Monday, May 30, 2016

My Memorial Day, UPDATED (already)

First off, let me say that I don't ever say "Happy Memorial Day". I am very grateful and blessed to have both Veterans and Active Service members in my family and circle of friends. I am grateful and blessed that I know of Not One Vet who lost his/her life while Serving. So I don't so much "celebrate" or even really "commemorate" this particular Service "holiday". My family and friends who are Vets and Active are appreciated and commemorated throughout the year. Active Servicemembers who I don't know get thanked for their Service, when it's appropriate for me to do so (thank them).

So for me, today was just another day of not working. I got my steps in, over the course of 9 hours (yes, that's right, I said it took me NINE hours to get 10,000 steps in). Because I was DANCING around my apartment all day, listening to the 1980's playlist that Stephen's been compiling. It needed listening to, to be sure each song was digitally transferred without glitches. There is a list of songs with glitches. Also, they've been playing alphabetically by title, which is in general, a good way to mix a full day's playlist. Except that right now, we've got Synchronicity I and Synchronicity II back to back. Stephen will need to rename one of them so we don't "randomly" play two Police songs back to back. But yeah, it took NINE hours to get 10,000 steps in. Not every song is necessarily "danceable", and I sat a few out here and there, tweeting encouragement to a tweep who is paralleling my life of two-plus years ago (in many ways), but I have been mostly dancing All Day. Also, the non-FitBit thingy doesn't seem to recognize how much work I've been doing today, dancing All Day, and I don't think there's a way for me to really tell it that I had a nine-hour workout. Whatevs. My feet hurt enough for me to know I've done it. I'll take the caloric burn it's giving me.

Here's my photographic evidence (and yes, I was able to log the "workout"):

And what else have I been up to, you ask? How's my Depression going? Three (okay, Ten) Good Things:

  1. Yesterday, I went to a pool party/web series scene for a friend whose birthday is TODAY, and she was shooting some stuff in her backyard, so I had to shave my pits the night before. Yeah, I know that makes you happy. While I was there, I did a little networking. Yeah, I know that makes you happy, too.
  2. I still have the same manicure that I had in my bathtub pics, so the nails are doing okay (although I did have to trim one because of a snag). 
  3. I'm going to dye my roots soon (probably tomorrow), and I need to renew my driver's license (in PERSON) This Week, so I may also trim my hair a bit. Don't think I'll buzzcut it yet, but it could use some shaping. 
  4. The car also needs both an oil change and wash, and since some of the drought restrictions have apparently been lifted, I'll probably go back to one of my previously-frequented car wash places that also happens to do oil changes, because I don't really want to spend dealership prices on my oil change AND pay separately for the wash.
  5. Gonna touch base with Warner Bros. again, and create a profile on the SAG-AFTRA website so I can have an easier time finding work. These are things that have bogged me down in my Depression; my "shoulds" that are just daunting tasks that I must do to help me climb outta the hole. It's a big Catch-22, and party-planning while unemployed isn't really "helping". Not that I am blaming anyone; I chose to celebrate my milestone birthday; I've got others helping me with the planning, but there is a part that I must play. I didn't request a "surprise" party, and I think in this day and age, "surprise" parties are a near-impossibility to pull off anyway. It just kinda sucks to have so many "shoulds" interfering with what will be a good time.
  6. I have recently made two crockpot meals. One was a "meal" and the other was pasta sauce, which means the sauce is still being used. The night I made the sauce, I also cooked up some dry pasta. Today, I turned the sauce on low and then used it at lunchtime with some frozen ravioli we have; it wasn't a "bad" meal, but I improvised the cooking of the raviolis so I wouldn't have to dirty a pot with boiling.
  7. I also got all my laundry washed and PUT AWAY one day this past week, and I've been staying on top of the dishwasher situation, which means that I've recently begun handwashing the dishes (but not rinsing) before I load them, because our dishwasher Really Sucks. The last load came out Really Clean. No spots or streaks or anything. I guess I'll stick with handwashing before loading.
  8. I made a pitcher of tea today! Yay! Love having Not-Too-Sweet but definitely Not-Unsweet tea in the fridge!
  9. This week, I will make at least one batch of ice cream for my party. I will shop for party groceries with the homeowner-hostess at some point. I may make other items, as I feel inclined, as the party looms closer. I will also continue reminding the invitees to READ THEIR DAMN EVENT INVITES and encouraging them to please respond, since the party is taking place at the home of someone and not in a restaurant. 
  10. Hopefully I'll book at least one day of work, and I won't book work for Saturday.
UPDATE: here's what a nine-hour dance workout looks like to the non-FitBit app:
yeah, I've dance-walked another coupla hundred steps (and will continue to), but I was blown away by the "calories burned"!!!

Where you at, in YOUR life, these days? Again, I love to interact with you here, so don't be afraid to comment. (And thanks in advance)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Welcome, United Arab Emirates!

I DEFINITELY had to do a search through the blog to see how long it's been since I first welcomed you, and whaddyaknow? I NEVER have (before tonight)! That MUST mean that you've somehow stumbled across me only just today (or yesterday, as the case may be), For The First Time! Incredible!

So here's my personalized-in-the-moment but fairly standard Welcome:

Thank you for visiting my site. I dunno where you are on the map (because it's too late to see you all lit up in a dark green color), and I'm a lazy, stupid American who didn't learn geography (and, well, frankly, the Google map that Blogspot gives me is Pathetic, at Best), but I'm happy you've found me. I'm hopeful that you will discover something in the archives that holds your attention and you will decide to stick with me for however long I decide to tell my personal stories. I'm hoping that you will direct your friends to find something of interest, and I'm also hopeful you will decide to interact with me.

For EVERY reader out there, I am only a "stickler" for English grammar when it is clear that my reader is a NATIVE English speaker. If English is not your first language, or even in your repertoire at all, then we will only be able to communicate via Google Translate (or with your halting English). PLEASE do not let that stop you from interacting with me! I LOVE responding to comments; I LOVE hearing your opinions on what's going on in my life; I WILL reply!

So thank you for joining us today; please return; please bring friends next time; please take some time to peruse the archives; please comment.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"National Wine Day" and other nonsense

It's not like I need a new "national" "holiday" as an excuse to drink wine
Apparently, today is also "Towel Day", from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
You can't see me, right? I'm HIDING from you.
Also, I gave myself a new, quick paintjob on my nails:
pretty, right? It almost qualifies as "clear" for Warner Bros.,
who could be calling me one of these days
And I continued my Doctor Who Season Three marathon, followed by a powerwalk of more than 10,000 steps, not entirely stepped at the high school track (but more than half, to be sure), followed by my current soak in the Epsom Salts and Essential Oils tub:
I've attempted this photo at least three times. Hard to aim the webcam in such a way as to not capture an illicit image when blogging from the tub. Yes, on my laptop. Yes, I'm a real risk-taker.
The essential oils are for my breathing, because #StupidAllergies. The Epsom Salts (and not full tub) are for my right foot "injury"... I just can't (yet) see myself sitting on the couch, knitting or watching tv, with one foot in a bucket, because we don't have a wide enough "pan" to soak both feet, and frankly, ew! Just because I'm about to reach a milestone birthday does NOT put me in "Grandma" Camp!

Three Good Things:
  1. So, yeah, I'm "celebrating" National Wine Day. I waited until after 5 (after 6, really, if you're counting). I didn't want to "Drunk Power Walk", and now that I don't gotta go anywhere else today, I expect to be at least a Coupla Sheets to the Wind by the time Stephen gets home from work tonight (Sorry, Stephen... and frankly, I don't imagine I'll have more than one more full glass, since I'm kinda a lightweight). 
  2. Yeah, I'm blogging in the tub. On my laptop. Without a safety shelf or anything! But I do have my #Towel to keep my hands dry!
  3. Yeah, I'm preparing for my milestone birthday party. I've been assured by Stephen and both of the homeowners who are "hosting" with me that it will be laid-back, minimal stress, and anyone who attends will have a good time. Yes, my Depression Lied to me about me putting too much pressure on myself and my hosts. Yes, Stephen was the one who pointed that out, AND he made the phone call to the husband-host so they could co-guy in "fix it" mode, and then wife-host called me, and everyone's on the same page, and we're all pretty chill. Yay.
THANK YOU. If you are someone who feels insufficiently thanked for any- and every-thing that you do, please accept my THANK YOU. If you are someone who I have insufficiently thanked, please accept that with the warmest of intentions. Apparently, this Depression is deeper than I had originally gauged. So THANK YOU for sticking with me and helping me outta it.

Please comment. You can ask me a question, or you can answer a point, or you can tell me your favorite joke (you can even tell me dirty jokes here, I certainly don't fucking mind). I miss your commentary, when you read silently, from wherever you're reading. I promise, if I have any response at all, I will respond. THANK YOU.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

What I learned today while gettin' my steps

Sometimes I walk around my neighborhood. Sometimes I walk laps around the high school track. Sometimes I walk laps in the local three-story mall. Sometimes I walk over to Costco for the walking, sampling lunch, and/or the shopping center down the street.

I've been sitting on the couch most of today, completely neglecting any "shoulds" I had on my list for the day. While farting around on Twitter, someone said something about some show they were binge-watching, and that inspired me to get back to my Doctor Who marathon. So I binge-watched a few episodes, and then I remembered my non-FitBit thingy would probably yell at me if I didn't get out and walk before dark.

So I figured I'd walk the mall, because if it got dark before I was done, I'd only be out in the darkness briefly, on my way home. But I took a different route than normal. I walked both floors of IKEA first.

Let me tell ya. If you hate the mall because of the overpriced retail environment, then stay out of it, just in general. If you hate the mall because of crowds and kids, then definitely stay out of it on a Saturday evening. If you hate crowds and kids as a matter of principal, then Stay Out of IKEA on a Saturday Evening. THAT place was PACKED! But I was able to log a coupla thousand steps there, so no worries. Also, there was a little Asian woman asleep on one of the couches in one of the living rooms they have set up. That was pretty funny.

The mall was pretty crowded, too. But I had room to get those steps in, so I just kept hoofin'. While I was hoofin', I saw my former Warner Bros. boss at one of those "watch your loose change spiral down the big drain" dealios with his kids, and we exchanged pleasant hellos. I asked him how things were over at the Bros., and he said "Busy. Getting ready for summer." so I asked whether I should come back, and his response was "put it [an application] in"... so when I got home right at dark, I went online to see if my old job was listed, And It Was. So I applied! I did a little networking, without even trying! And I followed up, IMMEDIATELY, without feeling any pressure of "should".

YAY! I had a pretty good day! ... despite clearing my throat ALL DAY. Stupid Allergies.

Feeling the Feels

Take a look at this pic. Yeah, it's taken in the dark, by the light of the webcam, but if you read my last post, do you notice anything in particular?
Clean hair ... still need to dye the roots, tho. And cut it.
MAKEUP. Even though it is after midnight, don't I still look kinda pretty?
As I indicated, I was (or possibly still am) in the tail end of a MILD Depression. Tonight I was honored to attend a B'not Mitzvah (which is the plural of Bat Mitzvah, the coming-of-age ceremony for a Jewish GIRL). This was an ADULT Mitzvah, and the eleven women who were participating had spent the last two years of their lives together in a weekly class learning to read/chant/sing Hebrew, and what it means to be Jewish, and getting to know the Torah. Just FYI, they ranged in age from 23 (-ish?) to 85. MY friend is in her 60's.

I am not Jewish, but my Savior is a Jew, so I have more than a passing interest in tonight's activities. It was an incredibly long Sabbath service, but so moving. I got to Feel All the Feels. I reconnected with a couple of slightly-lost friends and made a bunch of new friends, and I am now mentally prepared for my milestone birthday in two weeks. ICYMI (or btw, if that "means" more to you), my birthday is in two weeks. June 3rd, to be exact. Be sure to celebrate in some way. Do something fun and think of me while you're doing it. That's Friday, the 3rd of June. Ya know, in two weeks.

... but I also might be committing a couple of years of my life to learning Hebrew ... in a year or so ... stay tuned. ;)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Me and My Depression

I, like other sufferers of "invisible illnesses", HATE my invisible illness. Most of the time, I don't even recognize that I'm Depressed until I get some "trigger" online or while watching a show or movie. I would guess that I've been Depressed for the last couple of weeks or longer, without even really knowing it. This is both a blessing and a "curse". Most of the time, what I experience as Depression isn't necessarily diagnosable. I have what most would consider "MILD" Depression. I don't ever reach the point of suicidal thoughts or tendencies. I don't ever get so "low" that medication is in order (I don't think, having never been diagnosed). I just ... don't ... feel ... anything. And so, because of that, I haven't posted a new "real" blogpost in awhile.

Yesterday, I went for a walk, because I have that stupid non-FitBit thingy that hounds me about my 10,000 steps. I walked slow for me, getting in fewer than 3 mph. I did laps at the mall, and even though I had my headphones so I could listen to a podcast or two, I never plugged 'em in. I counted my friggin' steps, and I got pissed off when they didn't register at the end of this particular lap, but then I was "okay" when the next lap seemed to catch up. There is a bit of a delay between the equipment I wear and the app in the phone that logs it all. I need to remember to trust that it's mostly accurate. I also ran into Stephen at the See's candy shop, as we had both arrived for our free sample. He went straight home from there, since I still had what looked like three laps ahead of me, and as I said, I wasn't walking my usual brisk pace.

But here's my takeaway from yesterday's walk, which I TWEETED upon my return:
No motivation to do anything except please non-FitBit thingy today: 10,316 steps, ~4.45 miles. What day is it, anyway?

While farting around on Twitter, I saw THIS link. Usually, I don't bother to follow links in Twitter, because then I can never return to wherever I left off (one of the things that irks me about Twitter). But I read the article, and tweeted again.
Just mentioned I'm unmotivated & then I see THIS in my feed. I'm not in the 1st group, but I see myself in the 2nd.
    6:43 PM - 18 May 2016

So, today, Stephen had an early meeting at his job, followed by a split shift. Before the first part of his day, he cleaned the kitchen while I slept, making no noise at all. I was gonna do that when I got up! He got back from his meeting and announced that they now have an "Employee of the Month" who wins a $25 Visa Card, and that he had won! Yay! Then he farted around a bit online before he had to return to work, and since he had heated a cup of coffee for me, I cooked us up some coconut pancakes with bacon for lunch. Sometime in that at-home break, he mentioned that he'd read my two tweets (on Facebook, since I have my accounts linked and he doesn't have a Twitter account), and was there anything he'd been doing to exacerbate my Depression? So we had a little talk about it.

There is not one Thing that I or any other person can Do or Not Do that makes me Depressed. We both know that Unemployment is a HUGE de-motivator for me, and that Not Working can make matters worse. It is possible that Unemployment is my Number One Depression Trigger, with "SAD" weather taking a Close Second, but again, I haven't been diagnosed, so who knows?

it's too long. I'm ready to buzz-
cut it, like in my Twitter profile pic
There are Warning Signs, though. My physical appearance suffers, even if my physical health is maintained. Essentially, if I have nowhere to BE, my hygiene falls away. Not that I ever allow myself to stink or anything, and I do brush my teeth, but I'll wear the same clothes for days; I won't bother to bathe unless I have somewhere to go (or I've sweated from a brisk walk), and I stop shaving or maintaining my mani/pedi/haircolor.

left hand in front of DIRTY hair
yeah, I dye the hair on my head. That's to help God keep it the color
He gave me at birth. I AM a Blonde! (which, of course, in my pits, just looks DIRTY)

And one last "physical" symptom that I know something is "up" with me: two toes on my right foot (next to Big, and Middle) have been hurting for awhile, as if they're broken or something. They aren't broken, but nothing seems to ease the "pain" I feel. Not being barefoot; not wearing sandals, nor high heels, nor sneakers. They just hurt. And yes, I know that I need a new pair of walking shoes (yay, a stupid reason to spend stupid money!), but getting my daily steps in (in whatever shoes I'm wearing) neither exacerbates nor alleviates the "pain" in Two Toes. Whaddup widdat?
right hand in front of disgusted-with-myself face

So this is My Depression: I do what I gotta do. I don't do what I don't gotta do. I ... feel ... nothing. I really just want to be working; is that so much to ask? Oh, and to win the Lottery. That would be good! Then I could take a nice, warm, sunny vacay away from Depression and do the Work I need to get moving on to propagate more WORK. I love Work. Have I mentioned that? Can you tell, in reading this post, why Depression is an "invisible" illness, for me and for others?

***** Mommy was Depressed for much of her adult life. We know she was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression after Inner Hippie was born; it's possible she also suffered with PPD after I and Baby Bro were born, but she also had undiagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome during that same time period. Mommy's illness was Very Invisible, sadly. It took much too long, and stole entirely too much of her joy, to get her illness out from "all in her head". So I'm blessed to only suffer my Mild Depression, and to be able to suffer it openly. I'm blessed that Mommy had as much Joy as she had, which was quite abundant, for someone who was silently suffering for so long. Typing all this is bringing me to tears, which means I'm feeling something. Thank you, Mommy.

Welcome, Colombia!

I can see your big green splotch at the top of South America, and that makes me happy. It was only the one visit, sometime in the last 24 hours, but I'm glad you stopped by. Linger awhile, breeze through my archives, see if I've said anything interesting. Come back, and bring friends.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Welcome BACK, Serbia! ... and Belgium!

It's been two years since you were last welcomed back, Serbia, and I still can't find your country on my map. :( ... Bring more readers when you visit, and make a big, dark green splotch on it, so I can find you!

Belgium, you were welcomed back almost a year ago, but by the time I saw you had stopped by today, your green was already overwhelmed by the rest of the darker green (more hits) on the map, so if you come back with any kind of regularity, follow the instructions above - bring lots of folks with you, all at once!

Ennyhoo, I'm grateful for your return. I love seeing where my readers live.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Best Opening Sequence. EVER. Plus, other surprising movie review(s).

You remember that time we tried to see Deadpool in a theater, and we found out that if you don't get there seriously first thing in the morning prior to noon, you don't get the "matinee" ticket price? So we waited it out, and Stephen picked it up on Blu-Ray today.

We. Laughed. Our. Asses. Off. Tonight. But in addition to this being the Funniest "Ex-Man" movie, it starts RIGHT OFF at the Very Initial Beginning, with the Opening Credit Sequence. Just a hint: this is "some Douchebag's film" starring "God's Perfect Idiot" and it (both the opening credits AND the movie itself) is FULL of "Easter Eggs" (if you're even remotely familiar with Ryan Reynold's sense of humor). Ah, hell. Here it is, for your enjoyment:
We kept laughing. This movie is fucked up, but if you like comics, superhero stuff, really vulgar and/or nasty and/or violent crazy shit with an awesome soundtrack (DOWNSIDE: the lyrics to the amazingly appropriate soundtrack is NOT captioned so you actually have to LISTEN during the montages). then you will Enjoy. The. Fuck. Out. Of. It. As. Much. As. We. Just. Did. No lie. Seven out of Five Stars.

But here's another review; probably one you were not expecting:
Jurassic World. Another reboot, right? With Chris Pratt, today's latest "It Boy" starring as a combo of all the scientist-shmientists we had in the first two, right?

Oh, Em, Gee. No, it is NOT any of that. Three Good Things:
  1. It is a GOOD standalone science-gone-rogue-dinosaur-sculpting-scientists movie about scientists who STILL haven't learned from all of the mistakes that were made by their predecessors (or B.D. Wong's character, who managed to survive for at least 20 years, and has still not learned from his OWN fucking mistakes)
  2. Chris Pratt does, in fact, play not only a Good Guy, but also a scientist who is Up Against It and is Doing His Best to HELP.
  3. The kids, while annoying at first, really do grow on you. You pretty much know, all along, which characters are the Wayne Knight and Sam Jackson (definitely gonna die) characters, but at least one or two of the deaths happen in a surprising way. There is honestly nothing to hate about this movie, and it got such bad reviews, and did so poorly in theaters! I really wish we had known Steven Spielberg's involvement when it was out, because Has He Made A Bad Movie YET? I really Think Not.
Last "review": We bought X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Rogue Cut. I've mentioned this one already, but I haven't yet really "reviewed" it. When Stephen was picking up Deadpool today, Rogue Cut was also on sale, so he snagged it, too. I honestly don't have anything new to say yet, because I don't know what I can add to my previous comments. We haven't looked at the new disk today. I'm betting that there's got to be some additional stuff I can comment on, but it's already 10:30-ish tonight. I doubt we're gonna break that seal tonight (we're still actually watching the extras on Deadpool Right NOW). I'll give it a full review once we've had a chance to look it over, which will likely happen in the next couple of days.

UPDATE as of 11:30-ish: I just remembered what I forgot to mention about all of these movies: No. Noticeable. Handheld Camera Work. What that means is, if they used it, they used it the way it's meant to be used: SUBTLY.  Bonus points for any film that either DOESN'T use it, or uses it so discreetly I don't have to notice. YAY!

Have you seen anything I have yet to review? Any recommendations for something you'd LIKE me to review?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Any Day on Set is a Good Day

Today being Friday the 13th doesn't matter. The city of Glendale swapping odds and evens in the street numbering in the last block of my drive plus all the construction on that street, doesn't matter. The Casting Director giving us vaguely-incorrect information regarding our wardrobe, or neglecting to inform us of the need for two "changes", doesn't matter. Any day on set is a good day.

In case you were wondering, I got to be on set today. I could tell from the call times on the line that my day would very likely be a short one (or at the most, I would work the eight hours for which they were automatically paying me). Yes, it was Friday the 13th. So what? Yes, I got "lost" when I couldn't find the address on the expected side of the road, had to turn around, and noticed that odds and evens had been swapped. So what? Yes, I was one of the majority of background artists with the "wrong" clothes, and not enough of 'em. So what? I got to be on set today.

I made it in time. I fit standard sizes, so the BG Costume(r/ Assistant) was able to "dress" me properly. The young lady who was assigned to herd us was a DGA Trainee about a third of the way through The Program, and I made sure she knew that In My Opinion, she was doing a great job. (DGA Trainees are only one rung higher on the ladder than Production Assistants. They work incredibly hard and rarely receive any praise). We only had a couple of scenes to do, and they were short, and they were separated by lunch and a change of wardrobe. The second group of BG was to come in at the end of lunch, and they'd work the final scene. Easy-peasy.

I learned from others that today's 1st A.D. liked to move quickly, and I saw it first-hand. Her primary complaint was that the star of the show was making us all wait. She was pretty vocal about that, but she also had found "the way" of saying what she needed to say (the star was costing the production time and money) without being shrill or "scolding" him, even though he could tell he'd been scolded. It was pretty interesting to witness; that exchange. I also learned that that particular show likes to bring back "regular" BG in particular roles, like the role I had today, so there is a possibility of  more work, recurring work, being seen by people in positions to help my career, such that it is. And knowing what I'm expected to bring in for my wardrobe, and clarifying that with the über-intense and ultra-hyper BG Costume Assistant put my face in the "I want to come back and I want to bring you what you expect" category. What you probably don't realize; what I may not have ever told you before, is that the BG Costume Dept. has all of the control over who returns and who doesn't. I've been around this block. I know how to play this game.

So, today being a Day on Set made it a Good Day. I wasn't really even planning on saying anything here, except that I remember that you like it when I talk about work AND someone (a reader here) today revisited this old post, and that said to me, okay... let me tell you about TODAY! As soon as I started re-reading that post, I remembered the day vividly. But also, that post is so old, I can now tell you that Patricia Arquette was the star and the show was CSI.

So blogging is helping my memory. Which means Today was a Good Day! And in case you've been wondering, yes, the non-FitBit thingy has been happy with me every day for the last two weeks or so.
doesn't EVERYONE walk the track at the high school wearing Mommy's pearls
(no, not as a headband at the time) and a little plastic tiara comb? Yes, Jenn, I still have the tiara you gave me!

Do YOU have something that automatically makes "Today" or "Any Day" a Good Day?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Welcome BACKS! (updated)

Indonesia: It's been two years since your last visit. WELCOME BACK!

Denmark: It's been roughly half a year since your last visit. WELCOME BACK!

India: It's been nearly a year since your last visit. WELCOME BACK!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Random Movie Review! Who'da Thunk It?

So, we had not heard great things about The Man From U.N.C.L.E., so we never got around to seeing it, until we discovered it in the DVR queue tonight. Tonight was supposed to be "bad movie night", so Stephen gave me a choice of ^that one^ or the most recent version of The Fantastic Four. We hadn't heard great things about Choice #1, but we knew that Choice #2 would likely end in deleting it from the queue before we even finished the viewing, so I opted for Choice #1. Maybe we'd cut it short, or maybe we'd be pleasantly surprised? We'd already finished the awesome soup Stephen had made for dinner; all we "owed" on the night was wine (no chocolate). And if we cut it short due to its extreme awfulness? Well, then we'd get as far as we could on Choice #2. We may still opt for Choice #2. It's still "early" yet.

I never watched the original TV series, either in first run or syndication, so I had zero expectations going in. But for being misinformed (or possibly just assuming) that it would be a "reboot" set in modern times. I did not even know, going in, that U.N.C.L.E. is an acronym for "United Network Command for Law and Enforcement". I honestly didn't even discover that until the movie was in its last five minutes, y'all. Yup, that's right, kids. We made it all the way through this movie that no one said "great things" about.

So here's my honest review:

  1. It's a fun spy movie, set in the 1960's, as if we'd never left the era.
  2. The hair, makeup, clothing, and scenery seems to be authentic to the era.
  3. The camera work and cuts (montages from something happening here vs. something happening there) are very stylistically "accurate" to the 1960's, as far as I can tell, which is very fun to watch.
  4. The use of handheld camera work for fight scenes is MINIMAL and SUBTLE. You may know that this is of über importance for me.
  5. They should have hired Italians to play Italians, Germans to play Germans, etc. Henry Cavill is EXCELLENT with his American dialect, but he's a British actor (who is also our most recent Superman, so, well, whadd'rya gonna do?); Armie Hammer (who played the twins in the Facebook movie) is American with an excellent Russian dialect; the chick from "The Danish Girl" is a Swedish actress playing a German mechanic who also happens to be an English spy; the lead Italians all sound like Americans with English dialects. Wassup widdat?
Honestly, this movie was fun to watch; it moved along at an appropriate pace; it was stylistically appropriate. The only thing I found to complain about was dialects! Go find yourself a copy of it, and enjoy! Be sure to pop yourself enough popcorn, and pour a decent amount of your beverage of choice, because there ARE a LOT of subtitles (which I don't mind in the least) when folks are speaking in the appropriate "native tongue" that they should be speaking in. Don't wanna miss anything!

Welcome, Bahrain!

I see that you've visited my blog in the last 24-hour period ("Today"), but because I didn't notice you in the two-hour window when you were visiting, I can't see you on my map:
Yeah, I moved the names and numbers to the appropriate spots.
Where in the world is Bahrain?
The only reason I know where Belarus is, is because I happened to notice in the two-hour window when someone from there visited ("Now"). So anyway, please visit again, and bring friends, and maybe I'll see you in a darker green on the map!


In other news, last night, I made an enormous dinner salad, filled with all kinds of lusciousness. While eating, I bit the side of my tongue. That really hurt. Of course, it wasn't helped by the peppery and vinegar-y items that I'd included, like fresh garlic, horseradish, and jarred capers. Tasted great, but Did Not feel anything remotely like great.
as close as I could getcha (you're welcome)

last night, in the mirror
NOW, after peroxide rinse and sleep. no better.
I know you've bitten the tip of your tongue and the insides of your cheeks and probably your lip. Have you ever bitten the SIDE of your tongue? Hurts like a motha. Also, aren't these just The Best selfies? ;)

Monday, May 9, 2016

I'm trying to plan my birthday party. Also, Welcome BACK, Belarus!

I have been somewhat absent from Facebook, so I've fallen out of a lot of my local friends' newsfeeds, apparently. This is BAD NEWS when you're trying to decide how to celebrate a milestone birthday.

Two years ago, Stephen's milestone occurred, and his feelings were hurt that not enough of his friends or family really seemed to take notice. Maybe he'd fallen out of their newsfeeds because we don't really have any idea how the Facebook algorithms really work. Maybe he'd been lurking instead of posting. Maybe he hadn't been "liking, commenting, or sharing" enough for Facebook to remind enough of his friends about his big day. I dunno.

I'm trying to avoid having my feelings hurt, because I remember two years ago. I was willing to let this particular milestone go gently into that good night, but a greater part of me (stronger? more attention-seeking? I dunno) says, "ya know what? Fuck it. Age is just a number, and I'm blessed to get a new one every year. Let's blow this motha OUT!"

But I was informed this weekend, when I attended Davis and Stephanie's party at the 80's dance club and karaoke bar, that I am not a good party host. Now, this is not actually news to me, but I was grateful for the information. I'm also grateful that my other friends, Jenn and Dave, are good party hosts, and have indicated both interest and their generosity/hospitality to host a "Blow This Motha OUT" party for me.

We had talked about it being a karaoke party, in their fabulous backyard, with a dude who sets up a system so whoever wants to sing gets to. I posted on Facebook, looking for feedback. I got very little feedback, because, of course, I've fallen out of most folks' newsfeeds. But attending the 80's dance club and karaoke bar on Saturday night actually solidified more for me than just gratitude for someone else hosting. It solidified the fact that anyone who wants to sing or dance along with 80's music that's playing in a backyard can and will do so, and no one needs a mic or a dj, if we just blast a playlist through the sound system. And the 1980's is The. Best. Era. of music for a milestone birthday. Jus' sayin'.

So now, I just need to coordinate with my hosts and Stephen the construction of that playlist for the greatest convenience of playing it, and I need to make sure that my local friends get the evite, once that's built. So this blog post is sorta dual-purposed. First, if you don't already know me know me, it's to let you know that my birthday is June 3rd, and I expect you to celebrate in some way on that day, in my honor. I like to give plenty of notice for people, so you know why you feel like havin' a party up in the hizzy (or whatever the kids are saying). Second, if I have Facebook friends who "lurk" and manage to see my posts but not respond, I'm hoping they'll "like, comment, or share" either here or on Facebook, so I know that they have an interest in Blowing This Motha OUT.


Welcome BACK, Belarus. You're just in time to schedule your trip to Los Angeles. We'll be havin' a party on the 4th of June. In a backyard. With 80's music. And probably some 80's attire, if folks feel like dressing up. And potluck food/beverages. We're gonna Blow This Motha OUT. Wanna come?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Last Post for the weekend

Yeah, I know, I don't usually say "I'm about to blog/not blog for x amount of time", except for that last time I said, "hey, I think I'll try blogging daily". But this weekend, Stephen and I are doing a "Digital Detox" (Thank you, Straight and Curly, for the suggestion). What this means is NO ONLINE ANYTHING from 9 p.m. tonight (local time) until 9 p.m. Sunday night (also local time). The gals over at Straight and Curly are in Australia, so they're already well-entrenched in their DD Weekend, and by the time they get any notice that we're also participating, we'll still be knee-deep in it, and they'll have hit their Sunday nights.

If you need to reach either me or Stephen this weekend, we will have our phones on/with us, but they'll be looked at ONLY as phones. That means No Texting, No Emailing, No GAMES, No GPS, no anything "smart" that a smartphone is built for. It'll be a throwback weekend, if you will, to the time when you had to call someone on their landline, and possibly leave a message, and wait to get back to them. It'll be like, when you made plans to do a thing, and the only way to back out of those plans was In Advance. I'll be attending a birthday party for my friend Stephanie. I've already mapped it out, and I need to Write Those Directions down (or print them), because as of 9 p.m., I'm not only going to turn off our internet router for 48 hours, I'm also going to turn off my computer. Gonna give it a break.

I've already let Stephen know that he can still write this weekend, but it'll have to either be longhand, or just in his non-internet-based word-processing software. We're not having a Luddite Weekend. We still have access to technology. But we're turning off the blue light as much as possible. We're going to go to bed each night after winding down without a small screen.

If you think you might like to try a Digital Detox, go ahead. Tell me about your experience. I'm sure I'll have something to say about mine, after 9 p.m. Sunday.

In the meantime, would you like my review of Captain America: Civil War? Yes, you know you do.

I love movies. In the past several years, I haven't seen nearly as many movies in theaters as in my younger past, partially due to time, partially due to money, and partially due to just inclination in general.

I love comic books and superheroes and the movies made about comic books and superheroes. I'm as much a fan of an action flick as I am of a broad comedy or weepy romance or epic historical drama. I want there to be a good story, though, and I want that good story to unfold in a visual way so that I can follow it.

We've been binge-watching the Marvel Avengers series of films (on Blu-Rays, because that's how we roll). We're completely caught up on the story they've been unfolding for us. As we were watching Age of Ultron last night, I commented to Stephen about some visually-stunning portion of the film. He knew exactly where my comment was going. The camera was either locked-off, or on a dolly, or possibly on a steadicam rig, so the cinematography for this particular action sequence was fluid, followable, and really quite beautiful. They slowed it down for just one little bit. It wasn't jumpy or frenetic, and yet it was still edge-of-your-seat action.

This is my problem with Civil War. It has a good story, but for much of the first hour (out of 2.5 hours), it is Completely Unwatchable. Do you know why? Because the camera work was handheld. There were fights that happened, that I couldn't really tell you who was fighting whom. There were car chases, where again, I can't say who was chasing and who was fleeing. Car chases do not EVER need to be filmed with a frenetic, bouncy, cameraman-has-Tourette's style. There were also bits of two-people-in-a-room-talking that Just. Kept. Moving. STOP IT ALREADY WITH THE FREAKIN' HANDHELD CAMERA WORK!!!!

I know that filmmakers get younger and younger. I get that the handheld style was created for fight scenes, and to combat the short attention spans of Millennials. But the audiences are aging. What's the average age of the stars of this particular action film? 39. Thirty-nine is not young, people. I mean, yay, there seems to be more work for those of us who are not fresh outta high school or college. I mean, yay, there seems to be quite a bit of really physical work for actors of my generation. Did you know, that of the cast of "fighters" in this film, there are only TWO "Millennials"? Elizabeth Olsen is 27 this year, and Tom Holland is 20. Then we get four folks in their 30's, four in their 40's, and TWO in their 50's. I betcha, when they were watching the dailies, if they watched the dailies, almost every person who watched the handheld camera work looked away during those scenes. I'm also willing to bet that no one said a word. I'm sick of it. And what I mean by that is that it makes me feel nauseous to have to watch it, and so to combat that nausea, I look away. There were honestly three distinct moments during the first hour that I almost left my seat to demand a refund of my ticket. That's bad business, folks.

And so, even though, overall, I enjoyed this installment of the Marvel Avengers Universe, when the next one is about to hit theaters, I'm going to check the names of the director(s) and cinematographer, and if it's the same team that shot This One, I will not see it in a theater. Take this installment under advisement, especially if you feel the way I do about handheld camera work.

See ya in 48+ hours!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

No, I wasn't "planning" on blogging today

But I've noticed a few interesting things recently. Okay, maybe they're only "interesting" to me. But Algeria, who just recently visited for the first time, a fairly large country at the top of the African Continent, has RE-visited again, within a WEEK. Yesterday, there was a two-hour period where I had more than 20 hits (I forget how many it was exactly, but I'm thinking it was something like 26) in a two-hour timeframe (what blogspot calls "now") from just the UK. That was more hits in that two-hour period than US or Canada. That shit doesn't happen, or at least not to me.

Also, a few of my "older" posts are being read, and Malaysia is back (again). I find that interesting.

Also, my most recent posts that hopefully made you think about the life you're living, have only been commented on by two of my "regular" readers. Do the rest of you want me to ignore the "big" questions and just get the eff back to selfies and pics of my furbabies and BTS stuff for when I'm on set?

Yes, this blog is essentially for me. But I also seem to have lost my former best-commenter or biggest fan, my sister, Inner Hippie. I'm not saying she'd deliberately desert me, but believe me, I notice who's visiting/commenting. I miss her feedback. We're not the most "in-touch" siblings, but we definitely have a connection.

Possibly with Mercury in retrograde (again, THANK YOU, Mercury, for always seeming to be in retrograde!), things that appear to be going on in MY life are also going on in the life of other regular readers, like Inner Hippie. Maybe we're both stepping into a depression. of sorts (Thanks, Mercury), and we don't really feel like dealing with "Big Picture" issues. Maybe all we want to do is drink cheap boxed wine. I know I certainly do. Well, I want to be working too, but that's something else entirely.

Sometimes there are words that just gotta spill out. Sorry if today's post hasn't been as fun or funny or inspirational as maybe you'd hoped. Let me know what you're hoping to read here. I'll try to fit your needs into my writing inspiration, because again, this is not just some daily journal. Fuck that. Let's talk about real shit. I'll start, and then you can comment.

FYI, two of my fingernails broke recently, including the freak pinkie nail, so here's tonight's selfie of the left hand. Yes, I gave the nails two coats. I haven't "tidied up" this particular manicure; I'm counting on sleep and hand-washing to perfect it.

Monday, May 2, 2016

I guess I wasn't exactly "clear"

The other day, I asked you to imagine that I am actually someone else in your life - child, spouse, parent, co-worker, boss, friend - who is not here. It was a pretty "out there" kind of post, and I must not have been clear in what I was asking you to respond to.

Maybe I do need you to revisit "It's a Wonderful Life" or "The Family Man". George Bailey wants to end his life, and he's shown by the angel, Clarence, what an impact that would have on all of the people who are important to him. Jack Campbell is given a "glimpse" of the life he would have had if he'd made a different decision after college. For Jack, it feels like a "do-over", except that he knows that the "other" life he's glimpsing exists only in an alternate reality, not the one he's currently actually living.

So maybe that is what I was asking you to do. Take stock of your current life. Note the individuals who are important in the life that you are currently living. I wasn't trying to put myself in an important position in your life; just saying imagine that the "I" in the question "What if I weren't here?" were actually one of the Important People in your current life. What if that Important Person in your current life either ceased to be a part of your life, or if it's easier to imagine it, never existed in your "picture"?

How would your life be different? How would You be living differently?

Here's the link for the other day's (possibly confusingly-worded) post.

Please do me a favor. Think about the Important Persons and then answer the questions. I'd really like to know what you'd do differently!