Thursday, March 27, 2008

Time Time Time

Finding the time to update this blog has been tough enough and now I've gone and started another blog. This one is specifically for my writings on religion and politics. I finally decided to make it a separate blog, so that readers have the choice of whether they want to take a chance on being offended or not. It's appropriately titled taboo-topics. Meanwhile I'm going to try and be better about updated my banality blog with . . . well . . . trivialities like movies and books and the most time consuming part of my life: parenting. I realized today that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has always been around. It just used to be called "parenting." I use to be better able to utilize my time while Justin took his afternoon nap. Now I'm usually napping at the same time. Of course, these days Justin tends to wear me out a lot quicker. He's become quite active. He's also seemed to master things that just a month or so back seemed to flummox him. Today he pulled his puzzles out and completed them within minutes, as if to say piece of cake! He's also not as clingy when he attends his co-op classes now.

We're leaving for a vacation in Maui in just a couple of weeks. I've been trying to keep it out of my mind, because I'm quite nervous about the idea of flying 5 or 6 hours with a two-year-old. But torture is legal in this country now, so I guess there's no way around it. We'll be well-stocked with diversions to keep Justin busy on the plane. I have a feeling that the biggest behavioral salve will be the portable DVD player. He has flown with us before, but sleep always seems to elude him. Who can blame the kid for being excited. I'm just hoping that once we're in Maui that there will be brief moments of relaxation. We've also made plane reservations for my parents to fly out and visit in late July. They will be staying for 16 days, but since our place is a little small (and we'd like to maintain our sanity) we've booked them into a nearby Extended Stay Hotel. We're urging them to get passports for the first time in their lives, because we thought a trip to Vancouver Island would be fun. We also have tickets to see the Mariners play the Red Sox while they're in town. We kind of planned the visit around that series.

Speaking of baseball: the Seattle Mariners home opener is Monday. I've caught a few of the spring training games that have been on TV. They've had kind of a mediocre spring, but I keep telling myself It's only spring training. I was sorry to see some of the players traded in the off-season, including Ben Broussard, Adam Jones and reliever George Sherrill. I think Adam Jones has a great future, but unfortunately it will not be with the Mariners. Let's just hope that Erik Bedard can be the ace pitcher that the Mariners will need to compete.

I have a couple of movies I need to watch soon, but I don't think that's going to happen tonight. A friend lent me Top Hat with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, which I've never seen. I also have the original Walking Tall (1973) from Netflix. The original stars Joe Don Baker as Sheriff Buford Pusser, who takes on the corrupt elements in his town using a four foot oak club. Walking Tall was remade in 2004 and starred Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The original had an estimated budget of $500,00 and grossed 23 million at the box office. The remake cost an estimated 56 million to make and it barely made that back at the box office (before international profits.) I don't see any reason to see the remake with it's plethora of explosions and it's rating of PG-13 to attract all the teen boys who want to "see what The Rock is cooking." The original also spawned a number of sequels and a brief TV series starring Bo Svenson. There were also movie versions produced for the USA network starring Kevin Sorbo of Hercules fame. The original film from 1973 was based on an actual person named Buford Pusser, but for whatever reason the versions with "The Rock" and Kevin Sorbo renamed the character Chris Vaughn and Nick Prescott respectively. I guess the name Buford Pusser would have made the savvy audiences of today titter, so they had to give him a bland name like Chris or Nick.

Joe Don Baker as Sheriff Buford Pusser
Accept no substitutes

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Icky Divorcee

The McCartney divorce is final. Heather Mills (aka the Succubus) was awarded a total of 48.6 million dollars. The court also ruled that Paul McCartney will pay an annual fee of $70,000 for the support of his four-year-old daughter Beatrice. plus pay for the child's nanny and school fees. Do you think maybe now that Heather Mills has her pockets full that she'll shut up and go away? Somehow I doubt it. "It was an incredible result in the end to secure mine and my daughter's future and that of all the charities that I obviously plan on helping and making a difference with because you know it has been my life for 20 years," she said. McCartney was never my "favorite Beatle." That honor would, of course, have to go to John Lennon, with George Harrison coming in second. Paul McCartney earns my sympathy for marrying the peg-legged harpy, but he should have known better.

Friday, March 14, 2008

No Rest For The Wicked

Our visitors left on Wednesday morning. Jen’s sister Jessie with husband Bob and daughter Victoria were visiting from Saturday until Wednesday morning. They had a great time, but it was quite exhausting for us. We’re not used to running around the city like tourists. We did the Space Needle and the Children’s Museum. We also took the monorail to Westlake Center for lunch. After lunch Bob and I took Justin back home for a nap while “the girls” stayed at Seattle Center to visit the Pacific Science Center. That was Sunday. On Monday they took a trip to Pike Place Market after taking Molly (our dog) on her bi-annual trip to Magnuson dog park. On Monday night, at about 10 p.m., we took Justin to the Children’s Hospital emergency room, along with a lot of other parents and toddlers. Justin was coughing and seemed to be running short of breath at times, so we were extra cautious and took him in. Our prediction of the entire visit lasting four hours was correct. We got back home at about two o’clock Tuesday morning. The breathing didn’t seem to be an issue, but we did find out that Justin had an ear infection. He’s still coughing quite a bit today, but it doesn’t seem to have hampered his ability to have tantrums, or resist naps. He should be sleeping soundly right at this moment, so that I can have some downtime too. Instead he is continuing to dismantle his room in small increments. On Tuesday Jen took her sister’s family up to Snoqualmie Pass to see some real snow! I stayed home with a recovering Justin. He napped for about four hours that afternoon, which was a real treat for me. I got about halfway through a Michael Connelly mystery I was reading that afternoon.

Today is a different story. Justin had a “no nap” day, which means that I was at my wit’s edge. He’s played in his room, but every five to ten minutes I had to go in there in an effort to keep him from destroying things. The good news is that after his bath tonight he went immediately to sleep at 7 p.m.

I finished reading A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly last night. It was another in a series of Harry Bosch mysteries. This time Connelly brought in a character from two previous books, The Poet and Bloodwork, Terry McCaleb. One blurb on the back states that ”McCaleb and Bosch make a formidable team.” Only they don’t really start working as a team until the book is nearly over. Most of the book is taking up with Terry McCaleb, ex-FBI profiler, targeting Bosch as a suspect in a recent murder. As the reader, you know that Harry Bosch is not the killer, so you’re constantly exhorting the characters to get to the part where they figure how stupid they have been to suspect Harry in the first place. Anyway, even at 475 pages, it was the kind of book I could breeze through in a week — even without Justin taking naps and with relatives in town.

I have a couple of books set out to peruse: He Who Fears The Wolf by Karin Fossum, another mystery, and First Light by Charles Baxter, author of A Feast of Love. I’m not sure if I really want to read another mystery, even though it’s Norwegian. There are also a lot of good nonfiction titles that I’ve bought recently that I’d love to dive into. And then there’s the classics. It could take me a few days to decide what to read, but then I’m wasting precious reading time on decision making. Not at all unusual for me. I’m the same way when it comes to picking a movie to watch in the evening. Sometimes I spend the whole evening in front of shelves with their hundreds of titles in alphabetical order and I cannot decide whether to watch The Wizard of Oz for the umpteenth time, or something I haven’t yet seen, like The Milky Way by Luis Bunuel. In the meantime I think I’ll bring a stack of books out to the living room to browse through. Maybe I can actually make a decision tonight and get some reading done.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hey Batter Batter . . . Swing!

Okay, spring is nearly upon us and baseball spring training is well under way. The Mariners are working out the bugs in Peoria, Arizona and I'm starting to get excited about the upcoming season. Yes, there's the steroid issue and it's gets frustrating sometimes watching a bunch of millionaires play a kids' game, but in the midst of this heated Democratic primary I'd like nothing better than to be able to entertain myself with some baseball. It's the only sport that I can stand to watch. Well, that and ultimate cage fighting . . . just kidding! I was able to catch some of a televised game between the Mariners and the Cubs. The Mariners lost 6 to 5. There is not another televised spring game until March 16th! Meanwhile I'll try and avoid watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann every night and getting all worked up about the upcoming presidential election. The United States always gets the president they deserve, which is exactly why we have been stuck with the swaggering cowboy for the last seven years. It would be nice to think that we've learned enough from this debacle called the Iraq War not to elect someone like McBush, who is fine with U.S. troops being there for another 100 years. I'd rather be rooting for the Mariners than frothing at the mouth over the media induced frenzy called "election '08."