Thursday, November 30, 2006

It is cold

It is cold in Austin. We were something like the 2nd to last place in the contiguous 48 to get the cold front, but there you are. I headed to the Target today to buy a hat, gloves and a scarf. In Phoenix you don't need those items (or an umbrella) so much, so I'm having to purchase cold weather gear all over again.

The dogs are nuts. They don't want to go out in the cold (although they were happy to go for a brisk afternoon walk), but they also don't want to remain inside and calmly behave. So there's been a lot of following us around the house and attacking one another. I had to hide Lucy's ball so she would quit dropping it on me. It's kind of sad.

We hung out and talked to the neighbors last night for a while. It's sort of nice knowing our neighbors, versus our recent experience in Phoenix where we sort of guessed at who everyone was. We had "The Kansas People" who moved away and were replaced by "Successful Single Mom" and her BMW. Flag Guy. Arizona-Reed. Weekend Dad. The Crazy Nemesis Nurse, and "The House with an Indeterminate Number of Residents".

Here, we actually know some people's names, and even talked to Steve (with the stroller) for a while, finding out he's a bit of a recovering comic-geek, and he wants to set up a community rental system for DVD's on our block. Neighbor-Jason feels we've one-upped his Christmas deer as our deer lights up and is quite large. And then Chris apparently bought me a deeply discounted Superman Halloween Candy pail and gave it to me last night. I was shocked.

Grand Oaks isn't as weird a place to live as you'd believe when initially driving through.

Last night I just didn't have much to mention, and I was neck deep in new and old comics, so forgive me for taking a night off to catch up on my titles a little. (I need to start pushing comic reviews again. Go read Ex Machina.)

The weather yesterday was a mild high-70's with winds from the south. When the artic air hit, we got a heck of a storm. Jamie was already in bed when we lost power for a few seconds. The short popped the GFCI outlets where we have the Christmas lights plugged in. I, of course, had just entered our tiny hall bathroom when the lights went out, and was fairly certain there was no way this was going to end well vis-a-vis me exiting the restroom succesfully, when the lights came back on. I emerged into the living room, and proceeded to scream like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween upon seeing Jamie standing on the stairs. Usually I hear her moving around, but this time, no such luck, what with the buckets of rain and howling wind rattling the windows.

Yesterday evening we went to see "For Your Consideration", the latest from Christopher Guest and his troupe of improvisors. It's okay. It's NOT in the faux-documentary format which is the basis of most of Guest's movies, but it sticks with the same sort of bitter-sweet narrative arc that you've seen in the past two or three movies. Make no mistake, Catherine O'Hara is at her best in this movie, but the movie seems too full of unnecessary elements, and the actors don't share enough screen time to decide whether they're making a wacky movie or a movie on a bit more pensive note.

My personal feelings aside, every person considering acting for a living should be given a copy of this DVD and be forced to watch it once a year for the duration of their career.

I finally saw "Rocky" on Spike TV. It was pretty good, and I can see it winning awards in the 70's. As I suspected, the movie has been copied so many times (including the five sequels) that, like many films that launch a stylistic genre, the movie no longer is appealing simply for its too-often repeated story. It's the performances and details which remind you why this movie was thought of so highly that why it's been infinitely imitated, but rarely matched.

Oh, and I watched JimD's film "Pleadings". JimD wrote and produced the film (with his friend Alistair directing). You know, it's not easy telling your friends they've made a colossal mistake. Luckily, in this case, I don't have to do that. Jim's film is a tight, taught drama with well developed characters. Ah, hell, you need to just see it. I could talk it up, but it's going to be silly as I don't want to give much away and I don't want to sit here blowing sunchine up Jim's skirt. Well, I will say the space battles were impressive and the 23-minute homage to "Willow" was totally sweet, but I still don't understand the bit with Jim dressed as a penguin walking through the desert "pleading" for a sno-cone. Anyway, well done. Professionally executed. Worth seeing at your local multi-plex.

Short bits:

4 year old Power Ranger foils crime

Someone else YouTube's their Jones Soda Holiday Soda experience

Some awesome animation

Bad Superhero Names (yes, they are all actual characters)

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