26 October 2007

7 unrelated things

  1. Finally, it's starting to act like fall. The real one. We had the traditional false start a couple weeks ago. Every year we get the fake-out fall for a couple of days, then it warms up again. Now I think we might actually be beginning the slow decline into the under 70 degree high.
  2. Are all credit card companies evil, or just mine? They are currently trying to screw me out of a late fee, because of goddamn Columbus Day. I will not yield.
  3. Old moustaches are funny.
  4. I want to buy a new mountain bike, but there are too many choices
  5. All my camellias are getting ready to bloom. I love a flower that blooms in the fall and winter. The Pink Perfection (pictured) is my favorite. I don't have one in my yard, but there is one in my neighbor's yard, just on the other side of the fence. The blooms are well within easy stealing distance. I also learned this today: "Elizabeth, the Queen Mother grew Camellia in all of her gardens. As her body was taken from Royal Lodge, Windsor to lie in state at Westminster Hall of the Palace of Westminster, a Camellia from her gardens was placed on top of the flag-draped coffin."
  6. I have to go to Orlando twice in the next two weeks. Orlando is stupid. I always get lost there.
  7. All ya'll should be watching Pushing Daisies. Ned is my new TV boyfriend.

18 October 2007

Did I mention I went to Colorado?

Um, yeah...cause I went to Colorado. Like a month ago at this point, but I finally get around to bringing it up. Never been to the CO before. Nice place. Big Mountains. Here they are from afar:

As compared to the mountains in North Carolina:
.
Some what similar, but the NC mountains are about 5000 ft and the CO ones can get up around 15000 ft, so...not quite the same. Also, I seem to take a lot of photos out the car window.

Anyway, we went up to
Rocky Mountain National Park which was lovely but also kind of scary. The road you drive on is quite twisty and there are cliffs that you drive right next to and there is like no guard rail between you and a big drop off a cliff. I'm glad I wasn't driving...it was nerve wracking enough in the passenger seat.

At any rate, it was raining when we first got there, but it stopped pretty quickly, which enabled us to encounter this ridiculous sight (click on the photo for enlargement):


Yeah, we're actually looking sort of down at the rainbow. Like we are so high, we're above the rainbow, or at least on the same level. Here it is in motion:



Also entertaining was the fact that there are elk. Lot's of elk. Like everywhere. And they pretty much get to go wherever they want. Here they are on a golf course in the middle of downtown Estes Park:


Please note the golfers just casually putting on the green and continuing their round (click on the photo for an enlarged view). Which is noteworthy because just out of the frame of that photo you will find this guy:


Who does not look like he should be trifled with. Nor should his ginormous antlers, for that matter

12 October 2007

I heart fall

Fall is here, as all my Yankee and internationally based friends have been telling me for a month (Lady Byron...I'm looking in your direction) But up until now, no evidence of said season was to be seen here in the FLA. Until yesterday. Yes, mark your calendars, October 11 finally brought a chill into our humid and temperately hostile land.

Oh first sign of fall, how I love you. Oh day of days, you bring me such happiness. Don't get me wrong, the Florida summer is not without it's charms. Excellent swimming weather and all that...it's just so long. So very long. I remember that as a kid I would get so annoyed in August, when all the back to school clothes would show up in the magazines and stores. Sweaters and scarves and corduroy pants galore...none of which could be worn by me for at least 2 more months. September is shorts weather, as is October and often much of November. An outdoor Thanksgiving is not unheard of.

As August trudges toward it's sweaty conclusion, I always find myself eagerly waiting for that first cool-ish day. A day when you wake up and go outside and suddenly the air is crisp and the breeze is chilly and all is right with the world.

The signs of fall have been appearing for sometime now, the kids are back in school, football season has begun, the new television season has launched...I'm glad the weather finally decided to get on board. Changing leaves can't be far behind....

08 October 2007

It's Columbus Day here in the good old U.S. of A. A day in which we celebrate the "discovery" of America (much to the surprise of those already living here. It's not like they were an aspiring starlet or an unsigned band, just hanging out, waiting to be discovered...)

Apparently, the holiday was created in 1892 (400 years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue in the famously rhymed 1492) by President Benjamin Harrison. (Benjamin Harrison of course being otherwise known, at least to me, as "that dude who was president between the 2 Grover Cleavlands". Also, he's a handy answer to trivia questions about related presidents.)

Anyway, I mostly think of Columbus Day as "that day we used to get off work/school but don't anymore." State offices in Florida don't care to let us stay home and rest on this day (ditto President's Day). Federal employees do get the day off, as my friend Rakes is always quick to point out.

I did just discover that the day is celebrated in places other than the U.S., which I didn't know (in Spain and throughout Latin America, to name a few). I also learned that it is now called Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela. Sometimes I love that crazy-ass Hugo Chávez. (Mostly for this..."it smells of sulfur still...")

For me, Columbus day always brings back the same memory. I was at a Public Enemy concert and Chuck D took the opportunity to address the issue between songs. His words were to the effect of "today we celebrate Columbus Day. Columbus was trying to find a way to India and landed in America instead. Do you know what Christopher Columbus was? Christopher Columbus was a lost motherfucker..."

04 October 2007

An open letter to Ben Stiller

Dear Ben,

I want to like you. I've always kind of liked you. I enjoyed the Ben Stiller Show back in the day (even if you are partially responsible for launching Andy Dick upon an unsuspecting world). I loved Tony Wonder (I miss you still, Arrested Development). I very much liked Zoolander, Dodgeball, and of course the sublime The Royal Tenenbaums (although, truth be told, I fear my enjoyment of the latter two may have been in spite of rather than because of you.) So I say this from a place not of hatred or malice, but from one of wanting the best for you...It's time to make another movie.

And I know you have a new movie coming out. Tomorrow in fact.
The Heartbreak Kid. A Farrelly Brothers vehicle, with all that implies (don't even get me started on on those two.) I speak not of an actual new movie, but a metaphoric new movie. A different movie. Not the same movie you have now made more than ten times (a generous estimation, it's actually probably many more).

I speak of the movie in which you play a long suffering, neurotic, ineffectual man with a severe anger problem. Hey Ben...why so angry?

You were angry at Vince Vaughn in
Dodgeball and Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums. You were angry at Jack Black in Envy and at an old lady in Duplex. You've been angry in big hits (There's Something About Mary) and Frat Pack films (Anchorman). You always seem to be mad at Owen Wilson (Starsky & Hutch, Night at the Museum, Meet the Parents). You were really mad at that monkey (Night at the Museum). You were even mad as a guest star (Friends, the whole plot of the episode was "man, that guy Rachel is dating is really angry") You actually played a superhero who's superpower was getting angry (Mystery Men, he was called Mr. Furious for goodness sake).

Ever here of a thing called "typecasting," Ben? Here's what
Wikipedia tells us:
"Central casting often exhibits a pattern of placing an actor in subsequent similar character roles after his or her first success, especially if an actor is particularly well-received in that role by the audience or by critics. Typecasting happens to actors of both great and modest ability: an actor may become typecast either because of a strong identification with a particular role or because he or she lacks the versatility or talent to move on to other roles. Some actors welcome the steady work that typecasting brings, but in general it is seen as undesirable."
I'm pretty sure you're doing o.k. financially, Ben. In addition to this acting gig, you also direct and produce. You don't need to fret over the need for "steady work"
.

Perhaps your repeated performance of the same, actually quite-annoying-and-unpleasant-to-watch character is largely responsible for this dubious distinction (a trivia fact from your IMDB profile):
Holds a distinct Razzie Award record - nominated for most titles in one year. He was nominated in 2004 for Worst Actor in five of the six films in which he appeared: Along Came Polly (2004), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Envy (2004), and Starsky & Hutch (2004). The only film he was not nominated in for that year was Meet the Fockers (2004).
I know you are yelling and fuming all the way to the bank, but you could do more. Branch out, dude. I'm not say you have to go all Your Friends & Neighbors or Permanent Midnight, but branch out a little. Stick with the Frat Boys or Apatow or McKay or whoever, just ask to play the nice guy, or the funny guy, or the happy-go-lucky neighbor guy. Eschew the angry guy, just once. See how it goes.