Archive for December, 2010

Rain, the dog, and Chinatown

Posted in general weirdness on December 28, 2010 by Nada

It has rained so much the paint on my front porch looks like it’s washing away. The porch has that white wrinkled look that your hands get after washing too many dishes. Tonight, it’s raining some more. The little dog just went out and stood in the downpour in the back yard – not once, but three times, each time with total disregard that she was getting soaked to the bone. She was fighting the Big Guy and me too as we tried to towel her off between stints in the back yard. Obstinate creature.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go to Chinatown to look for some tea and fireworks. The tea is a sure thing. The fireworks are a crap shoot. I think every once in a while someone (as in a legal someone) runs through Chinatown and busts all the storekeepers who are selling illegal merchandise. Used to be you could buy fighting stars in some of the stores there but now if you ask for them, they look at you like you’re part of sting operation. A few months ago, I bought some spinning fire blossoms and some other low level firecaps, sparklers, etc. I hope they still have some of that. That’s the thing about Chinatown, you have to get the stuff when they have it, or forget it, unless its back scratchers or coolie hats (and I know that term is not politically correct but that is the name of the hat) or knock off sunglasses. They have those items all the time, year round, at reasonable prices. But then, who needs them?

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Christmas Photos

Posted in animal on December 26, 2010 by Nada

Best Movie

Posted in movie on December 25, 2010 by Nada

One of my good friends wanted to see the remake of True Grit, but I threw up a boycott plan because NO ONE is John Wayne, but John Wayne and no one can be Rooster Cogburn but Wayne. I was appalled anyone would even try. Then, my friend told me it was a Coen brothers film with Jeff Bridges. That is not fighting fair. I broke the boycott (instantly (before it actually started)) and saw the flick yesterday.

It’s the best Movie of 2010 with none of those fancy smancy special effects that leave you feeling cheated at the end of the show, as if there’s not enough plot or dialogue to carry the flick, so the director resorts to lights, smoke, and mirrors. This movie is a western, through and through, replete with bad guys, good guys and Rooster Cogburn, who falls somewhere in between, but has a heart of gold. The characters are wonderfully portrayed, and when Tom Chaney decides to murder Mattie, you can actually see the evil wash over him. I have to say Bridges makes a fantastic Cogburn. I feel kind of disloyal to John Wayne. At least he’s dead so I didn’t abandon the Wayne Cogburn ship while he was alive.

Oddly, I thought I remembered from the old Wayne True Grit movie, Rooster Cogburn died in the end, but now as I’m researching the plot on the internet, the summaries say the John Wayne Rooster Cogburn lives. I think in my mind I’ve combined several of those old John Wayne westerns that he stared in during the latter part of his career. True Grit came out in 1969 and he won an Oscar for it. Then, in 1975, he stared in a sequel with Katherine Hepburn called Rooster Cogburn . Though I adore both of these actors/actresses, I remember thinking at the time, there was no chemistry between these 2 individuals, and the film was a disappointment compared to True Grit, or the African Queen, that stared Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, not Wayne, but illustrated the on screen chemistry Hepburn was capable of with a leading man she actually liked. Sadly (or not) Wayne and Hepburn were only in that one movie together – Rooster Cogburn. It was a passable film but didn’t do well critically or at the box office. In 1976, Wayne stared in The Shootist, and the character he played in that flick was killed. It was the last movie he made before he died from stomach cancer in 1979. A lot of people (including myself) think he was exposed to radioactive fallout during his filming of The Conqueror. I do this was contributory to his cancer, which first manifested itself as lung cancer in 1964. He smoked most of his adult life and even after having part of his lung removed, he picked up the tobacco habit again, but this time chewing tobacco and smoking cigars. I personally think his best film was The Searchers. Over the years, I’ve watched that film a few dozen times. I still miss John Wayne. Though, I don’t think he was a great actor, he was a great performer, and he had a bigger than life persona.

Best E-book

Posted in E-book, Kindle on December 24, 2010 by Nada

More bests, I know. This blog is either about bests or worsts or weirdness du jour. Where’s the consistency? Call the continuity editor. Make a complaint or just read this entry and be happy today’s blog is about bests.

Best item #1. This E-book here – Prophecy of the Medallion, available on Amazon, Kindle now. Yahoo! Yes, I did purchase it immediately because I have already read parts of this book previously, and loved it. It is uber suspenseful though, so if you are like me, and plan to read it late at night you might want to revise your plans so you don’t scare yourself. Or maybe, like me, you enjoy a bit of a suspense and scare, as long as you know you can close the book and creep off to bed.

Best item #2. Prophecy of the Medallion is on Kindle! At first, I was kind of bummed about this because I would love to have a Kindle but I don’t want to fork over the $$$ to buy it. BUT, then I found out the Kindle app is FREE FREE FREE for MAC, PC, iPhone and iPads. COOL! It’s an easy download. If you go to the Prophecy of the Medallion blog site, you will find the free Kindle app downloads in the right nav. I downloaded the app in literally 30 seconds and bought the E-Book in another 30.

Best item #3. The Kindle app is really easy to use, and I have already read the first chapter of my new E-book. Though I like our little library here in the burg, I can’t seem to remember the days they are closed any more, which seems to be increasing due to budget cuts, and frankly, I can read better and more, if the font can be enlarged and it’s back lit, as in the case of the Kindle app. Plus it’s just raining non-stop here (except for today). How nice to be able to just get a good book instantly without ever leaving the house?

eHillbilly

Posted in she-it on December 22, 2010 by Nada

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about these online dating sites – eHarmony, Match.com, JDate. Most of my friends are single females and most of them say they would like to have a significant other. To them I say, come over to my house at 2am and hear the freight train roaring through our bedroom which is really not a freight train at all, but the Big Guy snoring. If you like it, belly up to the bar. In other words, sign up for an online dating service.

I’ve interrogated a lot of my friends who’ve used these online dating sites and here’s some of the criticisms:
1) You have to answer a lot of questions
2) You have to be witty in the email
3) JDate is the best one, but it’s only for Jews

So, I was thinking, I should set up an online dating service called eHillbilly, and I was thinking that
1) Because technically (Born there. Raised there. Still speaking with a Southern accent) I am a hillbilly and always will be. I could be the CEO.
2) Hillbilly life is easier (possibly from less intelligence exerted – hard to say)
3) Hillbillies don’t talk much and certainly don’t entertain email
4) Perhaps it would become clique-ish like JDate, and hence just as popular

Here would be my prerequisites for joining eHillbilly, and you only need to qualify in 3 out of 5:
1) Drive a pick up truck
2) Speak with a Southern accent
3) Use improper verb/subject agreement (not all the time, just occasionally when excited or drunk)
4) Take your dog with you every where you go
5) Know who Minnie Pearl was and sincerely think she was a comedic genius

eHillbilly would connect hillbillies with other hillbillies for walks through Wal-Mart or dinners at The Sizzler. No one need say squat. They could simply bask in the sound of the freight train roaring through their bedroom.

Lordy

Posted in food, Oakland on December 21, 2010 by Nada

I hate Christmas. There. I said it. My blog. I can say what I want. Having said that, though, there are aspects of Christmas I do like. The food – of course. Cranberry sauce. Turkey. Cake. This cake. This is my friend’s baking blog and though she usually saves me a piece of everything she bakes, I didn’t get any of this. NONE, and then, she emailed me this blog entry last night. Our friendship may be suspended until she provides a piece of THIS CAKE.

The other Christmasy thing I like is – Farmer Joe’s patio. It’s covered with Christmas trees, glorious firs with such a pungent scent it’s like a forrest there now. Saturday, I trotted down there in the rain in my Payless cheapie boots with the simple intent of buying some freshly roasted coffee from the coffee guy on the patio. I literally could not leave. I went inside and got a deli sandwich (Vince’s grilled chicken sandwich – delicious!) and camped on the patio for HOURS. There were only a couple of seats available because the fur trees crowded everything and everyone. It was so quiet, and peaceful, sitting on the patio in the rain with smell of furs permeating the air. I felt like I had pitched a tent there. And I guess I had. I pitched a virtual tent.

Mormon Temple

Posted in Oakland on December 16, 2010 by Nada

The best Christmas lights this year are at the Mormon Temple. They even have some music playing in some sort of surround sound. It’s open to the public, or at least I think it is. We drove in, parked, and then walked around.