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James Bond – Quantum of Solace

As a follow up to [i]Casino Royale[/i], the new James Bond movie, [i]Quantum of Solace,[/i] picks up where the last one left off. It’s basically Part II of the same movie, a straight continuation of this longer storyline.

As a movie, [i]Quantum of Solace[/i] was certainly entertaining. It kept my attention, and moving right along. But as a Bond movie, for me, it was a little weak. Had the producers slipped in James Bourne to this movie instead of James Bond, I’m not sure you would be able tAs a follow up to [i]Casino Royale[/i], the new James Bond movie, [i]Quantum of Solace,[/i] picks up where the last one left off. It’s basically Part II of the same movie, a straight continuation of this longer storyline.

As a movie, [i]Quantum of Solace[/i] was certainly entertaining. It kept my attention, and moving right along. But as a Bond movie, for me, it was a little weak. Had the producers slipped in James Bourne to this movie instead of James Bond, I’m not sure you would be able to tell the difference. There was no Q, there were no gadgets, there was almost no James Bond music.

And there wasn’t enough Bond being, well … Bond. And this is no knock on Daniel Craig. He’s a great Bond. It’s just that he didn’t get the chance to really be Bond. [i]Quantum of Solace[/i]–lousy title–was more of a straight up action movie calling itself a Bond movie. Whereas with [i]Casino Royale,[/i] where Bond could slow down and size up his opponents, being this international man of mystery, in Quantum of Solace it was pretty much run, fight, shoot, kill.

Repeat.

Repeat again.

And again.

I still liked [i]Quantum of Solace,[/i] and I’m sure I’ll be buying the DVD once it’s out, but I hope with the next Bond movie, they take their time to build more subtly into the story. Jason Bourne is a perfectly fine action hero, but James Bond is iconic. Whatever they come up with, they need to just let Bond be Bond, the reason we keep coming back in the first place.

Role Models

So I checked out [i]Role Models[/i] the other day, and it was … not bad.

Is [i]Role Models[/i] a great movie? Uh … no.

Is [i]Role Models[/i] a bad movie? Well … sort of.

But more imporant, is [i]Role Models[/i] a funny movie? Yeah. It is.

[i]Role Models[/i] is your classic good bad movie. It’s not a good movie. It’s barely even a movie. It’s more like a sketch that runs on for two hours. And while there’s not much there, there, and very little plot to hang onto it’s funSo I checked out [i]Role Models[/i] the other day, and it was … not bad.

Is [i]Role Models[/i] a great movie? Uh … no.

Is [i]Role Models[/i] a bad movie? Well … sort of.

But more imporant, is [i]Role Models[/i] a funny movie? Yeah. It is.

[i]Role Models[/i] is your classic good bad movie. It’s not a good movie. It’s barely even a movie. It’s more like a sketch that runs on for two hours. And while there’s not much there, there, and very little plot to hang onto it’s funny enough often enough–with some absolutely laugh-out-loud moments–that it’s worth the effort. I wouldn’t necessarily spend $10 to see it, but when it comes to cable, it’s worth checking out.

If you’re looking for a check-your-brain-at-the-door stupid comedy that will have you laughing, [i]Role Models[/i] pays off.

We Hosted Thanksgiving – And Survived

Thanksgiving has come and gone and tomorrow it’s back to work (sadly), although we’ve still got the rest of this final Thanksgiving Sunday to enjoy.

As a first ever, Liz and I hosted Thanksgiving this year, and I’ve got the pies to prove it. And one thing I learned is that hosting Thanksgiving–when you have a dozen guests–is hard friggin work! I must have washed about nine gazillion dishes (yes, gazillion is an official technical word) throughout the day, my back and knees a bit sore as aThanksgiving has come and gone and tomorrow it’s back to work (sadly), although we’ve still got the rest of this final Thanksgiving Sunday to enjoy.

As a first ever, Liz and I hosted Thanksgiving this year, and I’ve got the pies to prove it. And one thing I learned is that hosting Thanksgiving–when you have a dozen guests–is hard friggin work! I must have washed about nine gazillion dishes (yes, gazillion is an official technical word) throughout the day, my back and knees a bit sore as a result.

I’ll say that the day was a hit, although I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I had hoped. Going into Thanksgiving I assumed I’d have to work throughout, cleaning up, serving courses, etc. But I hadn’t really prepared myself for just how much I’d have to been working, and how little chill time I would actually have. And it’s not that I’m complaining (well, maybe a little–I’m glad we hosted and I would do it again–it’s just that I was unprepared for the intensity of it.

I’ve thrown many parties, and usually once the guests arrive, it’s crack open a beer, play some music, and let the night go where it goes. With Thanksgiving … not so much.

There’s coordination. There’s a steaming hot kitchen (oven, and microwaves and burners oh my!). There’s dishes to wash, garbage to throw out, guests to attend to. I don’t think I sat in one place for more than five minutes at a time for almost the whole day. Sheesh. Talk about hustling!

Anyway, our guests seemed to enjoy themselves, the food was a hit, and as a result of some overly thoughtful giving on that day of thanks, I now have four, count ’em four, pies in my fridge, with my waistline expanding by the second!

So all in all Thanksgiving went well, but next time, I’m hiring in some help!

Gobble, Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

So Long, Penny

In a strange and disappointing twist, Liz and I had to give up our new dog, Penny. She was really a super sweet, playful dog, who was just great with people and a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, Penny just wasn’t meant to live in an apartment. Not that she was bad while in the apartment (she did chew up a few shoes and things at first, but she got over that). It’s that she’s a runner. She’s a chaser. She’s got boatloads of energy that she just couldn’t burn off on the schedule we could keep, evIn a strange and disappointing twist, Liz and I had to give up our new dog, Penny. She was really a super sweet, playful dog, who was just great with people and a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, Penny just wasn’t meant to live in an apartment. Not that she was bad while in the apartment (she did chew up a few shoes and things at first, but she got over that). It’s that she’s a runner. She’s a chaser. She’s got boatloads of energy that she just couldn’t burn off on the schedule we could keep, even with four walks a day. Penny needs a backyard. Penny needs a farm. She needs space–and plenty of time–to run around and go nuts and burn off all that kooky energy she has. And as much as we wanted to, Liz and I just didn’t have the time and space to give her that.

It’s too, bad, too, because if we had a house with a yard we would have very likely kept Penny. But sometimes it’s just not meant to be. We only had her for two months, but we did our best, gave her lots of love and attention, and yet sometimes, as well all know, our best isn’t always enough.

So Sunday around noon I dropped Penny back with the North Shore Animal League–gave them all the info they needed (and which we didn’t have when we first adopted her)–so that Penny can find a home that’s better suited for her. I’m positive she’ll find a good home. She’s just too good of a dog for it to end up any other way.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/11/25 05:10

Dreamer’s Delight – My Recording Breaking Movie

Dreams are funny. They’re often so strange and tangled, filled with all manner of image and flash, putting us in bizarre times and places, some of which seem real, some of which don’t; some are familiar, but not quite what we remember, and some are just off the wall head-scratchers. Some are funny, some are terrifying. Some make perfect sense while others are distorted and swirled and so confusing we can’t figure out which way is up or down. Some seem to reflect our deepest fears, while others sDreams are funny. They’re often so strange and tangled, filled with all manner of image and flash, putting us in bizarre times and places, some of which seem real, some of which don’t; some are familiar, but not quite what we remember, and some are just off the wall head-scratchers. Some are funny, some are terrifying. Some make perfect sense while others are distorted and swirled and so confusing we can’t figure out which way is up or down. Some seem to reflect our deepest fears, while others still tap into our greatest desires.

Well check out this dream a friend of mine had recently:

In the dream, I was at an awards ceremony, up at the podium. I was being given an award for a book I wrote, and was getting all sorts of applause. It was then announced that based on my book, a Hollywood studio was not only making a blockbuster movie out of it–but the most expensive movie of all time!

Now that’s what I call an awesome dream!

But was it a dream–or a premonition, a sight-line into a very real future?

Hollywood, baby! Here I come!

Arctic Blast Killed My … Plants?

This year I started getting into some gardening. Sounds weird to say it, but, what can I tell you? Liz and I have a balcony with a nice view, so a few plants seemed like a nice idea. And much to my surprise, I’ve enjoyed it. I water the plants every few days, trim the dead leaves, freshen the soil. I’m not saying I’ve earned my green thumb or anything, but it’s been a lot more enjoyable than I ever thought it would.

Up until about a weeks ago, my outdoor plants were still doing well. The reThis year I started getting into some gardening. Sounds weird to say it, but, what can I tell you? Liz and I have a balcony with a nice view, so a few plants seemed like a nice idea. And much to my surprise, I’ve enjoyed it. I water the plants every few days, trim the dead leaves, freshen the soil. I’m not saying I’ve earned my green thumb or anything, but it’s been a lot more enjoyable than I ever thought it would.

Up until about a weeks ago, my outdoor plants were still doing well. The red flowers were still in bloom, the tropical plant still had life to it. Just a little water here and there–the rains did them both good–and they were still thriving.

And this friggin artic blast came in out of nowhere-blamo–and my plants are dead, or on life support! Just one stinking week in the freezing cold all but wiped them out. I know, I know, I should have brought them in sooner, but a) it was so cold I didn’t want go out there, and b) I forgot.

So the tropic plant is dead (sorry, dude), and the other one (with the red petals) I’ve brought inside, hoping to resuscitate it. I clipped most of the dead buds (there were many), gave it plenty of water, picked out the dead, crunch leaves, and placed it on the windowsill.

Will it survive? Time will tell. But this arctic blast really did them in.

.

Surprise Comic Book Show: Big Apple Con

Just when I thought I’d hit my last comic book show of the year … (ah, you know the rest).

This Sunday past I had plans to visit my dad in the hospital–recovering from hip surgery–and so was already planning a trip into Manhattan. And then old friend Kevin shot me a note that he was planning to hit the Big Apple Con, so I figured I’d swing on by as well.

Turns out I was only there for an hour, but it was an hour well spent.

Unlike some of the bigger shows, the Big Apple ConJust when I thought I’d hit my last comic book show of the year … (ah, you know the rest).

This Sunday past I had plans to visit my dad in the hospital–recovering from hip surgery–and so was already planning a trip into Manhattan. And then old friend Kevin shot me a note that he was planning to hit the Big Apple Con, so I figured I’d swing on by as well.

Turns out I was only there for an hour, but it was an hour well spent.

Unlike some of the bigger shows, the Big Apple Con is still just an old fashioned comic book show, for comic book fans, who read comic books. Sure they had a few guests–Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca; Star Wars) and George Lazenby (James Bond; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)–but mostly this was a place to buy comics, look at comics and not be overwhelmed by the crowds.

And also unlike the bigger shows, I wasn’t "working" this one. I wasn’t pumping [i]Finders Keepers[/i], I was just a fan, looking at comics, and digging through the discount bins for deals. It was just for fun. And I’m glad I went. Because as much as I’m out there pumping [i]Finders Keepers[/i] normally, I also need to let the steam out of my head once in a while. I need to just relax, and enjoy. Not that promoting my work isn’t for me, but it’s work. It’s effort. And sometimes I don’t want to be a marketing machine. I just want to be a guy, who likes comics, enjoying comics for what they were always meant for: Fun.

Snooze Mishap

If you’re anything like me, you make use of the snooze button. I actually try not to, as the best way to get up with energy is to do just that. Get up. We’re supposed get up, shake out the grogginess, and jump into the morning.

It actually works. On the mornings I can do it.

But more often than not–at least lately–I’ve been hitting the ol’ snooze button. Sometimes I hit it a second time, sometimes even a third. And then once in a while I’ll even reach over for snooze number four (If you’re anything like me, you make use of the snooze button. I actually try not to, as the best way to get up with energy is to do just that. Get up. We’re supposed get up, shake out the grogginess, and jump into the morning.

It actually works. On the mornings I can do it.

But more often than not–at least lately–I’ve been hitting the ol’ snooze button. Sometimes I hit it a second time, sometimes even a third. And then once in a while I’ll even reach over for snooze number four (I know, that’s kinda bad; but what can I tell you?)

Yesterday morning was just a two-snoozer, which got me out of bed at 4:38 am. I made my way into the shower, threw on my shorts and t-shirt, and went inside to work on my book. Things were moving along when Liz poked her head in around 5:30 or so, looking as groggy as can be. Turns out, I actually didn’t turn my alarm off. Thinking I hit the "off" button, I actually hit "snooze" again, so my radio was going off every nine minutes, which pretty much wrecked Liz’s morning.

D’oh!

Well, going forward I’ll be putting a little extra focus to make sure I hit the right button, because if the universe has the sense of humor that I think it does, I have a feeling I’ll be on the receiving end of a missed snooze button before I know it …

My Dad is Now Hip to Be Square

Continuning the peculiar streak of hospital visits year among my family, my dad just came home from the hospital yesterday.

Not too tragic this time. He underwent a hip replacement on the creaky right hip that’s been bugging him for the last year. Surgery went well, and he’s already getting out of bed, doing some walking around. He’ll be sidelined for about 6 weeks–no driving–so imagine he’ll go a little bonkers around the house by the end of the run. Can’t say I blame him. I love being oContinuning the peculiar streak of hospital visits year among my family, my dad just came home from the hospital yesterday.

Not too tragic this time. He underwent a hip replacement on the creaky right hip that’s been bugging him for the last year. Surgery went well, and he’s already getting out of bed, doing some walking around. He’ll be sidelined for about 6 weeks–no driving–so imagine he’ll go a little bonkers around the house by the end of the run. Can’t say I blame him. I love being off work, but I hate being a patient. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and all that jazz.

Still, all things considered, my dad’s doing fine, and hopefully his recovery will be swift and without complication. I’ll be heading out to the house this weekend for a visit.

Now what I’m hoping is that this is the end of the line. No more hospitals, no more dead pets, no more agata above and beyond the normal grief that comes from just getting out of bed in the morning and wandering out into the world. I need a break from the madness. 2008 has certainly had it’s high points, but the stress has been off the charts this year. It’s been one heckuva challenge.

And yet I’m still here, the family still plugging along, looking forward to the future. It’s a little early for any 2009 predictions, but I’m putting my request in early. I’m thinking that to balance the scales of the universe, 2009 at the very least should be quiet and peaceful, and at most, be totally friggin sweet.

So if anybody up there is listening, keep an eye out for my gang next year. We got banged around pretty good in ’08. And we’ll take the hits.

But now it’s time for the good stuff. And lots of it.

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