Monday, February 16, 2015

A Real Pain

That fun game when you want two aspirin and only one comes out of the bottle. Then you tip the bottle again and two more capsules fall into your palm.  So you have three instead of two. And when you try to put one back into the bottle, two of them tumble back in and you have only one again.

Yeah, that's a fun game.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Two Word Movie Review - "Jupiter Ascending"

Here are your two words:

Space Junk

This movie was so disappointing that I debated wasting any time writing a review on it.  I had this mental debate during the movie.
Which is sad because this story had so much potential... and the power of two big stars, Mila Kunis and Channing Tate-yum.

Imagine Harry Potter, instead of being an awkward11-year-old orphan, is a beautiful, young 20-something female immigrant named Jupiter.  She is cleaning toilets when she finds out she is (not a wizard, but) an intergalactic princess whose siblings are fighting over whether or not she should remain alive to share their dead mother's inheritance.
This could be good, right?

It could have been.
It should have been.

The Husband and I discussed it afterwards and decided that what was missing were the plot points that would have made us care about the characters, such as: 
- Please spend more time telling me about the relationship between the two military buddies and why they might be motivated to protect this princess.
- Jupiter's story about her failed love life could have been better illustrated by showing some bad relationship scenes instead of stuffing the information into a too-long, breathy, sexy (is that what it was supposed to be?) monologue.
- The dynamic between the three royal siblings is briefly shown to us on a strange planet that means nothing to us after an event that is teased in front of us but not fully explained. 

Yeah, I get that they were hiding key information in order to surprise us with it later, but they do it wrong.  Clues are revealed clumsily and too slowly.  You figure out what's going on long before Jupiter does, and it pisses you off how thick she appears to be.
No one in the theater is surprised by anything.

This movie suffers from the Hollywood mindset of "more action and effects are greater than character development". 
They could have left in more scenes where we get to know the characters and taken out more chase and fight scenes.

Speaking of the chase and fight scenes, they sucked.
Most of the action happened so close to the camera that it was difficult to SEE what was going on.  (The Transformer movies do the same thing, and it's terribly annoying to me.)  "Hm, something just flashed past the screen; was that the hero or a bad guy?  I don't know, and I no longer care."
Most of the action scenes were a waste of my time. So you can understand how disappointing it is that they decided to leave the action in and edit out all the parts I could have cared about.

Oh, that's right.  It's available to watch in 3D.
That's why they kept all the action crap.

The trailer leads us to believe the story is about the hero soldier; however, the movie itself is all about the girl whose only redeeming trait, aside from bees worshiping her, is her devotion to her Earth family.
And they screw that up too by showing us only a family that is selfish and mean.  There is no affection whatsoever between the family members.  We are simply supposed to assume it's there... buried deep under the desperate need for money at almost any cost.  I don't like her family; I'm not sure we're supposed to.  It's very confusing and frustrating.

Don't bother with this movie.

If you're still curious about it and simply must see it, borrow it for free from your library when the DVD when it comes out.

Friday, February 06, 2015

the yarn

I did something last weekend.
I took a step.

I pulled a grocery bag full of yarn out from the back of my closet, dumped it out in the middle of the living room, and sorted the colors together with my everyday stash.

That's right.
Mom's yarn is now mainstream. Not just "for special" anymore.

I think this makes her happy.
She will have been gone 5 years this coming May.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Yeah, toast!" - Heywood Banks

He:  You're having buttered toast for a snack?  That's weird.

Me:  I know.  I'm really only eating the bread to hold the butter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Random: First Day of the Semester 2015


If the only thing keeping you from going back to school to get/finish your degree is your fear that you are too old, set that fear aside.  Once you get onto a campus, you will find that no one cares how old you are except you.  Further, no one will notice how old you are unless you tell them.  They will assume you are just as capable as any other student... because you.are.there.  Just being there makes you equal.  It is liberating.

If this is something you want to do, you need to go do it.  Let yourself be amazed.

***

I couldn't get my campus email programmed into the new phone I got over Christmas break.  It was frustrating because I had managed to get my campus email onto my previous smartphone just fine last year even though I didn't know anything then. 
I could have felt really old and stupid about this new phone.  Instead, I decided to stop wrestling with it and wait a few days for the semester to start so I could ask one of the younger students for help.  That's what I did first thing this morning.  I asked the gal next to me if she knew how to do it.   Amazingly, she had also just gotten a new phone over break and couldn't figure out how to get her campus email on it either.  The gal in front of us turned around and suggested we go to the campus IT Help department; that's what she had done.
So that's what I did after class.  When I walked in, there was already a student sitting with a tech guy getting her email set up on her phone.  And just to make me feel even better about it all, the guy who worked on my phone had to fiddle with it for quite some time before he got it functioning.

Technology.  It doesn't care how old/young you are.
Everyone has trouble with it.

***

I learned there is a great deal of traffic both to and from my college's city at 7:30am. 
I also found that if you arrive on campus at 7:40am, you get your choice of parking spaces.
If you show up at 7:45am, not so much.

***

Three women from my fall semester class are in this semester's class with me. I had been in a small study group with two of them.  We all sat next to each other and chatted like peers.
... mostly about cell phones.  :-)

***

Our teacher spent most of today's first class with introductions.  He wanted to know what each student hoped to get out of his class.  I introduced myself as a transfer student from the 1980's.
"And I hope to learn how I'm supposed to be doing all the things I've been doing," I said.
"What have you been doing?" he asked.
"A lot of radio and on-line marketing."
"Interesting."

As he moved on to the next student, the two women from my study group turned to each other.
"Roses is on our team, again."
"Oh, definitely."

And the young man in front of me that I'd never met twisted around and mouthed, "You and me, partners."  And he winked.

Can I tell you?
These three people made me feel valuable.

No one in radio had ever made me feel like my experience was worth anything.

***

You need to go back to school.
Experience is valued there.

Do you feel valued?

***

On my way across campus to the IT department, I slowed at the crosswalk to let another student catch up to me.
As we proceeded to cross the street together, I told him, "I don't like making people stop for just one person."
"Me, either," he said.  "When I'm alone, I run across."
"Do you throw your hands up over your head and yell like Kermit the Frog while you do it?" (I don't know why this visual entered my head nor why I felt the need to share it.)
He replied, "No.  They usually stop."

I cracked up laughing.
I don't even know why that's funny.

***

During today's introductory class, the teacher said we'd need a copy of the 2014 AP Stylebook
After class, I texted The Husband to ask if he had one at work or if he could get one for free anywhere.  He responded that he could get his hands on the 1997 version.

It helps to know that even though the AP Stylebook is updated frequently, most news rooms do not bother to purchase the newer versions.  (read: cheap, budget cuts)
It is both funny and sad that fully I believed The Husband's available Stylebook is, indeed, 17 years old.

Without The Husband for a source, I posted a public plea on Facebook:  "Quick, before I spend money on one, does anyone have a copy of the 2014 AP Stylebook I can have for the semester?"
I tucked my phone in my pocket and headed out to the bookstore across campus.  By the time I got there, comments had accumulated on Facebook.
Several journalist friends who work in newspaper had responded to offer me their copies.  Each one noted the year of their version.  The most recent copy was 2003. 

Who says reporters aren't funny?

***

Elder Son's classmate who was in both my PR and self defense classes last semester also replied on Facebook that she has a copy of the Stylebook I need.  She had bought it for the same class last year.  She is currently across the globe on foreign exchange study.
"Is your book... in the United States?"
"Lol.  Yes."

Her mom is going to drop it off on her way to work tomorrow.
Her mom is my age.
I'm going to call her Mrs. when she gets here.  Because she's my classmate's mom.
Heh.

***

There are 20 students in my spring semester class.
There were exactly 20 desks in the classroom.
When the 19th student arrived, there were two seats side-by-side in the front row.  The teacher invited him to choose any seat he wanted. The student looked at the only two seats available and mused, "I suppose, technically, that is a choice."

I like that guy.

I also really like the gal who was charming and bubbly and introduced herself as socially awkward.
She's someone I really want to sit next to.  She never stopped smiling.

***

Today was a very good day.
Today I am very happy I went back to school.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hair Style

We have just gotten up Saturday morning, and The Husband and I are in the kitchen making our morning beverages.  I notice his eyes keep drifting to the top of my head while I'm talking to him.
I glance at my reflection in the microwave door and see the severity of my bed head.

"Oh, that," I say, "I wanted it to look this way. It took me eight hours to get it to look like this."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to compliment your boss

Payday is on Friday, but this week, the boss was going to be out of town on that day, so he handed out our automatic deposit stubs on Wednesday.

He:  Here you go, Roses!
Me:  Yay!
He:  Don't get too excited.  The money's not going to be deposited in your account until Friday.
Me:  It's like buying a lottery ticket.  Maybe I don't have the money yet, but I can still dream about what I'll do with it once I get it, right?"
He:  So, working here is like winning the lottery?
Me:  Every day.

And I meant it.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Snow. In Wisconsin

The Husband warns the boys that the driveway and sidewalk need to be shoveled tonight.

"It'll take about half an hour with the three of us working on it," he says.
"I'll come out and help, too," I says.
"Okay," he says.  And he says to the boys, "It'll take about 40 minutes then with the four of us."
After I stop laughing, I says, "It takes longer because one of you has to carry your mother's shovel.  You know, like when we play Super Mario Brothers on the Wii, and one of you has to carry my character."

The boys just nod.

Monday, January 05, 2015

"Give us dirty laundry" - Don Henley

I said to Elder Son, "Give me your laundry."
He stepped into his room for a short moment and came back smirking with a neatly stacked pile of clean clothes extended out to me.

"My fault. I should have specified dirty laundry. "

He went back into his room and came back with his laundry basket full of clothes.
I said, "You realize I just fold these and give them back, right?"

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Two Word DVD Review - Guardians of the Galaxy

Here are your two words:

Eighty Percent

(I'll explain those later.)

The Husband and I purchased our DVD copy of Guardians of the Galaxy on New Year's Eve.  We wanted something special to watch at home (knowing we'd fall asleep long before the ball dropped in Times Square).
We had seen Guardians of the Galaxy in the theaters and remembered liking it a LOT; so, we splurged paid the full $19.99 price for the DVD.

Full price!
As cheap as we are, we must have liked it MORE than just "a lot" in the theater.

I think I liked the DVD at home about 80% as much.
And I say this in part because during the exciting prison break scene, The Husband asked me, "Are you going to do this through the rest of the movie?"
He was referring to my running criticism of everything wrong with the movie.  I hadn't even realized I was doing it.

"Why does he even care about those two guys?"
"Why didn't she just take the first guard's arm band?"

Silly, nickpicky stuff.
For the sake of my marriage, I kept my thoughts to myself for the rest of the movie.  However, Elder Son walked in toward the end and started his own vocal observations.
That was kinda funny.  For me.

It's not as if I wasn't enjoying the movie, but I think the flaws were a little more obvious on the small screen in a livingroom than in a theater with surround sound.

Still, the story is told beautifully.
Five people who have every reason to distrust and repel each other come together seamlessly and flawlessly.  It's a delight to watch this comradery unfold.
It is like lining up dominoes one by one, so when they finally all topple down together you can't imagine any other outcome that could have happened.  "Of course it would have happened that way!" you would realize.

After the initial opening sequence which makes me wince and tear up just thinking about it, Chris Pratt's character is amusing throughout the movie.  You might think of him as a kinder, gentler Malcolm Reynolds.

The reason my two words are "Eighty percent" is what the DVD lacks.... extras.

Number one reason I buy a DVD is to be able to watch it at home as many times as I want.
Number two reason, extras.

You would think there would be some mighty fine outtakes in an action/comedy film, but there aren't in this one.  Not one blooper or behind the scenes silliness.
Documentaries, making-of videos?  None.
Deleted scenes, maybe?  Eh, there's one, and it's lame.
(The two words come from that deleted scene where Gamora states she's "80% sure" Rocket's laughter is fake.)

No, the only extras you get are movie trailers.
I don't count those as extras.  As much as I love trailers, I count them as very entertaining commercials.  And these ones are all shown at the beginning of the DVD.  So you don't even get different trailers as extras.

Were they in a big hurry to get this DVD on shelves?
Is a better one coming out later?
This version gets an 80% from me.

The movie gets a 100%.
Because I'm thinking I kinda wanna watch it again right now.

***

Read the full collection of Two Word Reviews here.
Find my movie critic credentials here.