Monday, February 28, 2011


Lost.  I’ve just begun watching the TV show this week.  The word has something of a double meaning for me at the moment though.  In my current situation and harboring feelings of being lost, I was naturally drawn to the title.

I’ve only watched four TV shows since 1994:

  • Sex and the City
  • Alias
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Wire

The reason I steer clear of TV shows is that, if the show is good, I get completely sucked in.  To illustrate my level of addiction, I started watching the first pilot episode of Lost (there are two pilots) on Wednesday of last week – five days ago.  Right now, I am watching episode 18.  Including the two pilot episodes, that’s 20 episodes in five days. 

My progress is now impeded due to some technical problem with the Netflix server or something.  I’m watching in 30 second – 1 minute intervals.  Addiction.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Valentine’s Day

It’s February 14th, the sun is shining, I’m walking through my neighborhood wearing sandals, and the temperature is 67.  Sounds beautiful right?  Well, not really. 

In reality, I’m stressfully darting around Capitol Hill from apartment viewing to apartment viewing trying to find a reasonably priced rental abode that isn’t gross.  In an annoying twist of fate, it turns out that the rental market is totally saturated.  Mortgage interest rates are up, there’s no extra tax credit for home buying this year, and there are very few places available for rent. 

The apartment hunt was a diversion, a task I could embrace and throw myself into - even though it was depressing to look for apartments for just you on Valentine’s day.  My spouse and I had recently decided to stop cohabitating.  There was a considerable amount of anguish hitting me repeatedly, but when you have to focus on closet space and pet rents – one’s mind is distracted from that. Temporarily.

One week later...I probably shouldn’t be putting this out there but I can’t find an image that appropriately sums up my situation today.  Back to work.  Moving forward clumsily.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

The American


The American (2010)

On the heels of a rough assignment, assassin Jack (George Clooney) declares that his next job will be his last. Dispatched to a small Italian town to await further orders, Jack embarks on a double life that may be more relaxing than is good for him. Although duty will surely call, Jack becomes friends with Father Benedetto and falls for villager Clara in this suspense thriller.


The words to describe this film are hard to find…ridiculously in love with itself come to mind.  Among the reviews there are basically two opinions that surface, either the reviewer found the movie boring or zen-like.  Roger Ebert goes so far as to liken Clooney to a Samurai.  I found it hard to care about Clooney’s character.  I mean you find out almost nothing about him and you’re never quite sure what the hell he’s doing. 

I also found myself comparing it to the Jim Jarmusch film The Limits of Control.  The comparison was in the slowness and the silence.  The difference is that in Limits of Control there is something actually palpable in the silence.  It has fantastic shots and crazy characters.  The American’s silence was just flat. 

There were some reviews that agreed with me.  Time magazine’s review referred to The American as “surely the dreariest thriller of the year.”  The New York Post review was hands down my favorite – I love the writer’s style.  The reviewer called it “a pretentious Euro-snore that should occasion a fraud prosecution for any marketer who calls it a thriller.”

My thoughts exactly.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Ever since that Scream Scram 5k around Halloween last year I’ve had an awareness of my enjoyment of silly monster drawings/art.  Over the past few months I’ve been collecting some examples as I’ve stumbled upon them.  The time has come to share.

This one may be familiar to some of you, it’s “Talking Carl” who I think is a charming little character.  He’s available via an iPhone app – he will repeat whatever you say in a silly Talking Carl voice.  Absolutely indispensible app…


I found Carl and the family below on the same web site, which also has a number of other strange characters.


Here are some others I liked.  I found most of them at one of two web sites.







That is all.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blue Valentine


Blue Valentine (2010)

Once crazy about each other, Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) have now grown apart. Cindy is bored and disenchanted with her life while Dean languishes in the emotional emptiness of their sexless, routine life in rural Pennsylvania. As they muddle through their marriage, they hearken back to the golden days when life was filled with possibility and romance.

You might be thinking to yourself, “jesus that sounds depressing.”  Well, sure, the subject matter was not exactly joyful and, I have to admit, at times I did feel the heaviness of the dissolving relationship.  But the story was so emotionally complex and the film had this really visceral quality to it. 


The way the story rolled out reminded me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in that it started with the stale relationship in the present, but jumped back and forth between that time and the beginning of the relationship several years earlier.  This lent the film a bittersweet quality that gave the audience ample respite from the tragedy of the present relationship.

Michelle Williams gave a fantastic performance, but I have to say that Ryan Gosling was absolutely snubbed by the Academy – he was amazing.  They truly are two talented (and hot) actors.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ten below

I watched the weather intermittently throughout the day and my data collection indicates that the high was about zero.  It didn’t stay that warm for very long though.  Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 13 degrees.  I’ll be honest with you, Denver doesn’t get this kind of weather very often.  Heck, it was nearly 60 on Saturday!

I’m lucky or I’ve happened to make the right choices in life so far or whatever.  My heat is working.  I have warm smoked gouda macaroni and cheese in my stomach.  I have leisure time to goof around with my iTunes settings, read magazine articles, write blog posts, and so on.

Realizing that I have little to actually complain about, I will give a few examples of how the sub-zero temperatures in Denver today affected me. 

  • My cheeks are permanently red – it looks as if I have a triangle of blush directly below my eye areas. 
  • I have vertical sock impressions on my shins and calves from the knee-high wool socks I wore all day in an attempt to insulate every part of my body.  Unfortunately I don’t have any wool panties, but they do exist! 
  • My body freaked out a bit in warm yoga also.  I think it was calibrated to the super cold temperature and just didn’t know what to do with the extreme temperature change.  I was sweating much more than usual and my heart was pounding.
  • Sweaty from the warm yoga effort, nearly all of my hair froze while waiting for the bus – even with a hat on!
  • Every time I enter or exit somewhere my glasses fogged up, which looks really sexy. 

Here are some of the things I found myself thinking about today, while reminiscing with myself about the past summer:

Humboldt 012

glacier g 186

random 010

Scary movies

Well, kind of scary, but also kind of stupid.

Devil (2010)

In this edgy thriller, Det. Bowden (Chris Messina) must not only save 5 people trapped in an elevator -- a mechanic, a young woman, an old woman, a guard, and a salesman -- but he must act fast because the devil is among them.


Yes, this is an M. Night Shyamalan movie, which immediately puts it into a certain category – for most not a good one.  I have to admit that I enjoy the concepts in Shyamalan’s movies, if not the delivery.  This one was only about 80 minutes long, which makes it more palatable, but I actually don’t recommend it.  The concept wasn’t that interesting and the characters were pretty flimsy. 

Case 39 (2009)

To save 10-year-old Lillith Sullivan from her abusive parents, idealistic social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) welcomes the girl into her own home -- only to discover that Lillith isn't quite the innocent victim that she claims to be. As Lillith's mysterious past comes to light, Emily finds herself in a world of danger.

Modern devil child movie with annoying child actor.  Bleh.  Poorly acted and a tired tale.  Please, for me, skip it.


Buried (2010)

While on a job in Iraq, civilian contractor Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is attacked and kidnapped, then awakens to find himself buried alive in the middle of the desert with nothing but a lighter, a candle, a cell phone and a knife. Does Paul have the instincts he'll need to save himself?


Boring.  You wouldn’t expect a movie with a description like that to be boring, right?  Well, you’d be wrong.  For all the suspense and terror the movie tried to convey, I just didn’t feel it.  I did chuckle a few times.  The guy has a cell phone and gets transferred, put on hold, and leaves voicemail messages.  I chuckled and I do think it was meant to evoke a sense of the ridiculous of modern communication especially in a situation like that.

Ryan Reynolds, the lead (and only role), doesn’t really deliver the performance required to carry a one-man show.