Sunday, February 16, 2003

Winter, Church, Pickup Lines, Movie Reviews.

There's a lot that I think about but don't do. For instance -- church.

Many of you readers know that I do go to church. Usually every other week. Except in the summer. I'm not a stellar participant. I often times am bored. Other times I'm thrilled to attend and the liturgy of the Episcopal communion service touches me deeply.

But in this household, we've suddenly stopped going. Christmas eve was the last time we were there. And it's starting to have an impact on the other parishioners. I've gotten two phone calls and a little "thinking of you" note from one of the older ladies in the women's group.

They think we've stopped coming altogether.

Fact of the matter is, we haven't. No conscious decision has been made to cease being churchy people. It's just that I've got a list of rather good excuses, at least, I think they are rather good.

1. I like sleeping.
2. A lot... I have been sleeping until 11 and I could sleep a lot later if I put my mind to it.
3. It is very, very cold out and I just don't feel like being up and out the door at 9:30am when it is 8 degrees and windy.
4. I ...

When I say "we've" stopped going, what I mean is I've stopped making a big deal out of it and making everyone go. Doug's not too excited about our church. He didn't grow up Episcopalian, and just doesn't really jibe with the format. The kids like it for the most part, but I kind of feel they aren't getting a lot out of Sunday School. Jessica is two academic years away from confirmation age, and just doesn't seem interested in her faith.

I feel we've stuck with the church for a long time here because they're in transition. Part of me wants to go somewhere more dynamic and fun. Another part of me wants nothing to do with modern evangelical culture, which is why this particular Episcopal church is so nice.

No one is in Promise Keepers.

No one gets into these women's conferences about Faith and Makeup.

No one gets all into someone's face about whether or not they are for or against abortion.

They're all really nice, quiet, mellow, polite and sometimes very funny people. And I'm very very happy and comfortable with them.

In the past two weeks I accidentally blew off meetings with professor MF. We are getting ready for our presentation that we are doing in March at a conference in Worcester. I didn't "accidentally" forget once. I forgot/skipped out knowingly three times.

Once I was napping, and when she called no one in the house picked up the phone so I didn't know she was calling. I didn't hear the message until several hours after she called. The second time I had a phone interview and was supposed to call her afterwards but someone else called me immediately after I hung up and I got to talking and ... an hour went by. And the third time, I just ... forgot. And that was honest.

She took it personally. She got rather terse and short with me the third time. I told her in all honesty, trying not to laugh, that I swear to God I totally forgot and didn't INTEND to blow her off. I told her that I've become rather forgetful in the past several weeks. I forgot to go get Jessie after choir one day, and remembered about five minutes after I was supposed to be there. Luckily for me I didn't get yelled at by the school. What made me remember? It was 4:15 and Geoff and I were watching Pokemon, and I suddenly realized she wasn't there yet. Oh yeah -- Tuesday. Pick up girl. Riiiiiight.

MF told me that I sound like someone who is depressed. It hadn't crossed my mind -- perhaps I am and I'm not really aware that I am. I mean, I prefer sleeping to human interaction. I would rather lay around than do dishes. Going outside of the house for anything -- shopping, laundry, Church, is not a priority. I blame the cold for my lack of interest in outside activities, but deep down, perhaps she's right.

Winter this year is long and painful. I long for the melting. The rebirth of spring. The joy that is Easter. The resurrection of my personal spirit. Flowers. Gardening. Geocaching. All these things are like Persephone herself. Below the ground. Awaiting the warmth of awakening.

Here's one for ya. I've told two people about this and gotten their feedback. I'd like you to drop me a line and let me know what you think.

My wonderful sister moved back home to NY. A few weeks ago she was out with some friends. There is this kid, we'll call him Steve, who she knows. He was there with his roommate, whom we shall refer to as Bob. Linda is hanging out at the bar with this Bob guy, and he asks if he can see her cell phone.

She hands it to him, and he programs his phone number into her phone, and hands it back to her.

No "call me, babe" kind of stuff. No piece of paper for her to lose. No "what's your sign?" sort of skeevieness. No request for HER phone number, although Bob could always ask his roommate Steve because Steve and Linda are friends.

So here's what I want to know -- do you think that what Bob did is cute or creepy.

Doug thinks it is creepy. My friend Carrie thought it was really cute and she thinks Doug might think it's creepy because he didn't think of it (not that he should or would... if he's in bars programming his phone number into cell phones of chicks he just met, I'll smack him. But, I digress). I thought it was rather clever. Very unique move on his part.

What do you think? Clever and cute, or creepy and just plain wrong?

We rented some movies this weekend, which we haven't done for a while. Geoff picked out the Crocodile Hunter movie. I must admit, Steve Irwin is kinda sexy, but he's a fucking WHACKO and that is kind of a major turn off. Insanity and snake handling just do not do anything for me. But. He's kinda cute. I think his wife/snake-wranglin' partner Terri looks like the brains and sanity of the operation. The movie was lame. Someone at some studio saw him as a money-making opportunity. And there was no real compelling story other than the USA is bad and hates the environment and Steve Irwin loves nature. Yay! Meh.

Best part of this movie was the outback rancher widow, Brozzie. A great big burly beast of a woman, she was out to kick the croc's spiny ass for eating her cattle. The fish and game nature police were no help. Notably, she played the wife in Babe, Pig in the City. She was awesome. And I asked Doug if he thought it was funny that Aussies are always portrayed as hat wearing, farm ownin', gun totin' whackos with nice tans. We would fit in nicely in the outback if it weren't for how lazy we are.

In the end, of course, Steve and Terri save the day.

That wasn't the only exposure to Mr. Steve Crockmeister we had this weekend. Discovery Kids was showing Croc Files, and geoff wanted to watch that as well. They followed the four most dangerous snakes found in Australia. It was gross. Doug wouldn't have watched it at all, and it made me think of how Doug's mom would have a severe stroke by seeing those snakes (ooooh, she hates them) and his grandfather Pappy would go get a hoe from the garden and start smashing the TV with all those snakes being shown. There is no love of snakes in my husband's lineage. Jessica often said she was going to grow up to study snakes, and I think she said it just to piss Doug off and watch him froth. hee hee.

The best part of the episode was the end where they talk about what to do if you're bitten by a snake. Steve starts in with this whole act about how he got bitten by a rope snake and Terri comes to his rescue. They are obviously making up the dialogue as they go... and there are a few times Steve starts laughing when he's supposed to be the panicky victim. Very funny.

Steve (in Aussie Accent): "AAAAH! Crikey, I been bitten by the deadly rope snake!"
Terri: "Not the dreaded Rope Snake! Anything but that!"

She bandages him up with a pressure bandage to the arm to keep the venom isolated in his forearm (I learned something this weekend) and prevent it from moving up through his lymphatic system while he kept yelling "It's still on me!" (the rope was still on his leg).

Also on the docket was "Goldmember," Austin Powers 3. Lame, but had it's moments. The subtitle part with the Japanese businessman was very funny. Fat Bastard was extremely revolting and I just couldn't look. Best part of the movie was the descent into evil by Scott Evil. Seth Green is awesome. And Beyonce was very good as a blaxploitation style foxy mamma, with a body and voice that can kick yo ass. I also liked the whole Harry Potter Hogwarts kind of spy school they attended. And the kind of Star Wars-esque family twist at the end there -- I thought that was lame. But, it made sense. They built up to that from the very start.

Overall, the cameos and the silliness of the Hollywood surroundings made this movie a parody of itself and I didn't like it nearly as much as I'd hoped. Michael Cain as Austin's dad -- that was great casting. So much of Austin Powers is based around characters played by men like Michael Cain back in the 60s. So that was kind of like seeing Indiana Jones and his dad. There was a lot more potential there, but... meh.

And lastly, a little movie called "Scotland, PA." Which I give thumbs up to, even though it is way too close to it's original tale to have been clever (and if you go to the IMDB link above, you'll figure out very quickly what story I'm talking about by the character names in the cast listing).

They could have done more to make you figure out what the story was going to be... but on the whole a very well done movie with a great soundtrack (lots of Bad Company, and a great original song called "Pennsylvania Turnpike," which cracked my shit up).

Maura Tierney (News Radio, ER) is very good here. And Kevin Corrigan, the brother from "Grounded For Life," has a nice role where he turns out to be a lot smarter than the stupid ass you think he is. Christopher Walken is very funny and smart as the detective (smart compared to the local cops, that's for sure).

The kicker is the lead guy is some dude who had a great 80s Jon Bon Jovi kind of look to him, and he did a great job. I've never seen him before but he's been in dozens of movies that I've seen. Funny how that happens.

I won't tell you what the story is, you'll have to rent it and see how it turns out for yourself.

Another movie I'd recommend while I'm on the topic of weird little indie films is "Buffalo 66." If you've never seen that -- do. Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci are awesome. Great story. I was scared off from it almost by the beginning "commercial" at the start of the tape where they hawk the soundtrack. They use "Yours is No Disgrace" by Yes as the music for the suspenseful ending, which is great -- nice to see old Yes songs getting put into soundtracks. But the selections of images and moments from the film that they put around it made me nervous. I didn't want to see the film if this was what I had to look forward to. But... I stayed with it and I'm glad I did. So, if you rent it, don't be put off if you have the same feeling I had in the onset. You'll be glad you watched it.

My daughter and her best friend are currently on the phone. They are watching the rebroadcast of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from last week. They are both real dog fans.

Even though Jessica knows how this turns out in the end (Kerry Blue wins) she and her friend are still enjoying it together with a running commentary about this dog being cute and that breed is awesome.

She sounds so... intelligent. Like she knows all about breeds when really the extent of her knowledge comes from this program alone over the last three years.

Kind of nice to hear her talking this way instead of talking about pop music and Aaron Carter rocking on fire. Which, I know she wouldn't. But it's still always nice to hear how she sounds when she talks with others. She agrees and validates other opinions. When she disagrees, she isn't rude and bossy. How nice!

Anyway -- Geoff wants to play Grammar Rock on the computer. I should get off. I doubt I'll post again before leaving. Cross your fingers and blow on the dice for me. Lucky 7s here we come! Woooooooo

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