Wednesday, January 31

a mighty wind

I don't know why I like the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest, but I do. They aren't typically outrageously funny or anything. In fact, they are quite subtle. But, I find them really humorous. This one was about the folk music scene. The movie follows a few "groups from the past" who reform in order to play a concert commemorating a recently deceased folk icon. Sound weird? Well, it was, but in a good way. Steve--you might want to catch this one.

Sunday, January 28

they don't make 'em like they used to

This morning, I opened the freezer in order to grab something for breakfast. I saw water dripping, and thought, "this can't be good." I looked around to find that most of the food was defrosted and the dripping water was coming from melting ice cubes in the ice cube dispenser. Argh.

So, Brian grabbed some coolers and I started loading them up. The refrigerator was still cold, so we didn't lose anything from there. I pitched a bunch of defrosted food from the freezer because, better safe than sorry, though I was able to save a few things. I don't keep a ton of stuff in our kitchen freezer, so that definitely helped the cause. Brian had to go to church because Jacob was at Sunday school, so I stayed home to finish transferring the goods to our downstairs freezer and refrigerator. Thank goodness we have an extra fridge and freezer otherwise I don't know what we would've done with everything. I've been thinking about getting rid of our extra fridge (converting it to a beer keg, actually), but now I'm reconsidering that idea.

I suppose this completes the cycle. We remodeled our kitchen in 2000 and bought all new appliances. All the good that did us. Of the three major appliances in the kitchen, this was the last one to break (first went the dishwasher, next the stove, and now the fridge). The fridge I have downstairs was our old one and it has been running without a hitch since 1995.

Now we have to find someone to come look at the thing to see if it can be fixed. I doubt anyone is open today, so I guess our saga will continue until at least tomorrow.

Saturday, January 27

rickety furniture is back, too!

Brian's Rickety ol' Furniture Shoppe is back. Same website, different url.

things that make me smile

Alice in "play mode". It doesn't happen very often. But each time it does, we just stand around and stare at her in amazement. She's such a dignified creature, so to see her like that is really something.

Bob Loblaw's Law Blog (courtesy of Arrested Development). Say it out loud and if you don't think it's funny, too, then you probably don't know how to laugh.

Friday, January 26

back and better than ever

Brian relaunched his personal site today. This time it can be found at brianlaw.org. Check it out!

fight club

The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is - you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. And so it goes.

This was one cool movie. It never piqued my interest, but Brian asked me to put it on the movie list, so I did. He used to listen to movies while working and caught this one once and liked it so much that he wanted to see it. I figured that I didn't have anything to lose because the movie featured a shirtless Brad Pitt. But, the real star of the movie was Edward Norton. What a great actor. He also starred in one of my all-time favorite films, American History X.

Anyway, this was a really good film and it totally was not what I thought it was going to be. And, that's a good thing.

Monday, January 22

the descent

This was one freaking scary movie. It had some disgusting parts, which I'm not a fan of, but it sure made us jumpy, which I like. The darned thing was scary before the monsters showed up in the last half hour of the film. It was pretty fun watching this movie with Brian because he didn't know anything about the plot. He's always complaining that I give too much away (I tend to read a bunch of reviews before I watch any movies), so I didn't tell him anything about this movie. He had no idea that this was a horror flick in the true sense of the word. Boy, was he surprised.

Saturday, January 20

pirates of the caribbean: dead man's chest

Jacob and I watched this movie tonight while Brian was at band practice downstairs. It was entertaining enough, but kind of long, if you ask me. Do we really need 2 1/2 hours of swashbuckling? Probably not. Sure, it was a fun movie and Johnny Depp was terriffic as always, but it seemed like there was less of him in this move than the first one. More Johnny Depp is always better, for the record.

The evening wasn't a total wash--I continued to make headway on the annual update of my electronic recipe file while watching the movie. I only have a few more recipes to type. I was hoping to finish these up tonight, but I guess it'll have to wait until next time.

Friday, January 19

blue velvet

A David Lynch movie and a Margarita can almost make you forget your problems. Almost. This was a pretty good movie, though I do have to say that I like the latter-day Lynch (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and the I-can't-wait-to-see Inland Empire) more than the early stuff. At least he's improving with age, which is a lot more than you can say about most directors. I have to rank this as my 3rd favorite Lynch movie, pending my viewing of Inland Empire.

Thursday, January 18

still here?

This has been one of the most stressful days of my life.

Today, a whole bunch of people were laid off in my department. I was not one of them. I am still undecided as to whether this is a good thing or not. One thing is for sure--my role will be changing from development to support. Having done support in the past, I can tell you this is not my cup of tea. On the other hand, I can still pay the bills. I guess I'll have to wait it out for a bit to see how things go.

Wednesday, January 17

the godfather

What can you say about this move that hasn't already been said? I wasn't sure if I saw this movie in the past or not, but I figured it was worth watching either way. Every gangster movie/show has stolen something from this film. So much so, that I'm still not sure if I saw it before or not. I'm looking forward to watching the two sequels--those'll keep me busy until the last season of The Sopranos.

Sunday, January 14

do you want some cheese with that?

Jake and I just mixed up a Chilean Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon wine kit. It was one I bought last year but was waiting for another batch of wine to come through before I made it. Last fall, the wine store where I buy my kits was selling 5 gallon containers of grape juice. I bought a Chianti one to try out. Next month, it is due to be bottled, so that's why I waited so long to make the kit (the kits only take about a month before they're ready to bottle).

I'm not holding out much hope for my Chianti, though. I tried it the last time we racked it and it tasted exactly like Riunite Lambrusco. And, I don't mean that as a compliment. And, yes, I am a wine snob. My mom occasionally asks for a bottle of my wine to give as a gift to someone. I don't mind giving some away, but I prefer to give the wine to people who actually like decent wine. The last time she asked me for a bottle, she mentioned that this person's favorite wine was Franzia (otherwise known as "wine in a box"). I declined to part with one of my beloved bottles, but boy, will I have a bottle of wine for this person next year.

So, if anyone out there likes Riunite Lambrusco, let me know. I may be looking to unload two cases of a Lambrusco clone this summer. I promise I won't judge you. At least not on a public forum. Well, I won't mention your name, anyway...

Saturday, January 13

brokeback mountain

Brian wouldn't watch this movie with me last night, but he still got to drink a Margarita. I'm not sure why he didn't want to watch it. There really wasn't that much man-on-man action going on in the movie (especially if you compare it to something like Six Feet Under or Oz, both of which we've watched). Maybe a "cowboy love story" just didn't sound appealing to him.

An hour into the movie, I couldn't figure out why anyone liked it--I just didn't find the story believable. The relationship between the two seemingly came out of nowhere and I just found it hard to believe. But, by the end of the movie, I did believe it and that redeemed the movie for me.

Wednesday, January 10

sixth sense

I saw Signs from M. Night Shyamalan a while back and totally did not like it. I knew Sixth Sense was immensely popular, but I was hesitant to watch it after seeing Signs. Well, I finally decided to add it to my list, so we watched it tonight. I was not disappointed--it was a great movie. As old as the film is (1999), I don't know how I managed to avoid hearing about the "twist" of the film, unlike Brian, but I'm glad I was able to watch it without knowing that. This will definitely be one of the best films I watch this year.

fargo

This was an interesting film. Very different. It was basically a crime drama about this kidnapping that went awry, but it had enough ridiculousness in it that you could call it a dramedy. Everyone in the film talked with a mid-west (aka Minnesota) accent. I don't know why, but those accents always crack me up. I thought the one person's accent was a little over the top, so I looked her up on IMDb, only to find out she's a native Minnesotan. I guess that means the other actors didn't go far enough with their accents.

But, enough about accents. Overall, the movie was good. We both enjoyed it, but I wouldn't call it one of my top 100 movies, either.

Tuesday, January 9

surf 'n turf

Brian's dad's 60th birthday is this week (happy birthday, Ed!) so Brian's mom had a family get-together at Surf 'N Turf this evening to celebrate. Surf 'N Turf is one of my favorite Johnstown restaurants. We don't go there very often, but I always enjoy myself when we're there. The food is always good and that's saying a lot coming from me. This evening, I ordered one of my old standbys, crab-stuffed shrimp. As always, it was delicious. They definitely have the best seafood around these parts.

Anyway, how is it that are our parents 60 years old? Just how did that happen? Stuff like that keeps occurring and before you know it I'll be 40 or something. Ridiculous.

Monday, January 8

scarface

We caught this classic over the weekend and both really liked it. It was a pretty interesting story. In it, Pacino played a Cuban drug lord. This time, he was surrounded by an Italian cast (who were all playing Cubans) so the Hispanic thing was a little more believable than in Carlito's Way (but only because all of the Cubans looked Italian. Hollywood is weird.). Plus, his accent was impeccable. It was quite impressive. Interestingly enough, this screenplay was written by Oliver Stone and the movie featured Michelle Pfeiffer in her first major role. Some movie trivia for you...

Saturday, January 6

spring fever

I've got it already and I'm blaming it on the nice weather we've been having--it has me in gardening mode. I've been thinking about trying out the "four season gardening" concept, so I've been kicking myself for not trying it this year. I'm sure it would've worked out great this winter.

My mom got me a cool book for Christmas, Gardener to Gardener: Seed-Starting Primer & Almanac (from Rodale Press--they always have the best books). I got a lot of good tips from it and can't wait to try them out this year. It was a pretty quick read, but I'm sure I'll be referring to it frequently over the next few months.

I've been flipping through seed catalogs for a few weeks now, but the Seeds of Change one I received recently finally inspired me to go through my inventory of seeds and figure out what I needed to order (my order was placed this evening). I'm trying two new vegetables this year, celery and broccoli rabe. I've only eaten broccoli rabe once and I thought it was pretty good (for a vegetable), but it's hard to find around here so I thought I'd try my hand at it this year. Celery seems like a good thing to grow because I usually only need a piece or two at a time and it always ends up going to waste in my fridge before I use all of it. But, if I am successful growing it in my garden, I can go cut off a stalk whenever I need it. The only other interesting thing I'm doing this year is that I'm going to plant a bunch of different types of tomatoes.

So, I'm ready for the garden even if it's not ready for me.

Friday, January 5

crash

This was a pretty good movie. The premise was about race relations and how you might think one way, but act another way, depending on the circumstances. One thing I didn't like about it was that it was pretty tidy. While not quite all of the storylines were resolved at the end, nothing unexpected happened during the movie, either. That said, we still liked it--two thumbs up from us.

all new look, same boring posts

Brian made a new blogger template for me. Isn't it nice? I made some other minor changes to my settings and whatnot and updated my links. I was going to change my blogger url, but the one I wanted wasn't available, so I guess I'll stick with the one I have for now.

Tuesday, January 2

carlito's way

We caught this on HBO this evening. It was a good movie, albeit a little long. Pacino, Penn, what more could you ask for? I didn't really know anything about this movie, so that's always a plus--I was surprised to see Sean Penn playing the part of a dorky lawyer (I thought he was going to be a thug). But, as always, he was great. Of course, Pacino is a great actor as well, but I'm not sure why they are always casting him as a Hispanic. He looks Italian. He is Italian. They did have a funny scene in this movie where some guy from the mafia told him that he looked like an Italian. I guess that's how you get around it.

If you like good movies, you will enjoy this one.

Monday, January 1

the last day of christmas

Today, Judy came over for our annual Christmas visit. She was away over the holiday, so this was the first chance we had to get together. As a bonus, she got to join us for our New Year's Day dinner--pork, kielbasa, sauerkraut, dumplings, salad, and champagne. Since Brian and I don't like to go anywhere on New Year's Eve, I'm thinking about adding pierogies to next year's menu--I figure we can make them on New Year's Eve since we're home and not doing anything anyway. Might as well do something constructive, eh?

After eating, exchanging presents, and bs'ing for a while, we went downstairs and played some air hockey. I'm sad to say Judy was undefeated this afternoon. My only consolation is that I'm still champion of the house. It might not be much, but it's all I have.

Later this evening, we plan to take down the tree and put away the rest of the decorations (Brian already took down the outside lights on Saturday). I can't believe I have to go to work tomorrow. Having all of last week off really spoiled me. At least it will be a short work week this week.

happy new year

We intended on going to Johnstown's New Year's Eve celebration last night, but the cold, rainy weather encouraged us to stay home, instead. We did head out to see the 10pm fireworks, though (as viewed from the confines of our toasty car). They were really nice. The show lasted 20 minutes. That's a lot of fireworks.

After we got home, Jake went to bed and Brian and I finished watching the Sunday night NFL game. Then we watched about two minutes of one of the New Year's Eve countdown shows before deciding that our time would be better spent going to bed and reading for a bit.