Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Now then, as for the manly weekend--Sorry to keep everyone waiting, but it's been a busy morning--staff meeting, then work junk, then I had to go give blood, and then I had to write all this junk.

Anyway, I think I manly-ed myself all out Friday. Went home and cut the back yard, and in a fit of lunacy also cut the front yard, finishing it all up right as the sun was going down. Nothing like a freshly mowed yard to make you feel brawny and masculine. Except when you see the girl across the street behind your house doing the same thing.

SO, despite being tuckered out from my sudden eruption of testosterone, I went in search of a mountain lion to kill. In an odd bit of prescience, none were found, but Providence saw fit to supply me with two great huge honking steaks (and a package of bits and pieces) by way of Winn-Dixie, just as I had predicted before I left Friday. (It really was odd--I didn't know Reba had been to the store and gotten them, and didn't realize she had gotten them with the intent of me cooking them Friday. Just a happy coincidence. Especially for the mountain lions.)

I fired up the grille and let it get white hot all over and dropped the cows on there. I like to just put some salt and pepper on them, sear them quickly on both sides, then drop the heat down and close the lid and let them get done in the middle. I'm not sure if that's the way you're supposed to do it, but they sure did turn out good. It was also nice just to sit there in the rocking chair on the patio and enjoy the evening--cool, breezy, smell of grass and meat, the sound of the fountain bubbling--hard to beat.

AND, seeing as how I got all that sort of heavy-lifting done Friday night, it meant we had more time Saturday to go see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Amscray! Hooray!


Got up somewhat early Saturday to the gentle sound of Reba slamming the door of the armoire as she put away my underwear. She does this often on Saturdays--although she herself likes to sleep late during the week rather than get up and go to work, on the weekends she seems to think it best to make up for all that oversleeping by getting up early and doing things. Necessary things, to be sure, but things that she also believes everyone else should be doing right along with her, and if that means getting us up by making loud noises with laundry, so be it. Not that I'm complaining, because I wouldn't dare to that.

Anyway, once awake and moving under my own power (albeit slowly, given the previous evening's round of machismo) we decided to go see the early show (i.e., the cheap show) at the theater figuring, rightly, that it would be less crowded and would also give us time to do other things in the afternoon. Up, get everyone dressed, and make it there just in time to see the coming attractions. Stuff that looks good--Spider-Man 2, Catwoman. Stuff that looks less so--Around the World in 80 Days, Dodgeball, Thunderbirds, Garfield, Stepford Wives--in short, everything else. Although the Elvis '68 Vegas Comeback Show is supposed to be playing soon--now THAT will be cool.

As for the movie itself--it presupposes that you've either read the books or seen the first two movies. Lots of characters and settings are given a quick glancing reference to stuff you're already supposed to know, and then you're on to the real show. There's several who say this movie is darker than the other two, but the thing that's most notable to me is that it's smartassier. Since Harry and his friends are getting into puberty, we are treated to their transformation from polite little know-it-alls to seething, smart-mouthed, disrespectful know-it-alls. Can't say that it was very compelling to watch.

The scenery is still cool to watch, although as in past movies, too much emphasis is placed on CGI junk, and rather than getting that neat twinge when you get that willing suspension of disbelief, you look at it and think, that's a neat camera trick. Probably not the intent, but hey, whadda I know? I just keep hoping they would concentrate a bit more on those upperclass girls.

The storyline was followable, and moderately suspenseful, although parts of it were too scary for the little kids in the theater. Catherine hid during parts of them, too, but she wasn't that scared. But the little toddlers shouldn't have been there. I didn't care for the time-travel part of the plot. Time-travel always opens up too many paradoxical questions that detract from the movie, and always put me in mind of the Far Side cartoon with the professor pointing at an equation on the chalkboard, and right before the equals sign he has written, "A miracle happens here." And if you're going to mess with time, get yourself a decent machine.

AND ONE MORE THING--If Harry Potter is supposed to be such a hotshot wizard, why can't he fix his eyesight!? The hoary old plotline of the hero losing his glasses as the least opportune moment MUST! DIE! I mean, COME ON! Either give yourself an eye-fixing spell--Occulum Repairiosum--or use some of the family treasure and go get yourself a laser keratotomy! Or a neck strap!

Overall, it's okay, I guess. There is the gratuitous "bloody hell" thrown in to shock everyone, and there is the aforementioned heaping helping of early teen irrationality that serves only to set a bad example for anyone in the audience who might be an early teen prone to irrationality. Give it maybe three out of five curly possum tails. And bring on Elvis '68.

Out then into the bright sun--an aside, but if you take your kids to a scary movie, it's best to do it up during the day so they can get some of their anxiety worked out in the daylight. Taking them at night and then going home and locking them in their closet makes them have problems. So I've heard. ANYway, out into the sunshine and down to the Chick-fil-A for lunch. Time to hand in all those coupons for free food! Hooray! We went through four chicken nugget kids meals, six orders of eight piece nuggets, a free brownie, and then Reba and Ashley got a couple of sandwiches in addition to their bit of chicken. Overall, it cost us about 12 bucks. Without the coupons, it would have been over thirty. I hope they keep that up and are able to pay for college like that...

On to the hardware store. Got myself a new lawnmower blade, three euonymous shrubs, two Indian hawthorne shrubs, a flat of white floweredy things, and a new toilet paper holder for the downstairs powder magazine to replace the one Catherine dragged out of the wall with her butt. Also managed to find a cover-up for the giant hole in the wall to keep from having to break out the drywall saw, tape, and mud--a nicely painted and edged wooden board that is intended to be used as a coathook base. Just the right size.

Home, then set to digging up the nandina bushes on the south side of the house that have managed to survive three seasons of blazing sun. They're scrawny and spindly, but they were still alive. As was the giant anthill under the roots of the one closest to the power meter. Even with a liberal dousing of ant spray, I still managed to get bitten several times. They seemed quite angry. Dug the nandina out, put in the euonymous and the hawthorne in a lovely 3-2 formation, watered it, and sat down for five minutes, then went in and got to work on the toilet paper holder.

The board had mounting holes at exactly 16 inches on center, which meant that for once whatever I put up would be firmly anchored into something more solid than gypsum dust. Carefully aligned it, screwed it in, admired my handiness, then set about to attaching the holder. It's a nice one--chrome-plated heavy brass, with a spindle that stays attached, and swings up when you need to change the roll. On with the brackets, on with the stanchions, and on with the roll of paper. It looks odd. Can't be helped, though, and it looks a darned sight better than a gaping hole in the wall.

Suppertime, then baths all around, then bed, then up and get ready for church while watching the special editions of Today and Meet the Press as I mentioned below. Off to church, and got to say hello to our preacher again. He's been in Russia for the past twenty-five days (his count, but, you know, who's counting) teaching at a school for preachers up in the northern part of the country, as well as seeing about a local preacher we support down in the southern Volgograd region. It seems things are getting some better economically than last year, although it hasn't quite made it to the people living in the villages. Part of it is systemic--the vast majority of the population has known nothing but rigidly enforced communism, and little idea about working in a free market. One lady has managed to start figuring it out--last year, she worked for a man growing tomatoes. One big crop, taken to Moscow, and it was all the money she had for the remainder of the year. This year, she has somehow managed to built herself her own hothouses, cutting out the middleman, and has a fine crop coming in. The only problem is jealousy from others in the village who don't want her to succeed. Our preacher mentioned that if anyone thinks she's getting too uppity and making too much for herself, they're as likely as not to just burn her hothouses down. They can't figure out how to make it, but they sure as shooting don't want anyone else to have something. Sad. But it can be overcome.

Anyway, it was good to have him back, and he was befuddled by all the changes that we did while he was gone--we have a new projection screen system that he hadn't seen, and have recently gotten some new folks. I was walking out afterwards and one of the older new men looked as if he wanted to say something to me, so I stuck my hand out and introduced myself, and he did the same, and come to find out, we're related on my maternal grandmother's side. He's my mother's first cousin, although I had to go home and dig out my family history book to make sure. Small world, eh?

Home for lunch, read the paper, slept fitfully for fifteen minutes, then it was time to get up and go back for a meeting. After that, evening service, in which we got to see a presentation of the Russia trip, and then on back home for supper, and then, with great thanks, into bed.

A long old weekend, it was.

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