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Showing posts from November, 2008

Highlights in Baby Holding

Sarah's cousin Hannah was probably the first baby I'd ever held, and I must have been nineteen at the time. Her Uncle Fred (ten or so minutes after we first met) said, "Phew! She stinks! You hold her, Dave." And I did. I held her at arms length, like she was a scorpian or some kind of deadly snake. I could feel a room full of people all watching me, all thinking this guy doesn't have a clue, does he? After holding her for about ninety seconds, still as far away from my body as possible, somebody finally releaved me of this terrifying burden. My nieces came next. I don't have a lot of memories of holding them as newborns because, frankly, newborns scare the shit out of me. I know that whenever I did hold them, I did it in the way that small children do: I sat on a couch and crooked my arm and someone put them exactly in place (and then removed them again without me moving an inch). Huge jump in time here, but I think Jorge's baby came next. T

“Do you know what that is out there?” “Whatever it is, it’s winning.”

Surprised to say it, but Cloverfield works for me. At least so far (54 minutes in). I don’t think it’s a spoiler if I give the very basic premise: giant monster attacks Manhattan, we follow the journey of a group of twenty-somethings trying to survive, and the experience is documented on handheld video camera. You can imagine that the camera part was the bit that made me feel a little dubious. But I’ve bought it. I haven’t real life bought it, but I've movie bought it. It’s about as realistic as an attack from an eighty foot monster—in a movie. What I'm saying is: I recommend that you check this movie out. Two notes, though, before I forget. It’s rated PG, which makes me say, “Are you KIDDING ME?” So far, I’ve seen a totally exposed chest cavity and someone’s head explode into a mist of blood. Can we at least throw an AA at it? Second, the subway tunnel attack totally cribbed the head crab sound effects from Half Life 2. I may or may not chime in later to say whether I lik

From now on, I think I'd like people to refer to me as Stuntman Mike

Death Proof is on right now. I think I liked this movie. I didn't see it in the theatre, but I caught the double feature (with Planet Terror ) when it first aired on TMN. I remember being unable to decide if this movie was too talky by half or if that was what made it good. Quentin Tarantino has a great talent for finding unknowns and giving them great parts (Ving Rhames, Michael Madsen, whoever the hell plays Butterfly in this movie). He also draws out great performances from actors who haven't done much in a while (i.e. Kurt "Stuntman Mike" Russell). And he also has a really big, really obvious foot fetish--more obvious here than in any movie previous (and it was pretty goddamn obvious before). This would make a good Movie Marathon pick, if I didn't think everyone had already seen it. And for the record, I don't want to be called Stuntman Mike because I espouse any of the virtues that this guy holds dear (I really, really don't), but because I j

One, Twice, Three Times a Humpy

Twelve Weeks A lot of you have heard this story before, but before we went to the first ultrasound I'd naturally assumed I wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of what I saw. I think that in my head I was picturing ultrasounds from the olden days, where they looked like photos of deep space or of someone's colon. But as you can see, while a little grainy, everything was easy to make out. My first thought was, "That baby is HUGE for twelve weeks!" forgetting that they'd magnified things about a thousand times. I also didn't realize that I was looking at still photographs. They'd get a good angle, snap a picture, and then hold on it to do measurements. But then a few minutes in, when the technician was looking for a new angle, the kid started rocking out. He (although we didn't know it was a he just yet) actually flipped over on his side and flipped back again, way faster than I ever thought something that small could move. And for the re

An old man who doesn't understand those fancy interwebs

That's what I feel like right now, because it took me forever to get a Flickr badge up on my sidebar. I mean I work on computers all day, I've got a half-dozen computer related interests that bleed into my evenings, but sometimes the most basic things don't come easily too me. Flickr was like a new language to me. A dead language . And if you've used Flickr , you know that's it not really all that complicated. Stupid today. Regardless, I've got a few photos from the Movie Marathon up there. Finally. Am old. And slow. And incontinent (but that's neither here nor there).
I'm watching The Last Man on Earth right now. It's from 1964 and stars Vincent Price, and it was the very first movie adaptation of the novel I Am Legend. Fifteen minutes in, and it's already five times as creepy as the Will Smith version. This movie works because, well... because it works . Vincent Price hasn't seen or spoken to another human in three years. He spends his days burning corpses, refreshing his food stores, and methodically searching door to door killing all of the zombie/vampires he can find. (Haven't gotten far enough in to establish what the creepy non-humans are.) Nights are spent barricaded in his home, while the zombie/vampires taunt him and try to scratch their way inside to kill him. I Am Legend never worked for me because I didn't buy Will Smith's 'being alone has made me crazy' bit, and also because the CGI monsters were so poorly done that Big Willy might as well have been menaced by these guys . And I guess the cr

I told you, people

This crib: she is assembled. It only took us about an hour and a half, there was no cursing, and we didn't break anything. Yes, we had beer, but it was victory beer. You may have noticed that we've covered the matress with the kind of blanket only a crazy old cat lady would own. Let me be clear that this is not some kind of theme for the room. The blanket is simply there for the inevitable moment when Gunther decides the crib would be a good place for him to have a snooze. This does not explain, however, why we have that blanket in the first place. The answer to that question is simple: I am a crazy old cat lady.
Operation Crib Assembly takes place tomorrow. Actually, we've got a number of tasks that will fill up our Saturday, but putting a crib together is the biggest one because it's the most difficult, frustrating bit of assembly you'll ever perform in your entire life . Allegedly. For the record, I am not remotely worried about this task, but I've had at least four people warn and/or taunt me about it. "Oh boy. That's gonna take forever. " "You're going to hate it and hate everyone around you by the time you're done." "I hope you've got beer in the fridge." Now I'm not claiming to be the handiest guy in the world, but how hard can this shit be? Does it involve welding? Do I have to assemble hydraulics? What is this secret complicating factor that I'm not aware of it? I'm not going to beat any world records putting this thing together, but if it has instructions and none of the parts are missing, I can probably figure

Write... or DIE!

I'm writing this post on Write or Die , which is something I heard about a looooong time ago and then promptly forgot about--until Rebecca mentioned it a few days ago. She used it to catch up on a word deficit for NaNoWriMo. This is my very first time using it, and I have no idea what the consequences are. Which is making me very nervous. The idea is you have to keep writing at a certain rate, and if you slow down you're punished. I'm rocking mute right now, so if the punishment involves sound this is gonna be a bit of a letdown. Okay, curious now. What happens if I stop? ... Oh boy, the screen turns a bid red-ish after ten seconds or so. Oh jeez, it gets redder and angrier if you keep waiting. REALLY making me nervous. Not sure why. Maybe it'll start showing scenes from Audition if I wait long enough. Damn it, the curiosity is killing me. Okay, gonna let it go for fifteen seconds. ... Eeeeee. Didn't die. I seriously feel like someone's going to s

Damn, I likes me some Rilo Kiley

It's been a while since I've latched onto an album, listening to it every single day. I think high school would have been the last time really , back in the height of my drama nerdom where I played The Waltons Lik My Trakter or Bargainville by (*coughs, shuffles feet, mumbles*) Moxy Fruvous every single day for what must have been about two years. But just two weeks ago, I took Rilo Kiley's Under the Blacklight our from the library, and I've been listening to it ever since. Going in, I didn't know anything about the band, other than that they seemed popular with the hipster crowd. I knew and liked a few Jenny Lewis songs, but for whatever reason I expected her stuff in Rilo Kiley to be totally unenjoyable; experimental, with impenitrable lyrics, just so indie it hurts. Totally wrong, though. It's fun, catchy stuff start to finish. Under the Blacklight is an amalgam of a various styles and influences. It's hard to describe and I'm tempted to w
Tonight we went to The Montfort Hospital for a birth centre information session. Of the ten or so couples there, we were the least far along in pregnancy. And of the expectant mothers there, Sarah was far and away the best looking. That's not just personally prejudice talking. Not to hate on a bunch of pregnant ladies, but there were a lot of shovel-faced people in that room. But I digress. The session was great, very practical, and delivered by one of the staff nurses. Info on when to head to the hospital, what to expect when you're there, procedures with a physician versus a midwife, forms to fill out, visiting hours for relatives, the closest place for coffee and sammiches , all the good stuff. The hospital is big on breast-feeding, and big supporters of midwifery--neither of which are a guarantee at other hospitals, so we think it's fantastic. Getting back to ugly people, though, we saw some pretty unattractive dudes, too. There was a Powerpoint presentation in the se

Taking that second gimmie, and you can't stop me

There was a long list of things I meant to do after work today, but I just couldn't make myself do anything (except take a pretty half- assed run). It's not fatigue, either. Well, it's not tiredness. I had an incredible sleep last night and felt totally normal this morning. I'm just low on something. Enthusiam? Gumption? Whatever it is, the tanks are empty. It's funny to think I need time to recharge from sitting on my butt and watching movies for a whole day, but that's what I need. And that method of recharging seems to involve making a very long list of things to do and then discarding that list.


While my tweets petered out and I didn't do an immediate victory post, rest assured that we made it to the end. Delirious was super-dated and pretty awkward to endure at times, but then you get to a skit like "Ice Cream Man" and you can almost see everyone in the room mouthing the words. After that was through, we put the house back in place, hung out for a bit with Rebecca , dropped Jorge off in Stittsville to catch his ride back to T.O., and then we slept real hard for about five hours. Since then, I've eaten and cleaned up, and done my best to shake off the cobwebs. And now, thank yous. Thanks to the long distance travellers. Jorge, Rebecca , I hope your trips home were safe and mercifully quick. Thanks to my tech crew. Joe: the sound system rocked the house. Literally. And way to set that up in short order, too. Chris: thanks for the TV and PS3 loan, making this look like some kind of professional operation for once. Thanks to our first-timers—Shelley, Rebecca ,

MM IV - 8:17AM

As of right... ... ... ... now!--I'm the only one to not have nodded off at least once. It was down to me, Jorge, and Chris, but they've started making zees on either side of me. Audition was slow to start, but awesome in its complete over-the- topness (I know that we woke all the sleepers with our screams of auuuuuughhhhhh , and gaaaaaaaaaah , and ohgawdnaaaaaaaghhhh . Brutal. Totally. Not sure that we'll ever find something quite that... gross? Messed-up? Impression-leaving? I don't think The Mist played quite as scary as I thought it would, but the ending was a complete and utter downer--now that I think of it, one of many downer endings tonight. Now it's Tremors and despite the Kevin Bacon- ness , Paul Gross- titude , and Reba McEntire - ity , I don't think anyone is terribly compelled. But like I said: we're almost through. Just the shortish Delirious next, and we can all fall into blissful oblivion.

MM IV - 1:33AM

So... oops. I used some bad maths and it looks like we have a whole extra hour of free time in the middle of the night. We're watching some videos of Jorge's kid, and then maybe we'll review some of the tribute movies we've made. There are five of us left standing at the moment: Chris, Shelley, Jorge, Isha, and me, although I think Joe should be back in action some time soon. Since last time: Hard Core Logo: good stuff, especially enjoyed the soundtrack this time around, and I think everyone liked it. The Oh in Ohio: really did not go the way I thought it would, right from the start. And it involved a lot more Danny Devito lovin' then any of us expected. Dolemite : weak, and sad. The trailer was eight times more awesome than the movie itself. Audition is coming up next, and we're trying to get all the last-minute eating in while we can. I don't know that much about the movie, but the phrase "stomach churning" came up an awful lot.

MM IV - 6:40PM

Okay, we're five movies in now and it's going nicely. Everything has played well so far, people are happy and fed (thanks, Sarah!), and our A/V material is wicked. Jorge is rocking some real time updates , videos and all. We're running pretty late at the moment, but I can slash some time off the dinner break and put us back on track. Death Race 2000 was so good I almost want to start every Movie Marathon with it. Butch and Sundance went... well. I was on the go for most of it, but it seemed to me that once the boys got to Bolivia, it got a bit long for people. Lifeboat : universally enjoyed by all those who remained conscious. The Iron Giant: we laughed, we cried; it became a part of us. Now we're into the highly profane (but no less awesome) Glengarry Glen Ross. Only slightly less profane than Glen and Gary and Glen and Ross .

Fourteen hours from now... I'll be drunk

I've had serious ants in the pants all day, for obvious reasons. Work was busy, fortunately, filled with goal-setting. Not my favourite thing in the world, but it kind of forces you into active participation, and if I didn't have that diversion I probably would have lost my ever-loving mind with the waiting. The house is 85% ready. Most of the food prep is done (thanks to Sarah), the house is clean and the cooler is stocked (thanks to me), and now we do some waiting. Chris will be coming by in a bit to drop off his TV, then I'll head out to the airport to pick up Jorge. I'll feed Jorge beer and make him help me move some furniture around, then I'll force him to go to sleep (with the assistance of ether, if necessary ). My audio system arrives early tomorrow courtesy of Joe and Isha , and shortly thereafter, we'll be watching David Carradine run over people and overact. ... Oh Jebus . And then Chris came, and there was TVs, and Mega Men, and I was late picking u

Sleep, where I am a Viking

Weeknights, my bedtime comes at midnight. That’s generally the earliest I pass out and that means I average seven hours of sleep a night. It works. It grinds me down a bit as the week goes on, but I usually catch up on a few lost hours over the weekend. Now, I’ve tried experiments with getting less sleep before which have always been unsuccessful. But this week I’m trying something crazy: I’m getting more sleep. I think it started Sunday, where I was half unconscious by 11:00, and rather than fight it like I usually do I just went to bed. And I felt really good the next day. It felt so nice I tried it twice. Then it occurred to me that there are worse weeks for me to be building up my sleep stores. So, all of this week I’ve been getting a full eight hours of sleep. I can definitely feel the difference. My concentration is better, my mood has been consistently good, in general I feel measurable more with it . I miss that hour, though. That’s a full on hour of Me Time I’

Three days and counting

Of the twelve movies I need for Saturday, I have seven of them in my possession at this moment. Three others I can rent at pretty much any video store out there. The last two—Dolemite and Audition—are giving me grief. My go-to place for this kind of thing is Elgin Street Video. It’s a little place just two minutes away from where I work, and they’ve got a great collection of cult and arthouse films (but at the same time t hey’re not too proud to carry stuff like Roadhouse, Footloose, and The Thing). Sadly, they’ve let me down this year, 0 for 3 on the hard-to-get films (Dolemite, Audition, and Death Race 2000—the last of which no one was renting so I had to go and buy). My second choice video store in these instances is Invisible Cinema, which has an even wider selection of rare movies than Elgin Street. Problems being: a lot of their stock is in VHS, they have a limit of five rentals per customer, and the last time I was there the place reeked—like a Sumo Wrestling match had finished

The crying and the eating

Most of the time, Sarah hasn't really been crazy hormonal during this pregnancy. There have only been about three days where she's been wacky, and I'll tell you about one of them. It was early on, three months in, and as soon as I walked in the door from work she said, "I have to warn you, I'm feeling really emotional right now." She was also extremely hungry. It was first trimester, and hunger often turned to nausea really quickly . So we threw together the quickest meal we do—bean burritos—and we dug in. We were talking about something . I honestly can't remember the topic, but I do remember that it wasn't especially contentious or frought with emotion, but that it had Sarah in tears thirty seconds in. Usually when she's upset, I'll console her, tell her it's okay, but this was just so... odd... I had to sit back and watch. Because she was really upset, but she was also really hungry . Which resulted in her crying and eating a

I so wish I hadn't used one of my gimmies yesterday

Okay, I'm not that tired, but I was trying to tuck myself into bed by 11:00 each weeknight leading up to Movie Marathon. Alas. So I mentioned the shower in brief yesterday. In further detail: my sister-in-law and my mom put together a shower for Sarah on the Saturday just past. It was largely McLean family and the place was packed by the time I left. (Like any good husband, I got the hell out of Dodge, killing time in a casino with some of the other men until the shower was over.) So having said that, most of my knowledge of the shindig is second hand. There was a ton of food, a truckload (or Protege-load) of gifts, and a variety of games. My personal favourite was: hold a paper plate on your head and draw a picture of a baby on it, prizes going to best and worst drawing. Everyone was extremely generous, and despite the fact that we didn't register, there was only one duplicate among the lot (and that was a teething ring, which is fine because we can throw one in the freezer w
I was going to write a good post today but, brother, I am wiped out. We were back in Georgetown this weekend for a baby shower that my family threw for Sarah. They did a fantastic job and everyone was incredibly generous. I'll go into detail about it tomorrow, but right now I've got to get my sleep on. I promise not to do too many of these excuse posts. Let's say I have two left between now and the end of the month.

And Vista, not so awesome

I made the mistake of trying to install Microsoft Messenger on a Vista machine. First, I have a shit-ton of problems just trying to install the software. May or may not have been Vista's fault; I don't really know, because I don't really know how I fixed it. Past that, I go to run Messenger. Vista says, Windows Messenger has stopped working. Would you like to find out the problem? Indeed I would, I say. To help protect your computer, Data Execution Protection has shut down your program. No explanation why, or what the hell that even is. But it does give you the option for changing DEP settings. Okay, let's do that. After five minutes of navigating, I'm given this Sophie's choice of: Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services ( currently selected), or turn on DEP for all programs except those I select. So I've got to potentially spread this application-cancelling bullshit to every application on the machine and then deselect it j

Why Twitter Is Awesome

I get it if you're afraid of Twitter. You think what imaginary space is this trying to fill? We've got Facebook, and blogs, and messenger, and how many damn outlets does a person need to express themselves? I won't get into trying to sell all the merits of it; that's been done by smarter people than me. I just want to share this screenshot. To me, the best part about Twitter is not getting to post my own stuff, but getting to read everyone else's.

My inability to make tea

I think I mentioned that Sarah spent the majority of the first trimester nauseated. Lots of different things set her off. She had to eat right after waking up, to the point where she kept a bag of almonds in her bedside drawer. Sweet things turned her stomach, ditto anything acidic, and coffee quickly became a no-no. So, her morning coffee was replaced by water. Later in the summer after the nausea went away for good, she caught a cold. Morning tea came into regular rotation, and even after she kicked her cold, tea was still in demand. Which became my duty. I set the coffee machine, I get up first. So every morning when she was sick she would say, "Can you put the kettle on?" Getting the kettle on and making tea adds about fourteen seconds to my morning routine, so in theory it shouldn't be a problem. Except that it is. Because unless I'm specifically asked, I can almost never remember to do it. I think it's because I've established a routine and followed it

The List of Movie Nerdery: Part 2

Here's an important admission: I didn't always give the films my undivided attention. I usually did. I want to say I almost always did, but that would be reaching. Let's say nine elevenths of the time I had my eyes glued to the screen from start to finish. But sorry, some of the films were dead boring and, dammit, no one was paying me to watch them. Depending on the movie, there were three possible reasons why I didn't pay attention: It was jezus boring It was overly theatrical (either a play ineffectually turned in to a movie, or just a movie that felt like a play) I was in a piss-poor mood that day. For the most part, I don't regret not giving these films their due. The Life of Emile Zola, You Can't Take It With You, Gigi : I really caught up on my Minesweeper while the three of you played. Cavalcade, Mrs. Minniver : I paid so little attention to you that I had to go back and read a synopsis right now to confirm I actually had seen you. The Apartment, The

The List of Movie Nerdery

What’s a shame is that I don’t have this mythic list anymore. In the Great Laptop Fail of August 2008, I lost the list... among many, many other documents. (I wish that the laptop had literally burst into flames, or announced “FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.” in its best HAL 9000 voice, but it simply decided to never boot again. Along with being shitty, it was a let down from a dramatic standpoint as well.) Anyhow, the List of Movie Nerdery was a spreadsheet I compiled one day when I clearly had way too much free time on my hands. The idea came to me after finding this list posted on Roger Ebert’s site entitled “ 102 Films You Must See Before You Consider Yourself Film Literate .” Nerd that I am, I popped this list into a spreadsheet and checked off what I’d seen, and it turned out I was batting about .350. I started thinking about other films lists I’d come across and wondering how I’d rank there, and a few hours later I’d compiled a megalist . Along with the Ebert list, I dumped in the AFI’
Exhausted today for no good reason. Makes no sense, man! We fell back, we didn't spring forward. I should feel glorious. However: don't. I was going to do a post about my List of Movie Nerdery (which is totally unrelated to the movie marathon), but I just don't have it in me so we'll save that for tomorrow. I know this is a lame post, and yes I'm ashamed, but with thirty days of posts in a row these all can't be gems. At three days running, this is probably tied with my longest ever streak. Okay, this is only getting lamer. I'm going to stop now before I start using emoticons and telling you what pop song best describes my mood. (FYI: It's "We're All In This Together" from High School Musical 3. ;)

Fauna, Flora

With Humpy on the way, we're spending like fiends these days. Car seat, bassinet, stroller, Baby's First Tranquilizer--all the essentials. And on top of this other stuff, we decided to get a new camera. Our last one was an absolute POS that got worse with age. If you took a picture, and you had the audacity to want to take another soon afterward, and God forbid if you actually used the flash, you waited forever for that damn thing to be ready for the next photo. I can't count the number of times I'd heard Sarah say, " I hate this camera !" Actually, the full line is, "Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I hate this fucking camera!" Because Sarah is a big fan of onomatopoeic sounds, and also she was raised by pirates. Our new camera is a Fuji Finepix S100 FS. Camera smarts is among the many types of smarts that I lack, but Sarah's dad is the camera guru and he directed us to this one. It's a bridge camera so it's not full on SLR, but it has film sim

Movie Marathon 2009 (Held in 2008)

So we're holding next year's Movie Marathon this year, and we're doing this because, after Humpy arrives, staying up for twenty-four hours straight will probably be less of a novelty. It also means (ideally) that we'll have to shovel the driveway eighty-seven less times than last year. This year's hootenanny is being held on November 15th, starting at 10am sharp. After much deliberation (more this year than any other) here is the night's lineup: 10:00 Death Race 2000 11:45 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 2:10 Lifeboat 4:00 The Iron Giant 5:40 Glengarry Glen Ross 8:20 Hard Core Logo 10:05 The Oh in Ohio 11:44 Dolemite 2:30 The Mist 4:50 Audition 7:00 Tremors 8:51 Delirious Movies that were really strongly considered but didn't quite make it: Commando, City of God, 300, Zoolander, Boondock Saints, Beverly Hills Cop, and The Dark Crystal. Maybe next year, fellas. After falling short last year, consider the unofficial title of this year's event to be Slee