Weekend Update – Movies

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We managed to add two movies to our viewing list this weekend, along with dinner at Ralph’s Great Divide on Friday and Mama Carolla’s on Saturday, an overly sweet bottle of Reisling, much work on Stephanie’s part, and my reading the Sunday paper, a book and lots of blogs.

Murder By Death (1976)
Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco, and Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, David Niven, Maggie Smith
A Neil Simon murder-mystery spoof from 1976 that tacked every funny genre conceit of murder mysteries with an ensemble cast of stars. It was very funny, and I’m not sure how I missed this one before, given my teenage love of Agatha Christie novels. It was clearly the inspiration for another favorite comedy of mine – Clue. Strangely, I don’t own clue, although I remember it being in the $5 bin at Target. Wonder why I never picked that up.

Failure to Launch (2007)
Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew McConaughey
This was a lot funnier than I expected, although I say that with reservations, lest someone think I’m approving of the recent misogynist cinematic trend of “Guys who refuse to grow up and still get the girl.”
Wait a minute here… Matthew McConaughey was born in November 4 1969? He’s younger than me? He looks like he’s in his late forties. I had so much trouble with the idea of him still living at home, because he looked so old.

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Weekend Update: 2008-01-06

Dunno what my last journal entry covered, so let me start at the top – we rang in 2008 at the traditional party at Dan and Doug’s, which is always fun and pretty low-key, and thankfully a few blocks away so we don’t have to risk life and limb. I got really toasted, but managed to not have a hangover the next day; pretty excellent. I seem to have made a dozen different resolutions lately; I’ll work on them if I remember them all. The books resolution is firmly cemented and I’m sure I’ll do well on it.

I have a new niece as of January 2nd at 3:42 a.m. My sister Stacy had her baby, named Annabelle. I’m suffering from “Twitter is killing my blogging” or I would have mentioned it before now.

Stacy's baby Annabelle

So I’m an aunt, again. Yay! Stephanie and I decided we’d get the kid started right, so we set up an ING savings account and automated it to deposit $20 ever month. After a couple of years, we’ll look at investing it. Stephanie’s Dad invested the money her family gave to her when she was a baby and she has a nice nest egg because of it, so I thought it would be good to do something similar for my niece.

This weekend we had a really full To Do list, and we managed to get a lot of it done. We put away all the Christmas decorations and finally cleaned up after all the Christmas baking and the tons of cooking we’ve done at home lately. We’ve done really well about making meals at home rather than dining out, but it does have a tendency to trash the kitchen. We got other vacuuming and cleaning done, and I managed to finally package up and get ready to mail some gifts we’ve had around the house since this summer. I completely failed to do my crime watch block leader stuff; I’ll have to get to it soon.

I had a full-blown cold after Christmas that went away, but left some sort of sinus thing in it’s wake that I can’t seem to shake. Dunno what that’s about. On January 18th, I’m going to be getting laser surgery on my eyes to correct my vision. I’ll take a few days off, but I’m not too worried about it. I have a pretty high pain threshold these days. If it doesn’t involve I giant hole in my chest, I’m not bothered.

I’m going to keep track of the movies we watch in 2008, in addition to the books I read. I’ve never really kept track before, but in reconstructing this past year’s list, it’s apparent movies aren’t really a high priority in our house. I can recall seeing 24 movies, and only 6 of them were in the theater. The bulk of our movie watching was on Netflix. I’ll reconstruct the list in another post.

This weekend we got the movie Madeline from Netflix and watched it. It’s a live-action version of the children’s book that Stephanie adored as a kid, so it’s been in our queue. It was cute but the story didn’t flow well, and we spent the whole movie analyzing what plot points came from the books. However I have had the Carly Simon theme song stuck in my head all morning, so it made some sort of impression.

I’m currently in the middle of reading The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books by J. Peder Zane (a present from Stephanie’s Mom) and The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden, which was a present from my friend Jen.

I’ve also been playing several different video games from bigfishgames.com. We had a coupon for free downloads with a Barnes and Noble purchase, and after playing their version of Mahjongg, I started looking at some of their other games, including Madame Fate, Mystery Case Files – Huntsville, and Mystery Case Files – Ravenhurst. They’re basically scavenger hunt-like games, where you poke around rooms and find missing items. I find them a lot more fun than war games and blowing up crap, though.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update: 2008-01-06

Weekend Wrap Up

These wrap ups are turning into a long list of “finished chores” aren’t they? Oh, well. At least we’re getting shit accomplished. Eventually I’ll write something that someone other than me wants to read. We’ve made some pretty major purchases lately (see dog fence and truck shell), so we’re trying to stay and home and enjoy the house, and avoid spending large wads of cash, so the emergency fund can replenish itself. We did well on that; I think we spent less than $10 bucks this weekend.
Saturday it was raining, and I couldn’t work in the yard, so I went through all my board games and weeded out a bunch that needed to go to good will. Unfortunately, I kept more than I got rid of from the stack I had identified as “getting rid of.” But I have some plans for the one’s I’m keeping. And I rediscovered a number of games that should be fun to have people over to play.
I also spent a chunk of the morning organizing tools in the basement. This was fun because Stephanie’s dad is big on giving her tools, and she has lots of stuff that I’ve always wanted to use. There’s still more organization to be done, but I have a better idea of what we own, which is good.
While Stephanie ran board games to good will and went shopping for her costume, I scraped peeling paint off the siding on the front porch and repainted. These were the areas where water leaked down onto the walls from the roof where the idiot roofer left our gutters off the house all of last winter. I wish I’d scraped and painted earlier; it looks much better. So the porch is presentable for trick-or-treaters. We also put out a giant spider web and some other creepy decorations. This make me wish I had never gotten rid of the life-size plastic skeleton I used to own, though. He’d be great sitting on the bench on the porch.
Saturday night I dressed up as a pirate and Stephanie dressed up as Eloise one of her childhood favorite books. Stephanie looked great, but I’d say I don’t think my pirate costume was terribly successful, and I probably won’t wear it on Wednesday to work. We did have fun at the party, though.
On Sunday, we set a few tasks for ourselves:
1. clean the cat litters out (don’t worry; I won’t narrate that)
2. Put together the log rack we bought earlier.
3. Put together the fire pit we bought earlier.
4. do some errands for the neighborhood association.
5. read
6. watch some of the backlog of shows we have DVR’ed.
7. Plan the grocery list for the week.
I wonder why I only capitalized the items that begin with “p”? Hmmm. Anyway, we got all that done. I also managed to staple some chicken wire fencing over some of the gaps in the fence so Spike can’t crawl through them.
In all, it was a very pleasant last weekend in October.

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Weekend Update 2007-10-15

We managed to get a lot done this weekend, and not kill ourselves in the process, which is pretty good for us. Saturday, I put 7 sets of Avon bottles on eBay, which was pretty huge. I have somewhat of an assembly line going on for getting this done, because there are lots of steps and detail to capture. When it comes to selling stuff on eBay, these particular items are a pretty big pain in the butt. You have to gather together several bottles that have something similar about them, unbox them, determine whether the bottles are full or empty, write down the item and information about it, photography the set, box them back up, and find a shipping box that will fit the set, which can be like playing tetris. Then you have download the pictures from the camera, write up descriptions of the set including all pertinent detail, upload the photo and write up the sales description. Then several potential bidders will ask a million questions about the items, some of which will require you to go back and unbox the items, recount them, weigh them, etc. The question they ask is always the one that I didn’t think to write down. Then when the items sell, you have to figure out how to combine shipping if required, pack the shipping box so nothing breaks, address it to the correct person, and haul it all to the post office. Yeah.
I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project – which is to say, all the remaining bottles are unpacked and grouped on a table ready to start in on the process. I think I have about 10 more sets to run through the whole line, which will take perhaps one or two more weekends. I’m hoping to have it all cleaned up and finished before Halloween.
On Sunday we did a lot of organizing upstairs of the bathroom, hallway, etc. I’m very happy with what we accomplished there, too. There’s still a lot to do, but we’ve made progress. I think we’ll have cleaning and organizing most of the winter, but by spring I hope we’ll be done and ready to spend most of our free time with friends instead of around the house trying to manage our stuff.
UPDATE: I re-read this post and realized I sound like giant whiner, and that it sounds like we did nothing but work all weekend, and that I plan to do nothing but work for the rest of the winter.
When it comes to the Avon bottles – I volunteered for this project, so I’m not complaining about doing it at all. I’m just noting that there are lots more steps than I originally thought, and more steps than other eBay sales, so it’s hard to keep track of all the detail. Also, we did do fun stuff this weekend. We ate at Elbow Room and shopped at the mall, among other things. We just also managed to get a lot done, which I’m very happy about. And we’re going to be doing lots of fun stuff this winter, too.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2007-10-15

Weekend Update/eBay Listings

Friday night: picked Stephanie up from Tune Tech after work because the clutch on the Honda is having problems again. Fortunately, it appears to be under warranty. With Phoebe’s battery dead, we’re down to one vehicle – the trusty truck.
Saturday: Spent the morning helping with neighborhood cleanup by driving the truck up and down the alleys picking up branches and trash and hauling to the designated area for wood chipping and disposal. Then sped up to Bonge’s Tavern to meet the family for dinner, since Dad’s getting ready to head out to Payson. Stopped by his house, which is now Todd and Denise’s house. Then sped back downtown to pick up presents for our friend Lori’s birthday party, then sped down to Southport for said party, where we had a blast and stayed until 1:30 a.m.
Sunday: I got up and puttered around the house cleaning while letting Stephanie sleep in because we were out so late. At 11, we went back out and helped finish up the tree branch gathering for wood chipping. Went to Elbow Room for lunch, then came home.
To continue the ongoing decluttering efforts, I decided I’d try to finally get finished the stuff I promised mom I’d do four years ago and sell the rest of her vintage Avon collectable bottles on eBay. (The 200+ bottles I’ve been carting around since then.) I photographed and put together 5 different lots of Avon for sale and posted them, which took about 5 hours to do, although while posting the actual items, we watched
Lot of vintage Avon Bath Toys (Disney/Peanuts)
Lot of vintage Avon Kids Soap Sets & Soap on a Rope
Lot of vintage Avon Bottles Guns & Western
Lot of 13 vintage Avon Bottles Cars/Vehicles
Lot of 9 vintage Avon Bottles Cars/Vehicles

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Weekend Update 2007-09-17

We managed to get a lot done on Sunday to the house. We spent the morning sorting through some of the garage sale pile. Our friend Jen came by with baby Sam to help us sort some clothes in the early afternoon. Later we hung a bunch of pictures that we just haven’t gotten to yet, and in the evening I sorted lots of our tools in the basement. We don’t really need to get rid of any of those; they’re all useful items that I bought for my old house or that Stephanie’s dad has given her, and we have plenty of storage for them. We just need them to not all be in a jumbled pile when we need to find them for use.
I think we have plenty of stuff together for the yard sale. That’s not to say we have the house organized; there’s still tons to do. We’re maybe 25% done. But I’m excited by how much stuff we’ve pulled together.

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weekend Update: Cleaning, Organizing

We accomplished a lot of sorting and organizing yesterday. In the morning, we cleaned out and reorganized the coat closet in the dining room and identified stuff that either needed to go in the garage sale or needs to be relocated downstairs in the space we liberated last weekend in the basement. At the end it felt like we did Pressure Washing in Roseville CA ! However, the result was satisfying.
Stephanie’s dad came down and helped us get a chunk of the garage cleaned out yesterday, too. There’s lots more to do; we only got about a fourth of it done. But it’s a start. We inherited a lot of “it came with the house” stuff in the garage that we need to discard, but some of it needs to be sold. That will have to happen after the garage sale.  We hired #1 Junk Removal in Staten Island NY | Demolitions Rubbish Cleanouts to help us with the junk removal. Some of it will be freecycle, and some will be craigslist. At the same time, he helped us with another garage problem we had; part of the soffit on the south side of the garage was rotting and falling down. I hadn’t noticed it at all. So we need to hire someone to rebuild some of the trim on the garage. For cleaning services in the garage, Top Stockton, California Junk Removal Service | Debris & Rubbish Removal can be checked out!
In the evening, we ordered Chinese food, opened a bottle of Shiraz, watched part of the first season of Maude from Netflix, and sorted out and organized Stephanie’s cassette tapes. (She still has tape players in both cars.)
We have lots to do today, too. Our friend Jen is coming over to help do some more sorting.

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Weekend Update 2007-06-03

We went to Woodruff Place Flea Market yesterday, and only got done with middle drive before I pooped out because I was hot and tired. It was also kind of a pain with Spike. I’ve taken him to it before, but it was far more crowded this time, so I had to think about him all the time, which was very distracting.
We found a loveseat, though, for $30 for the library. After bringing that home and installing it in the library, I took a nap, and Stephanie went grocery shopping. Then we cooked out hamburgers and turkey burgers and sausages, and I mowed, because it looked like rain. Then I did a bunch of work on my route 66 music mix, and hung out looking at the internets and watching crappy movies on the romance channel.
Today, I have a list of stuff to do, but I’m still kinda tired for some reason, so I don’t know how much of it I’ll get to.
I’d like to point out that my birthday is Wednesday, and I’ll be celebrating the occasion sometime on the following weekend, which is also Gay Pride, and the Talbott Street Art Fair. I’m thinking I might plan for a Friday birthday celebration.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2007-06-03