Sunday, March 20, 2011

How I Spent the Halfway Mark to my 74th Birthday

Thanks to everyone on FB for their kind Birthday wishes - believe me, they made me smile!

It was a damn fine birthday, although nothing exciting by most definitions of the word. I got up at 8, took YaYa over to a friend's house, stopped at Walgreens, went to the bank, and got an oil change, all before 10.

Then with the help of my friends Eric & Erv I repaired/replaced the busted gutters on my porch, and I also cleared the drainage tile of debris and widened its waste channel before stopping at a cookie sale for Grace's troop. While I was doing that Lisa went to the mall to get a bday cookie for me, and to have our wedding rings inspected (for the continuing warranty). It was important to me that I get something productive done to start the 'new' year.

(while it was pretty darn chilly outside today, the kids spent much of the day playing in the backyard and reacquainting themselves with the trampoline. Meanwhile YaYa was at a production of Annie at the Fireside for a friend's bday)

By then it was four-ish, and I sat down to enjoy my new toy - a Sony Blu Ray player SDP-380. It wasn't a bday gift per se, as I purchased it a week ago. But I finally had it up and running today, and it has already become one of my Favorite Things. I can stream Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, FearNet, some on-demand services, and more. I may never again leave the couch.

Tonight alone we (Lisa, me, and our friend Chris) watched:

Smokey and the Bandit - neat fact: you can learn geography from the Bandit. West to East, you traverse TX, Arkansas, Mississipi, Alabama and Georgia in order. Preferably w/ Sally Fields riding shotgun.

REC - the Spanish movie that seems to be the scene by scene, line by line inspiration for the movie 'Quarantine'. Although they are essentially the same movie, this version seemed much more powerful. Perhaps because, robbed of its American setting, the gov't quarantine seemed less an act of conspiracy than a rational reaction to a plague. I liked it.

Speaking of conspiracy, howsabout 'Paul McCartney Really is Dead' a "documentary" which claims to use secret tapes made by George Harrison to prove Paul died in 1966. Like most conspiracy theories, it loses credibility as it inevitably morphs into paranoia that turns anything into 'evidence'. Still, for the most part it was fun to watch, if FOS.

Don't Look Back - a French language pyschological thriller w/ a difficult to follow plot. For the record, I 'get' the ending, Mr.snooty smarty-pants; I just didn't like it. 90% of the movie was good, inc. all of the scenes of Monica Bellucci (natch), but I think they dragged the gimmick out too long. I would hesitate to recommend this.

Grace - a movie about a stillborn baby who returns to life w/ a hunger for human blood. Not as bad as you imagine, but if I had to guess I'd say the intelligent, nicely foreshadowed ending I saw coming was scrapped in favor of a crass, gross-out finale. Two stars.

UHF - I watched ten minutes, gagged, and stopped it.

I'm Still Here - the documentary/mockumentary? of Joaquin Phoenix. A very good film, if depressing.

Oh, and Erv made me sit and listen to twenty minutes of NPR, which is 19 minutes 29 seconds longer than I cared to listen to the unfunny, pretentious drivel.

Again folks - thanks for the well wishes!



Fred Oftencold said...

Dan, I'm a day late with bierthday Greetings and I've been out of touch for way too long. (Although I considered mounting a rescue mission during the invasion of your State Capital by what appeared to be legions of undead.)

remeber, you're not getting older, you're getting less young.

Fred in Alaska

Jeanne said...

Love the pictures, and glad you had a good birthday...