Monday, January 30, 2012

Home Time

Here's what I've been up to... some home improvement, sweat equity, whatever you want to call it. Sometimes you just have to bear down and do it. The kitty cats (bless their hearts) destroyed almost all of the carpet in the house - a bedroom, staircase and landing. The 2nd bedroom was off limits to them and the rest of the house is tiled. We LOVE tile, especially how it's not destroyed by a few claws and messes. Below is one of the worst corners of carpet, but there were several other spots like this.
This was the entrance to the 'cat room.' There is another ripped spot there on the inside, but this texture pattern and stain came from a piece of plastic office chair mat that we had to place under the door to prevent even more carpet rips, plus Duncan had a habit of peeing on the door -- both sides of it, and frequently. I've have scrubbed it with soap many times, but still... and of course the door paint was in pretty poor shape as well. The entire carpeted area was covered in numerous bad stains, mostly from Alex and his IBD (intestinal troubles, poor thing, couldn't keep much of anything down during his last couple of years).
A decision to replace the carpet meant that it really made sense to also paint... BEFORE a new carpet goes down, and I have been dreading this job because of the really, really high ceilings. At the highest, they are about 20 ft. (~6.1 m). I've got a start on the stair wall here:

Looking upward at the area, partially done. It's almost as much work to take all the stuff down from the walls as it is to paint them... almost.
Here's the color scheme I've picked for the old cat room (soon to be the Polynesian Room), the stair wall and the front living area. Baseboards and doors will be white. We bought zero-VOC paint, which has almost no odor at all, and the carpet is made from recycled bottles or something like that. Anyway, it's 'green'. Sooooo, lots of work done and still ahead for Blueberry, while MrB stays out of the way. This is for the best. I am reasonably handy and he's there for the heavy lifting.

Friday, January 27, 2012

More comedy!

Since so much of what the politicians are saying these days is not followed by "...HA HA! Just kidding!!" I feel that some comic relief is in order. I wanted to share this delightful Colbert 2-part interview with Maurice Sendak.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Getting ready for another weekend featuring a lot of time climbing up and down ladders, and smearing paint on the walls. Hopefully it will be unexciting and uneventful.

Patton Oswalt

Happy birthday to Patton Oswalt, one of my favorite comedians.

Haven't seen his latest movie, Young Adult, but will definitely see it on video. I prefer certain movies on video because of the extra features, deleted scenes, bloopers, and so forth.

Patton on Twitter

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Internet Affairs

Watched these two DVD documentaries, and it was just a coincidence that we ended up with these particular ones during the same week - a coincidence because the subject matter is very similar.
Summary: This is the true story of a love triangle that takes place entirely online. Lies lead to murder in real life, as a teenage vixen (screen name 'talhotblond') lures men into her web. Revealing a shocking true crime story that shows the Internet's power to unleash our most dangerous fantasies.

Tagline: Don't let anyone tell you what it is.
Summary: In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel's brother, Nev. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives. A reality thriller that is a shocking product of our times, Catfish is a riveting story of love, deception and grace within a labyrinth of online intrigue.

They both deal with cyberspace relationships and the pitfalls. Catfish also makes you think of the unique positive opportunities these relationships and social networks can provide - opportunities that didn’t really exist before the internet came along (at least not occurring at lightning speed, and the speed of communications is often what creates the unique situations).

Talhotblond explores the much, much darker areas of human obsession and desire. We’ve kept the conversations going on both of these movies, and don’t agree about everything. Sorry… but I am really trying to avoid posting spoilers – it’s best that you know as little as possible about the content of each one of these before seeing them. We knew nothing about Talhotblond, and had a very big surprise in the end stretch of it. Catfish has had more press, and we had both heard something spoilerish (and couldn’t even share “well, what did you hear?” without possibly spoiling something for the other person). As it turned out, we had both heard the same spoiler, and now we cannot agree whether that tidbit of spoilage was true or not. If you plan on seeing them – don’t use ‘teh google’ first.

If you only see one of them, I would really recommend Talhotblond more.

(If you have a spoilerish comment to leave, please write SPOILER at the beginning of it. Thank you!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

These are real ads

A friend sent me this ad that she actually received through a Groupon promo.
"Part of the joy of getting a new toothbrush is the ability to use the old one to clean hard-to-reach places, such as inside the mouth of a pet piranha." So, I'm wondering how the piranha is going to like listening to this toothbrush once it becomes the old one.

I have to laugh at how some of the images that seem to get randomly picked out of the pile (mis)match up with the ad messages.

Monday, January 09, 2012

TV - Good, Better, Been Better, and Bad

Late to the Party, But All Caught Up and Ready For More

Mad Men (AMC): Love this show, checked the DVD boxsets out of the library and easily watched them marathon-style, now ready for its return sometime this year. Great characters. We hesitated on this one because the trailers did not entice me. An actor friend of mine recommended it to me, and came up with this interview question for someone who wants to be a manager: "Which 'Mad Men' character are you?" If forced to answer that question, I would have to pick Peggy Olson. Which one are you? Another thing I like about Mad Men is that it has an end scheduled after a few more seasons. Things should end before they become pathetic, and I hope that Mad Men goes the distance.

The Walking Dead (AMC): a newly discovered series that we are now caught up with thanks to a box set and a New Year's Eve marathon. (I'd rather watch zombies than Ryan Seacrest.) It has great characters. Very intense. It's nice to be watching Laurie Holden in a series again, and being reminded of Marita Covarrubias and the X-Files.

Doctor Who (BBC/BBCA): For most of my adult life, people have been telling me that I would love Doctor Who, but it never sparked. MrB got me started on Torchwood (the 3rd season) so we watched all of that in reverse order. We liked the Doctor Who spin-off a lot, and I actually started watching The Doctor because of it, during David Tennant's reign (the 10th Doctor). Now all caught up with the 9th, 10th and 11th regenerations (plus a smattering of the old series), Matt Smith and Tom Baker are fine but David Tennant is still my Doctor. Some of the most recent DW episodes have not been as good as when Matt Smith first came on the scene, in my opinion. Have not seen the most recent Americanized Torchwood beyond the first episode, but it has not gotten good reviews. Please stop Americanising BBC programmes! Grrrrrrr.

Network TV

House MD (FOX): Still a damn good show. Not sure how long it can continue, seems like it is nearly used up.

Castle (ABC): The whodunnit gets figured out pretty quickly, but I like Nathan Fillion.

Bones (FOX): We are just tired of this one. My favorite characters are either gone, dead, or have gone all mushy. The occasional appearance of Billy Gibbons is not enough by itself to redeem it. We dropped it this season.

Fringe (FOX): Still very interested in this show and absolutely adore the character of Walter, but ratings are not good and I believe that this show will soon be gone. The title of the show kind of describes the loyal little niche that keeps watching.

Reality or Educational
Not much regular viewing in this category. I like Pawn Stars and Mythbusters sometimes, also science/educational - and don't mind at all if Professor Brian Cox is delivering the message.

Four or Five Days a Week

I watch these via a web browser during work lunches. We don't soak up much politics at home. I obsessed way too much during the Hillary/Obama wars and was rightfully reminded of it. At some point it's a good idea to stop driving yourself and others crazy, and leave the topic. Buuuut.... I haven't given these up:
Rachel Maddow
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Colbert Report

Biggest "How Did We Miss This One" show discovered this year

Arrested Development: missed the entire original run but watched it all on DVD last year. This show is hilarious and brilliant. They are making a movie version, hope it's just as good.

What we're not watching

Any of the live Republican debates. All I've seen are the few choice snippets that are worth watching the following day for their delicious awfulness. When they get down the the nominees, I will watch those debates. The American election process is far too long.

Reality TV that involves trying to become a pop singer, dancing, trying to marry somebody, wife swapping, or parenting. Enough!

Fox News (if I want to see a bunch of implausible made-up crap, I prefer a movie like Ice Spiders on SyFy, at least it's funny.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Perpetual gift FAIL

First, you probably don't want to play this video around any ears you consider delicate.

I am wondering just how we managed to produce such a bunch of crass, greedy, selfish assholes. Is this a result of corporate marketing finally succeeding in completely taking over the world and sapping out the last bit of humanity from our souls? Is it the fault of the parents, or are they also corporate victims? When the kids grow up, will they come to their senses and say "Enough is enough, it ends here and now"?

This is one of the hardest things to endure during the days (months?) preceding Christmas. The big marketing pushes to make the holiday all about gifts - and those gifts will be held up for judgement to see if they are good enough - your children, spouse, mother, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, co-workers... they will be judging you based on the quality of your gifts, so make them good. This doesn't just happen fictionally is advertisements, it happens for real, and is one of the causes for such great holiday anxiety and depression. People are afraid that their efforts are just not good enough, they will not measure up to expectations.

What caused these attitudes? Is it corporations and their marketing? Is it human nature? Is the bad combo of those two things? What can be done about it? Can we just jump off this crazy Merry-Go-Round en masse?