, there should be a billion people to be a shoe-in for the job.

Carson is a man who claims 'poverty is a choice'.

It is a choice.

That is, if those people voted Republican only to see high income earners get their taxes cuts. Or their chance of earning a living minimum gets blocked by a GOP majority.  Or if the ACA is repealed, leaving people to pay out of pocket for out of control medical expenses. Then yes, their poverty is by design.

I was laughing (well.....internally) listening to NPR last evening as they dissected the choice of Ben Carson. Some poor woman had the task of being as diplomatic as possible touching on his qualifications - or as the host so aptly put it "or to be clearer....his lack thereof"

The woman basically started off each sentence with "the thing is....." and then would launch into this or that. What she really wanted to say but couldn't was:  "the thing is......we're all fucked".

And we are.

Of course, I don't get Carson either. Dump called compared him to a child molester and said he had a pathological temper. How do you overlook shit like that?



But can we just mention the possibility of  General David Petraeus for Secretary of State?

Oh that's right, calling him 'General' is like HRH when you're dethroned. You don't get to keep that title.

Yes, let's see........who held the position of Secretary of State who was accused, but never found credible evidence, of sharing classified documents?  Who......who....who........?

Oh that's right. Hillary.

Yet Patraeus is actually no longer a general for actually sharing, and being actually convicted for, releasing / sharing /giving classified government / military information out.....on purpose.

Dump - who thinks thought Crooked Hillary should go to jail for not being convicted for that alleged crime clearly has no sense of irony.

Nor does anyone even truly consider that Patraeus would have to clear it with his parole officer before he could take a trip outside of North Carolina........you know, to Syria or Kyrgyzstan a huge problem. I would love to be the minimum wage earning parole officer who denies that request.

Let's face it: when Edward Snowden (who I still think is a douche) thinks that Patraeus gave away more secret information than himself - well, that kind of says a lot.

Yes, bad choices do make great stories.  It's a shame this country won't be standing when it's all over to exchange any of them.



Song by: Leonard Cohen

Monday, December 05, 2016

My Music Monday

My month for the theme.

I don't know if I went easy or hard (that's what she said), but I went with 'live' music.

I suppose that could be construed a few different ways - though I haven't quite thought it out.

There is the ubiquitous concert setting recording. But there are the studio recordings done live - no overdubs, no frills, all tracked live. We will see how it goes. My original thought was the concert takes.

And that is what I'm doing with Round 1.

Back in 1988, I believe Depeche Mode had the largest audience ever for a U.S. concert (maybe not more than Woodstock?) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. From that concert came their live album 101.

I found the album to be so-so, but their live version of "Everything Counts" stood out to be way way better than the studio version.   .....my opinion of course.

To be completely transparent, it was when "Everything Counts" rotated though my iTunes the other day is when I came up with the theme. I used the theme to share the song, and now I'm stuck with three more weeks of live music.

I'll really try not to make it suck.


Sunday, December 04, 2016

As Girls Go

Mrs. Kim does not approve.

...and rightfully so.


Gilmore Girls reboot was a big yawn. And an uncomfortable yawn at that.

Yes, I'm not too insecure in my masculinity to say that I used to watch the original show. It was well timed, for the most part well-acted, and had a bunch of eccentrics, but it was the very left of center cultural references that made me laugh.

Well, that and Paris Geller...........and Emily Gilmore......and even more so, her mother-in-law, Loreli Gilmore....or Trix, as she was called (and played by Marion Ross).

The show may have centered around the younger Loreli and her daughter Rory(also formally named Loreli), but the stand-outs were always Emily and Paris.

Rebooting the show for four 90-minute segments 10 years after going off the air, because it ended with a thud, was great in theory, but in practice....ehhh......I'm not as enthusiastic.

"Forced" is the best way I can describe the six hours of non-stop partial walk-ons by almost every single character that appeared over seven seasons. And if that wasn't enough, they had to have cameos by other shows that that stars or show creator had been involved with since.

....and worse:  Rachael Ray.

For Becky and her family, it became a drinking bingo game.


The sad thing is Becky didn't make the game hard enough, though I'm not sure she could have. You could have almost gotten every block filled in the first 90 minutes.  Maybe the first 45.

Paris and Emily could not save this debacle......though Emily (Kelly Bishop) almost did with her rant while sitting at a DAR meeting. By this time, it was too little too late.

But I come back to forced. First the fictional town of Stars Hollow has 145 people - all of whom had played a part over the series. Then were was the folks at Rory's high school and college. And Loreli's employees and past boyfriends. Now - all had to make an appearance with a shoehorned quip or line that seemed out of place or crammed in just to get the person to participate.

.....and worse: Rachael Ray.

Actually, the most touted appearance was the most painful: Melissa McCarthy.

The scene, the dialogue, the uncomfortability of the entire scene was just poorly executed. But so were most of the scenes with Paris, which was the most unfortunate.

I don't like how they just ignored Ms. Patty's lap band surgery - or her terminal illness. But they never explained how Suki snuck into the Inn with (or made) 15 cakes without anyone noticing. Nor did they explain how Luke put Rory's New Yorker article on the back of his menu.  Have you seen the length of a standard article in the New Yorker? Have you seen the size of a standard menu? It would have had to be 2 point font.

Even Rory's old boyfriends were paraded about....some for just a brief moment. At least my favourite, Logan, was one of the few cast members to appear in all four installments.

I do think the Gilmore Girls reboot had potential, but it was not well done. The show was always fast paced, but this was super-speeded to get too much / so much in and rarely for a good reason. It became somewhat convoluted.

So no, Mrs Kim does not approve.  Nor does Mr. Kim.   Oh yes, there is a Mr. Kim, but......that's another story



Song by: Suzanne Vega

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Feels Like Home

Cruddy work week - but it's always great to come home to the pets.  Shep is always so frickin' excited to see us. It's a nice feeling.


The door damage was from the previous house owner's dog. Not Shep, never Shep. 
Ok.....maybe a little bit Shep. 

Shep waiting for his doggie friends. 
The dog walker comes by at noon-ish with 3-4 canine buds. 

The man is not discerning when it comes to his drink. 

Much like his father. 

Shep can sleep anywhere. He's like a cat that way. 

710's sweatshirt? Window seat over the radiator?  Done and done!

I just know they'll be best pals..............eventually. 



Song by: Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt

Friday, December 02, 2016

Plastic

"What's that bindi on your head?"

From most people, I'd have been aghast, or faux-aghast. But it was Becky, so I just shrugged.  It was an hour after she arrived, so she actually got points for waiting so long to form the question.

I find it hard to believe with the pictures I post that since March or April you folks have not noticed it too.  It's right there to your left.........see?  You've been awfully nice not to point it out - - - unlike some people.

Honestly, the bump appeared overnight. Or almost so.

I don't see it in Georty's wedding reception pictures in March, but do see it in some April ones.

Now, I'm not saying same-sex marriage - specifically Georty's - is a sin against nature and manifested itself in some hideous boil on the center of my forehead. But I'm not not saying it either.

Sure I partook from the open bar maybe more than I should have, but is that a reason to smite me?

So, after having to see myself in the mirror every fucking day with this on my head, I finally caved and went to a dermatologist.  While he would not take 'no' for an answer on a mole check (I'm fine there), he finally did look at the my head.....he determined it was a cyst or lipoma.  Yes, he could remove it but there'd be a scar.

I asked if he could make the scar into the shape of a lightening bolt - he never looked up from my chart and just deadpanned, "yeah.....that'd be great".  

I don't think he meant it.

Anyhoo.....he said while he could do it, he suggest a plastic surgeon who could do much better with the incision / scar.

.....and yesterday was the day.

My first plastic surgery.

If the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are any indication, it won't be my last. They make it sound great and very addicting!

The nurses and doctor were great.....though I barely got much more reaction from my lightening bolt comment to this doc as I did from the last.  "I only do straight lines".   Buzzkill.

I won't say he tried to talk me out of it, but he kept mentioning there'd be a scar. Chicks dig scars....and it had to be better than looking at Io orbiting this fucking planet called my head. I may have left out the adjective.

Doc cam back to numb me up. All in all it was probably 15-16 injections to part of my forehead. Only three hurt, but fuck did they hurt. But I took it like a man.  They left me alone for 20 minutes for the injections to take full effect.  And if I thought the mass looked bad before, the shots made it angry.


Fuck that's frightening.

A few minutes later I was back in the procedure room.

I wasn't able to take pics in there - because you know I would - mostly because I was in the chair, reclined with sterile dressing all over my face, including my eyes, and it also covered my shirt pocket where I kept my phone.

The doc asked what kind of music I wanted to hear. He did laugh when I said, "anything but hard-core rap or speed metal".  I honestly didn't care. I wanted him to like the music. He was the one with the scalpel.

I felt no pain, but could feel pressure and tugging. I thought the doc would talk about what he was doing, but he didn't. Now and then I'd feel him dab my brow, but I fear he was just cleaning up blood. Soon enough - 10 minutes? - I surmised he was suturing my head. I couldn't feel it.

I axed what it was, and he thought it was a lipoma, but it would be biopsied. I asked, still under the sterile dressing, for what it might be biopsied and he hesitated. I am the one who said tumor and then told him the quick tale of me going in for my appendix and coming out with bone cancer - so I was fine with hearing the worse case scenario.  He was quick to tell me it was most likely not a tumor as by my own admission the thing remained the same size for the last six months.

He dutifully ignored my suggestion of taping a 4x4 gauze pad to my head with blood soaking through it so I could go into the lobby that way. He put a flesh coloured steri-strip and I said, well at least now I can say, "you should see the other guy!"  

I'm sure there will be a knee slap and chortle in there while I deliver that line.

I learned how to wash and stuff. Really I just wait to have the suture removed in a week or so, but the bandage should stay on, but I feel it's going to look ratty in a week's time.


710 came home and it took him 20 minutes to notice I even had it done. Maybe he's just not that observant.

The doc and I talked about swelling, but I didn't think to ask about pain.


O.  M.  F.  G.  

It's safe to say, I'll have to be good for the next few days. I won't be able to roll my eyes at people's stupid comments. I won't be able to facially cringe at anything. I'll have to act like I have had Botox without actually having Botox.

But at least now you can say to me, "does your face hurt......?" 

....because....yes.......yes it does.




Song by: New Order

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Tree of Life

Happy World AIDS Day?

I know a few hundred folks (ok, maybe I'm rounding up a bit), who are still around when 20 years ago they might not have been.

I have not polled any of them, but I'll venture to say they're fairly happy. While they might not 'celebrate' the day, but in possibly small ways, they celebrate it every single day.

I am well passed half my life - even by my family's longevity - but I feel it's unlikely there will be a cure while I walk this earth.

Every so often a story circulates about a gene that can be modified to kill the AIDS virus. Or someone who no longer has the virus and has been free of it for x amount of time. Or there is a breakthrough in the lab on a medication.

All are encouraging on some level, but none of them seem to quite pan out. That is what labs and science are for - trial and error.

But HIV and AIDS is a tricky thing. Maybe there will never be a universal cure. Maybe it will be like cancer - some are cured, some in remission and some about which one just can't do anything.

Like anything, it's about managing expectations. The good news is, with proper care and medications (and a health plan that will cover both), survival and fewer adverse reactions exist.

So yes - Happy World AIDS Day.  ....at least as long it's not a 3rd world country who doesn't have the advantages we experience. Let's hope our advances can become theirs as well.


Song by: Todd Herzog

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Vowels

Last night I took 710 and two of our friends to a lecture series.

Mind you - it was free, but I still had to secure tickets....and print them, so.......

The topic was Lincoln. As in Abraham, not the car.

I've been to a few on this - most notably by Doris Kearns Goodwin, who wrote Team of Rivals on Lincoln....and became the model for Spielberg's film, Lincoln.

That screenplay was written by Tony Kushner, who was one of the speakers. The other was Sarah Vowell.

Kushner is probably better known for writing Angels in America. Vowell, while an accomplished writer and contributor to This American Life, is probably best known for being the voice of Violet Parr in the Incredibles.

But Vowell did write Assassination Vacation - about visiting presidential locations of former presidents who were killed in office and conveying it in a humourous but relatable perspective.

Vowell usually appears with the likes of David Sedaris, another This American Life contributor. So the pairing of her and Kushner was too hard to say 'no' to.

While both are writers - clearly - they are just as much historians. The depth of their knowledge on Lincoln, down to almost every one of his speeches was astounding. They knew his cabinet, his detractors, his travels and family relationships. Kushner did more than just translate Goodwin's book into a movie.

Vowell had great humour and injected some facts with fun - and her delivery was great.

As you'd expect / suspect there were tie-ins to the current political climate - and how the GOP claims to be the party of Lincoln. As if.

They discussed how people complained there are/were no good candidates anymore, when in reality, the ones we saw were on par with most and there have only been a few stand-outs.

But Vowell and Kushner both mentioned Lincoln's Lyceum speech, where Abe himself foretold that a tyrant would overtake the American political system from within.

Truth.

It was a very enjoyable 90 minutes....and could have gone on another 90.

I don't think they 'tour' together, as this was the first time they'd been on stage at the same time, but if they do, you should see them. It was a great evening.



Song by: Capital Cities

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Give Me Your Eyes

This one comes from Torn at Sticky Crows - via Facebook.

It is profoundly one of the most disturbing things I have ever ever ever heard / read.

I'd say it can be summed up in four words:

Cows. Eyes. Anus. Smuggle.

Not necessarily in that order.

But the "joke" is while it can be summed up in those four words - it is soooo much more.



I could go into detail, but it is probably better if you read the story yourself.

Don't say I didn't warn you.







oh crap - it's a fake story.  I hate getting taken in by that.



Song by: the Cardigans

Monday, November 28, 2016

My Music Monday

This is the last of my entries for destination cities. Oddly, it's one to which I've never been: Atlantic City.

I have had no reason, or use, to head to that part of the Jersey shore.

Allegedly the town had its heyday, but from every story, picture, movie, it sounds like a depressing and depressed locale.

Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City" takes on that tone. Actually, so does his entire album, Nebraska.

That said, the album is one of his best - and his only true solo album. Not only was he without the E Street Band, Springsteen produced, wrote and played every instrument.

The song is raw and minimal in terms of production, but it fits the music, the time and the album themes. It certainly fits Atlantic City itself.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ad of the Month

I'm trying to be a bit more consistent with my Ad of the Month segments. I think today makes the 4th this year.

On a grading scale, that sucks.

This month's ad is a male poo one.  And it has Mark Cuban - so it hits all the marks, no?

Let's face it - there are tons return on investment went it comes to scatological humour. My possible favourite part is the birdhouse hole which they subtly equate to a butthole. I mean, I'm assuming.

Well, that and the constant "take it to the hole" line.

That said - I'm not sure one of those wipes is up to the job and a replacement.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Come Together

It's that time of the week, some of you have been clamouring for - since my political posts are too real; too depressing.

I get it.  I figure as painful as those can be, it's better than sweeping it under the rug, as we need to keep vigilant.

The week should end on cuteness. So let it be written, so let it be told.......


Bad picture, bad lighting. But Sophie and Shep face-to-face. 
Sure, there's some hissing and barking, but they're finding their way. 

Sophie puts up with the jumping on the chair and Shep's basic bull in a china shop. 
She finally gave him a big whap yesterday. It did nothing. 

Shep is quite quite comfortable sleeping upstairs with us now. He has made it his own. 
And probably rightfully so.  

Now that Sophie has decided to not let Shep seclude her upstairs, she's back to cuddling as needed. I'm happy to give her as many kisses as she needs / wants. 

....and she and Shep have their moments - close by and quiet. We are getting there. 



Song by: the Beatles

Friday, November 25, 2016

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!



Ohhhhh My.

Here is my guess on why dog toys these days look like gay marital aids:

The return on investment to make big, fat dildos isn't where it needs to be. I mean, think about it - someone had to design, build and install equipment that heats some rubber / plastic goo, squirt it in to a mold and then cool, release and package the product.

That's gotta be pretty pricey.

I didn't even factor in overhead: rent, utilities, staffing, shipping and marketing.

Sure the materials for said 'do {that's short for dildo} is pennies on the dollar. It's all the incidentals that drive your butt toy (well, I guess it could be a vag toy too) into the $30 range.  And you'd have to sell a lot of them.

So you just double your production and have a secondary market / packaging system ready to go: dogs.

And you know the pet industry is like a $40 Kerjillion dollar business annually........I said "annually", not "anally". Pervs.

The joke is, if any of this is true, the pet part probably makes more profit than it does for the Adultmart portion. Cuz let's face it - people spend way more money on Spot than they do on sex.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

the Thanks I Get

Allegedly, yesterday traditionally is the heaviest drinking day of the year.

Naturally, I am skeptical, as I saw no data. If there isn't a spreadsheet with a pivot table, I'm basically calling you a liar.

On the hypothetical - of course it could be the heaviest alcohol consumption day, or at least in the top 5.

Fuck - if I had to deal with travel, be it airports or on the road, to head to family and a sub par meal experience, I'd be tipping back a few myself.

As it is, the farthest I have to travel is to my mothers, 40 minutes away.

The plan was to go to 710's hometown to have dinner with his father, but that got changed, so now we will be in town.  Sigh.

I was kind of hoping to go away, not that I wanted Shep to go to a kennel again. There are hotels that allow dogs, but I don't think you can leave them in the room unattended while you're out to dinner. And right now, Shep barks for a bit when we leave.

The entire family won't be at my mother's......thank Yahweh.....as I just can't deal with most of them, especially post-election.

Oh yes, make no mistake, I can guarantee that at least two of my sisters and their husbands voted for Tweedle Dump. That's just the icing on the cake of wanting to avoid them. I half think (ok, three-quarters) they bailed on my mother's (one which has never done that), as plans for avoiding me.

I can only say, she beat me to the punch, because going to the father-in-laws was my plan to avoid her.

The big takeaway though is my nephew will be home since the first time he moved away last February. I'm a little excited to see him. I am very excited for him to meet Shep.

Oh, and my uncle who turned 96 (!!!!) yesterday will be there.  I suppose that's another reason to drink. Maybe not for him, as it could kill him.

I'll be chauffeuring a pooch to and fro from Nana's house tomorrow, so there will be little drinking for me. He's our 'precious cargo on board' , so I'll remain sober and stick to like two glasses of wine early on in the evening.

So starting today, it's a four-day weekend. Shopping is out of the question, but would one or two movies be?  I'm hoping not.

In reality, we will probably do the last of our leaves.

Sad.


Anyways - I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving, however (or if) you celebrate. Don't overdo it....on food. It's really quite bland, so save it for something good.



Song by: Wilco

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Distractions

I think you all know I'm down on Dump.

Save one anonymous reader (who swears he/she is never coming back....but then does), I dare say the rest of you are in my camp on this.

Still that said, I don't underestimate the man. He might technically not have written the Art of the Deal, but he clearly got someone to believe he did, and got it published. He might technically not be qualified to be in the White House, but hey.......we all know how that ended.

As we've seen in interview after interview and debate after debate with him, it's the art of not saying anything and distraction that got him where he is. He has little to no plans for anything, but that didn't stop him from getting elected.

And now alllllllll anyone can talk about is that fucking play, Hamilton.

Tons of memes with Abraham Lincoln bemoaning Pence's horrible encounter in a theater. But it was Dump himself who silently made the biggest wave.

No.  No.  Not that he was silent about Hamilton.  He was quite vocal about it. Too vocal, in fact.



And that is why.

He very effectively shut down any discussion on his $25MM payout for fraud - while admitting no guilt. Yes, because 'innocent' people always part with $25MM.

Still, any asshole with a keyboard, a Facebook or Twitter account and the ability to upload a hi-larious picture of Pence at a B'way play took part in the quelling of a president-elect involved in a high-priced law suit.

And he got away with it.   Easily.

If people actually noticed this - which most did not - they should be fucking frightened more than they already are. But they were too busy coming up with Pence Plays on Broadway titles.

Dump has already gotten away with making calls to sitting heads of state on non-secured phone lines with Qusay and Uday at his side . Ivanka is sitting in with diplomatic meetings and potential cabinet members. I doubt they all want to purchase her $10,000 bracelets. Dump's DHS potential nominee walked out of a meeting in Dump Dower with policy paperwork in hand - for anyone with a telephoto lens to see.  ....and they did...and embiggned it.

Dump is testing the waters, and getting in quite deep, on any (and many) conflict of interests matters.

And no one is pushing back.


No. One.


He doesn't even have to rewrite laws to get his own way. I have yet to see anyone - or anyone of influence - protest a thing.

Admittedly, I'm not fan of Hillary Clinton, but she was raked over the coals for less. But that is what misogyny looks like, I guess.

I can honestly say, "I don't get it" .  Because I don't.




Song by: Sia

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

the Beast

We are on the road to 25 - though I suspect I might have wasted an opportunity with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - the offshoot of the Harry Potter series.

I had little idea of what to expect, which isn't necessarily a bad thing

I am about 63% sure the movie wasn't meant to be a commentary today's U.S. political climate, but you never know.

Even the President of Magic (the U.S. doesn't have ministries) is female. I guess that was wishful thinking on J.K. Rowling's part. And she's black. Man, Rowling must love jabbing the alt-right.

With a very general overview - a Hogwarts schooled wizard makes it to the U.S. (New York City, specifically), and encounters issues with the U.S. wizarding world. This is set in the late 1920s, decades before James and Lily Potter would bite it in Godric's Hollow.

Save a character name or two, there is little to no crossover to Harry Potter, though clearly the distance a wizard can appirate is a very limited - as Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) takes a steam ship across the Atlantic.

While I've since read reviews since seeing the movie two days ago, not one seems to mention the not so underlying tones of communism and / or the House investigation to unAmerican activities? The irony being that Arthur Miller covered this with a story about witches as the analogy - and here we are at a witch movie covering it again, though Miller did it much much better.

And I do say 'underlying' as the story itself is not the strongest. It seems the movie is built around special effects with a story sewed in between. While we have opted to stop seeing 3-D movies, as most of them are just not worth it - this one was 3-D (based on the timing of going) and it was not worth it.

The acting is stiff - at best. I'm a little over Redmayne's Autism Spectrum Acting Method. There is only so much non-eye contact, heavy blinking, stammering and sheepish delivery one can do and call it 'craft'. I did find it fascinating that Queenie, one of the witches, looks very very similar to Redmayne's "Lili" in the Danish Girl.

The main auror in the story, Tina Goldstein (the wizarding world's first Jew!) is played by a lesser man's Maura Tirney. The resemblence was eerie, but there was no depth to her character, or at least she brought none. But that's true of most everyone. The witching president couldn't have been more wooden if she'd been Pinocchio.

In what world is it possible I'd see two movies in a calendar year with Colin Farrell? I will say, he dresses up nice, but his performance was flat too. He had much more range in the Lobster - and he was a beaten down man for most of that. But he's sure nice to look at.

There were two stand-outs (at least for me), Dan Fogler's Kowalski was done well and he pretty much made the movie. The unexpected performance was from woman who played Queenie. She was part Ann Margrock, part Marilyn Monroe. I guess she was more Ginger from Gilligan but with a wholesome sluttiness, unlike that island tease! But where her character could have been annoying, she was very enchanting.

I had wanted to see the movie, and I'm glad I experienced it. The creative team is the one behind the last four Harry Potter films, so the visually there are a lot of similarities.

My understanding is that Fantastic Beasts came from a 180 page story Rowling wrote.....and from said story, they are to eke out two more movies!!!!!  EEEEK.

Perhaps this was just the set-up for better things. It would almost have to be.

I haven't checked on how it's doing at the box office, but if our showing was any indication.....yikes. We had six others in the theater with us. Our showing didn't even pay the minimum wage salaries for the ticket dispensing chick, the two folks behind the counter, or the person to press 'play' to get the movie to start.

Visually, the film was well done, but substance-wise? Meh. They're gonna have to try a lot harder next time......and apparently, the time after that.



2016 Movie Count / Goal:  22 of 18


Song by: Blondie

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Music Monday

Particular cities is the topic.

How young and pretty Chris Isaak was.

Yes. Pretty. He's handsome too, but in the official video for his title track to San Francisco Days, he is just downright pretty.

....and young.

Mind you, the disk was released {gulp} 23 year ago, but still.

While "San Francisco Days" is an underrated song for sure, it doesn't rank in my top 20. But that's not a bad thing. It's a good song, but he has a LOT of good songs.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Erase / Replace

Yesterday was not Blobby's day.  No indeed.

Let's almost forget that two days ago we had a record high  - 74 degrees.  In November! The next day (yesterday), it was 32. And snow. And sleet. And lightening and thunder.

No - it was just one of those times that one is scheduled on the Karma Klock. One of those things we all go through and my time was up.

I lost my wallet.

Fuck.

I had it at the gym. I had it post-gym, as I got a tea.  ...and then I got home and it was nowhere to be seen.

Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck.

I searched the car - in case.  I searched the garage - just in case. I even traced a walk I took after getting home to see an accident on the hill.  All were for not.

I made a call to Starbucks, but they claim no one turned it in. Even if they did - I'm guessing the $43 wouldn't be with it.

As annoying as missing the cash is - it was more the credit cards and especially the driver's license that got my goat.

American Express and the bank were great....and easy. As it was past noon, I figured I missed my opportunity for the DMV and that I'd be illegally driving for the next few days until I could get there to replace my license. But a quick look on-line said a few were open until 14:00 or 15:00.

Lies.

Well, partial lies. The first one - the closest - was indeed closed at noon. The other one, this time after calling, was open until 14:00.  We arrived at 13:35.

The thing about a missing wallet is you're kind of useless. 710 had to drive (as I had no license) and had to pay for the new one (as I had no cash and no means to get any). Chauffeured and given $$$$ ? What's not to love about this?

Still, the DMV is what Emma Lazarus was talking about: the tired, poor and huddled masses. And lord did I yearn to be free!

I 'joked' with 710, that I'm just back from the gym on a cold cold day and I didn't think I was camera ready.

The paperwork was painless, and even though I brought the two IDs the website told me, they didn't even look at my passport. Mostly, it was a lot of sitting around and waiting. And watching human behaviour.  The woman next to us arguing with her mother on the phone, while the mother argued with the electric company. Or the people who actually entered at 13:59. Who does this?  I thought I was pushing it by getting there 25 minutes before closing.

....and there wasn't a cute guy to be seen.

Finally, they call me to get my picture taken. This was another keen observation by me. I think.  But true to the Dump manifesto, it's part racist and part misogynistic. Save 710 and myself, there was only one other caucasian person in the DMV - including the workers.

I'm getting the questions the clerks ask: organ donation, living will, etc. Or my second favourite: "are you legally allowed to be driving and had a valid driver's license?"   Ummm......honey, doesn't your screen tell you that? Cuz I'm guessing it does. If not, then fuck - everyone who has a suspended license should hightail it to the DMV.

But then they keep focusing on my favourite part: "are you habitually using or abusing alcohol or prescription or illegal drugs?"  Who the fuck answers to the affirmative on this?

As I waited and waited and waited, I watched the women getting their license and taking multiple photos - until they found one they liked.

Honest to g-d, this one chick said, "no....let's do it again, that makes me look fat".  Honey - it is a face shot. The camera don't lie - or add 10lbs.  Those are the Mars bars you've been eating.

Even the clerk to the woman right before me:  "you have such a nice smile, let's do it again, and show everyone that smile." And then turning around the monitor - "see?". 

I'm thinking,  'I could have been out of here 10 minutes ago if it weren't being treated like a model shoot.

So now it's my turn - and just a reminder, I'm the only white person and the only guy.

"Look here".   {flash}  "Ok....you're done". 


OUCH!

A. I was correct: I was not camera ready.
B. Losing the wallet and now this = insult to injury.
C. I totally get all those questions asking if I habitually used drugs & alcohol.


But fuck - now I know why Dump is all about how hard it is for the white male. We don't get do-overs.

.....I mean he did, obvi.

But the rest of us don't have that luxury.



Oh - and I (well, 710) had to buy me a new wallet to house my new license. My cousin David will be happy about that, as he thinks my old wallet rivaled George Costanza's.




Song by: Foo Fighters

Saturday, November 19, 2016

My Side of the Bed

One more week = one more week of Shep Love.

No pictures of Sophie, but they have more and more encounters. Sophie purposefully lets herself get 'trapped' in corners. I am not sure what her game is, but she has yet to whap him - though I think she should.
Shep in the office.  Knocked out. 

The leash is part of his training. We need to use it to get his attention. It's not a forever thing. 

Oh - Shep found upstairs. 

And he found that little springy - door thingy too.  ....so that's fun. 

 Shep with his best buddy - Kooper.  

It was a random meet-up when both were getting walks. There were two other dogs there as well, but they ignored them in favour of playing with each other. Such a clique. 

Oh - yes, Shep didn't just find upstairs - but the bed too. 

We totally caved. 

I'd love for Shep to use his own bed upstairs, but as it is, he sleeps between 710 and myself and Sophie sleeps to the left of me. I have very little space and I don't seem to mind a bit. 

He won the war of sleeping upstairs, but the battle for my side of the bed rages on. 

That and trying to get him to sleep parallel and not perpendicular would be helpful.





Song by: Susanna Hoffs

Friday, November 18, 2016

Walk Outside

You know this hill.

It's the one where cars go off the road, over the sidewalk and up into our yard.

Walking up or down the hill is not for pussies. Clearly there is real danger.

But walking it twice per day, I have.

So, first of the week 710's fairly brand new car conked out in the driveway as he tried to leave early for work.

D-E-D. Dead.

He came back in and thought I could help him push it so it could get to the street. You see, where he was in the drive was a place that I could not get my car around. He thought at least if it was parked on the street, I could go and the tow truck could fetch it easier.

Silly man.

It is impossible to put the new BMWs in to neutral.

This is great as a theft deterrent. But it kind of blows when you have a stalled car that needs to be moved.

As I did have to go to work, 710 said to just get an Uber. I wasn't doing that. I said I'd walk.

And I did.

As the crow flies, it's a short distance, but as a city planner isn't a crow, the walk is about two miles.

The "problem" isn't walking up the hill on my way home. It's more never racking walking down, with your back to the traffic as it ignores the 35mph by at least 15. There's no place to go if a car jumps the curb.

On the other hand, I'd never see it coming so I wouldn't be darting out of the way.

As it turned out, as soon as the tow truck came, 710 did go to work........in my car. While BMW "forgot" to contact him about a loaner, in the big scheme of things, it was no big deal. For this entire week, I just walked to and from work.  Well, one day 710 did pick me up. He was getting home later than normal - and I got stuck at work. So he was five minutes from my place and he swung by (in my car) to get me.

I know I can work long hours and I know I pay for parking, but honestly, if the weather cooperates, I am fine walking to work more often. It hasn't hurt that it's mid November and while 40 on my morning walk (in the dark), it's upper 50s on my walk home.  I do like this climate change.


On a side note: I am crushing my 10,000 steps a day goal with all of this.



Song by: Marti Jones & Don Dixon

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Iron Man

Six.

That's the number of years we've been "married".

I'm not sure I want to do an annual anniversary post - even though I've done one each year since our DC wedding.

A friend of mine, and ex-roommate of 710, had posted on Facebook that he and his husband were celebrating their third anniversary and probably the last one that would legally recognized.

I'm not so sure of that.

I know Dump said on 60 Minutes that same-sex marriage is "settled law", but is it? I mean - what does that even fucking mean?

Prohibition was settled law until it wasn't, then was, then was again. Wade v Roe is "settled law"that 43 years later some are still trying to overturn. Nothing is certain.

Factions outside of Dump are hoping to bend his ear on this - be it the Liberty Council, NOM or Family Research Council - trying to get him to reverse Obergefell,

The thing is - overturning it is doable, but not easy. And Dump cannot do it. It would be back to the Supreme Court. It would be him picking a justice that could sway the court (not that Scalia had that power). It would take having a case against same-sex marriage making it's way through the lower courts, appeals and circuit ones.....and then to the Supreme Court.

I never take 710's and my marriage for granted. While we've been together for far longer than our six years of marriage, it is somewhat nice to be recognized in the eyes of the law.

The weather today will be close to the DC day we had. Sun, clear skies and 60 degrees. The internets say it is our Iron anniversary - though one site said it was Candy.

Give the choice, I'd go with the latter.  I'm no fool.  But I'll be damned if I was going to call this post 'Candy Man'.



Song by: the Cardigans

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hyocrite

I've opted to call our new "leader" Dump.  It's a mash-up for sure, but it accurately reflects his persona.  One big stinking pile of dung. Waste, if you will.

For those who don't go back and read comments at my blog - my little anonymous "friend" left one high on his horse (I'm assuming it is a guy - though with no balls) mocking me and saying "thank g-d people made the right choice.  But if election tallies are even remotely correct - the people did make the right choice, as Clinton has more than one million more votes than Dump. So.........no dude.  No.

....oh, and that whole: he's gonna stop reading my blog?  Lies. He should get a job at the Dump White House. Or cleaning the bathrooms at Dump hotel.

Anon guy was right about one thing - I haven't called Dump the 'P' word. Nor do I plan to.

I am happy to show Dump as much respect as he's shown......well.......anyone else.  Not an iota.  Respect gets to be earned - and he hasn't.

You can downplay Steve Bannon up anyway you please, but he's still a racist and there is soon to be another white supremacist in the White House. Then there is Reinhold Priebus (the SS is silent!) as Chief of Staff. That should go well, since he and Dump

After all his complaining that HRC cozied up to the big banks (which, to be honest, was my biggest concern about her) - and he's considering naming a Goldman Sachs putz to head the Treasury.

Worst of all - a man more vile than Dump himself: Fucking Rudy Giuliani as Secretary of State?  Yeah - what are the chances he doesn't utter the words '9/11' at every sit down he has in a foreign land?

And a name brought up for the Supreme Court - and he thinks sex with gays should be illegal even when they do it in their own bedroom.  .....so, there's that.

Of course, there are inherent issues with Dump in his new role. His DC hotel is leased to him by the government - of which he now leads. He has major tax issues - and secrecy - to which, in theory, he can name someone of his choosing to run the IRS. Let's not forget his billions of dollars of loans (read: debt) that he has with China and Germany.

...and he was all up in arms about Hillary's 'pay to play'. That concern may or may not have been legitimate, but with those aforementioned items just listed, his future could be downright blatant fraud.

But there are scarier things:

Mike Pence.  That fucking freakbag could be the one in charge. I mean - Dump will be 70 before taking office. Sure Dump mentions 'locker room talk', but looking at his body, it's fairly safe to assume he's never seen the inside of a gym.  So he might not make it to the end of his first term.

And I wonder if he gave any thought to a second term. There has not been a sitting president in the 20th or 21st century who have not opted to run. If he does, he'd be 78 by the end of his term...assuming he ain't dead.

Speaking of dead - those poor fucking sap on his Secret Service detail.  You just know every morning briefing comes with one of them saying:  "I've gotta take a bullet for that guy?  Fuck My Life." 

So Mr. Anonymous can pretend he's no longer reading my blog - and I can play along with it. But there are posts (like this one), which you know he'll drop the pretense to leave a comment. I don't know what he (or his ilk) will think (or admit to) when Dump doesn't fulfill most of his promises. The wall fence might go up - but not at Mexico's cost.....then now we have a spending issue. Damn that 'more government'!!

For me?  I'm still counting on that bullet and that Secret Service agent who decides to duck.




Song by: Cage the Elephant

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Arrival

Since the adoption of Shep, our moving going had come to a screeching halt.

The last time we ventured out to theater was over two months ago  - two weeks before the arrival of one Mr. Shep.

I kind of thought we'd hit 30 movies this year, way surpassing the goal of 21. And we might have, but now I'm hoping to eke out 25.

We finally took the deep dive on Sunday and went to see Arrival.

I knew very little about the movie - other than who the two main "stars" and that it has good word of mouth.

Yes, stars is in quotes. While I know some of you have great accolades for Amy Adams, for the life of me I cannot figure it out. She's fine and all, but more often then not, her presence and performance is "meh" (and a downright suck-fest in Man of Steel!). And Jeremey Renner - a second (if not third) rate Avenger and a second (if not third) rate Bourne.

I get the good word of mouth part. The movie was well done. A space story that never leaves earth. A potential suspense movie that intrigues and doesn't rely on high intensity drama or over the top special effects. And a storyline that - for the most part - is clever and until far into it, is not what it seems.

Yes, it's science fiction, but I have a hard time suspending some disbelief, though little of it due to science fiction itself - just stupid oversights in moviemaking  - such as a military Chinook helicopter landing in Adams character's front yard. You see the residence in an earlier scene and it's not helipad ready.

Then there is Renner as an experimental physicist  - though there is zero in his character that does one bit of science, let alone physics. At least the guys on Big Bang Theory say stuff a physicist would say. Without too much spoiler - there was one reason he was needed in the movie at all.

Then of course there is the way a civilian seems to get around the military at every level with little to no consequences.

And don't get me started on countries where the spaceships land are thinking of blowing them off the face of the planet.  China? Sure.  Russia? Why not?  USA? Of course.  the Sudan or Sierra Leone?  ummmmm.  They can't even feed themselves and / or have Ebola. I'm not sure they have fire power to defeat aliens that look like Dementors.  (but hey - if it makes a kid looks up 'Sierra Leone', more power to them.)

There is also the typical good guy (Forrest Whitaker), the bad guy and the subversive guy. You just can't do a movie like this without those predictables.

Still - it's the telling of the story - it might not be what it seems. The director (Denis Villeneuve) did a highly underrated job with last year's Sicario and an equally good job here.  He is understated throughout the entire movie and as it turns out hired a great editor - but that goes along with the story.

As sci-fi goes, Arrival is closer to quality with Gravity or the Martian and way better than Interstellar.  As with other movies, it has stronger parts than others - and one horribly cheesy line I saw coming a mile away.

Arrival won't make my top 5 list for they year, but it was solid.



2016 Movie Count / Goal:  21 of 18


Song by: Sting

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Music Monday

Erik's month; Erik's theme: songs about a particular city.

I wasn't (and am not) planning on doing only European cities, but 2 of 2 are just that. This week it is Paris.

I had any number of songs from which to choose, but I went with Morrissey.

In Columbus, CD101 used to have a long running contest: "what would Morrissey do. And the answer is always C :write a song about how lonely and miserable he is.

But that's why I love Morrissey.

And I love(d) his 2009 release, Years of Refusal.  On that disk he had "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris"  ....because nobody needs or wants his love.

Sad. ...and miserable.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 80th 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.

06:05.  All harnessed up and ready for the morning walk.  So is Shep.

 10:35.  Post work out tea-time.....and people watching.

My fave was the average looking couple who couldn't find a table - "so, you just wanna make out in the car in the parking lot?"

11:15.  Time to do leaves - though 710 did most of the work. 

12:40. Winterizing.

Putting in all the storm windows. 

12:53.  Peacekeeper

Sometimes Shep totally ignores Sophie. Sometimes not. This was a 'not' time.

14:55.  Dog Park

Lots of German Shepards this day. 

16:05. Stop by Nana's after the park. Shep patient for a treat.

 17:18.  Leaving my mom's house.

Close to a full moon on the rise.

 17:38. Sunset on Chagrin.

18:05. Supermarket. 

Stopped on the way home from Nana's. Needed milk and other staples. 

18:30.  Time for the trash. 

19:30. Pasta for dinner. 

Invisible pasta, apparently. 


.....now your Baker's Dozen

22:00.  Cookies and Milk.