3rd try on this post...blogger's eaten this 2x. First time I hit "Publish Post" and it vanished. So the 2nd time I get smart and try "Save as Draft." *poof* (sigh) Is it just me, or has blogger become incredibly unstable since they started the Beta work on the improvements? (and I don't even have 'em!)
Anyway, what I've been wanting to say:
First, I want to thank everyone who's emailed, IM'd, commented or whatever their expressions of concern and well-wishes about our housing situation in the last 24 hrs. Particularly from TBOB and Gerald who really don't know me from Adam. I trust that things will work out well, and I know that the Lord knows what He's doing. It's just going to be a real pain in the, ah, upper-thigh that I really didn't need. Thanks,
Secondly, just talked to the realtor who'll be handling things. First she started off by apologizing for disrupting our lives. Which, while it was fairly meaningless gesture, is nice. She repeatedly assured me that there was no need to worry about moving right away. Then she listed a number of my rights during the selling/showing phase (even if it wasn't the law, the owners are such swell folk that they'd do it anyway...so I hear). She's letting us set the appointments for showing--phew! Could just see people demanding to see the house during Hebrew class [shudder]. She also said that the marked around here has really slowed down over the last couple of months, and doesn't sound like she's planning on chalking up a sale anytime soon.
The last 2 places we lived in have also been on the market multiple times while we lived in them. None of those were pleasant experiences. I've been lied to, bullied, slandered (one man claimed I grabbed his arm and threatened him--LOL), ignored, and other things I can't think of at the moment. This lady sounds like she'll be good to work with (and even laughed at a couple of my jokes).
Not the same thing as feeling secure about having a place to hang your hat, but it'll do for now.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
3rd try on this post...blogger's eaten this 2x. First time I hit "Publish Post" and it vanished. So the 2nd time I get smart and try "Save as Draft." *poof* (sigh) Is it just me, or has blogger become incredibly unstable since they started the Beta work on the improvements? (and I don't even have 'em!)
Today's Boondocks hit the spot. Fellow Homeschoolers, in particular, will chuckle.
I'm looking forward to the end of Aaron McGruder’s sabbatical, but since I'm too cheap to buy comic anthologies anymore, am really enjoying these old strips that are running right now.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Was having a good day, read some, played a little, studied/did homework (am actually ready not just for tomorrow's quiz, but next Tuesday's), noted that the yanks won this afternoon, was watching a lil' TV with the kids to relax....
and then, the phone rings.
It's Property Manager--yay! Been meaning to call her for a couple weeks now. Time for a new lease. Whoops, not so fast--the owners are selling the place. Sign should go up sometime this week. We'll have 30 days from the time the place sells--she assures me the market's slowed down some, so shouldn't worry too much. But I've seen too many houses sell über-fast around the neighborhood over the last couple of years. Hopefully she closes a deal on another property to manage soon so we can just move in there and make life easier.
sooo, here's our to-do list:
- Got to get the house ready to show (plus class, plus baseball practice for the kids, plus work, plus church)
- Figure out where we're going to live once this place sells (or before...)
Hideki Matsui was cleared to take full batting practice for the first time on Tuesday, a big step in his hopeful return to the Yankees' lineup this season. Matsui is scheduled to hit indoors on Wednesday.The story goes on to say, "Matsui said he's still conscious of his left wrist when he swings," uhhh, ya think?
Matsui had no problems with soft-toss hitting drills on Sunday, but he hasn't taken live batting practice yet. The Yankees originally thought Matsui wouldn't be ready until some time later this week.
"In terms of being pain free, that's something I definitely feel good about and very satisfied," Matsui said through his interpreter. "I'm still working on my mechanics and things like that."
"We can probably DH him at some point," Torre said. "I think that's the safest thing for him to do, as opposed to have him dive for a ball in the outfield."And that's why he's a legend, folks. Torre doesn't want to put the man in the outfield right away. Sorry for the sarcasm, I'm sure the question that elicited that response was pretty dumb.
In other injury news...did anyone else see that hit that Seattle's Soriano took last night? Ow. Ow. Ow. Can't imagine that Guerrero slept well last night.
Last baseball thing for now: Vocabulary Lesson: Pavano. One of the funniest things I've read in days.
Someone hung on to a tape of this? Worse, that someone took the trouble to put it on their hard drive?
Everytime I begin to have a glimmer of hope for this country...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Why've I been so quiet lately? Working on a couple of projects (including start of the semester).
If there's anyone out there who knows their way around WordPress (and I mean really knows their way, not just used it). Please, Puh-leez, get in touch with me. I'm on the verge of hurting myself working on a project...
Monday, August 28, 2006
Hideki Matsui stepped up his rehab yesterday, taking 25 swings at soft tosses. "No problems," he said. He is expected to begin taking batting practice sometime this week, perhaps putting him in line to play in a minor-league rehab game by the weekend.
(H/T: Replacement Level Yankees)
Thursday, August 24, 2006
This promising headline from AP: U.S. ends 'catch-and-release' at border
Nearly all non-Mexican illegal immigrants caught sneaking into the United States are being held until they can be returned to their home countries, the Bush administration said Wednesday.In it's coverage of the announcement, WND notes:
Chertoff told the Senate in October "a non-Mexican illegal immigrant caught trying to enter the United States across the southwest border has an 80 percent chance of being released immediately because we lack the holding facilities."WND also quoted from an email to Kathryn Jean Lopez (of National Review Online) from a Heritage Foundation immigration expert, with this imporant observation:
But the agency, through a "comprehensive approach, was moving to end this 'catch and release' style of border enforcement by reengineering our detention and removal process," he said.
Nevertheless, Chertoff has been pessimistic toward calls to deport illegals who have been living and working in the country for some time.
If true, this is an important advancement in deterring illegal immigration. However, something still needs to be done about the catching and releasing of Mexican Illegal immigrants—the majority of all illegal immigrants.(off topic, NRO's The Corner yesterday had some interesting posts about politics and Firefly/Serenity).
That same Heritage expert writes a very thoughtful paper: Building a Better Border: What the Experts Say
And along those lines...how twisted it this?
On a misty, moonless night, the group scurried down the canyon wall, their feet slipping in the ankle-high mud. The sirens grew louder as their guide, clad in a ski mask and known only as Poncho, urged them to run faster. "Hurry up! The Border Patrol is coming!"
A couple in matching designer tennis outfits loped awkwardly along, the boyfriend clutching a digital video camera and struggling to keep the pop-out screen steady.
The 20 or so people fleeing the fictional Border Patrol weren't undocumented immigrants; they were tourists about 700 miles from the border. Most are well-heeled professionals more likely to travel to the United States in an airplane than on foot.
They've each paid 150 pesos — about $15 — for what is perhaps Mexico's strangest tourist attraction: a night as an illegal immigrant crossing the Rio Grande.
Advertising for the mock journey, which takes place at a nature park in the central state of Hidalgo, tells the pretend immigrants to "Make fun of the Border Patrol!" and to "Cross the Border as an Extreme Sport!"
It's like Calvin & Hobbes + Doonesbury + the politics of Mallard Fillmore...but, y'know, funny). If you're not reading, you might want to consider adding it to your list. Today's strip is a good example.
btw, yeah, I'm in class right now. But he's going over the syllabus. I'm not being lazy already. Multitasking. (and do note the light nature of this post)
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
And now it's time for Silly Songs with Hob, the part of the blog where Hob comes out and radio.blogs a Silly Song. So without further ado, Silly Songs with Hob.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
At first glance, your reaction is likely, "Does he do anything but take pictures of his daughter's ear???"
Not lately, honestly. But you will note that this week, we're not focusing on ornamentation, but injury.
This afternoon, the Princess somehow fell over onto a printer cart while trying to get a toy--there may have been running involved--conflicting and confused witness reports and fear of self-incrimination make this foggy. This fall resulted in a nasty gash, torn cartilage (which looks really gross, btw), more blood than her daddy ever wants to see pooling (yes, pooling) in her ear, and 6-7 stitches. Very few tears. Quite the stiff upper lip. She handled the whole experience with poise and grace. Which is good, 'cuz one of us should've.
Legend tells us (as I understand, the actual documentation on this is shaky) that someone asked Mahatma Gandhi, "What is your opinion of Western civilization?" Gandhi promptly replies, "I think it would be a good idea."
So do I.
La Shawn Barber writes today,
Michael Skube, a journalism professor at Elon University in Elon, NC, reports that some of his students think that Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, is a great writer. Relatively speaking, the book is a good read. Brown does all the formulaic stuff that keeps you turning the pages. But a great writer compared toÂ?William Faulkner? According to Skube, Brown "was the only writer they could think of."(be sure to read her whole post, and pretty much every post she makes)
Skube says that words like impetus, ramshackle, lucid, advocate, derelict, satire (no English lit classes in high school?), and afflict stumped his private university students, the same ones who graduated from high school with grade point averages of 3.5 and higher.
Brown a "great" writer? I need a new dictionary, 'cuz mine apparently has a misprint under "great." Worse yet, Brown the only writer they could think of?
Jane! Stop this crazy thing!
Monday, August 21, 2006
with apologies to Scribbler, Julie, and Patrick; and a high-five to Frodo, Samwise and Norris.
Well, wasn't that a fun little series? There are many ways to put it, but I'll let MSNBC commentator, Mike Celizic, do it for me, in his column Yankees are best team in baseball now, he states:
A team that looked last spring as if it wouldn't get through the season has become what its owner insists it be — the best team in baseball. The starting pitching is adequate, the middle relief pretty darned good and the closer still the best in the business. A potent starting line-up has been turned into an opposing pitcher’s nightmare with the addition of Bobby Abreu, who, as The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan said, seems as if he were born on first base, at the trade deadline.Quick recap for those who might not have watched/read a sports report lately:
It has survived injury, resisted the ravages of father time and never caved in to the adversity it has faced. Its manager, Joe Torre, has his share of critics, but when the smoke finally cleared in Fenway, you could argue that this year the imperturbable manager has done his greatest job of managing ever, and that includes the four-titles-in-five-years run of 1996-2000.
Like those old Yankee teams, this one beats you whichever way it has to.
Friday afternoon:12-4That's 49-25 for the series. Thank you Boston relievers!
Saturday afternoon: 13-5
(that's 3 games in 28 hours, including the longest 9-inning game in MLB history Saturday night)
Sunday evening:8-5 (in the 10th)
Monday afternoon: 2-0
New York is up by 6.5 games in the AL-East. I think that's a 10.5 game change since the All-Star Break. 10.5 Games, baby. Steve Lombardi runs the numbers:
From here, if the Yankees just play .500 baseball over the rest of the season, the Red Sox need to play nearly .700 baseball (.698 actually) to beat New York.Should note that Lombardi also provided a wonderful rundown of Red Sox blogs this morning reacting to the series at that point. My favorite was this one.
Guess now would be a good time to retract this post. Hate to do it, but. It's the right thing to do. Go Johnny! This series? 2 homers, 3 doubles, 1 triple and eight RBIs and hitting .435 (10-for-26). Sadly, think the Yankee fans will embrace him far faster than A-Rod.
Jeter solidified his run for a MVP award this weekend. Giambi did what he does best (whack the ball and make fields flubs). Poor Scott Proctor worked his arm off. Hope he's not needed in Seattle. A-Rod did some quality defense, and some less-than quality. Jorge showed he's still got some power. Abreu, Melky, Robbie...love you guys! And Mariano, ahhh, Mariano. As Moose put it: "You know, I don't think there's anything to say...That's what he does and that's why he's the best that's ever been and I'm glad he's on our side."
Curse of the Bambino? We don't need no steenkin' curse.
Piece of History: Where's this title come from?
Someone inspired me to go with a "70's Rock" soundtrack this morning. And, as I'm oft want to do, from time to time I call one/all of the kids over for a moment of (pop) cultural literacy education. Last week, for example, before I posted this, I had my kids watch the original on youtube. Frodo and Samwise should be able to tell you that Clapton is one of the greatest guitar players in the universe (granted, they can't identify anything by him, but you gotta start somewhere). They know what color of submarine we all live in. And so on. There's many things vital to get by in this life that you just can't learn from schoolbooks.
So today, I call the lads over to get a little exposure to Skynyrd. Lesson for the day: "Freebird" is too long for the attention spans of 7 and 6 year olds.
This from the slice of life file, with no particular punchline/"You See, Timmy" moment/conclusion
With the new job, my schedule is a little different than it was a few months ago (in that I actually have one). This has bade it impossible for us to do our family worship with any consistency. Which is a problem. So the Mrs. and I put our heads together last week and tried to figure out what to do. It was fairly obvious really, but (frankly( I didn't want to go for it, see right now, there's only one time of the day when we both were home--neither at work or on the way to work.
(For those at home keeping their Sanctification Scorecards®, I do realize you now have to erase whatever points you'd given us for doing family worship because my wife works outside the home. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
So this morning around the table we had quite the motley crew. Arnold was quite awake, but looked confused, because those books are for after dinner. The Princess is unrepentant morning person, perfectly content and happy to be their. Samwise was physically present, his eyes were doing their best not to roll back, and coherent thought was a couple steps beyond him. Frodo was dutifully there, but you could tell from his eyes that it was a major stress on duty that explained his presence. Me? Well, Sam gets it from somewhere. The Mrs, of course, was bright-eyed and ready to go (and probably secretly enjoying seeing Sam and I in this state). We managed to stumble our way through it, and by the end, even the elder males were fully alert and participating.
What is it, 21 days to create a habit? 20 long ones to go...
Friday, August 18, 2006
Few weeks ago, Robert B. Parker started one of those amazon.com blog's at the behest of his publisher. Well, his publisher has (finally!) gotten around to getting an official website for the man, and his own (read: non-amazon) blog.
Parker isn't the writer he used to be, I'm afraid (but he still has his moments). One day, when I'm stuck for something to write, and am in a more self-revelatory mood, I might unpack this, but I'm sure it's safe to say that be I wouldn't be the reader/would-be author/person I am today if not for Dr. Parker.
That's not necessarily a good thing.
But it is what it is. We must deal with things the way they are. Not what we'd like them to be.
So, go ahead, give him a click, see what happens.
You'd be fools not to.
First thing I read this morning is Julie's blog, where I learn that the greatest writer/artist/title combo since Marv Wolfman/George Pérez/New Teen Titans is breaking up in a few months. That's right, true believers, Mark Bagley is leaving Ultimate Spider-Man with #110. Ugh. #99 ships tomorrow, so I do have a little while longer to enjoy the magic. Now that I think of it, Wolfman/Pérez got me into comics as a kid, Bendis/Bagley brought me back. Not sure what that means, it just struck me. Silver lining: Bendis is sticking around. Not sure the ticker could've taken him leaving.
And, can't forget that after dropping 2 out of 3 to the Orioles, the Yankees head to Boston for a 5 game series with a meager 1.5 game lead. Today features a double-header, and in Game 2 Sidney Ponson will be
throwing a mini-home run derby to Papi and Manny starting. Silver lining: I can watch Wang do his thing at 11 am MDST on ESPN, and it doesn't look like Ponson will be on the tube here.
Man, I need some coffee...
You've likely seen this kind of thing before--I have ('tho most I've seen lately have been from much drier locales). But this was made by a son of one of my wife's co-workers so his family could see what he does (not sure he appears in the video, but his crewmates do). Just wanted to pass this along.
Thanks for your service, Jace.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
For all those who suffered through LaHaye & Jenkins, this might provide a little cathartic release.
BTW, ever since Monday, my comment count hasn't been working (at least as far as I can see)--just because it says, "0 comments" doesn't mean anyone hasn't opined.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
(she actually is smiling, just can't tell from this angle)
Last night the Princess was taken by her Mommy, Grammy, Aunt and Cousin to get her ears pierced. (sigh) If I'm not careful, she'll be bringing some punk home to meet me soon.
"Sir, in my heart, I know I'm funny."
Bruno Kirby died Monday at the age 57 from leukemia-related complications. Never a major star, but Kirby could be counted on to deliver a great performance--comedic or dramatic.
(yes, I know that the picture is from City Slickers and the quote is from Good Morning, Vietnam ... just my two favorite roles by him)
Monday, August 14, 2006
Folks, need a favor here. Frodo's going to be working on a paper for school in the next few weeks, and he's having trouble coming up with a topic. Can be anything. The point is to get the 3rd grader to research and write. Can ya help the lil' dude?
(clarified after SpideyGeek points out that not all of you are looking at my lesson plans, and then further clarified after SpideyGeek and bluewoad point out that not all of you know what grade he's in)
The Marriage of 2 Geek Favorites:
If you liked that, be sure to also try this.
Meant to post this last week, but I forgotten. But the timing is better as a follow-up to the post about the Sproul sermon. Pastor Jerrold Lewis of the Free Reformed Church asks: The On-line Sermon- A Blessing?
Sunday, August 13, 2006
oh, and anything you could throw. Drink some hot tea (or whatever calms you), and then give a listen to this sermon by Jonathan Modene of Maumee Valley Bible Baptist Church in Toledo, OH. It's called, "Strange Fire: The Faith of R.C. Sproul" from Leviticus 9-10:2. What? You don't see Dr. Sproul's name anywhere in the Bible? Maybe you're reading something other than a New Geneva/Reformation Study Bible. No? Hmmm.
Well, let me help you a bit...clearly, R. C. Sproul is the 21st century version of Nadab and Abihu. Yup. That's right. It has something to do with the whole Columbo-vibe he gives off, I'm sure of it.
Now, if you've made it for more than 5 minutes of this, give yourself a pat on the back. If you've made it further...wow, I'm sorry. But I bet you have a whole new respect for your pastor's abilities now, right? Here's your reward, Dr. James White was sent this sermon (please don't tell me you thought I found this by myself) and started reviewing it on the latest installment of The Dividing Line (8/10/06). Give it a listen, it'll help ease the pain.
The first Sabbath dawned on the bowers of a sinless paradise. When Adam was created in the image of his Maker, he was put into the garden to dress it and to keep it. No doubt this called forth all his energies. To train the luxuriant vine, to gather the fruit of the fig-tree and palm, to conduct the water to the fruit-trees and flowers, required all his time and all his skill. Man was never made to be idle. Still when the Sabbath-day came round, his rural implements were all laid aside; the garden no longer was his care. His calm, pure mind looked beyond things seen into the world of eternal realities. He walked with God in the garden, seeking deeper knowledge of Jehovah and His ways, his heart burning more and more with holy love, and his lips overflowing with seraphic praise. Even in Paradise man needed a Sabbath. Without it Eden itself would have been incomplete. How little they know the joys of Eden, the delight of a close and holy walk with God, who would wrest from Scotland this relic of a sinless world! It is also the type of heaven. When a believer lays aside his pen or loom, brushes aside his worldly cares, leaving them behind him with his week-day clothes, and comes up to the and comes up to the house of God, it is like the morning of the resurrection, the day when we shall come out of great tribulation into the presence of God and the Lamb. When he sits under the preached word, and hears the voice of the shepherd leading and feeding his soul, it reminds him of the day when the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed him and lead him to living fountains of waters. When he joins in the psalm of praise, it reminds him of the day when his hands shall strike the harp of God- Where congregations ne'er break up, And Sabbaths have no end.
When he retires, and meets with God in secret in his closet, or, like Isaac, in some favourite spot near his dwelling, it reminds him of the day when "he shall be a pillar in the house of our God, and go no more out." This is the reason why we love the Lord's day. This is the reason why we "call the Sabbath a delight" A well-spent Sabbath we feel to be a day of heaven upon earth. For this reason we wish our Sabbaths to he wholly given to God. We love to spend the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is taken up in the works A necessity and mercy. We love to rise early on that morning, and to sit up late, that we may have a long day with God. How many may know from this that they will never be in heaven! A straw on the surface can tell which way the stream is flowing. Do you abhor a holy Sabbath? Is it a kind of hell to you to be with those who are strict in keeping the Lord's day? The writer of these lines once felt as you do. You are restless and uneasy. You say, "Behold what a weariness is it" "When will the Sabbath be gone, that we may sell corn?" Ah! soon, very soon, and you will be in hell. Hell is the only place for you. Heaven is one long, never-ending, holy Sabbath-day. There are no Sabbaths in hell.- Robert Murray M'Cheyne
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The other day I'm watching a commercial for the movie "The Night Listener," and was trying to remember when it was that Robin Williams made the jump from funny guy who occasionally makes a sappy film to convince everyone he can act to focusing on films about psycho serial killers and related freaks. I honestly couldn't remember what the last funny movie I saw with him.
So last night when I saw RV on the "Pre-Street" pile for employees to rent, I figured I'd give it a shot. Williams, Cheryl Hines...directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Has to be funny, right?
Sure, there were a couple of moments that I found amusing. But overall? Sorry,
National Lampoon's Vacation 4 RV just didn't get the job done.
Hines did the best she could with what she was given. Jeff Daniels and Kristin Chenoweth did an admirable job as Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn (should note in passing that it was an overall positive portrayal of homeschoolers/homeschool kids). Williams was a little off his game, but it all can't be put on him. Bad script. Predictable and dumb plot. Just fell flat.
We've seen it all before and performed better. Save your $$ and go for something else. (just don't tell my Store Director I told you that)
Red Sox are 3 games behind New York (despite Mo blowing his 3rd save of the year to the White Sox on Tuesday). They've lost 2 in a row to the Royals. One more time, let's say it together: 2 in a row to the Royals. I doubt it'd happen, but if Schilling loses tonight, I will celebrate. Now, sure, the Royals owned the Yankees last year, so it's not a certain harbinger of self-destruction or anything. It's just good for the ol' schadenfreude.
Apparently Red Sox fans are freaking out over this--as are some sports writers. Calling the season a gonner, saying the postseason's out of reach. To be fair and balanced, it's probably too early to say that. But there are several indications that this is correct.
Sox just aren't getting it done on the mound. Schilling's having a great year, no denying that. But he can't start every day. The Twins and the White Sox are just playing too well right now to imagine one of them giving up the Wild Card spot. Yankees are coming together at the right time--Robbie's back, Wilson and Abreu are getting the job done.
50 or so games, to go. Anything can happen. But, good to be in the Yankee Universe.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Why do grown-ups care about their birthdays? Seriously, I'd like someone to explain it to me.
Now, I get kids going crazy about the day.
- They get toys/etc.
- They get cake
- They get to be center of attention
- Age is pretty much the primary way that people categorize them (like "What do you do for a living?" becomes in your 20's and beyond)
Yet adults all around me go googily over that day. Most have to make sure everybody knows it's their birthday, just compulsively mentioning it. They'll take the day off work. Buy something for themselves. Get a free meal/dessert at a restaurant. Whatever.
But come on...you're an adult. You can have cake whenever you want to. You can buy trinkets for yourself anytime you go to Wal*Mart. You're supposed to understand that being the center of attention isn't something to shoot for. Seriously, "Oh, everyone celebrate the fact I was born X years ago...make a big deal out of it, because dang it, I'm something to rejoice about."
Don't get me wrong--I'm all for marking anniversaries of accomplishments--marriages, time of service, etc. But your own birth? Seems a bit narcissistic to me. Grow up already.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Was about to link this thing, my buddy, TEXpresby's started himself another blog. He describes it as "mostly silly stuff." Anyway, he'd named it "Two at Parbar," for no reason I can discern (other than to be, y'know, silly).
Then, as I'm updating my blogroll over there on the side, in a moment of weakness, TEX says, "do you want to be a co-blogger on my new blog...that way there would actually be TWO of us." I've got 3 now, but figured somewhere in the cosmos, Adrian Monk would find a little comfort in an odd number going to an even. Still, wasn't sure...and then the blog's background music kicked in, and it was a done deal :)
Drop by sometime...hopefully good for a chuckle or two.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Was stuck behind a van this morning at a traffic light with this bumper sticker:
There ain't nuttin' Evangelicals can't make tacky!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Got home about 13 hours after we left for church this morning--worship, time with family, fellowship with the saints.
Good day. Very good day.
Friday, August 04, 2006
In honor of the news of John McClain's impending return, let's all take a moment to look back on our tragic hero's escapades with this moving musical tribute.
(H/T: Alan Sepinwall)
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Okay, have had precious few shifts at the video store (getting more tho), but am getting there. But am now taking advantage of my primary benefit--free rentals. So, in addition to the ever-popular Summer Reading series, we're going to begin a series called "Fringe Benefit"--me talking about the DVD's I take home for the night.
I'm having a hard time coming up with films to bring home that Scribbles and I can watch together--dunno why--just not seeing anything that jumps off the shelf. So, I'm bringing home flicks that I couldn't justify spending money on before. You know, you have a limited budget, you can afford 1 movie--what do you get? Something you want to watch, or something you can watch with your main squeeze? Easy answer. So I'm left with a long list of stuff I've been wanting to see and haven't.
So, I start with Kevin Smith's much maligned Jersey Girl. This poor movie came out in the shadow of Gigli and featured Beniffer--the "iffer" part of that was only in it for 15 minutes or so. Still didn't save this charming little flick from being savaged by most of the press because it was "Gigli 2" or whatever.
Ben Affleck (who, honestly surprised me in this--best job I've seen from him) is a high profile music publicist, falls head over heals over this gal in the publishing biz. They get hitched, have a kid. Wife dies in childbirth. Dad's life gets turned upside down--moves back home, lives with his dad, gets a blue collar job, and becomes a dad. Daughter turns out to be sweetheart spitfire, they meet a nice girl working in a video store (shock! Smith has a primary character working in a video store!).
Liv Tyler was sweet, and vulnerable; George Carlin was impressive; Steven Root and Mike Starr were as funny as ever; like I said, best Affleck I've ever seen. Great cameo by Will Smith--and Lady bleepin' Aberlin!!?! What a coup for Smith to land her! But it was Raquel Castro that made this thing work. This little nine-year-old nailed it. What a sweetheart!
Not a hilarious comedy. It was touching, tho--call me a sap if you will, but I liked that--love story about a Dad and his Daughter. Relatively clean flick--as Smith notes on a commentary, probably his first movie that'll end up on Cable/Network TV (not just the premium channels). But it's a nice little look at a Dad learning how to be a Dad. Learning how to be an adult son. Making decisions about how to live his life. Not my favorite thing that Smith has done, but I really enjoyed it. Don't go into this expecting a typical Kevin Smith feel--doesn't have it, sorta like Tarantino and Jackie Brown, or the last part of Kill Bill, Vol. 2--it's the same guy, the same skill (for lack of a better word at the moment), but doing something different. I know this movie would've done pretty well if it had come out before Gigli. Alas, it didn't, so it has been (and will be) ignored.
Now, the Smith-Affleck commentary is useless as far as a commentary on the movie itself. Very interesting listening to a conversation between a couple of friends riffing on the press, media coverage of movies, the business of movies, acting with kids, acting with people you're in a relationship with, and so on.
The commentary with Smith and Scott Mosier (producer) with Jason Mewes sitting in as "the voice of the viewer." Gets pretty raunchy from time to time, but a pretty good look at the movie. Appreciated it. Fairly amusing, too.
Roadside Attractions: A collection of bits that Smith did for the tonight show. Amusing, but, eh, it's from the Tonight Show. 'nuff said.
Interview with Affleck and Smith--that was pretty cool, a little review of their friendship (betcha they don't get invited on Oprah to talk about it tho' like Matt & Ben did ).
Behind the scenes--yeah pretty much what you'd figure them to be.
Okay, good movie, decent special features. Grade: B/B+