Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why I Left News Radio

Because I say things like this...

The TV news headline read, "Turkey Shoots Down Russian Plane".

I point to the screen, turn to The Husband and say, "Two days before Thanksgiving."

And he bursts out laughing because he SO gets me.
I love that man.

Had I said that same remark on the air, I'd have taken angry calls for days.
Radio SO doesn't get me.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cat-Friendly Houseplants

Conversation at the nursery where houseplants are on sale.

He:  Here's a list of plants that purify the air and won't poison the cat.
Me:  Or, we could get whichever plants we want and just put them where the cat can't get to them.
He:  Do we really *need* to worry about the cat?  He's never really chewed on our plants before.
Me:  True.

We buy four cat-friendly plants anyway.

The moment we bring them into the house, the cat chews on them.

So yeah, when given the choice, buy pet-friendly houseplants. Always.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Group Projects, Part 2

When you email the members of your group class project so they know what they missed in class and that you'd single-handedly take care of the spontaneous group assignment the teacher came up with... and none of them bother to thank you for:
A) taking care of the assignment on behalf of the group, or
B) letting them know what they missed.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

No Leg to Stand On

I bought a new pair of jeans because my current pair of jeans has a small stain on the right thigh.  Most people probably wouldn't notice the stain, but I know it's there.  I see it on my lap everytime I sit down.

So, I bought a new pair of jeans just like the first pair.

Two days later, there's a small stain on the right thigh of the new jeans.
I have no idea what I rubbed up against or dropped in my lap.

So, now I have two perfectly good pairs of jeans with identical stains.

I don't have a funny punch line for that, although I think there should be one.
What have you got?

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Two-Word Movie Review - Spectre

Here are your two words:

Bad Blood

These two words come partly from the high-tech tracking device used to monitor .007's activities, partly from the unique relationship between James and this episode's nemesis, and partly from my disappointment in this James Bond offering after having been so dazzled by Skyfall.

Let me stop here and point out that until Skyfall, I was not a James Bond fan.  I could take these movies or leave them.  But Skyfall was good, and I had been waiting for its follow-up since Skyfall's closing credits.

Let me also say that Spectre is a perfectly good James Bond movie. Action, adventure, things blow up... but...

Spectre is no Skyfall.

The opening sequence was promising (and was that one long, impressive, un-cut camera shot?  I think it might have been).  But my faith in finding a satisfying spy experience was rattled with the opening credits theme song that did not sound like a James Bond-worthy theme.  No disrespect to Sam Smith's fine performance; it was a good piece of music, but it wasn't that mysterious, haunting kind of James Bond theme that I have come to associate with this long-standing franchise.

After that, I was kind of lost.
For one, I was confused why the new M, after having acted as someone who'd be willing to bend the rules a little at the end of Skyfall, was being such a rule enforcer at the beginning of Spectre.
Dude, I thought you were gonna be cool.  What happened?

But most disappointing, I found the plot difficult to follow. This could be just me, though.  Someone else might be able to keep track of all the names and connections better than I can.  The three extra steps to get to the end game might have been more obvious to someone else.  I prefer my movies to be more served up to me rather than needing to be puzzled apart.
This seems to be a classic James Bond thing, though.  We are supposed to be lead down the same path of discovery as the spies.  I have always felt that they try to cram way too many paths into one movie.  This might be why I'd never been a fan of the franchise.
I just couldn't see the connections.  Who is that?  Why is he going there?  Wait, why did everyone want that guy dead; seems like all they really wanted was his information.

Oh.  They try to build on Bond's childhood, but they do it wrong.  What they did in Skyfall worked; what they do in Spectre seems really forced.
In Skyfall, they showed you things and let you *feel* them.  Remember the game keeper at Skyfall?  You liked him, right?  You felt the fondness between him and Bond even though nothing in the dialogue spelled it out for you.
In Spectre, they *tell* you things. What should have been a moment of discovery was more like sitting through a university lecture.

And the bad guy just didn't scare me, didn't make me feel uncomfortable.  The threat to international security was explained a bit, but not illustrated at length.  Plus, it's too expected that Bond will escape each troubling situation in which he finds himself.  I was never sitting on the edge of my seat wondering if/how the good guys will win.  It was just... expected.

If you are a James Bond fan, Spectre is as good as any James Bond movie... maybe better than most.  This one has everything you look for in a James Bond flick, including hints about the next installment.

It simply was not the follow-up to Skyfall that I expected.


Read more Two-Word Reviews here.

Friday, November 06, 2015

College Letter

Illness has been spreading across the college campus where I attend classes.
While I waited for class to start earlier this week, I heard this exchange between two students a few rows back.

One:  I heard that one of the students that came down with mono usually sits at that desk.
Two:  What?!?  Why did you wait until after I sat down?  I can't get sick!  I can't miss any more classes! I gotta raise my GDP!

Really?  You need to raise your Gross Domestic Product?
Perhaps you mean your GPA, Grade Point Average?
Reminds me of the woman who wanted to pay her college intuition years back.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

A Certain Sheen

I walk in to find The Husband watching a movie on Netflix.  He explains that he picked this movie not because Netflix rated it highly, and not because it features Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen, but because there was an unknown Uncle Sheen listed in the cast.  The Husband was merely curious about this uncle, he says.

I watch for a few moments without comment. My silence makes The Husband uncomfortable, and he feels the need to explain further. 

He:  It's not a great movie. There's a reason why it has only one and a half stars. 
Me:  *In* it?

Monday, November 02, 2015

Life is an Open Book Test

The Husband is cooking today, and he is giving instruction to Elder Son as he goes.
The Husband is very thorough with details; for example, he explains why he never cuts fresh meat on a wooden cutting board preferring to use a plain dinner plate instead. 
Elder Son is attentive; he nods and expresses understanding in almost inaudible mm-hm's.

I am studying for classes at the kitchen table, but I can't help overhear the entire cooking lesson.

When the Husband pauses and Elder Son nods and grunts, I chime in, "There will be a test later."
The Husband remarks, "No.  I just want to explain why I do everything this way."
"I'm talking about real life.  That's your test," I say.  "Fortunately, it's all open book.  You can phone a friend."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Group Projects and Weakest Links

I've learned something this school semester about working as a group.
As the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so a group is only as smart as its strongest member.

No matter how poor his/her idea is, the loudest, strongest-willed person in the work group will get his/her way over any smarter idea.  Anyone who knows better but is too timid to speak up will not be able to propel your group project in a positive direction.

It's not enough to surround yourself with smart people.
The smart people need to be the ones in charge.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wooden Chew?

I'm about to pop a chewable Vitamin C into my mouth when my co-workers chime in.

He:  You're not supposed to chew Vitamin C.  The acid eats through your teeth.
Me:  I wanted dentures anyway.
Other co-worker:  (something about wooden teeth)
Me:  The Husband is whittling me a set of those right now.
He:  You two are an interesting pair.