Saturday, March 23

kathleen madigan

Back in my late teens/early 20s, I used to watch a lot of stand-up comedy because who doesn't like to laugh? One of the comics I remember from back in the day was Kathleen Madigan. When I found out she was coming to The Palace Theatre, I knew we had to go. Jake and Brian love stand-up as well, so the three of us went to Greensburg last night to see her. And, it was a great show! I laughed for an hour straight. Brian and Jake really enjoyed it, too. I'm pretty sure that Jake was the youngest person there. It seems like every time we go, the place is filled with 40 and 50-year-olds. But, seeing how that is my demographic, I guess I should not comment negatively on it.

Monday, March 18

volunteering update

Time to take a break from all of the entertainment posts and actually post about something that is going on in my life...

So, as you might recall, I started volunteering at the Humane Society of Cambria County last September. It has been quite a fulfilling activity for me. I have kept true to my schedule of volunteering two hours per week. And, I mostly walk dogs while I'm there. And let me tell you, walking dogs for two hours straight is tiring (but, in a good way)!

Sadly, one of the dogs that was there when I started is still there. Her name is Cinnamon and she's a pitbull mix. Not sure why she hasn't been adopted as she doesn't seem like a bad dog. She had a lot of anxiety when she first arrived at the shelter (and this is her second time there), but seems to be doing better now. She always gets excited when she sees me and I always walk her first.

It is nice to see the dogs week after week and then find out that they got adopted. I know not every adoption works out (as evidenced by the occasional return after adoption), but I like to think that most of them are getting good homes.

Sometimes, when the weather is especially crappy I will do some laundry or play with some kittens between walking dogs. But, those have been the extent of my activities.

I just got word that I was approved for the "Foster for a Day" program! This means I can take a dog out for the day and do whatever with it (hiking, Petco, hang out at the house, whatever). With the weather getting nicer, I should be able to start doing this soon. We can't really hang out in the house due to all of the other pets that live here, but I can see some garden time in our future. And, Cinnamon is definitely on top of my list of dogs to take out for the day. I'm really looking forward to this--expect additional reports in the future!

Sunday, March 17

halloween

Saturday nights are for movies. In the DVD player was the 2018 version of the movie, but it wasn't a remake--just a continuation of the story. In it, Jamie Lee Curtis reprised her Laurie Strode role, but this time she was a senior citizen. Ha. I guess people get old in 40 years.

In this movie, the powers that be decided to move Michael Myers from one mental institute to another. Wisely, they chose Halloween for the day to do this. Of course, something happened and he got loose and went after Laurie and her daughter and granddaughter (and a bunch of other people as well). From what I'm remembering, this was more violent than the first Halloween movie. I recall that one being more suggestive of violence, rather than overtly violent. But, this version was definitely a slasher film. Not one of my favorite genres, for sure, but I just had to watch. It was good for what it was.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, March 11

mister b. gone

This is the first Clive Barker novel I have read in quite some time. It was a good reminder of what an imaginitive writer he is.

It tells the story of a demon who is trapped in the book (and who talks to you directly while telling his stories). You would think this would be hokey, but it worked.

Unlike some of his previous books, this was a pretty short one (around 250 pages).

My rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, March 10

bird box

Due to the tepid reviews, I wasn't sure if I should watch this movie or not. But, I decided to give it a go last night and I did enjoy it. Of course, it's one of my favorite genres (apocalyptic), so that helped turn the scales in its favor. The premise was that some nefarious presence has invaded earth and anyone who looks at it is driven to suicide. Pretty interesting.

My rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, March 3

clothes shopping

A few years ago, I tried out Stitch Fix. It was fun getting new clothes in the mail, but the clothes weren't my style, so I canceled that subscription and tried Trunk Club. The Trunk Club stuff was a lot more to my liking. However, it came at a big price tag, so I decided to end the subscription last year.

But, I still need clothes, so Jake suggested that we go to TJ Maxx, as I had never been there (I'm not much of a brick and mortar shopper). We went there yesterday and I was pretty happy with the place. They had a lot of brand-name stuff and the prices were great. Jake got two pairs of pants and I got a pair of jeans, two button down shirts, a rain jacket, and a baseball hat. A pretty good haul. And, it left me with enough money left over to buy a couple of pairs of shoes and some t-shirts online (I could find neither at TJ Maxx). After shopping, we went to Panera for lunch. What a fun morning!

Sunday, February 24

a dog's purpose

This was a cute movie about, well, a dog's purpose. The story was told from the point of view of a single dog, through several reincarnations and owners. If you like dogs, you will probably enjoy this movie. I don't see how you wouldn't.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday, February 19

orphan x

I was really hoping to be into this book by Gregg Hurwitz, as I've liked his other stuff. Plus, it's part of a series, so it would have given me some new books to read. But, alas, I found the writing to be excruciatingly detailed and it wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped. I suppose this is in line with the character, who was an orphan and selected for a government program to basically be trained as an assassin. Not too far-fetched, eh? I could live with that because most fiction is, well, rather fictional. But, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, February 17

a simple favor

This movie was kind of a black comedy/thriller. I wasn't sure how the combination was going to work out, but I really enjoyed it. Plus, the hot guy from Crazy Rich Asians was in it.

In short, the movie was about a mom who befriended another mom. The 2nd mom went missing and was found dead. The movie was about unraveling that mystery.

My rating: 3.5/5

Monday, February 4

other weekend news

Every time Brian and I drive through Greensburg, we always comment about how we should go to Barnes & Noble sometime. We finally made this a reality yesterday. I haven't been in a bookstore in years and this one was quite nice. Brian bought a book on philosophy, but I didn't end up getting anything. I was hoping to pick up a book on knitting socks, but while they had a few, none of them were quite what I was looking for. And, since we're so overloaded on books, I've become a little more discerning on what I purchase, so I did just want to buy something to buy something. The place was surprisingly packed. All of Greensburg looked pretty hoppin' for that matter.

Today, we went to my parents' house to celebrate Brian's and my sister-in-law's birthday. This is the first of three birthday celebrations for Brian. My mom made a delicious turkey dinner and we spent the afternoon there. 

Sunday, February 3

dunkirk

Jake and I like war movies, so we checked this one out on Friday night. It was different than most war movies--it told the story of the massive evacuation of soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, which is in northern France. So, it wasn't the usual sort of war story. Jake really liked it. I thought it was pretty good, too. 

My rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, January 27

bad times at the el royale

This movie was ok, but a little too clever for my tastes. The beginning was a mass of confusion, but they thankfully (sort of) explained everything as the movie went on. But once they did that, nothing new really happened. And, it did drag on a bit longer than necessary.

My rating: 3/5 (mostly for Chris Hemsworth's abs)

Saturday, January 19

the chalk man

This was an enjoyable enough read, but I felt like it was trying to ride on the coattails of the It/Stranger Things success. The book wasn't really long enough (it was less than 300 pages) to fully develop the characters in the manner of  It. Ironically, I got the recommendation for this book from Stephen King's Twitter account. He really liked it, for what it's worth.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, January 16

remember when?

Last night, I found a flea on Esme. Remember when we didn't have to worry about fleas and ticks in the winter? Those were the days. Since Esme is outside so much, she pretty much uses flea and tick preventative all year round, but I try to give her a little break when the weather is super cold and the little pests are less active. Needless to say, she received a dose this morning.

Monday, January 14

the florida project

There certainly wasn't anything wrong with this movie, I just wasn't that into it. It was a story about the lives of people who live in motels outside of Disney World. The single mom, unemployable type. Mostly it followed the one woman's 6 year old daughter. It was definitely well-written and acted. But, like Brian said, every time he walked into the room there was some kind of annoying noise coming out of the speaker (mostly kids screeching). 

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday, January 9

back to abnormal

Buster seems to be doing better. His appetite is back and the medicine did its job. And, he stopped trying to crawl into bed with us (just like a little kid, he likes to sleep with us when he's sick).

Saturday, January 5

dean's list

Jake made the dean's list for his first sememster! Yay!

it's always something

Sometime last weekend, Buster unknowingly got into a bunch of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I didn't know that it happened until he threw up some wrappers. After that, came the diarrhea. And more wrappers. Sigh. Things kept getting worse, so Brian took him to see the vet on Wednesday night. They gave him some medicine, and he's doing a little better, but he still has diarrhea. I hope this clears up soon.

Thursday, January 3

tattoo you

Maybe 10 years ago, I got a Jake tattoo on my wrist. It was kind of a novelty thing, as it read the same upside down as right side up. I was never really happy with the implementation of it and it got a little blurry over time as tattoos are wont to do. So, I've been wanting to cover it up for some time now. It took me quite a while to figure out what to get (I ended up going with a Jake-created design of an American Traditional-style heart with a couple of small flowers). My next hurdle was finding a tattoo artist whose style I liked. And, I found someone this year--Devin at Lemon Bomb (here in Johnstown).

Yesterday was the day. My appointment was supposed to be after work, but she contacted me to see if I could go in earlier, so I took a break from work and went in the afternoon. It took less than an hour, which was good because that was a rather painful place to be tattooed. And, it turned out great--I'm really happy with it!

Originally, I was going to get an anchor tattoo on my wrist, but we just couldn't figure out the placement of it in order to do the cover up. But, I really, really like the anchor Brian drew for me so I'm going to get that on my upper arm in a couple of months. In addition, I have a couple more tattoo ideas so I think 2019 is going to be the Year of the Tattoo for me.

Tuesday, January 1

elevation

I received this new Stephen King book for Christmas and finished reading it last night. Clocking in at just under 150 pages, that wasn't much of a feat. And since I finished it yesterday it doesn't count towards my 2019 quota of a book a month. I guess I better get on to the next book.

Anyway, it was a pretty good story, but being a short story there wasn't a lot of meat to it. Still, better than anything I've read recently.

My rating: 3/5