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11 October 2010 @ 05:51 pm
Ewwww...  
During today's (windy, smoky) bike ride, I encountered a group of what I assumed were hawks circling overhead. No—these birds had black wings and evil lumpy red faces instead. Vultures! Yuck. Go haunt someone else. :0

We went to Apple Hill yesterday. I'd been off sugar for about 12 days (trying to lose a few pounds so I'll be no chubbier at Wincon than last year). I had some of the fresh-baked cinnamon&sugar apple donuts and some of my husband's apple fritter, which was okay until things got out of hand late in the evening. Candy corn has been pwning me again, which is part of sugar-free effort. We had a great time (the kids were in donut and cider heaven), and it wasn't too warm until late in the day. I bought Gravensteins from the one place that ever has them, and it was hard to stop putting one beautiful specimen after the other into the bag. We lived on a farm until I was six, and I'd go out to the orchard and just eat Gravensteins off the tree until I was full. Ah, memories!

HSH and I had a date on Saturday, and saw The Town. Good movie, good cast. Who knew Ben Affleck had consistent talent as a writer and director? Not as good a movie as Gone, Baby, Gone, but few movies are.

Our family movie night featured the Steve Martin (or as I like to think of it, the Tom Welling) version of Cheaper By The Dozen. Funny how I find certain types of movies more aggravating than funny. Movies about "Oh, that darn misbehaving dog!" or "Oh, those little devils!" cause me stress. I get frustrated with whatever moron is supposed to have taught their pets/kids to behave. This one featured a family of (for the most part) selfish, bratty kids. Also, the mother comes back from an extended business trip (the first time she's ever had such a thing), and proceeds to lay into the dad about letting things get so out of control. Hah! They weren't that much better when she was home! Methinks that during her absence was not the first time those kids should have been introduced to the concept of "being grounded." Oy.

Still behind on Chuck and The Mentalist, which might also be true a week from now since I'll be at Wincon all weekend. Yayyyyy!

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she said mysteriouslyresounding_echo on October 12th, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
When I only saw his work as an actor, I used to always say Ben Affleck's best asset was Matt Damon (mean, I know). But I truly enjoy him behind the camera. Where he should focus his efforts, imo.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
Haha! Can't say I disagree with you.

Affleck seems like an 'okay' actor to me (and Damon... more talented, but not terribly good-looking). But I've really been impressed with the two movies Affleck has directed, and the writing has been first-rate.

While I was biking, I was thinking about a ranty PSA I'm tempted to post, along the lines of "Earth To Mel Gibson: we tolerated your assy Catholics Uber Alles self-righteousness back in the day, but that was before you cheated on your wife, who bore you eight kids. Now we hate you. Maybe we'll watch a movie you direct, maybe not. But we don't want to look at you ever again."
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 12th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
Matt's not conventionally handsome, perhaps, but he's a very good actor, and he's not afraid to try different roles. I think he's got potential to be a really great actor, if he keeps working on the variety and resists typecasting and "blockbuster" type movies.

I never was impressed with Affleck's acting, either. I've not seen any movies he's directed, so I can't say about that.

I do think they made a great team. Good Will Hunting was, at its heart, a fine male friendship movie. It would have been better if they'd been able to resist two things: 1) turning it into a romance, because that detracted from the relationships, imo, and it's so rare to see movies about MEN being FRIENDS, MENTORS, and BROTHERS to each other, I'd have loved to see more of that. and 2) Robin Williams, eating the scenery. He turns in the same performance for all his movies any more, like many a big name actor who's hit their peak and now rides mannerisms instead of acting. A lesser-known actor would have been better in the role, imo.

Still, that movie showed their potential as a team.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
I'm seeing more action-type roles from him, and I'm starting to confuse him with Leonardo di Caprio (who finally convinced me, with "The Departed," that he hasn't lost all of his talent). I don't find Damon at all attractive (he falls into the "goober" category for me), but seems solid enough as an actor. I might be missing some of his better recent films.

I liked Good Will Hunting, though I agree with you about the two major detours that undercut a great story. I'm sure they thought (at the time) that their movie wouldn't sell that well without someone like Robin Williams in it (and I think they were right, because they were unknowns). But darned if he didn't practically eat the whole thing alive. :(

It would be nice to see Affleck direct Damon in a drama. That would be a good fit for both of them!
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 12th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
I never wanted to see that movie because I liked the book and its sequel so much. They weren't bratty kids, they were active, smart, loving, and imaginative-and their parents coped with them quite well. They just had a big family and an interesting profession.

I agree with you on that. I spend more time bitching about what imbecilic behaviour is going on than I do following the plot.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
It's probably good you didn't see the movie. While I was busy lamenting the kids' behavior during the family viewing, I also noted that without it there wouldn't be much of a story to the movie. But eeeee, if it's based on a real family and the kids weren't little monsters... boy, the family must have been very displeased with that depiction of them. :0
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 12th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
Oh, it's a very famous book-Cheaper by the Dozen, and the sequel, Belles on Their Toes! :D

The parents were efficiency experts, and went around showing everyone how to do things better. So it was fortunate for them they had all those kids-they could practice assembly line techniques at home, first, and see what worked, lol. I ~think it was pre-WWII, but I haven't read them for a while, so I may be off by a few years or so.

Very nice, old-fashioned family fun and pranking around, with a loving family and everybody liking each other and respecting their parents. If you liked Anne of Green Gables, Daddy Long-Legs, or the Melendy family books and that type of story, growing up, you'd like these.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
If you liked Anne of Green Gables, Daddy Long-Legs, or the Melendy family books and that type of story, growing up, you'd like these.
I have to admit, I haven't read the first (and I haven't even heard of the other two!) But I did read The Five Little Peppers And How They Grew, several times in fact. :0
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 12th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
and that one, too! very feel-good and fun, but the "Dozen" books have the advantage of being real. :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
I might be conflating the book with a different one, but I remember the Peppers having a sister named Sophronia (!) whom they called Fronsie.

So when my husband told me that his mother's mother's name was 'Flossie,' my first question was, "What's that short for?" "Nothing, as far as I know." "Flossie? Sounds like a name for a cow, not a person."
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 13th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
Sophronsia, I ~think. Polly's name was really Mary, but that was a common nickname for it, as was Molly. I always wondered about that, lol. Like Daisy is a nickname for Margaret (which I can at least understand, since marguerite is the French word for daisy). Flashbacks to Little Women, here.

Now I kind of want to break out my Nancy Drews and look for the Boxcar Children, too. :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 13th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Hmmm-- I always thought the Margaret nicknames were Molly, Polly, Peg, Meg, and Maggie. I didn't think Mary had any nicknames!

But now I finally understand how you could get from Margaret to Daisy. The Molly/Polly thing still makes no sense, though.

The Five Little Peppers were where I learned just how awful measles could be! Think I was vaccinated for it instead, if there was a vaccine back then for that kind of measles. Definitely wasn't one for mumps or chickenpox.
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 14th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
I think some of the nicknames were due to rhyming slang-Molly, Polly, Dolly, Betty, Netty, Ettie, etc.

Margaret also has...hmm, Greta, Gretel, Gretchen, Maggie, as Margie nicknames/variants. What we call nicknames were often also actually used as independent names, as well, and were sometimes diminutives for a mother/daughter or other set of related females. Males, too, I'm sure, but they tend to be MUCH more heavily into Jr, rather than diminutives.

I used to read name dictionaries for fun, lol. I could break down names from any Anglo-Greco-Roman background, tell you its definition and derivatives a reflected in other cultures. That was a long time ago, though, and now I can't remember shit.

I always resented that my name doesn't have a definition so much as it has a...~representative being. "Virgin moon deity", what fun is that!
realpestilencerealpestilence on October 12th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
they made an horrible movie out of Daddy Long-legs, starring Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. i'd advise against watching it, lol.

the Melendy books are by Elizabeth Enright, and go...The Saturdays, The Four-Story Mistake, and...hmm, I think Spiderweb for Two. maybe one more, but i can't remember, it's been a while. they're set during WWII but they age pretty well, imo.