It has come to my attention that my clothing situation has become a bit serious. I'll admit to being sort of a slacker when it comes to how I look. I don't know how TG puts up with me sometimes in my somewhat-ratty old vintage t-shirts and less-than-stellar clothing combinations (yes, I'm guilty of trying to have worn two different shades of green on more than one occasion). At any rate, it took until this week for me to notice how bad things had gotten when I was folding clothes and realized that 2 of my only 5 pairs of shorts had small tears right on the arse (in varying places).
So, a goal of mine is to soon get some different clothes. I'm going to try to clean up my act a little bit and start acting like a grownup rather than a lazy-ass college student. I doubt I'll make the cover of GQ anytime soon, but I've gotta pull things together, man. OT: Vroom, vroom.
Such an epic post the other day and I still forgot to mention that after over a year of not rollerblading I got the massive urge to put them on and roll. Now, I'm not in nearly as good of physical shape as I have been at some points in my life, but have also managed to improve my diet greatly in the past years and encorporate much more walking into my daily routine (mainly because I live within walking distance of work). At any rate, the rollerblades had been collecting dust at the bottom of the stairs for some time, and it was nice to get out and go.
Given how much time I'd taken off, there really wasn't a drastic drop-off in terms of my skill level. Other than some more technical things that I didn't to try (wasn't quite ready for jumping yet), I felt good on the blades and managed to bust out 8 miles in under 40 minutes. After a nice shower and some glasses of water, I felt pretty good, although I did have a few slightly sore muscles (when rollerblading, I do so with a 10-pound armweight in each hand, just to get a little more upper-body workout) the next day. I guess that's what happens, though, when you don't use certain muscles for awhile and then go on a small rampage. I think I'm going to try to get out a couple times a week now. I want to be in better shape than I am now when I turn three decades old in a couple months.
This was a weekend in which there wasn't a lot done, but there's still a lot to talk about. On Friday evening, TG and I sat down after a walk with the dogs and watched Ciao Manhattan with Edie Sedgwick. TG had finished George Plimptons biography simply entitled Edie, a couple months back, so I was one of those annoying moviegoers who kept asking various questions as the film progressed. Once I realized what was happening, the film became rather painful to watch. Basically a film of someone burning out right before the big crash (in her case, death), it was just sort of depressing to watch. Some unique film ideas were used, and although the end just sort of fizzled, it was fairly enjoyable.
The second movie of the evening (for me anyway, TG sat it out) was X-Men 2. Now, I fully admit to collecting comics back in the day, and although I was never a big fan of the X-Men (or any of their many spinoffs), I went and saw the first one in the series when it came out and enjoyed it for what it was. The second one in the series was even better, with more time spent developing the characters and much better action sequences. I was totally geeking out several times during the film. So entertaining.
Even though I'd checked the forecast and didn't see anything that would indicate such, it rained literally all day Saturday and after running some errands in the morning I came home and got a cooking bug. After whipping up a nice batch of chili, I cleaned off utensils and got the counters ready again before starting a big batch of chocolate chip cookies (came out with about 3 dozen). After I'd finished it all, it seemed like the perfect way to spend a dreary Saturday.
That night, TG went out with some friends so the dogs and I stayed home and watched a couple more movies. One of the gifts that TG and I had gotten ourselves with our wedding money was a VCR so we could watch more obscure stuff, so I made good use of it by watching a couple documentaries (neither of which is available on DVD right now). The first was the only documentary by Michael Moore that I hadn't yet seen, The Big One. After seeing his most recent films, it was interesting to take a trip back to his earlier days and really see how his editing and overall film directing skills had come along. Although it was an entertaining flick, it mainly rambled (except in a couple poignant places) along, content to follow Moore as he did his book tour for Downsize This (which I'd read several years ago). If you like Moore, you'll enjoy the film, and there are definitely a few gems in it, but his new stuff (especially his last two films) are much more sound.
Closed out the massive weekend o movies with The Thin Blue Line, a freaking astounding documentary directed by Errol Morris. After watching the film (and after Morris' Oscar win last year for The Fog Of War), I can't believe this one hasn't gotten the deluxe DVD treatment from someone, but maybe it's just around the corner and I don't know about it yet. At any rate, Morris is one of the great documentary makers ever, and this is the film that actually helped get a retrial for a man on death row. There aren't many films that help make an actual tactile change, but this one is a great example. Also of note, another great score from Philip Glass (who also did the music for the aforementioned The Fog Of War. Many thanks to Tom for lending me both of the above films.
Lastly, speaking of great film scores, the soundtrack for the Good, The Bad, And The Ugly has been re-released with a ton of extra tracks (almost doubling the length of the original release) and remastering. I picked up a copy this weekend and it's so awesome. Everyone already knows the classic "whistling" theme, but it's so much more than that. Ennio Morricone, you da man!
After taking almost a whole month off from having full band practices, we finally met up and tried to get our heads back together after some time away. There was, of course, some sloppiness, but there was also a surprising amount of energy and good ideas flowing. The hardest thing was simply trying to get everyone caught up on the different tracks that had been started. Although we'd been tinkering with several tracks for some time, there was some real progress made over the course of many tracks, and after jamming around with one of them tonight it sounds like it's going to be a winner. Not only that, but it's something different than anything we've done before, which always makes me (and I think others) happy. We kicked around a lot of ideas, so we'll see what happens on the road to album number 2.
Speaking of music, new reviews.
Also, to be fair to both TG and Elsa (after posting a picture of Zoey and I earlier in the month), here's a picture of the two of them snuggling...
Had kind of a not-so-hot week in terms of how I was feeling, so this weekend was mainly spent getting things done around the house and trying to get a little relaxing in. On Friday night, TG and I rented The Office: Season 2. Even though we hadn't yet seen the first season, we decided to go ahead and put it on and try to figure out who everyone was. Of course, it really wasn't too difficult to sort things out, and by about halfway through the first episode, we got the gist of it all. We enjoyed the hell out of the first 30 minutes, so we simply kept playing through them and before we knew it, we'd watched all 6. Quite an odd series that basically derives humor from either flat-out hilarious situations or somewhat (and sometimes very) uncomfortable ones. It's sort of like an amped-up version of what most normal offices are, but playing off stereotypes also made for something that nearly everyone could identify with. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we actually watched what was the end of the series, and looking back on it, the story arch definitely got less and less funny as the episodes progressed, moving into something that was simply more depressing. That said, it was still highly enjoyable and we can't wait to check out the first season now...
Last night, we settled down again after a day of running errands and cleaning up the house and watched The Station Agent. I'd heard a lot of good things about it, and although I enjoyed the film a great deal, it wasn't something I felt like I could rave about to people. It's simply a very well-down slice-of-life film where three people who have gone about isolating themselves find an odd sort of friendship with one another. There are weird little parallels here and there, and the film relies on the silences between the dialogue (and the expressions that go along with them) as much as what is actually said by the characters. Some great performances and some great small-town observations drew me in, but I think I wanted a bit more resolution or something after investing so much in the characters. Ah whatever, it was nice.
I wrapped up today by cooking some dinner out on the little mini-grille and everything came out astounding. I shucked some fresh sweet corn that my mom had given us (thanks mom!) and wrapped each ear in a piece of foil with some butter and a little salt and then cut up pieces of green pepper, onion, zuccini, mushrooms, and tempeh to make shishkabobs with. I drizzled melted butter, some herbs, and a little bit of soy sauce over those and threw everything on the grille for awhile. It was such a fresh, light dinner that we followed it up with some vanilla ice cream topped with cut-up peaches direct from Colorado (again, thanks mom!). Twas a night of delightful food (highlighted by fresh veggies and fruit). I was full without feeling stuffed and my tastebuds were highly stimulated.
Now I'm sitting at my computer with a small glass of wine and a puppy on my lap while I finish up a couple things. Ah.
Well, this past week was indeed a bit more calm than I thought it would be, but that didn't mean any more posts here than usual. Instead, I spent it doing other things that had been pushed out of the way for so long. Last Friday night, TG and I finally got around to sitting down and watching The Fog Of War, which was flat-out amazing. I know that it won the Oscar for best documentary last year, and I'd heard many good things about it, but still hadn't managed the time to sit down and watch it for some reason or another. Anyway, it was great. If you're into documentaries and looking for some interesting perspectives from a guy who's seen a hell of a lot (from WWII to president of Ford Motor Company and finally back into the government to work for Kennedy as Sec. of Defense during the Vietnam war). Depressing at times and enlightening at others, it seems especially poignant to watch given what is going on in our world right now. Definitely see this.
One of my other big projects for the week was to sit down and actively construct some ambient music. I've been thinking and processing things in my head for some time now, so when I sat down at the keyboard and computer a couple times during the past week, everything seemed to flow out that much easier. In the past week, I probably spent about 5-7 hours working on the stuff and after filtering it all down probably have something like 25 minutes to show for it. I just burned it all to a CD and am listening to it with fresh ears and it sounds surprisingly good. Just a couple nights ago I was feeling burned out on the stuff (ambient music at least), but I feel like I'm ready to keep creating something at least. Hopefully the creative streak can continue...
It doesn't happen that often, but for some reason I still find it really funny when a publicist for a record label writes me an email and says, "would you or a member of your staff..." I know that sometimes these sorts of emails are forms which are sent to lots of different people (therefore grouping me in with the bigger sites who actually do have staffs), but I also know that on more than one occasion I've been sent an email of similar content from someone who thinks that there is more than one person writing for my site. I think it's fairly clear that the reviews are the work of one person, but I still find it funny in a way. If only this were my full-time gig and I had a little office of staffers working alongside me. Heh.
In other news, soooo busy. Things should calm a bit after this week, though. Maybe.