the coworker i “like to take weird pictures of” and a couple of other guys from work took a trip out of the country over the holidays. in addition to coming back with some nice pics of examples of engrish, he brought back grab bags of asian snacks. most of it was okay or good, but the centerpiece was certainly the small snack bag of dried minnows…or some kind of small fish. some of them even had a sesame seed or two stuck to them, perhaps in an attempt to show that these really were for consumption.
i don’t like fish, but i decided in the name of cultural diversity i should try one. plus a chinese coworker was popping the things like they were chips. i made the mistake of smelling them before eating one. they smelled like minnows. i popped it in my mouth and chewed. oh. my. G-d. it was like someone had unloaded a whole bait bucket of super-concentrated powdered minnows…a veritable explosion of the essence of fish…inside my mouth. i’m not sure what kind of difference the stray sesame seed or two could possibly make. i couldn’t swallow it but i didn’t want to spit it out, so i grabbed a strawberry collon biscuit roll (another imported snack) and popped it into my mouth. where i created strawberry and minnow biscuit mush, which i forced down my throat. gah.
so much for my foray into foreign cultures. i would say my facial contortions were really sad, except another coworker — after having involuntary contortions as well — began scraping at his tongue with his fingers. so compared to that, i was perfectly civilized.
oh yeah, also yesterday t.u. won the football national championship. congrats! being an aggie, i don’t really root for t.u. unless they’re playing a team that isn’t from Texas. basically, i root for the aggies and any team from Texas that is playing an out-of-state team.
well, i didn’t make it to all four films. everything was going fine, but when i got out of fun with dick and jane and looked at the clock, it was already 10pm and there was no way i was making it to the alamo draft house in less than 15 minutes. so i only made the first three.
capote was interesting and very well done. i really like philip seymour hoffman, so it was nice to see him get a quality leading role (even if he was an executive producer and thus tied to the film in other ways). i’m not familiar with truman capote as a person or much of this story so i can’t talk about how hoffman did portraying him, but i can say the acting, directing, pace, etc were all excellent. it didn’t leave me dumbfounded or numb or anything, but it did a good job of telling its story.
the squid and the whale reminded me of wes anderson some in the previews, so it was a pretty mild surprise to find out wes was a producer on the film. (which i connect to the use of robert yeoman as the cinematographer, but that’s just a guess.) the term “dark comedy” gets overused these days imo, but that’s certainly where i would put this. realistically dysfunctional people trying to live out life as a marriage falls apart, infused with plenty of sadly and genuinely funny moments. there are really no good or bad people, no two-dimensional major characters merely around for forwarding the plot, just messy screwed-up people with good and bad sides. if you go to the movies for an escape from real life, this probably isn’t for you. unless you have a simple, wonderful life and relationships, and an escape is seeing the ugly messiness of others. the intellectual pretentiousness of the dad was humorous, but painful to watch since it’s kind of a trigger issue for me.
sue joined me for the third film, fun with dick and jane. it was supposed to be a light breather inbetween the other films, but ended up being the closer. the plan was for jack to join me for the fourth, but he had backed out for rest before i realized i wasn’t going to be able to make it. anyway, the movie was enjoyable and funny, although fairly typical popular comedy stuff. i got about what i expected from it: to laugh and see jim carrey act silly and occasionally get to see what was obviously him doing impromptu stuff that was funny enough to leave in the final cut. it wasn’t a stupid, plotless comedy, or a pre-teen-level raunch-fest, but i didn’t really expect that. (that would have been a disappointment.) i hadn’t known this was a remake of a 1977 film until i went to imdb this evening. this one made obvious social commentary on enron and some of the other recent corporate scandals, where most employees lost their shirts while the top guys made off okay or even great. and just in case you didn’t catch it, they blatently tell you at the end. (*sigh*) but don’t watch it for its statement(s) because that’ll leave you fairly unfulfilled — watch it because it’s funny.
all in all, it was an enjoyable way to spend the day and i think i made pretty good choices since i didn’t leave any of the three feeling let down or disappointed or like i’d wasted my time.
since the fourth movie was a bust, i changed plans and sue met me at the house of pies. unfortunately, i ended up talking about tamara, which i usually realize i shouldn’t really do about a minute after i leave and am all by myself. it’s just always emotionally difficult to hear what new way she’s found to either deny any value in me and/or our marriage and relationship, or how she’s trying to act as if it never happened.
i know i shouldn’t really be affected by this any more (or at least i feel like i shouldn’t), but it still hurts that i gave her my life and loved her — and i know for a fact there were good times and love and shared life — and this is how she is about it and me. i try to be a good guy that people can respect and like, and i care about what people think, so it’s very difficult to have someone appear to think so negatively of me. (especially since i invested so much in her emotionally.) but i suppose she needs some way to try and deal with the choices she (and alistair) made, and to deal with the ways she feels i failed her. (and that wording is in no way to imply that i did not actually fail her in some way(s).) i guess it’s my own fault for choosing to put my faith and trust in her and tie my life to hers, but relationships and love and trust and faith are risks and sometimes (hopefully not all the time) you lose. and obviously i lost, in any number of ways. it’s just not supposed to happen when you choose to marry. but i refuse to retroactively go back and try to erase my failings and deny her good attributes. i want to try and see the failure of my marriage as truthfully as possible — to embrace the good and learn from the mistakes — so that (G-d willing) in the future i can make someone the best husband that i can be. i feel like it’s all flawed now because i’m divorced, but i don’t really have any control over that. i pray for G-d’s forgiveness of our failure, and that he will bless my future in this facet of my life.
i’m off of work today, so i’ve decided to make it a movie day. i played with moviefone, getting lists of movies i’d like to see that are showing today, and built a plan. here it is:
capote – river oaks – 2:15pm (109 mins)
the squid and the whale – the angelika – 5:30pm (81 mins)
fun with dick and jane – the grand palace 24 – 8:10pm (90 mins)
syriana – alamo draft house – 10:15pm (126 mins)
i could tighten that schedule up and maybe fit in one or two more, but i kind of like a fairly relaxed pace and this should give me breathers and plenty of travel time. there are some other movies around that i’d like to see, but they weren’t listed on moviefone so i’m guessing they aren’t available to see right now. (not including king kong which i’m mildly interested in, munich which i decided to not try to fit in, and narnia which i’ll wait on). some are probably already through their runs, like murderball, a history of violence, hustle and flow, and good night and good luck.
friday i decided (with natalie‘s assistance) to drive to austin to see dale watson. you see, he’s going on indefinite hiatus starting jan 1, 2006. we got to the continental club around 10:45pm and there was a line to get in. i was worried, but the line slowly moved and we made it in during the first song of the night. it was a good show, and i’m glad to be able to say i saw dale’s “last” (for now) austin show.
the next day we got up and headed to kerbey lane (the one near campus) for lunch. unfortunately, my brother’s timeline never lined up with ours, so i didn’t get to see him. after spending a few hours at kerbey lane, we headed back to houston. all in all, it was a nice road trip. (aside: it’d be cool if i could find a job in austin.)
when we were just getting into houston, i got a call from jack and sue to see if i wanted to meet the potts family for supper at chuy’s. which i did. i’m glad they’re still my friends and include me in their collective life.
afterward, i stopped by a tobacco shop and picked up some pipe tobacco. for some reason i’ve been thinking about trying to give smoking a pipe another shot. i’ve always grown frustrated in the past because i don’t pack it right or something, so i have to constantly relight it. anyway, i had a nice chat with the guy working at the store, and bought some filters, pipe cleaners, and some butter rum and cherry tobaccos (actually, he gave me free samples since i wasn’t sure what i wanted). i then headed back to the house.
they say whatever you’re doing at new year’s, that’s what you’ll be spending most of the next year doing. i’d thought of going out and finding some random female to hug and kiss, since it’d be nice if i could be doing a lot of hugging and kissing in 2006. but then i thought it might mean i’d be hugging and kissing a lot of random women, so i decided against it. i’d seen that wayne hancock was supposed to be playing in houston, so i figured that would be a cool way to ring in the new year (cool live music and all). but it turns out the show was cancelled or something. i looked around and didn’t see any other shows of interest going on. around 11pm i called jack…he answered but had obviously been asleep. he said sue was up and i could try calling her, but she didn’t answer so i left a message.
so how did i ring in the new year?
i smoked the pipe some (still frustrating), then sat alone in my house on my computer reading stuff online. looks like it’s going to be another bang-up year… 🙂
(the idiots around my neighborhood firing guns up into the sky…i assume that’s where they’re firing them and not at someone…are just the icing on the new year cake… and for the record it’s not that i didn’t have any offers for things to do for new year’s, it’s just that i didn’t do any of them…but in the end, does that really matter?)