Monday, August 4, 2014

Random Thoughts 8/4/14

It's been quite a while since I did one of these RT blogs.  It's a lazy last day of vacation, so I thought, why not.  

It's been a good summer.  Hot, humid, and not too wet.  We haven't really gotten away much to do anything, but that's okay.  We knew this would be a 'staycation' kind of a holiday, until we go to Boston in September, at least.  Alexandra took off last week for her 1 Direction show in Toronto and arrived back today safe and sound, Janice and me had a magnificent holiday, Crocky the cat is pretty much back to normal after another health scare, so all is right with the world.  Let's get on with it.

Had vivid dreams last night, and somewhat recurring, about being alone on the street at night lost in a dark city, looking for home.  I had this dream before Alexandra nearly got lost in Toronto Saturday night, so I doubt there's a correlation.  Janice told me I did some strange things in my sleep.  Needed an Atavan to calm me down and actually keep my eyes shut.  I take those maybe once every two months.

The wife and me watched the first season of 'Orange is the New Black' on Netflix over the last few days.  Excellent show, in that you can't really outguess what's going to happen next, which is the only thing that'll keep me watching anything anymore.  'Game of Thrones' is like that.  'Person of Interest' is another show we're discovering that we really like.  I clued into that one when I found out Jonathan Nolan, Chris Nolan's brother, is a producer on the show.  We're getting ready to binge-watch 'Homeland' season 3 next.  On the comedy side, nothing beats 'Big Bang Theory'.  Nothing!  We can watch and re-watch countless times every episode of that program.  It's become this millennium's comfort food.  Of course, the new standard for TV has been set by 'Breaking Bad', arguably the best TV art ever broadcast.  Its sequel, 'Better Call Saul', has a very high bar to jump.  We BB fans have very high hopes.

I still have a review page set up that I just haven't worked on yet, but I really have the itch to lately.  The reviews will be short and to the point, with the occasional essay on films, shows or products I feel especially passionate about.  The Gravy Pot is simmering, and I'll let you know when it's ready to be served.

Elections are coming.  Here in New Brunswick, we have a bright, shiny opportunity to erase the mistake that is/was David Alward's Progressive Conservatives.  They have done absolutely nothing right since taking over from the stumbling Liberals from the last election, and they sure bragged a lot at the time about toppling Shawn Graham's party after only being voted in once.  Turnabout is fair play, though.  To be fair, I'm no fan of the Liberals these days.  No party in Canada is more wishy-washy, federally or provincially, than they are.  I once liked the idea of Justin Trudeau as leader, but I find he's inept, unthoughtful, unwise, and unconvincing.  Stephen Harper, on the other in a category all by himself.  Canada is a shame on the world stage because of him and we have a lot of rebuilding to do when he's gone, not unlike when Dubya was president in the U.S. for eight years.  The most alarming thing about Canada is the lack of attention to our environmental concerns, which require immediate attention, and no party is serious about addressing this issue except the Green Party, who gets my vote provincially, and federally.  Elizabeth May is the smartest person in politics right now, and I think the other parties know it, and will never admit it, perhaps even scoff at the notion.  It would be argued that a vote for the Greens is a wasted vote.  I understand that reasoning, and I counter it.  I realize my vote for the Greens will most likely be a vote for the losing party, in both instances.  But every fledgling party grows from some starting point.  The Greens become more relevant with every year that passes, as environmental issues become worse and worse, with no one taking any serious measures to do anything about it.  I know the Greens will, because they stake their commitment to it in the name of the party itself.  They do not engage in dubious political posturing in the form of attack ads or condescending pulpit preaching like the other parties, and in my eyes, they deserve a chance to try to make things happen.  If the sudden influx of votes results in a few more seats in the House of Commons, even if it means no real leveraging power, it's a beginning.  It means the voice is getting louder, will be heard more, and the truth has a better chance of getting out.  To be blunt, the very existence of our species depends on the voices of people like those who make up the Greens, and if they can influence other parties, then all the better. 

We ventured out to see 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' last week at the theatre in Dieppe.  The bad:  I HATE those theatres.  I hate that they blast your ears into oblivion with outrageous sound levels that completely take me out of the movie and make me uncomfortable to be there.  When we saw 'The Dark Knight Rises' on opening night years ago, it was the same thing.  We went to see it again in Moncton where the sound was reasonable, and the mix was far better, and were amazed how much Dieppe ruins their movies with their irresponsibility at their sound adjustments.  I think we'll be taking an extended break from seeing movies in Dieppe.  The good:  'RotPotA' ought to be a candidate for Best Picture.  Beyond the shadow of a doubt.  This film was so well put together, with so much rich character development - including with the simians - that I'm convinced it can't be ignored by the stuffed shirts come awards time.  Amazing story, amazing acting, stunning visuals, and just a completely rewarding theatre movie experience.  

Ah, my Boston Red Sox are merely existing this year.  In the basement of the standings, that is.  From worst, to first, back to worst again.  I can't explain what happened, other than that they poured their hearts into everything they had after the Boston bombings last year.  The very same team sputtered out of the gate and have been spinning their wheels ever since this season.  But we Boston faithful will stand by and wait for them to power out of the darkness of the cellar once again.  

Janice and me have been doing the gym thing, still, quite faithfully now for months upon months.  Speaking for myself, I'm not a hell of a lot larger or stronger, but I feel good.  I can run a mile and a half on a treadmill in 15 minutes routinely, and get through a strenuous workout twice a week (our current program requires two workouts).  Janice is a machine.  She goes every single day, and on the days with no workouts, she does an hour of cardio and other things like ab stuff and stretching.  She's very determined to whittle herself down.  I encourage her to go every day, even though I myself do not.  I would if she wanted me to, though often headaches after work prevent me from doing a lot.

Speaking of which, I finally have an appointment with an ENT in October to perhaps address my sinus issues.  And another for my knee later this month.  Now it's just to see a phychiatrist, I doubt I'll get in to see one until 2016.  Seriously.  It's how the system is.  

I have an iPod on the way for me next week, which I'm pretty excited about.  Janice bought me one for Christmas last year, a 16G, and as I began to transfer all my CDs to my MacBook, I discovered upon trying to upload them to my new iPod that it isn't near big enough.  Not even close, in fact.  So I offered to give it to Janice, where she doesn't have as much music that she listens to.  She flat out refused that.  Enter Alexandra, who had a 64G iPod, with a broken viewscreen that she doesn't use anymore, especially where we gave her an iPhone for graduating.  She offered to give it to me, where Apple has a policy that if you send in your broken iPod, you can get a new one of the same model for a reduced price, in this case, $200.  Janice jumped at the chance of making that happen to get me this iPod, and it's on its way now.  She will then accept the one she originally bought me so that we all have something.  Everything works out!  I've been excited because now I'll get to have all my music on this iPod and get some good headphones and jam with it on my drums, which I've set up again and got a renewed interest in playing.  Also in teaching Alexandra.  

Ah, music.... there's just nothing new out there that excites me anymore.  I wind up just rediscovering old stuff that I used to listen to that I gave a break, and then get excited for it again.  I'll turn on our rock radio channel here to try to find something new that sounds good, and all I'll really get is the usual Steve Miller, Lynard Skynard, Eagles, Eric Clapton, etc.  You get it.  Sometimes if they play something new, it'll be something heavy with no heart or fun in it at all whatsoever that maybe a handful of people out there like.  It's why rock and roll and hard rock is in the toilet right now.  Nothing with conviction or feeling, or at least nothing that's getting played or getting attention.  There are lots of "pop punk" groups out there, which to me is an oxymoron; and emo crap.  They're in abundance here in Canada.  My rule of thumb with rock is, if you can't attract guys and girls both to your music, you are NOT rock and roll.  Period.  Rock is supposed to bring the masses together to have fun.

Not a whole lot more to write about at the moment right now.  We're sliding through August rather quickly, so savour the moments that we have, because winter's going to come along and screw it all up sooner than we like.  Happy thoughts!

Take care and see you on facebook, or Twitter, or wherever.