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Monthly Archives: June 2011

She Loves Me

Not that there was any doubt about how she felt for me, but here are three tangible examples:

Basil Shrimp Orzo

One night, Drea decided she wanted to make me dinner. Given how much she hates cooking, this surely was a sign of how she felt for me… or the coming apocalypse. Not only that, but she made one of my favorite dishes; Basil Shrimp Orzo.

My Bruins themed Friendship Bracelet

Right around that time, she had also brought back her Friendship Bracelet thread kit from her parents house. She did that with the intention of showing my daughter how to make them, and giving her the kit. As if that wasn’t sweet enough, she made me a Bruins-themed Black & Gold bracelet which I wore through (at least) the last 5 games of the Finals. (And of course, is the reason the B’s won the cup for the first time in 39 years.) And, I continue to wear it.
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Then, she had to go and top off her cuteness by taking my daughter to a paint your own pottery place & making this frog with the turtle on his back for me.

A Frog & Friend Sculpture

Only logical conclusion: She loves me. And, sometimes we act like we are 14. And, I like it.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in People

 

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Musings From My Sleeping Bag

• This is my first time REALLY car camping with my kids (read multiple nights, & actually had to pack/prepare food)

• It reminds me of the first time I went to the beach with them. For it used to be that if I wanted to go to the beach, I grabbed a towel, some sunscreen, & a cooler of beer (& a sandwich). But, with the kids, it involved a bag of JUST towels. A bag of toys. An umbrella. Sometimes, a fucking tent! A cooler. And a cart to carry all that shit. Phew. By the time you get to your spot, the kids are rearing to go & you want a freaking nap.

• I love both scenarios. And, this is damned fun.

• I need to get an additional bin so that I can separate the cooking supplies from the general camping supplies.

• Camping is like anything else… High startup costs. But, one you have everything, & it’s organized, you are ready to roll.

• Really glad my Uncles wanted to pass on some of their gear. Glad I can borrow these coolers (water cooler/dispenser FTW), & chairs.

• Really glad to be enjoying nature again.

• The concept or the cooking station for camping seemed like an unnecessary luxury. Now, after grilling chicken & red peppers, while making tortellini, on the picnic table we are about to eat on… it seems to make all the sense in the world.

• I am looking forward to doing a bunch of this with these guys.

• This little Coleman fan seems to be worth it!

• Probably should have a place for a trash bag in the tent. (for tissues & what not)

• Time for some shut eye.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Camping

 

Dr. No

A blog along. I’ve never “live blogged” anything. So, for some reason, on the first installment of the Bond re-watch, I decided to blog along while viewing. I can’t say it will be entertaining to anyone but me. But, here it is anyway.

#1 Dr. No – 1962 – starring Sean Connery – directed by Terence Young

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First sounds you hear, prior to the theme song… digital/computer/futuristic sounds

First song – three blind mice – Not a theme song – just a bridge song, leading to the three blind men walking together in Jamaica. They shoot a man that leaves the card table “the same time every night.” They then shoot a woman who was communicating with London identifying herself as W6N. Blood is pure red paint… Awesome. Three blind mice dig through files and pull out the “Dr No” folder. Flash to London – concerned about W6N breaking off mid-transmission.

First mention of “James Bond”… man looking to speak with him. Reveals casino – woman playing hard. First, “Bond. James Bond” moment. Bond takes a bunch of her money… and of course works out a future date so he can fuck the shit out of her.

"Bond. James Bond." - One of the most memorable lines in cinema. One of the classic shots.

Strangways revealed to be the agent that was knocked off in the first scene. M introduces the MacGuffin, which is the ability to knock rockets off course. (During the moon race, this is important.) M is pissed about James carrying a berretta. This seems odd. Q literally calls the gun “nice for a woman’s purse.” Gives him a new gun to carry.

No banter with Moneypenny because M, cuts it off – “Forget the usual repartee, 007 is in a hurry.” Given that this is the first movie, that comment seems strange. He does only have 3 hours to get his flight. But, given that his banter plays so heartily in future movies, to not have it here in the first movie is odd (particularly since they pointed it out).

Back at his hotel, he finds the woman he was playing cards with. Putting golfballs in his bedroom, dressed in one of his dress shirts. Flirty banter. He finds a way to squeeze in a quickie before his flight to Jamaica.

In Jamaica, there appear to be several shady people watching Bond. A driver, introduces himself saying he was assigned to pick him up. Bonds, phones the hotel he is headed to and confirms that they sent no car. Bond knowingly addresses the driver saying he isn’t in a rush, to “just take him for a ride.” They are followed. Bond instructs the driver off the road, and begins trying to figure out who he is and who sent him. The driver kills himself with cyanide before telling him anything. He says something as he is dying, but it’s unintelligable to me.

He checks out Strangways place. Sees a photo of Strangways with a local fisherman. ID’s him as the driver of the tail car. Also, grabs a receipt for geological tests.

In his hotel now, you see him setting the room with traps to see if anyone comes in while he is out. Fingerprint powder on his brief case. Hair on the closet door.

Firsherman ID’s as Quarrell by the men that had been playing cards with Strangways. Bond goes to meet him. Quarrel is evasive. Bond asks to charter his boat, and is denied. Quarrel leads him to a bar. Gets him to a backroom and pulls a knife on bonds. The other shady (agent looking guy) that had been with Quarrel at the airport appears and quickly identifies himself as CIA. (I never caught his name. He is just the CIA agent to me.)

Later that night, in the now busy bar there is a woman photographing Bond & CIA agent. They grab her and try to figure out who she is working for. She was also at the airport. She gives up nothing. Bond notes that one took cyanide, the other is threatened with a broken arm, and neither give up anything. They talk about Crab Key – offshore area. They realize that Strangways has been over there and had geologic samples tested. Dr. No (asian man) owns crab key and doesn’t allow anyone over there. Bond goes to the lab & they say it’s not geographically possible for the samples to have come from there.

Immediately cut to the lab man demanding a boat take him to Crab Key. The boat’s captain protests, says he knows the routine. The professor says that it’s important and he will take responsibility.

Crab Key appears very industrial. The lab professor is brought to a room with a sliding door. Funny to me that automated sliding doors are always used to convey a futuristic feel. Told to sit down on a chair by a voice over a PA system. They talk about Bond and that if Bond comes to the island, the voice will hold the professor responsible. He is then instructed to kill Bond with a large disgusting spider tonight.

Back at the hotel, Bond checks his closet door and doesn’t find the hair he had left. Fingerprints all over the brief case. He knows his room is compromised. Goes to pour liquor and thinks better of it. Cut to him sleeping. He wakes feeling something crawling on him. Sees the tarantula… which would be enough to kill me dead if I saw that fucker crawling on me. He lets it crawl up and off his body… once it is on the pillow, he hops out of bed, and kills it with his shoe (all to some great symphonic sounds).

Banter with Strangways contact. He has a pretty Asian secretary. Bond catches her listening at the keyhole and asks her to show him around the island. In the meantime, Bond checks Quarrels’ boat and finds radioactive readings due to Strangways rocks. Asks Quarrel to take him over – he protests citing a dragon. But, then agrees to take him over tonight.

Bond goes to meet the Asian chick. Enroute, he is chased up a mountain road. Large car is bumping his Astin Martin? up the road, and then loses control over the side of a cliff in a firey mess. Asian chick is naturally surprised to see Bond when he arrives. She is in a slip. Bond steals a kiss, and rather aggressively. Her phone begins ringing. She talks to someone about Bonds being there and says she’ll try to keep him there for a couple of hours. Bond hears her. Sits down and begins undressing her. Might as well get some action since she is clearly working with someone attempting to kill him. They fuck. After, he says he is hungry & suggests going out for some dinner. She is determined to keep him there. Bond phones a taxi – but, goes for round 2. Except, he didn’t call a taxi. He called for a car to pick her up, so he could check her place and presumably wait for who is going to try to kill him.

Inside, he pours a couple of drinks and begins setting the place up. Radio is on. Leaves “half-drunk” glasses on the table. Makes it look like someone is sleeping in the bed. Sits… and waits. The professor shows up and puts 6 bullets into the bed. The professor was one of the card players & had commented on the “new secretary” – the Asian chick. The professor never gives up any info before Bonds puts a couple of bullets into him.

Nice Shells, Honey Rider

To the boat launch – and Bond & Quarrel head to Crab Key. Quarrel is drinking rum heavily because he is scared.  They lie down for some sleep before the sun rises, in the undeveloped side of the island. When he awakes, there is a vision of beauty, singing and emerging from the water in quite the bikini. She has shells and carries a big knife. She identifies herself as Honey Rider. Conversation about her sailing in and tripping the radar. High speed boat comes & fires on them. Quarrel and Honey begin talking about the dragon. Honey claims to have seen it. James tells Honey to get out of there. She says she is not leaving in daylight. He forces her, but machine gun fire pierced her boat. She is stuck with them. But, knows of a place to hide.

Cutting through a river to throw the search party dogs off the scent. They begin using reeds to breathe while under water. (I so want a reason to do this someday.) The search party does not see them, of course. Most of them anyway. There is a straggler with a gun still hunting them. But James gets the drop on him. Kills him to Honey’s horror.

They go on to a hiding spot. Quarrel notices “dragon tracks.” He takes “guard.” Honey & James have a heart-to-heart and she reveals that she killed a man that raped her back in the day. With a black widow spider. Quarrels has spotted the dragon. They go see it & it’s quite clearly a truck with a flame thrower. They shoot at “the dragon.” But, Quarrel gets incinerated. They handcuff James and knock him out. The dragon operators are in nuclear protective suits. They take geiger readings and determine James & Honey to be “contaminated.” They begin the sexy decontamination process which involves nakedness, a fun moving walkway, and shower heads (coming to Disney next year).

Two Asian ladies greet them saying they were expecting them. Trying to treat them to the best hospitality. She invites them to dinner with Dr. No that evening. The room is well appointed. They have new clothes waiting for them. But, the doors are metal & there are no door knobs. They drink some tea which is drugged. Honey passes out first. Bond collapses in a heap on the floor.

Darkness… man with bad white shoes walks in and finds Bond in bed. How did he get there? He has big black gloves. They almost look metallic. Lots of topless shots of Honey… regrettably, only from behind. The perky pointy bra craze captures the rest of the scene. Damned that style made tits fucking pure weapons. Seriously, someone could lose an eye!

Time to meet Dr. No for dinner. They take an elevator to a large room built into the rocks. There is a giant aquarium window. Dr. No appears. Says he would shake hands, but can’t because of an unfortunate accident. Apparently, they are metal.

Dr. No reviews his background – and is the wonderful inspiration for Dr. Evil’s Speech in Austin Powers. (Hell, Dr. Evil is very much a tribute to Dr. No.) Banter between Dr. No & Bond. Dr. No supposedly knows everything Bonds has been up to since arriving in Kingston. Dr. No offers to tell him what his deal really is. Introduces SPECTRE. Toppling American missles is just the start.

Bond taunts him with “World Domination. The same old dream.” Dr. No says he thought Bond was different & that there might even be a role for him in SPECTRE. But, says he is just a stupid cop. Dr. No leaves while his goons start beating on 007.

Inside a real prison cell now. No more nice accomodations. There is an air vent whose surface is not only electrified, but it seems to explode at the touch. Apparenlty only to human touch though. He beats it open with his shoe with no problem. In the air vents, we are back to the futuristic/digital/computerish sounds we heard at the start of the movie. Bond does a poor job of navigating the vents as he falls. It’s now hot to the touch. Apparently, this was not an air vent. As, a rush of water comes flooding through the vent… which leads to a lot of steam.

Dr. No in his radiation suit

He gets out & jumps a guy with a chemical suit. Goes to the control room. There is a man turning a dial underneath the sign “danger Level.” Seems like an odd wheel to be turning. Dr. No has the best suit in the place. It’s got a giant clear helmet. They are just about ready to try to topple an american missle.

Bond begins trying to sabotage Dr. No’s mission. Turns the Danger Level wheel up as high as possible. Dr. No and 007 begin fighting. They fight over the cooling pool. Dr. No gets sucked into it. His hand is seen grabbing at the steel beam as he presumably drowns in a radioactive pool. Anti-climactic fight for sure. Alarms are sounding to abandon the area. 007 goes looking for Honey. She is shackled to a ramp with water flowing nearby. No fucking clue what that was.

They are running trying to get to a boat to get off Crab Key. They find one. Knock off two people and motor on off as the island explodes. They run out of gas & Bond decides the only sensible thing to do is to get busy with Honey.

CIA man shows up at an inopportune time… Don’t be interrupting the lead in to coitus. Jeesh! But, offers to tow Bond & Honey in. Soon after, Bond releases the tow rope so he can finish what they started. Movie ends as they make out in the boat floating alone.

———–
So, there is the first movie of the franchise. Seems funny that the title character looms so large over the plot line, but has very little screen time, and gets killed so “easily.” Why is the head honcho getting into fisticuffs with Bond w/o ordering his goons to kill him first?

But, I’m hooked. Definitely a great movie, and I can’t wait for the next installment.

Bond Score Rating +3 (Kind of like the hockey +/- ratio. But, in this case, just the number of women he scored with)

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Movies

 

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So Many Places to Explore


visited 28 states (56%)

These are the states that I have “visited” thus far. I don’t consider driving through a “visit.” For it to qualify as a visit on my map, I had to spend some amount of time there. For example, I have been to New Orleans on a day trip. But, I didn’t count that as a “visit.” I’ve been to the “Four Corners” of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, & Arizona, and drove across much of the top of New Mexico. But, I didn’t count that as a “visit.” I have driven through every state on the East Coast several times. But, I haven’t really done anything in Maryland, for example, to qualify as a visit.

So, this is a To-Do list, of sorts. Although, there are so many of these states that I want to re-visit down the road.

Click on the map to make your own.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Travel

 

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Whitey Bulger Captured – Now What?

James "Whitey" Bulger

I am fascinated by the capture of former boss of the Massachusetts Irish Mob, Whitey Bulger.

But, what I am most fascinated by is not what names he has in his back pocket. I imagine that whatever FBI agents he had in his back pocket are either dead, or long retired and irellevant. What is he going to do, sell out guys that used to work for him 20 years ago? Who cares.

What I am most anxious to see shake out is whether or not he reveals anything about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, whether he was involved or not. And more importantly, if the stolen art, turns up as a result.

The timing of this could not come at a more interesting time for me. Drea & I just visited the Gardner a couple of weekends ago (my next post was going to be about that weekend), I watched a documentary on the heist over the last few days, and I’m generally very curious about what happened there.

Another post on that weekend, the Gardner Museum, and the theft soon…

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Culture

 

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Last Night

I

Keira Knightly in "Last Night"

I had not heard of this movie before Drea & I decided to watch it On Demand. I’m sure that I did not expect it to be as emotionally heavy as I found it to be.

I doubt that I will be watching it again. Not because it is a bad film, because it is not. But, it is an emotional one.

This is a well written review of it.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Movies

 

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You are Killing Me

Holder & Linden

I’ve been watching AMC’s “The Killing” all season.

It started out fantastic. As opposed to most crime dramas that solve a case in little over 30 minutes, I loved the concept of one murder for the entire season. I loved that you got to see what the victim’s family was going through. I loved that there was a complex web of characters, and that this wasn’t just a high school love quarrel gone wrong. It had some great things…

The show through much of the season was not guaranteed a second season. In the beginning, you weren’t even sure if Sarah Linden (the main detective) was going to be around as she was supposed to be moving to California with her fiance. But, that relationship was not fully developed… He seemed like a dick. She seemed like her heart wasn’t in it. And, that relationship petered out. Which to me said, “Ok, if there is a Season 2, they’ll be building it around her.” I just chalked it up to one of those plot lines for character development of Sarah. Fine.

The show had many plot lines & character introductions that made you go, “hmm…. What the fuck is the point of that?” But, it’s certainly not the first show to do that (see “Lost), and it is reasonably expected that detectives would run into dead ends during a murder investigation. Again, I was completely on board with this as they had 13 episodes to solve the murder, rather than 30 mins.

But then, something happened, that really derailed the show. For me, I think it was during Episode 10. All season, we had been reminded that Sarah is a good detective. Whether that came from comments from the police chief, or as evidenced in her throwing herself headlong into the case despite its’ affect on her relationships with her son, fiance, and her guardian/friend. And yet, here is this seasoned detective who has lived in Seattle for some time, who is finally following up on a note in the victim’s book that says “Adela 1145.” And, you keep seeing her looking quizzically at Rosie’s key chain at various times of various episodes. Yet, she never seems to recognize the logo.

And then, at the end of episode 10, she goes for a run. And stumbles upon a ferry launch for a boat named “Adela,” whose last launch is at 11:45pm. Now to her/their credit, Belko seemed to indicate that it was a person named “Adela” that Belko heard her talking to on the phone. But, still a simple google search of that phrase would have I’m sure brought up the fact that it was a local ferry, and a departure time for that ferry. Plus, and more infuriating, Sarah boards the ferry, I guess to see where it goes. And, while on it sees the logo for a local casino emblazoned on a bill board. Now, having grown up near local casinos all my life, I know how much advertising they do. There is no fucking way that a casino is in the Seattle area, and the detective does not know their logo. NO FUCKING WAY.

I don't fucking know. Do you!?

So, this was the point that they seriously through for me a loop. They suddenly made the lead detective look completely inept. Follow that up, with episode 11, which is a fucking waste of an episode spent looking for her son who skipped school. Are you fucking kidding me? And, then in episode 12, we find out that the victim, who was supposed to be this down-to-earth, good natured kid, is actually a prostitute?

And then, the final insult came in the season finale. In which, what everyone thought would be the conclusion of the case, was revealed to be a fucking cliff hanger. Are you kidding me?? No resolution to the question that has been the catch phrase for (what was thought to be) this season; “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” Every show wants a cliff hanger. I didn’t expect it to be the Rosie case. I figured they’d solve it & then open the door to another murder, perhaps. But, this finale just fucked us over.

Not only that, but it indicted Holder as the man involved in the frame job of Richmond.  Holder.  The character that they have spent A LOT of fucking time trying to say “He looks shady, but he isn’t.”  They made you buy into him.  And, then they threw ALL of that character’s goodwill out the window in the last 20 seconds of Season 1.  Why?

Bill Simmons has a great scathing article about this posted on Grantland. Also, there is this scathing review from Maureen Ryan over at AOL (wow – I just referenced AOL!). And, a very fair comparison to “Heroes” from EW.com.

I have to admit, it’s going to take a lot for me to decide to invest any more time in this show.  Fuckers.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Television

 

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