Friday, November 30, 2007

Trey and I watched “Transformers” last night. He was a bit surprised I’d gotten it from Netflix, but hey, I’d heard it was good from some people. Well, from some random younger people on the HandsUp Houston board. And every now and again one needs just some fun movie where a lot of sh** gets blown up amid stupid dialogue. It is, after all, a Michael Bay movie. And he really knows how to blow up stuff with cool camera angles catching the well-lit results.

It was a very stupid movie—and I’ll admit to being way too old (as were my siblings) to have ever played with those toys. There were plenty of shots that were perfunctionarily cheesy. (That’s a made up word, according to Microsoft. Perfunctory is the proper word.) Shot’s like close-ups of the hero and (totally unnecessary) heroine with golden light shining on their faces while sh** blows up in the background. (Why their faces were lit up when the light from the explosions is behind them is a question best-left unasked. Because the answer is: It’s a Michael Bay movie!) Or another random shot, again amidst lots of sh** being blown up, of their hands reaching for each other for a gentle caress (also with that golden-rosy light of first young love).

And the dialogue was gloriously silly at times. I mean, only in Hollywood do people have the wherewithal to come up with such catchy slogans in the middle of running for their lives. I haven’t done much running for my life while being chased by alien robots (except in my dreams, where it’s happened more than I’d like), but if it were happening to me, I just don’t think I could come up with much of anything to say, except maybe, “AHHHHHH!”, “Oh my god!”, and “Somebody help me!” Well, actually, that was self-edited, as there would likely be a fair amount of unprintable words that I really try not to use very often (little ears are listening).

My favorite line: “I bought a car. Turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?”

And the transformers themselves, at least the good ones—the Autobots, which they were called even though they likely didn’t need automobiles in their native planet, and seemed to randomly choose cars as their personal transformable vehicles—each had distinct personalities that seemed to be based on generic human stereotypes. Then again, maybe that name wasn’t meant to be associated with cars...but hey, they were named by some random toy marketing genius in the eighties, so it probably was.
(Internal voice: “It’s a Michael Bay movie based on toys! Do not expect realism! Stupid, Gah!”)

Okay, so “Transformers” is basically a movie created for young boys in 4th or 5th grade, with dialogue to match, and so much product placement if you tried to play the product placement drinking game, you’d be pitch drunk before the movie was a third over. Unless you’re me, and you don’t drink, in which case you’d be drunk 10 minutes in and have to stop the movie to go vomit (so you could keep watching the movie). Even so, it was a little bit fun, but definitely not recommended for kids under 6, unless they really like cars and trucks and have the maturity to realize it’s all fake and daddy’s truck is not ever going to suddenly rise up and start walking. Because it’s not. Daddy’s truck is just a truck. And the Transformers are just toys that are probably covered in lead paint and have parts that can break off and choke someone.

On an unrelated note: Thanks so much for the virtual hugs from the last post. It was very much appreciated.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bean kitty--RIP

Our little Bean kitty just passed away. We came home and found her lethargic and cold; turns out her body was in shock. Something inside her just started shutting down and we had to have her euthanized. It was either that or they could run a bunch of tests and still probably wouldn't be able to save her. So we didn't run the tests, and don't really know why she died. But I could tell she was very, very sick.

This just sucks. My eyes are red and swollen from all the crying, and I'm going to cry even more when I have to explain to Zoey why her "sister" Bean is gone.

My sweet little black Bean. In Houston, we loved to watch her climb the walls in the old music room. She'd go nuts chasing the red light from the laser pointer and follow up right up the carpeted wall to the ceiling. She would do flips jumping after that little fishing rod toy (we called her the jumping Bean). She loved to play fetch with little crumpled up bits of paper. And when it was cold, she would cuddle up on the bed with us, even if Zoey was in the bed, too. I loved that little kitteh.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last night I finally watched an old Orson Welles film noir flick that I'd been curious about for years. It's called "Touch of Evil," and I wanted to see it as it had been featured in the film noir section of "Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography," which is a fantastic video I used in my old Media Lit class. It included a scene of a a fat, crazed Welles, jowls shaking in the blinking light, attacking some unnamed villain. The Noir was striking, with the sparse hotel room full of dark corners, lit intermittently by some outside blinking light source coming through half-opened blinds.

Well, it took me two tries before I got through this film, and after staying awake the second time, I'll report that it's a pretty good film. Except Welles isn't the hero, which is one of the good things about this film--Welles plays the baddie with his typical scene chewing presence. The hero is a character named Vargas, a Mexican cop. See, the hero is the reason I had trouble watching the movie the first time around, because he's played by Charlton Heston. In makeup.

Even writing that sentence gives me the creeps.

No prying a gun
from Heston's dark-skinned hero
no accent either

This morning Zoey woke up humming the Toreador song from Carmen. Her love for the Little Einsteins often introduces her to snippets of some of the more famous classical music pieces, and on the one hand it's wonderful to hear her embrace these works. On the other hand, she really watches too much TV. But then, so did I, only at her age there weren't nearly as many choices--and they weren't all paired with massive marketing machines pushing plastic, lead-covered toys. In any case, I happily started singing along (who doesn't love the music from Carmen?). Only instead of the words to the actual song (which I honestly don't really know aside from "Toreador, en guarde"), I sang this:

"Do not forget, stay out of debt.
Think twice, and take this good advice from me,
Neither a lender nor borrower be.

And there's just one more thing,
I say to you,
To thine own self be true."

Whoever guesses where that's from will win a prize.

Okay, no prize. Just an electronic gold star.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last night I watched "Who Killed the Electric Car," and it made me really sad to see all those perfectly good cars destroyed (oh wait, did I just ruin the ending for you?). One of the things that struck me was that I had never heard of these cars before. The only all electric cars I'd ever known about where those boxy, futuristic-looking, microscopic concept cars that I'd see a photograph of from time to time on news sites. They all looked completely unrealistic, and frankly, ugly.

But according to this doc, there were stylish plug-in electric cars available for lease in California during the latter half of the nineties, up until 2004, when the last electric car was forcibly ripped from it's proud and happy leasee's hands. The GM EV1 was a sleek 2-seater coupe, admittedly not family friendly at all. But they had Rav4 EVs! and truck EVs! And gas costs $3 a gallon here now!

I'm not one to really bother with conspiracy theories (not because I don't think they exist, I just don't care to waste mental energy on them), but this doc made me think about corporate control of our lives, and how they really don't have our best intrests at heart. Which, of course, is something we all already know. And we just pretty much accept it, don't we?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Don't freak out, but I've got a new post.

Okay, a few of you are freaking out. I'll wait a sec until you calm down.

That's better. All apologies for the lack of Pool family info, but there's really not been much going on to report about. And I've been extremely lax taking pictures, so I haven't put any of those up lately either. I promise to do better. But I make no guarantees.

We're all doing fine, though (thanks for asking!). I saw some of you very recently at Tricia's baby shower and the Axiom Reunion show (lots of cool baby gifts, Tricia is a gorgeous pregnant lady, deSchmog slayed with enthusiasm and timeless cool). It was especially nice to finally meet Bethany's two cutie pies--I even got to hold baby Ruby for a time. Zoey had a blast playing with Susan's Evan (who has the most to-die-for hair in the world) at the baby shower. And for those of you who didn't get to see the personal little book Bethany made for the baby, I think I can find a link online and direct you there at some point in the near future. (Or maybe not, I need to find out from BB.)

I've been oddly busy, for an unemployed SAHM, as I've transitioned to a WAHM creating Web sites for some small businesses. Mostly dent companies, of course, but I did get a non-dent company client recently. I hope to put some links up here in the future for you guys to go check out my work, but what I really need to do is buy a domain name and set up my own site for potential customers. Still, it's been fun, all this learning the jobs entail, as there's nothing I love more than learning new technology. Except maybe problem-solving, but then, the two tend to go hand in hand.

And I finally got around to taking some more pictures, and going through some of the pictures I took over the year that I never got around to posting, so there's a couple of new galleries on my smugmug site. As a teaser, I'm dumping a number of pictures below.

Oh, and I promise to try and update more often (Wednesday, I'm calling you out!).

Zoey and her cousin Myles freaking out for the camera.

Obligatory pumpkin shot.

"Give me some candy!"