cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (beware of cyclist)
Phil's working late Mondays these days--by late I mean until 9 or 10 pm. Today, this means I am indulging myself and eating Taco Bell for dinner and then going to watch Alice in Wonderland before it goes out of theatres. Yay, girl's night out! Yes, I am boring these days.

Also, I am currently hiding in the closed office that I share with 2 other guys during the day, with the door closed. My job officially ended at 5, you see, but the movie doesn't start until 6:40.

I have a great affection for empty spaces that are usually populated. After-hours businesses are like catnip.


This morning was unproductive, though, so I feel a bit guilty. Between extra work hours and busyness and in-laws, I haven't been getting much done.

This morning at least I had an excuse. Dentist's appointment. All went well, thankfully, while I was leaning back in the chair with sharp metal things poking at my gums. On the bike ride home, my bike got a flat tire, but fortunately I was only a block away from a coffee/biking shop, so I got it fixed pretty speedily and pedaled on home.
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For everybody who loved Schizopolis, and a bunch of people who have no idea what I'm talking about:

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  • -- Since the "headphones only" policy was enforced, co-worker constantly, tunelessly sings along with Christmas carols.
  • Coworker just estimated my age as 7 years older than I am. Yikes!
  • Ninja Assassin now $5 rate at Kerasote (with free membership). Must see! Mpls folk--want to go with (me)?

* I really wish those two went together in ways beyond the title.
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  • District 9, Zombieland, and Surrogates are all at the cheap rate at Block E. Want movie-watching time!
  • Those wacky Swiss researchers!
  • A squirrel just TP'd our tree with a wad of white plastic? fake cobwebs? longer than he was. Happy almost-Halloween!
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  • 16:24 shows whether there are extra scenes during the credits. SO useful! (via Lifehacker)

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  • 08:57 Funny Star Wars weekend posters (RT @inktea):
  • 12:28 Growing up, I was confused about why some parents took advice on childrearing from a Vulcan.
  • 12:56 Twin Cities vegetarians might like this restaurant review blog (via Twin Cities Eater):
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  • 13:30 Tremors 4 is a Western. Of the "Wild, Wild West" variety. It's also better than Tremors 3 and maybe 2.
  • 13:33 Dreamt I wrote a play for a talent show. The main star was a female Elder God that we called "mother." She was surprisingly mellow.
  • 18:56 +++ Feeling healthy again today.
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  • 23:39 My parents, my Realtor, *and* my mayor were all on Facebook before me. Oy.
  • 23:54 Phil re "Descent": Best part about this is women not asking for directions. (It's a very good horror movie.)
  • 00:03 Arguing with Phil about whether "Girls' Nights Out" lead to going into caverns with monsters. Me: No!
  • 10:06 The knob broke off the wall clock at NgithOwl, and the computers weren't updated so they keep resetting to the old time.
  • 12:21 I am a noisy pear-eater, apparently. Made manager turn around to identify the noise. (It's a juicy pear.)
  • 14:06 Have come to realize the clock is hung so it's two degrees off-center. Subtle tortures.
  • 14:11 Roman Catholics ask faithful to give up internet for Lent (at least on Fridays).
  • 17:53 Phil has acquired for me a set of all 4 Tremors movies. Now that's love. ;)
  • 21:28 On 2nd thought, I don't think I've ever seen Tremors 2. This is all new to me. I mean, as new as a Tremors movie can be.
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  • 10:05 Poor, sick, coughing-and-spreading-germs-everywhere husband.
  • 10:13 "Audition" is showing Sat. at the Uptown. Japanese horror. Starts like romantic comedy, ends like bloody train wreck. Love it.
  • 14:30 Another kid stopped by asking to shovel snow. Feel bad, but said no. Am only going to pay for shoveling *once* per snowfall.
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It's kind of a bad thing when Paris Hilton's performance is the best one in the movie. (To be fair, it was a very good performance for her.) Repo: The Genetic Opera tries for a slick, gaudy, splatterpunk musical, and it succeeds in being about one-quarter as awesome as it thinks it is. Alas, that's not enough to elevate it above a "Meh, not so good," movie. The graphic novel pages they use to explain the plot are awesome; the movie's main action, not so much. Exception the first: If you're into fetish costuming, you should see it--just try to ignore the badly scripted dialog, er, lyrics. Exception the second: This is your movie if you think seeing Giles from Buffy being dark and evil (but with a heart of gold) would be super-hot.

If you have the urge to see a dark musical, see Sweeney Todd instead. I give Repo a C-.
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  • 08:02 Forgot my caffeinated beverage of choice this morning. Agh! Tea emergency!
  • 18:13 Takeshi Miike & Westerns, two great tastes that go great together? Sukiyaki Western Django will tell.
  • 21:14 Phil re cat: "I think he's mad at me for eating his head."
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  • 23:18 That earlier jott was "goats do roam" wine 1/2 off at Haskell's. #
  • 23:20 Twins lost baseball game. Post-phys. therapy walking made knee hurt a lot, and dress shoes gave me 4 blisters. Also, stinky man ick. #
  • 23:31 Whoa. I have so many photos to upload and sort through and try and do something with. ::runs and hides:: #
  • 07:08 Yeesh. Woke up v. tired. Hope I can escape work early & nap. ::crosses fingers:: #
  • 07:49 Suspect it's a bad sign that I've taken my first painkiller of the day before 8 AM. #
  • 08:27 Want to see this: ( #
  • 08:57 If a dog's wagging tail leans to the right, you're good. Useful info, via SciAm ( #
  • 09:11 Writer's Digest--good tips on how to find time to write - #
  • 09:35's free ebook-a-week program is teh awesome. + free Nebula nominees from fictionwise & I feel the need for an ebook reader. #
  • 09:36 Spam: "Spring weaken your organism. Support it with vitamins." #
  • 09:38 @ cvalenti re dog's tail - Their right. #
  • 11:04 #
  • 11:19 Prosthetics has open-skull surgery test subjects. Yikes! (via \.) #
  • 11:28 Wonder if I could write a romance a month...during work down-time? #
  • 13:03 Ngg. For the umpteenth time, NgithOwl has underpaid me by $2/hr for a significant chunk of time. Snarl. #
  • 13:14 Home. Step 1. Consolidate to-do list, master task list, floating scraps of paper, and "Action Needed" inbox items. #
  • 13:20 Boy kitty is snuggling ferociously. I think he missed me when I was gone all the time. #
  • 14:57 Happy. It is raining and cold outside, but I am snug at home. #
  • 15:24 Dear girl cat, You are welcome to sit on my lap and purr, but please stop trying to lick my hands as I type! #
  • 15:52 Poor husband has to work a double shift tonight! #
  • 16:35 Grrr. V. annoyed that "Error 623" keeps popping up. #
  • 16:39 Since my ride's working 2nd shift, think I will be staying home. And warm. Instead of gimping around all lonely and cold. #
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Home from Wisconsin. Gathered truly excessive quantities of loot, mostly from The Mad Scientist, who really did go craaaazy (list forthcoming). Himself spent quality time with his godson and niece. I managed to stay mostly sane, despite lack of internet access for most of the visit. I also caught a nasty cold (or brought it with me); today was worse than yesterday, so I'm hoping tomorrow's better!

Driving in was interesting, since we had about 10 feet of visibility in front of the car in the fog--that same night his parents hit, killed, and field-dressed a deer (and an uncle took it off to be mounted after butchering it the next day).

I had the usual culture-clash issues, but mostly everything went well, and I only had to step up (against general conservative red-neckedness) a couple of times, in a mostly unobtrusive way. His grandmother is growing crotchety and senile (as mine already have).

Came back and were greatly pleased to discover house unburnt, valuables unstolen, and cats undead--er, alive, that is. Bonus thanks to whoever shoveled our front walk ([ profile] mischief03?); when I told the Mad Scientist it was done, he made various promises of sexual favors to the shoveler(s), which he then hastily recanted in hopes of not worrying the wife.

While we were there, also saw Aliens vs. Predator Requiem. No spoilers, mostly opinions, but some people like the mystery. )
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Got The Inside Man (directed by Spike Lee, starring Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and oh, everybody) from Netflix. It qualifies as a really, really good heist movie. The plot is solid and entertaining, the characters are strong, the acting cast is amazing, the dOp has an excellent shot sense, and the dialog, while sparse, was smart, incisive, and frequently hilarious. And praise be, there was nuance! And deft characterization.


Jun. 1st, 2006 09:35 am
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Futuristic action thriller starring Cyril Raffaelli as Damien, a member of an elite police squadron highly trained in the physical skills necessary to navigate the treacherous urban landscape of Paris in 2013. He is now tasked with the most vital and dangerous mission of his career—defusing or recovering a neutron bomb that has been concealed by the most powerful gang in the suburbs of District B13, a walled-off section of Paris in which criminals rule themselves. The directorial debut of cinematographer Pierre Morel (The Transporter). Co-written by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element).

This I want to see!


Dec. 11th, 2005 03:44 pm
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I would hate Syriana if it wasn't such an amazingly great movie. If you're in the mood for escapism, it isn't a good choice. It is, however, the best movie that I've seen this year, and probably the best that I've seen in five years. It is very well crafted: writing, plot, acting--they're all there, which is surprising considering that this is the novice effort of the director, albeit one who wrote the script, and apprenticed himself to the director of, Traffic.

What lifts this from being a good movie into being a great one are the fine, nuanced details that fill it. They are not ostentatious grace notes; they are the small things in the background, the extra care taken to portray the minutiae of a culture, the tiny touches that seventy percent of the people watching will miss seventy percent of.

Syriana is about the confluence of events surrounding oil, the Middle East, the oil business in America, politics, and terrorism. It paints a portrait of unrelieved cynicism when portraying big business and the politics of oil, but it does an excellent job of showing how events feed into each other. It does this by following the perspectives of four individuals on different sides of the conflict.

It has some tiny flaws, but you have to look mighty close to find them. It's not a good first date movie, unless your goal is to find out how intelligent your date is, but it's a great movie to see with people that you can discuss it with afterwards. It's the sort of movie that will float into your mind weeks or months later when you read a news story, and I think that that's the highest praise it aspires to.


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