Sunday, December 19, 2010

What's the Story, Morning Glory?

Mom is alive.  Not well, not kicking, not healthy, but alive.  Thanks for praying and thinking of her and our family. 

I was watching the end of the 13th ranked movie on The Dave100, and was about to watch "The Bounty Hunter" with Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston when I looked over to see The Lovely Steph Leann cuddled up in her pink Snuggie.  She's got her eyes closed, earbuds in, trying to desperately finish an audiobook that she checked out online and is due to expire at midnight tonight.

The Lovely Steph Leann, catching a few
winks in the evening
She doesn't like it when I turn on movies she hasn't seen, and wants too, so I hit the DVR button on "The Bounty Hunter" to watch it later, even though I've heard its a dreadful film.  I'm also DVR'ing "The Book of Eli", a great film I did see early this year, and am excited about seeing again later. 

So, to pass the time while I write a little on a late Saturday night, I turned it on The Speed Channel, for a classic episode of "Pimp My Ride"... and here's my thoughts for the night...

So, I've noted the fact that I seldom, if ever, actually get sick.  I wake up with a slightly sore throat or not feeling all that well, and by noon, I'm just right as rain.  Maybe I have a sniffle here and there, but overall, I'm cool.  Sometimes, however, I do pass it on to The Lovely Steph Leann--I can't be selfish and take all the infection, so I want to share.

Getting hurt, however, is another story.  Back in May of 2009, I told the story of the infected finger and the attack that my eyes waged on my body, then earlier this year, my left eye attacked me, and who can forget the coffee inferno that erupted on my foot

Now?  I'm in a splint.

About a week or so ago, I was working on our order that had just come into the store.  It had been piled up quite high, but several of us were working hard on getting it organized, dispersed and off of the cafe floor--I had only a few boxes left, and was trying to help Melanie Z from dealing with it later. 

I lifted a box of coffee, a box of oatmeal and some frap roast mix, and as I turned around to my left to take a step, I didn't see the two boxes of apple juice that lay motionless on the floor.  My shins hit the boxes, and I lost complete control.  The coffee, the oatmeal and the frap roast mix flew through the air, landed on the tile with a skid and slid across the floor.  I followed very closely behind, hitting the ground hard, landing on my left knee and my left hand/wrist.

A few customers came over and helped me up, made sure I was okay, I told them I was.  I shook it off, laughed a little, thanked them for their help.  I made my way to the back room, where as soon as I turned the corner out of sight, I slumped to the floor, holding my knee close to my chest, fighting a scream of pain.  A single tear trickled down my cheek.

One of my co-workers, Vee, walked back and saw me, and simply said, "Wow.  You're not alright."  I laughed through the tear, saying, "I'm sure I'll be fine.  Just give me a minute."  My knee hurt so, so bad.  So, for the next several days, I walked with a slight limp as my knee, bruised and and battered, began to heal itself.  Stairs were horrible, but over the last week, I think its going away.

However comma

...I did notice that my left wrist was not feeling as great.  In fact, it kinda had a little pain to it, depending on which way I turned it.  By mid-week, my wrist and hand just hurt when I worked, and by Friday morning, turning a door knob, pushing down the white mocha pump or picking up a gallon of milk with that hand made it hurt like crazy.   Off to see Dr. Vance on Friday afternoon, and he poked and prodded a little, got an X-ray and made sure it wasn't gangrenous, or riddled with AIDS or anything of that sort.  Nope, just a sprain on the wrist, one that will... that will... will.... that.... wi...

..., as I typed those previous words, I fell asleep.  Like, zonked out.  It was only for a brief few seconds, but it was long enough for my hand on my mouse to slip, the mouse to crash onto the keyboard, and The Lovely Steph Leann to wake up and stare at me.  I decided it was time for bed, so between the words "one that will" and right now, I've slept 8 hours, I've gone to church, I've had lunch with Hurricane Rhett, Amarylis by Morning (up from san antone), JustFish and his wife Kelly Kelly at Ruby Tuesdays, I've gone by the cigar shop to buy a gift card for my brother-in-law for Christmas, I've watched The Lovely Steph Leann pass out on the couch again, I've talked to Melanie Z on the phone about tomorrow at work, and I've listened to half of Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" album

Where was I?

Oh yeah, my wrist.  It'll heal.  In about a week or so. 

The whole point of that entire story was that now I have a splint on my left wrist.  I told Melanie Z a few minutes ago, "Ya know, I don't get sick.  I just get hurt."  And get old. 

Speaking of Lady Antebellum, is there a better country song out right now than "Need You Now"?  I mean, this song has everything--being drunk, being desperate, being broken hearted and hurt, and a hot chick singing half the song.  I'll be honest with ya, for the first few times I heard it, the opening keys on the piano makes it sound a little like "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe, but there are few songs that are farther apart in subject than "I Can Only Imagine" and "Need You Now". 

Was watching some video clip show on CMT, and this song came up, and Darius Rucker put it perfectly... "The song is beautiful... but when you listen to it, it's about nothing more than a booty call.  A late, desperate, drunk booty call.  But they sing it beautifully."

I feel so behind when it comes to movies... I did a count today at church, while a slow song was being sung during the choir concert, and I and/or we have seen about 33 movies at the theater this year, and another three that were 2010 movies I and/or we have seen on DVR, premium cable, NetFlix or OnDemand pay-per-view. 

And I'm so, so behind on movie reviews... but here's one for ya.  

"Morning Glory" tells the tale of Becky Fuller, played by the getting-better-and-hotter-as-time-goes-on Rachel McAdams... she's no Amy Adams, whom I'm in love with, but she's still great.  Anyway, Becky is a ambitious news producer that, due to layoffs, is forced to take a job with a very low key, struggling network, and is hired to take over their terrible morning show.  Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) is the longtime co-anchor, and is aghast when to complete the morning show team, Becky coerces/forces an old curmudgeon of a newsman, Mike Pomeroy, played by Harrison Ford--we'll get to him in a minute.

Obligatory picture of my Hollywood

Of course, nothing works out perfectly, so we watch Mike Pomeroy and Colleen Peck not get along, Becky have a meltdown over nothing working, and her love interest, played by Patrick Wilson, try to pursue a woman who is giving 110% to her career and nothing to her own life.

This movie works on two levels... first, Rachel McAdams wins in just about anything she is in.  To me, you recast "Mean Girls" with someone besides Lindsay Lohan, and it still works.  But take out Rachel McAdams' Rachel, and it loses something.  She wins in "Wedding Crashers", she shines in "The Notebook" and even makes "Red Eye" bearable, so when Rachel McAdams is in something, it automatically makes me thing that this might be a pretty good movie. 

Secondly, I don't know what happened to Harrison Ford, but he looks like he's been chewing on an onion for ten years now.  The man IS Indiana Jones and IS Han Solo, two of the most awesome icons in movie history, not to mention he was in four non-Star Wars or Indy related films, in The Dave100, that being "Air Force One" (46th), "Witness" (34th), "The Fugitive" (25th) and "American Graffiti" (15th). 

Harrison.  Smile once in a while.  Seriously. 

Anyway, back to "Morning Glory", this role is perfect for him.  Mike Pomeroy is bitter, is angry, feels like his lot in life sucks, and even though he was very successful back in the day, he fees like this new spot for him on the morning show is beneath him.  Ford trudges through the film with grunts and growls and scowls, and if you didn't know any better, he might have just as much contempt for being in this movie as his character does for being on the show in question.

"Morning Glory" is fun and simple, it doesn't try to hard, and you genuninely like and root for Becky Fuller, and can even empathize with her when she and Mike do the inevitable sit down, where they have the "don't work so hard or you will end up like me" conversation.  The movie is practically out of theaters at this point, so catch it as a rental. 

Another movie we saw recently was "Unstoppable", starring Chris Pine (Star Trek) and Denzel Washington, and its premise is simple... they work on a train line.  They go out on what is supposed to be an easy, somewhat boring train transfer, moving a train and its cars from one town to the next in rural, blue collar Pittsburgh.

In another part of the state, two bumbling engineers accidentally let a train get away from them.  Just so happens this train is pretty huge.  Just so happens that its carrying toxic chemicals.  Just so happens that there is a train full of school kids on a field trip not too far up the track.  Just so happens that there is a dangerous part of the track up the road.  Just so happens this runaway train is, well, unstoppable.  Just so happens that... Denzel and Chris Pine are on the other train and are going to save the day.

Just so happens... I loved the heck out of this movie.  You know, sometimes you just want to be entertained, you don't want to think too much, you don't want to be taught anything or preached to or leave the theater dwelling on the film's message and so on... with "Unstoppable", none of that happens.  Its not a dumb movie, it just doesn't pretend to be anything that its not... its simply an action film with two likable leads on one train, trying to stop another train from going really, really fast.

This is one of those films that I liked watching now, and when it comes on Starz around May or so, it will be fun to leave on in the background while I'm doing other things around the house. 

If you come to The Cabana, you won't see a Christmas tree in our living room.  You won't see stockings on the mantle, you won't find lights hung around the railing out on the porch, or a giant Mickey in a Santa suit sitting in the corner. 

The reason why?  We didn't put a tree up this year.  See, I've always poked fun at those people who had their tree up in November, before Thanksgiving... in my mind, Christmas doesn't start until Thanksgiving is over, regardless of Wal-Mart having their trimmings up in September.

But, I kinda understand why people put it up before Thanksgiving.  See, our tree is huge.  Its a decent tree, its 7.5 feet, and its big.  Its one of those older trees where there are branches to install in the tree, first the bottom row, then the next, then the next, then a few more, until you get 2/3rds the way up the tree, then you stick on the top part.  The branches are supposedly color coded, but the white and the yellow look awfully alike, and the yellow has two levels and its just a nightmare. 

I've got to drag this thing out, put all the branches on, then we have to deal with gaps.  Then we have to deal with lights... though I'm thinking  that, starting next year, I'm going to toss every single strand of lights we have here out into the garbage... lights are now about $1 or $2 a box, so I can spend $10 a year to have fresh lights that I don't have to worry about.  The Lovely Steph Leann is all about colored lights, so they are even cheaper. 

Anyway, after the lights finally go up, we've got the ornaments.  I came into this marriage with about a dozen or so ornaments, whileshe came in with about 779 ornaments.  And she wants every.  single.  one of them.  on the tree. 

When Thanksgiving is over, we just get busy.  Really, really busy.  We had a weekend away that resulted in us spending a few days in Disney World, meeting up with some very dear friends while we were there.  We figured when we got back, we'd get the tree up.  When we got back, we were tired, we were lazy, we figured we'd get the tree up in a few days.

A few more days go by, and I finally ask The Lovely Steph Leann, "What if... what if we didn't put a tree up?"  She pauses, reflects for a minute, and said, "Well, I hope that this doesn't start a tradition of not putting a tree up..."  I told her that we would put it up, just maybe not this year.

Mid-December comes around, and no tree still.  The Lovely Steph Leann informs me that we aren't putting up a tree until we clean the floor.  My argument was simply, why clean the floor when we are putting a tree down, with a tree skirt over it covering the area.  Why not clean it after the tree is put away in January?  No dice, says the wife.  No floor, no tree.  I said I wasn't cleaning that part of the floor, and its a stalemate.

Then, a few days ago, The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Well, I'm in agreement... we don't have to put a tree up this year.  Just so long as we don't make this a permanent thing."  I shake my head, thinking that oh, we'll get it up at some point soon.

And here we are, the weekend before Christmas, no tree. And there won't be a tree this year at The Cabana.  Next year, I'm going to become one of those people that I made fun of... our tree is going up in mid-November, BEFORE Thanksgiving.    So when Thanksgiving rolls around, our tree is up, and we don't have to worry about it. 

And it will be a new tree.  Not the beastly monster that we have now, but something a little easier, maybe not smaller, but easier to put up.  Its gotta hold 779 ornaments, after all.

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