Thursday, November 30, 2006

an interesting confluence
We got an email at work today saying that a sister division is consolidating and relocating its offices in Itasca and Addison. That's not the odd part. The new offices will be in the Rolling Meadows building which housed (and actually still does house the shell of) my former corporate masters.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ways to Cheat at Monopoly
as unsuccessfully practiced by Kirsti's 10-y.o. second cousin:

*misread die rolls
* "Oh, I drew this card by accident but *this* is the one I should have drawn"
*shortchange nearly every payment
*shift your evenly-spaced houses to 1-2-3 when it suits you
*lowball your estimated income tax payments
*pilfer from the bank (an audacious move when you aren't the banker)
*best one ever: go upstairs for a moment, cash in hand; then come back and try to pass this off as a C-note:

This was all in one game, mind you. Kid pulled out all the stops, including claiming that landing on GO awarded you an additional $200. This was at least applied evenhandedly, so I consider it more of a lame house rule than a cheat. Still, truly a virtuoso display of chutzpah.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Movie Log 2006 #89-100
These are no longer in any order.

Cat Ballou - This was probably a lot funnier when Westerns weren't a moribund genre. I liked the bit about the dad (who would later end up with a horse's head in bed in The Godfather insisting that the Indian character was one of the lost tribes of Israel and could speak Yiddish.

It Should Happen to You - This was pretty cute. Judy Holliday wants to Be Somebody, so she puts her name up on a number of NYC billboards. Just her name. Of course, life imitated art many times over ever since, with Angelyne in LA, and various internet/You-tube quasi-celebs. Jack Lemmon makes his film debut, and is his dependable self.

Severance - Dumb, predictable British horror that wants to be Hostel meets The Office, but isn't in the league of either.

The Host - The last, and best, thing I saw at the Chicago FF. An excellent Korean monster movie.

Top Hat - Another of the interchangeable Fred Astaire movies; more enjoyable this time because it lacked blackface.

Attack the Gas Station! - A few years ago at Gen Con I briefly checked out the Hong Kong marathon and caught the very end of this Korean (not HK) tale of a seige at a gas station. I was completely confused, and also didn't know the title. Well, it's aptly-named.

Broadway Melody of 1938 - This was on TCM the other day. Apparently Eleanor Powell was a big deal back when. Also, Judy Garland shows up. What an unappealing pig-nosed girl.

Home Movie - A documentary by the makers of American Movie, this sprung from a series of commercials. The homes I'd most like to live in had the most annoying owners, and vice versa.

Space Mutiny - An MST3K movie that used stock footage from the original Battlestar Galactica and had Reb Brown cavorting with some woman who could have been his mother. Good times.

The Constant Gardener - Well done overall, but there are still bruises from where The Message hit me.

College - We bought the in-laws a DVD player. Kirsti's dad had picked up a couple of DVDs at the dollar store, and this Buster Keaton feature was the first thing we watched.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The endorsement
Kohler kitchen and bath products, particularly their Sterling shower door customer service. A roller on one of our shower doors disintegrated the other week. We didn't install the door and have no idea who actually made it, but a trip to Home Depot led me to believe it was a Sterling door of indeterminate model. Even though I had very sketchy information, and am still not sure if I even *am* one their customers, they're mailing us some replacement rollers free. Rawk.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the Up meme continued
Those Up movies are designed for the viewer to make all sorts of snap judgments about the fates of the subjects. We had this running debate over whether one dude's wife was going to leave him. (personally I thought she was fine. I'm not sure why our room full of modern, intellligent, feminist women found her so unappealing).

Such judgments about me would have come in the 14 installment. I'm sure most viewers would predict that I was on the verge of a long downward spiral. This would have been the end of 8th/beginning of 9th grade. Two friends and I had recently been arrested for breaking into a closed school. I had been suspended from school twice, one for an offense that today would have me expelled. I gave myself a botched poseur haircut one day before we got a family picture taken. I'm sure in my interviews I would have lied about the occasional drinking. Academically, I was doing fine. The decision to forsake the high school where most of my friends were going for the inner-city magnet school was a tough one. But I figured I wanted to go into TV.

Of course, all my subsequent interviews would be totally boring. At 21, the first of the loaded Michael Apted questions would have come up (Why did you go to school so far from home? Do you feel that you've failed since you decided not to do broadcasting?). By this time I would be a junior/senior in college, looking to go into sportswriting. I had a long-term girlfriend, and would be trying to figure out how that would work after school. My parents would have recently split up. A product of that was my mom coming out. Questions would include how that affected me (outside of informing my politics on GL issues, not much, as I was away from home at the time).

At 28, I'd be a year married (to the aforementioned GF), and doing corporate quality work. Again with the job/failure questions ("Since you aren't using your degree...")("why'd you suck so bad on Jeopardy?"). I imagine I'd also get asked about eloping and living far from both of our parents, and whether any of that was done to get back at them. 35 would be just last year. Once again in a degree-appropriate field. Homeowners. Probably the only issues of interest would be the decision to be childfree, and growing concern over how to deal with older parents while long-distance.

Yeah, that was pretty boring.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Movie Log 2006 #84-88: The Up series, dir. Michael Apted
In anticipation of 49 UP hitting theatres and DVD this month, we rented the set of the previous films in this series (I'm not counting 42 Up in the tally because I'd already seen it), had some people over, and watched them in one 12-hour binge last weekend. I highly recommend this; perhaps not all in one day, but in as close succession as one can stand. The series was never meant to be viewed in this manner, so we ended up seeing some of the recap footage six or more times throughout the day. (Paul really doesn't like greens.) Also, Apted has apparently pissed off a few of his subjects with his line of inquiry. One participant notes she thinks she has a pretty good life until every seven years when she's made to feel bad about it. I think that rather than deliberately trying to provoke, he's testing the thesis of the original film: Britain's class structure is entrenched so that one's life path is pretty well determined by age 7, and deviation from that path might be considered a failure.

Which leads to a potential meme: What would your interviews be like at the intervals in the film (7, 14, 21, etc.)? What leading questions might get a rise out of you?

At age 7...We were still living on the Northeast side. The closest school was far enough away that I had to be bused, and with one car, a 3-y.o. sister, and a mom who didn't drive (long story), I couldn't get to the park-rec stuff that some of my friends were doing. As I recall, this chafed a little. I was reading far ahead of my grade level, but remember struggling with math. I had a fierce "I can do it myself" streak, which meant I was horrible at a lot of things but refused help with them (to date, my handwriting is atrocious). I don't remember what sort of career ambitions I had at 7. Probably a Jedi. The lofty goal of movie projectionist would come later. Girls weren't icky, but I didn't have whatever 7-year-olds call girlfriends. I suppose my parents would say we were poor. Aside from whatever toy I craved at the time and didn't get, I don't remember wanting for much, and we'd own a house within a year.

Friday, November 3, 2006

I had a bit of a thing for her for a while.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Cold Stove
I have a feeling headlines involving Liriano and doctors' opinions are going to be as common as "No. 2 al-Qaeda Leader [captured/killed]".

Also, the Silva pickup is not inspiring me.