Monday, March 31, 2008

Sex In The (Little) City

Our movie loving cook friend came up this past weekend. No, we didn't watch any movies this time. Instead we watched the complete first two seasons of Sex in the City. My roommate had never seen any and she had never seen the original unedited versions. I had seen about three unedited episodes prior to this. It was an experience for us all. After she left I had to check to see if I was still male...

Though it's just a stupid show and, in many ways, not related to my life ever, it did make me think about a few things. In one episode, Charlotte, who I think was the character I liked the most for many reasons, asked a man out. Though they all considered themselves "modern women," they seemed to feel doing so is "being the man" in the relationship. Is this typical for the average "real" woman? And, if so, why?

In another episode, Miranda and a bartender broke up because she tried to buy him a suit and he felt emasculated. The class issue was also awkward for her. When we left them, after a short break, the became friends and finally "friends with benefits." From my atypical male perspective, unless my writing career takes off, any woman I date wouldn't make less than me though, if my library career career gets off the ground, our salaries may be similar so I have no choice but to be OK with this. If I did have one, I'd like to think it still wouldn't bother me. I realize my core audience is two teachers and a stay at home mother, but what are your thoughts on this?

In other news, the woman who lived, with her boyfriend, down the hall from me, that I had an interest in, moved out. I hadn't seen her in awhile and then I come back from church yesterday to see their apartment, door open, devoid of furniture and being vacuumed. Those of you who know me well know why I'm depressed by this despite knowing nothing was ever going to happen between us anyway...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yet Two More Things

One of the days this week, I can't remember which now, maybe Wednesday, the publisher's sent me a PDF of the cover art. Admittedly, I'm not as exstatic about the font they used for the title as I could be but decided not to complain this time. Next book, we'll see... The design as a whole, though, is totally awesome! They actually superimposed an outline of Armenia to it! (I had to check this with Google Maps to confirm my suspicions.) Given my last statement, it's probably obvious that they didn't go with my aunt's design but I'm glad I can't remove her name from the acknowledgement page as she still did help with it and I'm greatful.

The current president of the seminary where I volunteer is retiring in a couple months. On Thursday, there was a meet and greet with the new "President-elect." The Board of Trustees won't vote until early next week but it seems fairly certain he'll get in as that's the norm with pastoral searches in the UCC. His wife came up to me as I was hanging up my jacket and was very interested I had a MLS from Simmons as I guess she had been roped into being the librarian at her church in Michigan. When introducing me to her husband, she pointed this out in particular not the fact that my father was a former student. I'm not saying this will help with the job search but...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Too Much Drama

I have now been back in Maine for over a year now and wanted to share my thoughts on how my life is now. The temping just didn't work out. I wouldn't say that the opportunity to transfer to the temp agency's office up here was too good to be true but there were some factors I didn't, and probably should have, considered. The bus system isn't nearly as extensive up here and, more importantly, I don't have the access to rides I did down in Connecticut. I think also their policies on typing speed, etc., also have changed but I could be wrong.

Things I do enjoy about living up here is my church and my volunteering at the seminary library. It so great to go in every day to a job I enjoy with people that I not only enjoy working with but enjoy just hanging out with. This is a first for me.

One thing I'm really getting sick of, though, is all the drama that is my roommate's life that I've gotten sucked into time and time again simply because I live here. (I don't even really want to discuss the latest issue that cropped up last night and this morning.) True, some of it is beyond any one's control but I think it's sad to consider that I had less drama living with my parents. The most drama we had was really deciding what movie to go see. In fact, I don't go to the theater enough now considering and that's basically because it's hard for my roommate to get around in the winter. (There are times I'm tempted to just go without him but that just seems mean and, frankly, awkward all things considered...) And don't get me started on his mentally ill cat...

Oh and I am really sick of having to find new quarters practically every week. There really has got to be a solution for that...

In other news, I'm still alone relationship-wise but that situation isn't any different than it's always been so that's all I have to say about that...

I'm so glad that baseball has started. That usually makes me happy...

Friday, March 21, 2008

In My Life

Two or three days ago, the publisher sent me new page proofs. These aren't to submit new changes, as that part is over, but to see if the corrections I previously submitted were actually done to my satisfaction. I got out my list and looked it over and notified them it was good. Now, I wait for the process to be started concerning cover design. I'm particularly looking forward to this as the cover must grab readers. If it doesn't grab me, it may not grab anyone else...

I decided it was best to stay in town this Easter season as my mother's new job would mean she wouldn't even be there most of the weekend. Of course, my father would be just as busy as you'd think so it would mainly be just me and Susie. I miss her but, while she's a good listener, she's not much of a conversationalist...They sent me a Easter Basket, sans basket already anyway.

This gave me the opportunity to go to my church's Maunday Thursday potluck supper. After we ate, we had a traditional communion and Tenebrae service. I had never done something like that before. I had the opportunity to talk to people that I don't usually talk with and eat some really great food. My Caesar salad apparently was a hit as there was only about a serving left to take back home. I had also two kinds of mac and cheese (Did I mention kids were there?), a salad with lettuce, walnuts and goat cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette, chili, asparagus and honey meatballs. (Those were awesome...) For dessert, which they really didn't give you time to eat before starting the service, I had cheesecake. (Actually, every so often, I snuck bites...) At one point, the pastor left the room to hide "Christ's light" and banged a pot to signify Christ dying. At this point, a girl, who I thought was 9, sitting near me turned to her mother and asked if the pastor was all right. It took all my self-control not to crack up.

Yesterday morning/afternoon, my co-workers invited me to share pizza with them. I had a good time hanging out with them, eating Girl Scout cookies (C'mon! They were Peanut Butter Patties! You can't turn those down!) and discussing how reality TV sucks and Lost. It was great.

It was so cold out there when I went to the bank this morning. There's this wind that almost blew me over several times. Of course, this mainly happens when I'm about to cross the street so I had this fear of being blow into the street and getting nailed by a car. Fun stuff there!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Think I Discuss This Every Year

It's that time again. The Red Sox Hot Stove/Spring Training Rant. And it's always about one player. Yes, the Sox have dumped Doug Mirabelli. Again. They waited longer this time to do so so maybe they were right to do so this time. Doug's production has been down. He apparently batted like .202 this past season. Even for a back-up catcher, that isn't good. So what do they do? They release him and replace him with Kevin Cash who is a career buck-sixty hitter. The official line is Cash's defense has been better than Doug this spring which could very well be true. Cash also did fill in pretty well when Dougie went down in August. I've seen only one spring training game this year which I think Mirabelli was catching and he seemed fine to me but then I think Matsuzaka was pitching not Wakefield...I have to point out they're paying Cash much less than Doug had Mirabelli stayed. Coincidence? Hell, no.

Back-up catcher is a tricky position. If their offense and defense was that good, they'd demand to me traded to start on another team. Mirabelli, and now Cash, had/have a rare regular gig serving as a personal catcher. You see more of this now than you used to but still. The only other early example I can think of is when Greg Maddox refused to have Javy Lopez catch him when they were both with the Braves because Lopez was, and still is frankly, a horrible defensive catcher. When I play my Baseball Mogul game I frequently use a catcher that would ordinarily start in real life but as I said earlier, the real players are too much of a primadonna...

Let's play ball already!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Not Much, Or Maybe A Lot, To Say. You Decide.

Yesterday afternoon, my parents came down to celebrate my father's birthday. Because of my dance group commitment, we ate an early dinner at Applebee's. I had a beer with my Cheddar-Jack Mac and Cheese (which turned out to be Pepper Jack) because, as I pointed out to my mother, all I do is unlock doors and read. After dinner, I took them on a tour of the church and seminary downstairs where I volunteer. Exciting, no?

The night got even better during the dance group when I laid down on the floor behind the desk and took a nap. I wonder if anyone saw me as they were much more expedient than normal getting out of the building so I could lock back up. No one said anything to me about it but still I wonder...

The birthday "excitement" continued when I stayed home from the library and they took me grocery shopping and then we were joined by my roommate for a walk down to the local Starbucks where I tried their "Leprechaun Latte." I don't know how green it was but it was like drinking a handful of Junior Mints in coffee so that was kind of cool.

In other news, about three days after reporting our microwave was busted they replaced it this afternoon. Of course we didn't report it for about two weeks because a certain someone who said he was going to e-mail our landlord about it decided to wait...

And finally, in sports, the Patriots didn't re-sign Troy Brown because of God knows why. Oh and (Surprise, surprise.) the Red Sox it seems wasted their money re-signing Curt Schilling as he was put on the 60 day disabled list today. Maybe we can get Ben Affleck to pitch.

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Movies I've Watched (And An Update On the Publishing Of My Book)

My roommate's movie-loving friend came up this past weekend so here's some reviews:

Sidney White: This movie could have been called Sidney White and the Seven Dorks but I guess they didn't want to push it. I've always loved Amanda Bynes but I think What A Girl Wants is better although maybe because Colin Firth is a better actor than John "Bo Duke/Pa Kent" Schneider...Anyway, I hate movies like this on principle because sorority chicks, even if they share the same food allergies, would never fall for a dork at least not after only two brief conversations. Also, biker/goth chicks would also not want to "hook up" with a dork just because she promised herself she would if she met the writer of a blog she really liked. No! No! No!

The Day After Tomorrow: Typical Roland Emmerich-directed action movie where shit gets destroyed except this time the enemy isn't aliens or giant lizards. It's global warming. There is no denying, Mr. Bush, that global warming is a major problem where we supposedly have 100 to 1000 years to deal with it suddenly creating havoc immediately sends up major red flares for me. Are we supposed to believe that our hero, climatologist Dennis Quaid, is so fucking bad at his job his predictions are that far off? Why would viewers such as myself care that this apparent waste of space survives let alone keeps his job. One final thought: This movie is apparently a horror film as Cheney becomes president...

Beowulf: Speaking of idiots, I thought this movie was live action but, really, using the same type of animation as Polar Express was definitely the way to go. This movie rocked. Yes, it was slow in a couple places and Grendel's use of Old English was a little rough with no subtitles but I did love how Neil Gaiman and the other writer whose name escapes me told you who Grendel's father was. Given how this is revelation is the backbone behind this version you definitely need it. I must also mention that the cast was perfect for this.

Tyler Perry's Why'd I Get Married?: We all know how I hate "black chick flicks" but this one was actually pretty good. I actually found it thought-provoking and very well acted. I haven't seen Janet Jackson act that well since her days on Good Times.

Underdog: I wanted to hate this movie but aside from just calling him Shoeshine and him not being a shoeshine boy and Polly Purebread not being a reporter, this was actually a really good film. Peter Dinklage did a much better job as Barsinister than I thought he would. Believe me though. I'm still irritated about that exception...

Jersey Girl: Not even the best Kevin Smith movie but it wasn't as bad as people might think going into it. Again one of those movie's where the kid is smarter than the parent... Also, with Ben Affleck as her father and George Carlin as her grandfather, Gertie is royally screwed...

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium: This movie was one of the most inspirational movies I have seen in awhile and loved it. Dustin Hoffman and Jason Bateman were great as was the kid. Once again, Natalie Portman shows how well she can act when she has decent script although we all know that she does spectacular when given crap to work with...

I'm in a new phase with the book. The text has been formatted and I'm now going over the page proofs. Again, no release date yet (another month I'd guess) but it's all so exciting. After the text is approved, we move on to cover design then...the book is published!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hey, Old Man!

I'm officially an old man. I had my yearly physical yesterday and I'm now apparently at the stage where I have to get my cholesterol checked. Yes, high cholesterol runs in the family but I thought I was young. Two more signs I'm now old: I was encouraged to start giving myself monthly hernia exams. (I'd make a comment on how I prefer it when she does it but mine is not the right audience for that...) I also had my first rectal exam. Woo Hoo! My glucose level was good and my LDL (bad cholesterol) level was only 11 points higher than normal range which she wasn't concerned with at all. The only thing she was concerned with was my HDL or good cholesterol level which was 17 points below normal which means, apparently, I don't exercise enough. Those of you who know me should not be surprised by this but, in my defense, I am more active now than I use to be.

I've been more ambitious fixing lunch lately. I've gotten into this kick of warming up canned soup on the stove. Not the microwave. The stove! I really don't know what has gotten into me. Before my cold or whatever I had a sandwich and called it good now I'm fixing a whole meal, with chips. It is true now that I'm back on Zyrtec now that it's OTC (It works much better than Claritin.) but that can't be the whole story. My roommate thinks it's simply that I'm over my illness which implies to me it won't last. We'll see.

It may need further viewing but I watched the first episode of New Amsterdam the other day. There are things I like about it like the former lover who's now old and has Alzheimer's and that his blood matches an extinct tribe but true love will make him mortal? His friend on the show even said that's stupid. This Native American shaman made him immortal because? The gypsies who gave Angel a soul did it to stop him from killing them. I just don't get it. I do hope there's more flashbacks because that's what made Highlander cool.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Another Day, Yet Another Book

Last night I finished a Star Trek book. Book II of the Vulcan's Soul trilogy continues the two-fold story of Spock investigating the aggressions of an alien race called the Watraii towards the Romulans and the group of Vulcans who left their homeworld to colonize the twin homeworlds of Romulus and Remus centuries before. I thought I had reviewed the first book, Exodus, before but I can't find it in the archives. I suppose it was before I started reviewing books. Anyway, Exiles was a very nice read and I can't wait to see how it's concluded. My one real problem with the book, and it's a problem I had with the first book I think, they have appearances by Federation and Romulan characters we know but the two authors made up the Klingons that appear. I have nothing against original characters but it seems like a slight to that race at the very least if not a missed opportunity.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Back To Work

After my week of blah-ness, I went back to work today and managed to stay most of the morning before becoming a bit too tired. I am improving greatly though so that's good. While there, I was doing the striping project and I thought I finally came across a book that didn't not only didn't belong to us, it didn't belong to the Seminary at all. I ran it through and a message informed me it belonged somewhere else. Did we steal this from them? My boss came out and ran it through the catalog which revealed it did indeed belong to us. I ran it through check in again with nothing special happening. The bar code scanner read it wrong. But what a mistake! Long story shorter, this story really doesn't have a point! Oh well...

While I was laid up, I finished a new book. Timothy Zahn is one of the main writers of Star Wars books. In fact, he's one of the few "originals" still writing them. I've said it more than once. I used to really enjoy Star Wars books but when the "New Jedi Order" books came around, they just didn't do it for me. Even books that had nothing to do with the storyline suffered. Sure, there was less than a half dozen exceptions. There always is. Even Zahn's own Survivor's Quest didn't grab me the way it should. Allegiance maybe regains some of that glory. Taking place right after A New Hope it captures Luke, Leia and Han the way they were at this time and it's great. Because of the time period, we're able to see Mara Jade in her role as the Emperor's Hand and how she interacts with Palpatine and Vader. (Hint. Hint.) Zahn doesn't bring back any of the other now "canonical" characters he created except, curiously, Disra but I think that's good. My one real criticism is where were the Droids?
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