Archive for July, 2010

You Are My Sunshine, My Online Sunshine!
 

Taken a few days ago. I now have two flowers opened!

I had originally planned/tried to grow these all along the border/fence of the barnyard. They only seemed to take in a few areas, and others started to grow but died in our heat wave. A few days ago I finally got a flower though.

I keep meaning to post a real post. I have watched a few good movies recently I wanted to recommend, and talk about other things. Every time I start . . . I get distracted. A bigger post tomorrow, I’ll find something to talk about :)

Garden Muncher And New Shelves!
 

So before I headed off to Virginia, I had moved all the potted flowers I worked on growing to the barnyard area so they’d be easier for John to water, everything in one place. Yeah, unfortunately some rodent creature also decided to make them into a tasty treat. Seriously? My growing plants/flowers are more appetizing than a field of growing plants and veggies? It’s like shoplifting from KayBee when Toys’R’Us is nextdoor! I was FURIOUS! So I had to cart all the pots, some giant, back out to the front yard where they first started. What sucked was the gobbler decided to choose the day after I transplanted a lot of them from the larger containers to smaller ones, to keep the larger containers from being over crowded. I’m pretty sure it’s a groundhog. So far since they’ve been out front, no real problems. I just have to see if they heal from being chomped so much. I am planning to plant stuff in the ground next year, once the ground is cleaned up and ready of course. I just decided to give some potted flowers test runs this year.

The front porch, which you can see has been stripped of ivy, and the ivy stripped the paint. Also the front bushes, the bricks I’m gunna eventually use to line the garden area then mulch.

Thanks to the heatwave, the sixth one we are on now, I basically stopped doing yard work. It was just too nasty. I figured let the heat kill all the weeds, overgrowth and crud; it will make it somewhat easier for me. I’ve sense moved my focus indoors. Most people never realize unless I show them that we actually have a second bedroom downstairs, aside from the Wonder Woman room. It however has become a storage nightmare. The Wonder Woman room is too honestly. I can make it look nice, just don’t open the drawers or look in the closet :)


Even opening the door to the room is a nightmare . . . . don’t because the cats like to rush in here and then it’s a bitch to get them out!

I have wanted to organize it and the other room for YEARS now. In fact I had told John over the winter we were to get things in order . . . it didn’t happen. So I went out and bought a second bookshelf. I had wanted, and blogged, about a book shelf for the living room/dining room corner for awhile. Especially during the Christmas season to put the never ending nativity on. I never got around to it, and never wanted to make the purchase. I had been eyeing a nice looking one at Le Tar Jay for a year, but then I saw the cheap 26 dollar version. 120 dollars for the exact same thing, just with molding to make it look pretty . . . or 26 dollars for the plane jane version. Hmmmmm. Yeah if I’m paying over 100 dollars for furniture then assembly should not be required! I went cheap.

John of course did not like the cheap. Ewwwww pressed wood! Ewwwww! Well the 120 dollar one was pressed wood too, just like anything from the Swedish Superstore would be. I told him he was welcome to go out and buy something nice and fancy if he wanted. He also complained that I wanted to stack it with DVDs and videogames. Currently they are separated and either on an bookshelf in the Wonder Woman room, or in several different drawers in the TV cabinet. It can be a bitch to go searching for what I want, but John’s point is “they are hidden away rather than on display, which makes us look like grown ups.”

Well first, the only people who see inside our house are my friends. They look through these same things as much as I do, so I feel they’d appreciate the organization :) Second, who cares what the inside looks like when the outside looks the way it has for years :) Third, John is the King of Clutter and has no room to talk here really, cause I know I’ve blogged about his mountain sized piles of unopened mail that cover his desk. They get so bad that I end up having to go through it all and throw out (sorry recycle) countless dollars worth of unread magazines he subscribes to. I just glanced over there right this minute and their are packages on the floor and stacks on the desk I can see. Pfffft!

I told him that I would eventually move the book case out of the living room (though I might need another for Christmas!) and into one of the other rooms. However before those rooms can be cleaned, shit needs to be put in order! I want to put the DVDs/Videogames in the living room, use the Wonder Woman Room bookshelf for actual books, and the TV cabinet for CDs (which again are ALL over this house). From there I can begin dealing with the closets and drawers (which ALSO have CDs, videogames, old computer components). I’ve bought a few plastic bins for some of this stuff. The drawers which hold a good number of my clothes are actually collapsing. I need a new set of drawers honestly and soon. The ones I’m using now? “Pressed wood furniture” from Ikea . . . that belonged to John . . . yeah . . . . grown up stuff :)

My eventual goals for the two rooms, probably not to be fully realized till next year cause I only work on them in spare time, are to use the cluttered room as a guest room and turn the Wonder Woman room into an office and if needed a guest room. There is a pull out couch bed in the cluttered room I’d move into there.

As for other stuff, the second boot camp begins in four weeks and runs two weeks up until the start of the fall semester, when I go back to teaching. It’s my last hurrah of getting a bunch of stuff done and in order. The jobs for fall look good, 2 classes, both the same class, both I’ve taught before. I had tooled with changing the books, but killed that idea. I have the lectures and class done as is, I don’t have the time or desire at this point to change it and all the lectures. Yeah I’ll tweak them, but I don’t have to rewrite them. Then 2 classes at least in the spring, hoping to get one more.

Ace of Base 2.0 vs Jenny
 

One of my favorite groups is attempting to make a come back. That would be Ace of Base. Given the resurgence of electro-pop dance music, it’s not a shocker. The group continued to put out albums and singles in Europe, they just never made it here.

Unfortunately Linn and Jenny, the sister duo who were the singers, have left the band. Linn began to fade into the background after their third album, and by the fourth she could only be heard on a few tracks. She stopped touring with them long ago as well. Jenny ended up departing last fall/Christmas as well.

The two guys have tried to reform with two new girl singers. Unfortunately I feel they are a bit young (based on looks and voices). All we have from them is a 30 second demo of their upcoming single “All For You,” which was just released. It’s not much to go on. Right now I feel like it sounds a little too much like any generic dance song you might find on an itunes radio station geared towards dance music or your dance music channel on whatever cable system you have. The uniqueness that was the sisters’ voices as a duo aren’t here. It also sounds like they tried to find a clone for the blond sister Linn. Time will tell. I’ll have to hear the whole thing and more before I make a final decision on Ace of Base 2.0.

Meanwhile one of the original sisters Jenny has been doing her own thing. She’s recorded vocal tracks for other swedish groups and movies. Now she seems to be trying to make her own debut as a solo artist. Released in May, this is said to be her official first single from an upcoming album. Looks like there might be an Ace of Base music war going on soon!

An Earthquake, And I Missed It!
 

So at 5:06am, a 3.6 earthquake hit the DC metro region, with the epicenter in Rockville, MD. I am home in Virginia at the moment . . . . and slept through the whole thing! We’ve only had one other minor quake in the region, and it was so long ago that I can’t remember if I felt it or not :) These aren’t California sized quakes mind you. My mom said the whole house shook and it felt like a tank went down the street. A good clap of thunder can do that too.

My mom said the dogs went nuts about 45 minutes before the quake. Demanded to go outside, sniffed the ground all over. When they finally came in, moments before the quake hit, they went to alert again.

I can’t believe I slept through it! I’m so effin pissed! I know, weird, I wanted to be in an earthquake. Again this isn’t some 2012 or California type one, though we are on a major fault line here on the East Coast. Most don’t realize that, and one day we might get a big one and several of our cities will be in big trouble as most buildings aren’t built with earthquakes in mind.

Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire
 

This past weekend I finally got to see the second movie of “The Girl/Millennium” trilogy, “The Girl Who Played With Fire.” Definitely an interesting experience as where I saw it, the theater was filled with old people! I thought to myself, do they know what they are here for? Am I in the wrong theater? Watching a fairly graphic lesbian sex scene sitting next to two grandmas was . . . . uncomfortable.

The movie picked up a year after the first one left off. Mikael, the reporter, is out of jail and back working at the magazine Millennium. They are working on a new story involving a sex trade industry that several government and police officials are also involved in. Meanwhile Lisbeth, the girl, returns to Norway to deal with her mother’s death. Their paths cross once again when two people connected to Millennium and the story end up dead, then a third person ends up dead, and Lisbeth is fingered because the gun used to kill all three had her prints on it!

We find out a lot more about Lisbeth’s past in this film, and why she is troubled the way she is. It’s a great interweaving of a lot of characters from the first film and new ones introduced in this film. What I wasn’t too fond of was the fact that Mikael and Lisabeth don’t interact at all in this movie except through the computer. Their chemistry made the first film so great, so I missed that here. Also the end leaves a lot to be desired for. I kid you not when the entire theater groaned when the credits started to roll. From what I understand the final part is set to be released around October. It’s gunna be a long wait!

Another Two Thumbs Up for ass kicking goodness by Lisbeth! And some well deserved just deserts a few character had coming!

Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
 

Last night I finally got to see this movie “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” You may or may not have heard about it. It was a limited release in the theaters at first, but picked up some steam word of mouth. I kept seeing it on a local movie bilboard and was curious. It’s a Swedish mystery/thriller based on the first book of a popular Swedish trilogy. The second movie/book comes out Friday in limited release (much like the original). After watching the first, I’m gunna be at the movies on Friday for sure!

If you like mysteries then this is a movie for you. However, a word of warning . . . it’s very violent towards women. Apparently the proper translation of the movie (& book?) title is “The Man Who Hates Women.” I guess they didn’t think that would sell tickets in America! It is also somewhat of a spoilerish title as well . . . .

The movie is about a man/journalist who is hired and to look into a 40 year old mystery surrounding a missing girl who belonged to this strange, bizarre, yet loaded family the Vangers. The old man who is the family head loved her, favored her, and thus she was a target of the rest of the family. He wants answers before he dies and nobody has ever been able to solve the mystery. A computer hacker (the girl with the dragon tattoo) gets involved in the search as well . . . . and to really say more is to give away some serious spoilers to the movie unfortunately.

This was a great mystery, lots of tension, and yes pretty sick and twisted too. Two thumbs up!

PS if you have a Netflix account, you can currently stream it for free. Unless you have a way to do that to your TV, I recommend renting it to watch on the big screen.

We Have A Patio, A Crippled Fountain And A Grill!
 

I finished sweeping and clearing off the patio this morning. Tried to power spray the dirt away and really clean it, but it’s not working too well. Ending up having to just shovel the mud film left after I sprayed. I set up the fountain again. Poor Pan got knocked off long ago and the fountain filled with dirt and crud. I’m amazed it still works, but Pan has suffered a serious leg injury . . . . poor guy.

As you can see I have my grill out to grill this weekend. Happy Fourth everyone! I’m actually grilling tonight. Unfortunately here it’s going to be 97 degrees on the fourth and 99 on Monday and Tuesday. Not sure how many people will actually brave that to go to Philly to see fireworks. We’re not! I’m hoping John gets off work early enough tomorrow and he’s not too tired that we can go out to eat and see the fireworks from the parking lot after. That’s what we did last year if I recall.

Oh and to show that once upon a time, our yard did actually look really nice . . . . a photo from six years ago. Princess playing in the flowers. I think this is actually the day I brought her home, or very shortly after.


The Final: Movie Review
 

So last night I watched this movie “The Final.” Honestly I wasn’t expecting it to be good, because it’s part of this “After Dark Horror Fest,” similar to the “8 Movies To Die For” series of indie horror flicks that never make it to the theaters. Usually there is a reason, they are fairly bad. This one I was surprised by! I think however the subject had a lot to do with it.

I normally don’t go in for torture movies, but that is exactly what this is, on many levels. I also admit to FFing a few scenes cause I couldn’t watch. This movie could probably best be described as “Saw” meets “Heathers.” The story centers around a group of kids at a high school, the outsiders that everyone picks on . . . . tortures you might say. They decide they’ve had enough and plot their revenge, inspired by a history lesson. They invite all the cool kids, and the kids who stood by while the cool kids tortured them, to a cabin in the woods where a party has been planned. The kids arrive and promptly drink drugged drinks. When they wake up they are all chained to the floor in the center of this cabin, the outsiders are dressed in ghoulish costumes and begin the torture. They tell them off the bat, “We won’t kill you, we’ll just make you wish we did.”

Like I said, the movie is a torture movie, but on several levels. The torture bullied kids go through, and the physical torture they inflict upon their tormentors. You really want these kids to get away with it, but things of course get out of hand, and you know there is no way they’ll get away with it . . . yet you still have a little bit of hope they do. The end however is as fitting as the moral of the whole movie. It touches on mainstream societies need to basically ignore this problem of bullying, to cover it up, to try and pretend it doesn’t exist or isn’t the problem it really is.

If it wasn’t so violent, it’d be good mandatory viewing for all high school students. Then perhaps the majority of asshole kids wouldn’t grow up to be asshole adults. Though there will always be assholes in the world, and they’ll be the ones who when they die the only thoughts about them are “good riddance.”

For me this movie came at the perfect time. For months I’ve had this little asshole coming to my blog leaving nasty homophobic comments, like I have AIDS or I’m a deviant and I need to stop molesting children. I am not dumb, I know where he came from, I tangled with him on NJ.com back in December. Since then I guess he’s decided to gay cyber-stalk me on my blog. He reared his ugly head again last night after months of being gone with his idiotic comments. I turned the shoutbox off for awhile cause unlike him, I had better things to do on a Friday night than sit here on my blog banning him over and over as he keeps trying to get back on. I put the box back up this morning, but may just remove it all together honestly since only my mom seems to use it anymore :) But anyways after I turned it off, I watched this movie and felt a lot better. Karma is a bitch to assholes. In the end, it always gets them!


Progressing Slowely . . . .
 

So here was the front areas of the house before . . . .

And here is what they look like now! I got all the ivy off the steps, the porch and the pillars. That was a bitch to do! I also trimmed the hedges as best as I could, till John’s ancient hedge trimmer crapped out on me. It still works, somewhat. The house also needs to be repainted badly, as the ivy took the paint down with it. Yeah I know, the snowflakes are still up. John will have to take them down, I’m not climbing that high!


There is still a lot to do though. I really want to get all the weeds from under this area cut/pulled and then just put down a nice layer of mulch to keep them away! Oh and I put up a new “flag,” but you might not be able to tell in these photos.

The back of the house is coming along too. I massacred the whole area outside the kitchen window and next to it. I still have a lot to pull out from there, then more mulch. I need a ladder to take down the remaining weeds over the window too. That is tomorrows task.

I also found our back porch under all the ivy! I’m gunna try and clean it up tomorrow some more so I can BBQ out there. I bought a cheapo 30 buck grill that works great. Gunna BBQ for the 4th and some friends are coming over. I made a cheesecake for dessert too! I just have to hope John doesn’t eat it all before they can try some of it.