Eat eat gain gain

Fatblogging check-in:

  • Original weight: 233
  • Weight last week: 226
  • Weight this week: 227

Not great, but not unexpected. Vacation for three days, dinner out a few times, no exercise…yeah. That’ll do it. Now that I have my hard cast I think my wrist can handle the jolt of running, so I’m going to the gym tomorrow morning. Time to get back on the horse treadmill.

.:.

We just finished watching Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (imdb | rotten tomatoes). It was better than I expected. It got dragged up off the bottom of my Zip list, so I wasn’t that keen to see it, but we felt like watching a movie tonight and got a pleasant surprise. The story was pretty formulaic (and was explained as such…very meta) but parts of the script were quite funny, especially Val Kilmer’s. Not a must see, but worth a watch if it’s lying around.

[tags]fatblogging, kiss kiss bang bang[/tags]

I'm starting to believe in curses

Ever feel like you’re playing bad customer service whack-a-mole? Just when we get the gas leak sorted we have to deal with UpCountry, who are being substantial dicks about the bed we ordered two months ago. They called a month ago to say they’d be following up in a few days to arrange a delivery date, and charged our credit card for the remainder of the bed…but no one ever called us. We’ve tried calling, emailing, everything…no answer, and the mailboxes are all full. Very professional.

So yesterday we went to the store and asked where our bed is. We heard some story about things going from the wrong warehouse blah blah wank, and were given the delivery service’s phone number. My first thought was, “How about you call them and sort it out?” but I realized if we rely on UpCountry to proactively provide customer service we’ll be waiting a long time. We also asked for a better phone number to call since none of the phone numbers they publish actually seem to have a human near the receiver. We were told there is another number, but there’s no point in taking it down since that number won’t be answered either. Clearly UpCountry has been taking customer service lessons from our condo management office.

Luckily, Andrew Richard Designs [caution: cheesy new-age music] next door (where we bought our balcony furniture) were actually nice, if not overly competent. We arrived to pick up the cushions for our benches, only to find out that they’d made us the wrong ones. Right color, wrong texture. However, rather than making us wait 3-4 weeks while they made the right ones, they simply gave us the wrong ones to use temporarily and submitted the correct order. As it turned out, once we got them home, Nellie actually liked how they looked, so I think we’ll keep them after all. Not a perfect experience by any means, but certainly better customer service than UpCountry. I can tolerate a mix-up; what I can’t tolerate is unwillingness to fix (or even acknowledge) said mix-up.

.:.

So, new cushions installed, we fired up the barbeque and had CBGB over. Nellie prepared a tasty seafood feast for us as we relaxed out on the (rather windy) balcony. All very yummy, and after a quick cleanup job we crashed.

[tags]upcountry, andrew richard designs, customer service[/tags]

The good, the bad and the criminally dumbass

We saw The Bourne Ultimatum (imdb | rotten tomatoes) last night after work. It was really, really good. Almost surprisingly so, considering it’s a spy/action movie. Probably the best of the three films, in my opinion. It echoed the second film and retraced an important theme from the first. There was subtlety and subtext to go along with the fight sequences and super-agent stuff. It was well-paced and well shot (I like Paul Greengrass’ hand-held style). Great cast too.

Well worth your ticket price…and with a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes I guess I’m not the only one who thinks so.

.:.

At the other end of the film spectrum we find Bratz (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which is moving at a 9% clip on RT and inspired the following analysis:

“This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I’ll go as far as to call it one of the worst movies anyone’s ever seen. Bratz is one the worst movies a stillborn chicken in Peru has ever seen.” [Cinematical]

“But if your daughter feels far too good about herself or has bought into all this ‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts’ bullshit, then you not only owe it to your daughter to take her to this, but you owe it to the 20 or so guys that in ten years will be tagging her while she lies face first in a puddle of her own vomit. These girls don’t make themselves. They need your help, Dad. They need Bratz.” [Ain’t It Cool News]

“If you ever wanted a movie to put in the time capsule so future generations can puzzle over the bankruptcy of our current kiddie culture, Bratz is it.” [Boston Globe]

.:.

Let me give you an example of a big reason I wanted to move away from small-town Nova Scotia. This CBC News story is about a town very close to where I grew up.

Truro won’t be flying a rainbow-coloured flag at the town hall to support gay pride activities, unlike two other nearby Nova Scotia municipalities.

Council voted 6-1 against raising the flag to coincide with next week’s gay pride activities in Pictou County. Mayor Bill Mills is standing by the vote, saying, as a Christian, he simply could not support the request. “God says I’m not in favour of that and I have to look at it and say, I guess I’m not either,” Mills said.

The mayor said gays and lesbians already have equal opportunities and work and pension benefits, so he wonders what else they’re fighting for. By raising the rainbow flag, he added, that might open the door for other groups. “If I have a group of people that says pedophiles should have rights, do we raise their flag too? I don’t want to lump them in with homosexuals, but that’s the point, the issues, and that’s my feeling.”

Wow. That is some well-thought-out shit right there. He wonders what else they’re fighting for? How about a mayor who doesn’t imply they’re sexual deviants? Pedophile flags? Pedophilia’s illegal, you idiot. Although, it does raise the question: what kind of equality flag would homophobic public officials fly?

For every reason I love my home province, there’s some jackhole troglodyte like Bill Mills to remind me why I can’t move back yet.

[tags]bourne ultimatum, bratz, truro, mayor bill mills[/tags]

A song will lift as the mainsail shifts

That lovely shawl you see up there is, in fact, my new cast. Pretty, no? I didn’t have a choice of colours, so they gave me the clown motif. I’m thinking I’ll need to cover that up.

Good news, though: I should only have to wear it for four weeks, not six or more. It’s also far more comfortable than that blasted splint (so far, anyway) and gives me more use of my fingers…though my thumb is basically useless now. And you know what’s hard to do sans thumb? Tying your shoes. Try it tomorrow. You’ll curse like you’ve never cursed before.

.:.

Quick hits:

  • MC Rove is hiding behind his mommy’s skirts.
  • Irish singer Tommy Makem died. I know very little of Tommy Makem, only that he was a singer and that he performed a beautiful rendition (along with the Clancy Brothers) of “When The Ship Comes In” at Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary concert several years ago. If you haven’t heard it, you really should. There’s nothing quite like a protest song sung by old Irish men.
  • I want a pair of Joe’s new running shoes. Wish I’d thought of that before my birthday…

[tags]broken wrist, gaudy cast, karl rove, tommy makem, saucony[/tags]

The scariest movie I've seen since The Ring

I spent my last 24 hours of freedom relaxing and watching a bunch of movies. Two of them were just dumb piles of action: Banlieue 13 (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was remarkable for the all the Parkour-ish action, while Smokin’ Aces (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was remarkable only for the extreme hotness of Alicia Keys. Both were fun to watch, but gone from my head the second they ended.

However, this afternoon I watched a documentary called Deliver Us From Evil (imdb | rotten tomatoes), and it’s going to stay with me for a long, long time. It was at the film festival last year and I wanted to see it then, as documentary filmmakers always shed more light on their films in person at festivals. However, the finished product is more then enough for me.

Director Amy Berg told the story of Oliver O’Grady, a catholic priest who sexually abused children in California in the 70s and 80s. She used extensive interviews with O’Grady himself (more on him in a minute) and with a few victims and their families, as well as deposition interviews with various members of the church. There was also analysis from lawyers, theologians and even a reformist priest. From a craft standpoint, Berg worked the story up perfectly from the small details to the bigger picture, including the dissection of how catholic doctrine and hierarchy could allow — even enable — this abuse to happen, and making sure not to absolve the highest of levels…even the current pope himself was connected to the scandals at the highest levels. Expertly done, and completely gripping.

O’Grady himself was difficult to watch. There can be no doubt that the man is a sociopath, but he seemed to hover on the fine line between disturbed and monstrous. I could never quite determine if his actions were the result of horrid intent or uncontrollable disease, but I never felt as if he were anything but evil. But he was one man, and he could have been stopped. For years the church protected itself by protecting him, moving him from one town to the next, giving him opportunity after opportunity to abuse and rape adults, children and even infants. While the film shows O’Grady through an unfiltered lens — the man needs no help in damning himself — the accusatory finger is firmly leveled at the California diocese and the church itself.

If you can stomach the subject matter — and it is very disturbing to watch O’Grady, because the man not only exhibits an utter lack of remorse, he still seems truly menacing — then I cannot recommend the film enough. And if you’re worried that it unfairly attacks Catholics, it doesn’t; it attacks self-serving power structures. As the afore-mentioned reformist priest said, “Real Catholics are revolutionaries, like Jesus. Did you ever notice that the only time Jesus got mad was when he went to church?”

[tags]banlieue 13, smokin’ aces, deliver us from evil[/tags]