Blog Posts

The Knitters put on a great show last night at The Belly Up Tavern. They are for sure one of my favorite bands, which is no wonder since their members are pure legend. John Doe and Exene fronted the important L.A. punk band X and their vocal harmonies are a wonder to behold both then and now. X drummer D.J. Bonebrake is still in the band and joined by Dave Alvin of The Blasters. That's a big chunk of history relating to bands my parents hated as I played them too loud in my high-school bedroom. It's always great to see your heroes are still alive!

- Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 12:39:07 (EST)
We started out the weekend by going to the drive-in to see Night at the Museum and had a great time. What a funny movie! We are still saying "Do it mon" to each other and "I oughta punch you in the nose, hopscotch." Having kids makes silly stuff fun. The next day we visited Chucky Cheese and the kids won over a thousand tickets playing games! For the first time, they got one of the real high-end prizes. It's funny, a $12 toy cost me around $40 in tokens! Still, the fun is in the playing. When we got home we watched Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and it was "most bodacious!" I saw it in the 80's and forgot how cool it was. We just got out of Momarsh's hot-tub. We came here to fix her cable internet connection, again. This is actually a test. Hope it works! Tonight is Christmas Eve. So, good holidays to all!

- Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 18:34:28 (EST)
It was so cold and rainy this weekend that we went to Mom Marsh's hot tub just to get warm. It became a trap because it was too cold to get out! When we became wrinkled and bored we rushed to the bathroom and bundled up. The bowling alley was closed, so we hung out at Starbucks a while. When the rain started, we ran to the car. At home we watched the hysterical movie Evolution. I loved it because I think Julianne Moore is incredibly hot. David Duchovny & Orlando Jones did a great job as geeky scientists who save the world from an alien invasion. We were wondering where we saw Seann William Scott before. Turns out he was Bo Duke on the The Dukes of Hazzard. On Sunday, we took Bob to the dog park, then crusided the House of Hospitality suites. Another fun thing we did was the Parade of Lights at Shelter Island. We pitched a blanket and picniced on Sportsman Seafood to go. Drank wine right from the bottle. Turns of the fireworks were kinda far away and the boat lights were mostly lame, but it was still a good time.

- Monday, December 18, 2006 at 14:45:22 (EST)
Keeping with the theme of Jen being home, we watched the classic 28 Days last night. What a laugh fest! Remember the part where Gerhardt is talking about all the different forks? I was laughing so hard and the kids were, like, "what's so funny?" Sandra Bullock was great. We love her. We were all wondering where we saw Dominic West before. Turns out he's been in a lot of stuff. Steve Buscemi put in another good performance as well. All around a real fun movie, and timely for the kids to understand some things. It got stupid when we went to bed, however, and I turned on Jackass Number Two. Caleb and I cringed many times at the gruesome stunts. He fell asleep. I got bored. That was the end of the day.

- Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 13:52:05 (EST)
We went to Disneyland last weekend, which was a total blast. It was just about an hour in line for every ride, but we did the "fastpass" thing and took some cuts and got to do lots of rides anyway including Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Pinnochio, Pirates of the Carribean, Thunder Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure and the Jungle Cruise. Some stuff, like It's A Small World and Roger Rabbit, had lines too long and other stuff (Matterhorn, Toontown Rollercoaster) was closed. The Main Street fireworks were awesome as ever! Maybe the biggest adventure of the day came while hiking to the parking lot behind the lot behind the main lot (we got there late) and it started to pour rain. When we finally got to the car we were wet like we showered in our clothes!

- Monday, December 11, 2006 at 18:14:48 (EST)
We went with Jennifer (!) last night to the "Thursday Night Thing" at the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown. It was a big deal in their beautiful new space. There were all sorts of artsy folks there, meaning, we fit right in. The art was truly wierd (ie "contemporary") and wonderful. Amy Adler had charcoal drawings of photographs which were alright. Glenn Kaino's sculptures were much more fun. In fact, we got a little ninja pirate thing in the gift shop that was from this giant hammer thing that spoke of strength in numbers or some odd art concept. It's always funny to hear full-of-themselves art people talk. It's like, "What?"

- Friday, December 08, 2006 at 15:18:58 (EST)
It was a big weekend for the kids. On Saturday they both got new camera phones! It started when Caleb left his phone in his pocket and it got fried in the wash. I found him a replacement on CraigList (the cheapest one in the store was $200!). The seller had two and I figured correctly that Saphira would get upset if he had a better phone than she (kids!), so I bought them both. After going to the Sprint store to get them turned on, we spend some time configuring then it was playtime! That evening we went to the opening of the 740 Home Show at Voz Alta which had works by Luis Stand, Augusto Sandroni, Mario Lopez & James Watts. It was a good show, but they were selling their beer. That cut the visit short! We went to Hillcrest to walk around and was amazed that they hadn't been to the Corvette Diner. So, we had to check it out. On Sunday, the kids got kittens. Who can resist that? We have so darn many pets that a couple more ain't no thing!

- Monday, December 04, 2006 at 13:15:23 (EST)
After the kids went to bed last night I watched A Scanner Darkly, an animated movie by Richard Linklater. He's one of my favorite directors and this film was WAY excellent. The story was all futuristic and fantastic, dealing with heavy issues like drug addiction and corruption. The best thing was that the actors faces and bodies were used, as well as their voices. Keanu Reeves had the lead role with incredible support from Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder. The website is awesome as well. All-around a great adventure in the tradition of Johnny Mnemonic and The Matrix.

- Friday, December 01, 2006 at 15:37:33 (EST)
We had a great Thanksgiving holiday. My sister Cindy has had the family over for years and it's always a good thing when we all get together. I've become much more comfortable with gatherings lately, probably because I have my kids to serve as a social lubricant. For nearly 20 years it has been a tradition to go to Joshua Tree for the holiday weekend and this year was no different. We had a fantastic campsite in Indian Cove and the kids were able to explore about on their own. I found us some excellent bouldering as well and they pulled down HARD! I wasn't as strong as in the past, but I guess that's to be expected. Still, it felt really good to get out on the rock again. Plus, it was Bob's first trip to JT and once he figured out that dogs can climb too, he hung pretty tough with the scrambling.

- Monday, November 27, 2006 at 13:08:58 (EST)
We went to a couple art shows this weekend, the first as awesome as the last was lame. On Saturday night we zoomed downtown to the L Street Gallery, an incredible space that is part of the Omni Hotel. Sure, the wonderful catering and free Heinekin was a draw, but we came to see Iana Quesnell, one of the most friendly and talented artists EVER. Iana?s current work is about temporary living situations and very thought-provoking. Plus, she hugged us all when we saw her again. Her first show at Voz Alta was super fun. This second show was even more so. She is certainly worthy of winning the San Diego Art Prize as she did. I couldn't say anything too good about her. Sunday night we visited the "Dimensions" juried exhibition of local artists (meaning, grandmas) at the Village Gallery in La Jolla. It was so weak that even the free wine didn't justify it's existance. The fact that there was a huge crowd confirmed my long-standing opinion that people are stupid.

- Monday, November 20, 2006 at 15:43:20 (EST)
We had a fun day at the beach. It was beautiful! I had the chance to finish Miss Wyoming, yet another Douglas Copeland book. I have two more unread at home, which is better than money in the bank in my opinion. The tide was low and the sand washed away revealing a KILLER climbing wall steep and pocketed. It was SO good, until I broke off a hold (again) and decked. Seems like I would learn my lesson about beach sandstone!

- Sunday, November 19, 2006 at 17:02:37 (EST)
The kids were out late last night at Rabbi Fradkin's engagement party for his son, so I took the opportunity to watch Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Now, that was an action packed movie! There was a scene where they shot it out with the whole world. BAM!

- Thursday, November 16, 2006 at 17:02:37 (EST)
I had an interesting thing happen last night while watching Souvenir of Canada, which is narrated by Douglas Coupland. The funny thing is, even though he has been my favorite writer for years and is THE definitive voice of my generation, he turned out to be kind of a geek. He is a balding, kinda fat guy exactly my age with a similar, twisted worldview. It made me feel better to know that one of my heroes was, in real life, in the same boat as me. Speaking of boats, he had this adorable Canadian way of saying the word "about" so it ended up sounding like "aboout." There was some other great stuff in the movie. The kids thought it was absoutely boring, but I loved it.

- Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 12:38:31 (EST)
I took the day off on Friday since the kids were out of school and spent Saphira's birthday with her. She was really happy with the violin I gave her as a present (gotta love eBay!) even though we had some trouble getting the rosin to work. We went to our new "private" cove at the beach to let the dog run wild and found some excellent rock climbs. I finished Streets of Laredo and got that sad end of the book that you wished never ended feeling. Saphira's BD party on Saturday was fun and she had a good turnout that ran late into the night watching movies and playing with her spinning paint thing she got as a present. After we went to the dog park on Sunday, We watched My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Super fun! I got it for Uma Thurman (ohh la la!) and was pleased with the performance of Luke Wilson as well. We like all his movies. A special treat was Anna Faris, another hottie we learned to love from the Scary Movie series.

- Monday, November 13, 2006 at 12:35:24 (EST)
Last night Addams Family Values was on TV and I'm glad the kids had me watch it. Christina Ricci was like 12 years old and already full of attitude. She's great in every movie. Joan Cusack is another favorite and she did a great job as the "Black Widow." Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia stole the show, however, as the mom and dad of the freakish clan. Here's a typical quote: Young Girl: ...and then Mommy kissed Daddy, and the angel told the stork, and the stork flew down from heaven, and put the diamond in the cabbage patch, and the diamond turned into a baby! Pugsley: Our parents are having a baby too. Wednesday: They had sex.

- Thursday, November 09, 2006 at 18:01:50 (EST)
After watching The Family Stone yet another time, we decided that we love Sarah Jessica Parker and sought out her movies. The first was Life Without Dick and it was so, so funny! The classic line was "I'm a very dangerous woman." We say that all the time now. You'll have to see it to understand. Dudley Do-Right came in the mail a couple days ago and was also very funny. Stupid, but funny. Finally, we have watched Failure To Launch a couple times as well. That's about it for her starring roles, but there's more on the way. We'll keep you posted!

- Wednesday, November 08, 2006 at 17:51:34 (EST)
We went to a bunch of art opening this weekend (our new family activity). The first was kind of a "grandma" show at the San Diego Watercolor Society. There was some cool art there, but the crowd was mostly retirees and was pretty tame (free wine, however). Sapira and my artistic taste differences became apparent as we critiqued the works. At the Love Requires Action show downtown it became a void. She likes pictures of things and I like pictures of paint. Plus, I like scary art and she likes it pretty. I thought the downtown show was totally rad and bleeding edge. For once, I wished for $ to buy a piece by Kelli Murray called "Can You Forgive Me." I'm still hoping to save up for it. Maybe I'll get a bonus or something. Finally, we were all bored looking at the Rock 'n' Roll photographs of Lynn Goldsmith. There wasn't even any snacks. Don't they know that's why we go to art openings?

- Monday, November 06, 2006 at 12:10:55 (EST)
Also last weekend I finished Douglas Coupland's Eleanor Rigby. I love his books so much that when I saw the end coming, I sat up and ordered the last three I didn't have in the Amazon Marketplace. They haven't come yet, but I did get Daniel Clowes' Eightball Comic #22 today, which is just as good.

- Monday, October 30, 2006 at 19:57:57 (EST)
I've been putting off painting Saphira's room for months and finally finished it last weekend. Then, since the rollers and brushes were wet, I painted my room too. It looks real cool, but one of the colors was super-dark blue and took multiple coats, which put me in a kind of pissy mood! At one point, the dog rubbed against the wall and got smeared with paint. The theme is "under the sea" and each wall is three colors starting with dark at the bottom and light at the top. The wavy line between layers was the biggest trick. Next come spraypainting stencils of creatures. It will be good to have it done. Have you got your Holloween costumes together? We're good to go. I'm a king, Saphira's a princess (of course) and Caleb's (ta da) The Sith. Between stuff we have been watching Hal Hartley movies. They are pretty freaky, especially the artsy short films. Another cool thing was the Holloween Parade on El Cajon Blvd. last weekend. The marching bands rocked, but the best thing was the cheerleaders.

- Monday, October 30, 2006 at 19:39:18 (EST)
I got Marcie's Cox Cable Modem to work over Ethernet running Mac OS 9. Dang! My techie skill even impresses me sometimes!

- Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 23:14:57 (EDT)
The holidays ended with a kick when we dance with the Torah in the street in front of Chabad. Nobody throws a party like Chabad! We started out at Young Israel (I had to pickup my festival tallis) and it was the regular crew. Chabad had a keg and bottles galore, as I knew they would. We waled to Beth Jacob as well. It's cool that I had true friends everywhere! I ended up sleeping in my clothes. I'm in insurance school now.

- Monday, October 16, 2006 at 11:13:23 (EDT)
Fun movie last night! We grabbed You, Me and Dupree for Kate Hudson, but it didn't hurt that Matt Dillon and Owen Wilson were in it too. It was a laugh-a-minute hit!

- Wednesday, October 11, 2006 at 17:20:18 (EDT)
It was Sukkot last weekend and we really had fun with it! Mom Marsh brought over steaks and we made kiddush in the sukkah. It was cool to say "lasheiv b'sukkah" and "al natilat lulav." Plus, the kids and I slept in the sukkah both nights. The "harvest moon" was full, as it always is on sukkot, and it was incredibly beautiful. The dog and cats slept on us too. Speaking of pets, we visited Our Feathered Friends on Saturday to play with parrots. Saphira wants one, but they are like $1,500! She settled for on that was "only" $400 and my explanation of having property taxes due got me only a blank expression that asked what that has to do with anything. On Sunday we went to the dog park, then to Harbor and Laurel to feel the planes coming in. That was pretty rad. For dinner I thought Little Italy would be cool and it turned out there was a street fair. We also watched The Skeleton Key (Kate Hudson is our new darling) Without a Paddle (Saphira likes Seth Green but I like Matthew Lillard since he was in SLC Punk) and The Devil Wears Prada. All in all, it was a good weekend.

- Monday, October 09, 2006 at 15:03:31 (EDT)
I had the day off for Yom Kippur today and spent much of it in kittel and tallis bent over my machzor. I couldn't bring myself to go to shul because the day is painfully long there and over the years I still haven't built up to that kind of stamina. So I prayed at home and finished a couple books. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter caused me to sit up and write this because that familiar meloncholy has set in and I find some sort of solace in blogging. I don't know why I read sad books and watch sad movies. I guess because I have been sad my whole life with no real reason for it. I also finished Douglas Coupland's Polaroids From The Dead today and it didn't help matters much. He is the contempory voice as much as Carson McCullers is historical. I find these kindred spirits somehow and they help me retain the feeling I have always had. The fact that it is Yom Kippur makes it all the more terrible. Maybe that is the greatest terror of all, that I have brought the God of the Jews' wrath upon myself. I'm as miserable as can be and still have the lengthy Niela prayers ahead of me. There's no telling how it will turn out for the year ahead. All I can do is do what I must and hope for the best, I guess.

- Monday, October 02, 2006 at 20:55:31 (EDT)
We finally got our iMac back from the shop. It took two weeks for them to swap out a defective DVD drive. The first burn was Art School Confidential. What a fantastic movie! Dan Clowes (Eightball Comics Rock!) is my favorite writer right now and this is his second movie after Ghost World. It's the story of a art student who finds his success in a very interesting and unusual way. The whole art student thing brought back some fond memories from my own college days. Max Minghella and Sophia Myles (oh yeah) put in great performances, and favorites John Malkovich, Anjelica Huston and Steve Buscemi were a joy to watch. This is definately the movie of the year, according to my wierd taste.

- Friday, September 29, 2006 at 13:14:41 (EDT)
I had a bit of an identity crisis last weekend since my son had some birthday parties on Rosh Hashannah. I figured it would be ok to ditch shul so he could be with his friends. Well, it became a big problem. Since RH is the day that a Jew's parnassa is decided for the upcoming year, I began to get pretty worried as I sat in Boomers amusement park with Saphira. It is said that it is a life or death situation. At least a consideration of being rich or poor. Plus, I felt empty being away from "my people" on such a holy day. Thankfully, God in his wisdom created two days of Rosh Hashannah so people like me can get it together and do it right! We still didn't go to shul on Sunday, choosing instead to spend the day with our dog at the beach swimming and exploring tidepools. But this time, I did all my prayers and had my head on straight all day. All in all, I'm feeling good about it now. Plus, the 10 days between RH and Yom Kippur give me plenty of time for repentance and resolution. Pretty heavy stuff!

- Monday, September 25, 2006 at 13:27:37 (EDT)
I grabbed Adaptation because it has Catherine Keener and Maggie Gyllenhaal in it and found that their roles were pretty minimal. Tilda Swinton also provided a fun cameo appearance. Nicolas Cage had a double role as twin brothers and there was plenty of drama there, right to the end. The real star was Meryl Streep in her role as a journalist who wrote a book about orchid hunters. It was amazing how interesting a movie was made about flowers. In fact, the movie was about making a movie about flowers interesting. This circular plot was quite unusual and plenty entertaining.

- Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 18:18:51 (EDT)
We really got lucky when we went bowling and pool playing at SDSU last weekend. It was early when we finished, so I offered a tour of my old alta matter to the kids. When we got to the Art Department, there was a raging party going on for the opening of Production: SDSU Graduate Review Exhibition 2006 at the Flor Y Canto Gallery. It brought back some excellent memories of my Gonzo Journalism days in college. The food and booze were much better there than at the Adventures in a Temperate Climate exhibit downstairs. The paintings by Martin Mull were awesome though. Saphira and I spent a good deal or time discussing them and eating Brie. The weekend highlight was surely the Drake Bell concert at the House Of Blues. It was their first big show and they LOVED it. I dropped a mint taking them to a high-end venue for dinner and a show, but it was an awesome experience for them. We even got an autographed CD!

- Monday, September 18, 2006 at 14:29:48 (EDT)
We were clothes shopping at Target and I threw Living in Oblivion in the cart because Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener were in it. We watched it last night and it was very interesting. It was a movie about making a movie and had some really funny moments. Particularly amusing was the character played by Dermot Mulroney, an anarchist tough-guy camaraman. Keener was wonderful as ever in her role as the actress and I did that thing I do when I whispered "I love you" while watching her. Buscemi was the director and was excellent. He is becoming a favorite for the quirky roles he takes on. There was plenty of great stuff going on in this movie and I can't recommend it more!

- Friday, September 15, 2006 at 16:48:30 (EDT)
The kids weren't too keen on it when I was watching The Gathering as they were dropped off last night. Seconds later, they were hooked. Caleb said it was the scariest movie he had ever seen, but that didn't stop him from being glued to the screen. I got it for Christina Ricci, and she was hot as ever, but it ended up being a really interesting story. We also watched Ghost World again, which kept us up late. Once it started, we just couldn't turn it off.

- Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 16:47:08 (EDT)
The kids have been jonesing to see Man In The Moon since we all love Reese Witherspoon so much. So, when we saw it while grocery shopping, it was an instant score and rush home to watch it situation. It was mega-cute seeing her so young. She looked like she was about 12, but she had "the attitude" down pat already. It was also one of the saddest movies ever, but ended on a tear-jerking high note. I'd have to give it my highest recommendation. Another super-fun film we saw this weekend was Raising Helen. A gal can't get much cuter than Kate Hudson and she did a great job as a young professional on a career fast-track who juggles raising three kids and grows to love it. Equally perfect was Joan Cusack who played her "supermom" sister. Lots of fun and, again, highly recommended.

- Sunday, September 10, 2006 at 12:38:10 (EDT)
We've had a very long weekend centering around the kid's sleepover party celebrating their last weekend before school. Friday we did a massive clean-up of scrubbing, sweeping, and shopping. The kids came the next day for pizza and games. It was pretty wild and we were up very late. It was a blast to watch Steve Oedekerk's Thumb movies. What a crack-up! The next day the kids went to their friends again so just laid aroud sweating (global warming?). I watched a couple cool movies. The first was Ultraviolet, a sci-fi kung fu and weapons thriller with the delicious Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) taking on a complete government in the name of justice. Johnny Depp's The Brave was kinda freaky. Set in a dump, he tried to make things better for his family and may have made things worse. Now it's Labor Day, so I have to think of something fun to do.

- Monday, September 04, 2006 at 13:12:59 (EDT)
Last night I saw The Derailers from Austin Texas at the Casbah. They were absolutely fantastic honky-tonking fun! It wasn't very crowded, so I was able to talk with the band after the show. They were super friendly. Overall, it was a great experience, even though I didn't get home until about 2:30 am. Today, I am just plain wiped out and nodding off at my desk. Still, it was well worth it to make the effort to see one of my favorite bands.

- Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 14:21:24 (EDT)
It was a roadtrip weekend! We went up to visit Jen in Norco, "The Horse Capital of the USA." In other words, a barren desert full of hicks. It was about a billion degrees and as dismal as can be. It got worse when the gate was locked at Mt. Roubidoux and we couldn't boulder. It was a total fluke when we found The Mission Inn, without a doubt the best hotel we have ever seen. It was way ancient and had all kinds of hidden staircases and rooms. Some highlights were the Spanish Gallery, Rotunda, Chapel, and the room service burger. Plus, we got to see Stick It. Very fun!

- Monday, August 28, 2006 at 12:08:57 (EDT)
We had an action-packed weekend. My work had a company picnic with lots of kids games, food and music. From there we headed to the beach for some seaside rockclimbing (sand landings!) and bodysurfing. Turned out to be a hazardous trip. First, I broke a hold off and landed flat on my back from about 15 feet. My neck, back and belly are still sore. Then, my son jabbed his neck with a piece of wood he was using as a belly-board. That was scary. After that we bailed to our kiddie pool at home where it was safe! The next day was pretty easy. The highlight was when the kids made me dinner (they even cleaned up!) and coctails while I watched Friends With Money on DVD. I've been dying to see it since I just love Catherine Keener, Jennifer Anniston and Joan Cusak. They were 30-something friends who we followed around through life. Not much action happened, but lots of crafty conversation. I like those kind of movies...

- Monday, August 21, 2006 at 14:08:00 (EDT)
We were watching The Waterboy the other night and an actress looked familiar. When I looked it up, she was Fairuza Balk. Turns out I had another of her movies, The Craft, and was pretty impressed with it (or at least with how punky and cute Fairuza was) because there was lots of cool magic and effects. I think the kids could watch it since it is basicly a teen movie with an edge. She was also lookin' pretty hot in Deuces Wild, a modern West Side Story. She's also in American History X and Almost Famous, so I guess I'll have to check those out again. They both have been in the short stack for a while...

- Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 19:37:05 (EDT)
I've been wanting to watch Mona Lisa Smile for a long time. I bought it when I was deep into Kirsten Dunst, and was later suprized to see that Maggie Gyllenhaal was in it too. The real star, however, was Julia Roberts who played a progressive professor at Wellesley College in the '50s. What was so cool was that she taught art history, my minor in college. I had an art history teacher that changed my whole worldview, much as Roberts did for her students. It was like To Sir With Love and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (great movies) because in a world that told them how to think, she showed them how to live.

- Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 16:43:16 (EDT)
We went to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus this weekend. It was kind of a dud compared to previous years. Lots of "circus standard" stuff (Flying Trapeze, Human Cannonball, The Big Double Wheel Thing) was missing. Plus, cotton candy was $10 and popcorn was $6! Needless to say, I dropped a mint and for not much fun. We laughed more watching Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. It's the second Steve Oedekerk movie we've seen after High Strung. He's a real funny guy. Turns out he wrote Bruce Almighty, another of our favorites.

- Monday, August 14, 2006 at 20:43:57 (EDT)
Last night I finished another one of those movies that spoke to my soul, The Ballad of Jack and Rose. I got it because Catherine Keener is in it. (and you know I love her!) Turns out her role was kinda minor compaired to Camilla Belle who plays a daughter growing up into a young woman. What really got me, however, was the role played by Daniel Day-Lewis of the father. There was so much love and passion in their relationship and it's a beautiful thing to see those kind of relations on the screen. There were some real twists that made this one of the best movies yet.

- Tuesday, August 08, 2006 at 16:19:26 (EDT)
My kids came home from a week-long vacation and I was SO happy to see them. My life is a complete dud without them. I mean, laying around watching movies is fun, but not as a lifestyle.

- Thursday, August 03, 2006 at 14:40:44 (EDT)
Sometimes a person can be lucky enough to see a movie that speaks straight to their soul and touches them deeply in very personal ways. That's the most beautiful kind of movie, the kind I saw last night while watching Prozac Nation, a film about the "United States of Depression". Christina Ricci plays a young woman trying her best to cope with life while having a loose nut in her head. She doesn't fit in or have fun. Basic life needs are neglected out of apathy. She wonders why her life can't be more like the movies and is basicly an unhappy wreck until her therapist (Anne Heche) suggests medication. What was very cool was the detail shown of her adapting to the medication and learning to function and love again. Her relationship with her mom (Jessica Lange) improves and they begin to talk. The mom said something that I have thought many times, that kids brought her back from the dead and became her everything. The whole thing was so close to my heart that when Christina began to find her way, it became my own little victory. Great stuff.

- Tuesday, August 01, 2006 at 14:18:20 (EDT)
The kids were stiil on vacation, so I watched movies all weekend (what else?). It was an '80s flashback at first with Valley Girl, which was pretty (yawn) stupid. I would have liked it back in the days when I liked Molly Ringwald, but I'm over that. Grosse Pointe Blank was better. John Cusak is just about always great. In this one he was a nice-guy hitman who goes home for his 10-year high school reunion where all kinds of fun stuff happened. All that silliness drove me to the top shelf for Secretary. James Spader is pretty cool, but I fell in love with Maggie Gyllenhaal. I definately will be seeing more of her. In this movie she played a lovely submissive mental patient secretary. Pretty twisted stuff! Clerks II was a trip down memory lane and a little tired. I think I fell asleep watching it, even though Kevin Smith is just about my favorite movie-maker. Things to Do Before You're 30 was a suprize hit and the only one to bring tears to my eyes this weekend. It dealt with growing up and accepting responsibility, something I have been learning about. Robert De Niro was awesome in Ronin, a crime suspense piece with Jean Reno and Natascha McElhone. Pretty cool stuff. Reminded me of Jackie Brown. I ended the weekend late with the best show of them all, Levity. Billy Bob Thornton gets out of prision and finds his redemption through the characters of Morgan Freeman and Holly Hunter. It was a fascinating study of guilt and remorse, with some love thrown in for good measure. Heart-throb Kirsten Dunst played the beautiful bad girl again who makes good. I love it when that happens! I forgot to mention Full Frontal, another coming-of-age movie, this time with 40 somethings seeking the meaning of life. Catherine Keener was awesome. I love her so much!

- Monday, July 31, 2006 at 11:39:05 (EDT)
I've been in the Vincent Gallo zone for a few days. He's really an interesting actor that plays some pretty edgy parts full of personality. The first movie was L.A. Without a Map. It started out as a sickeningly sweet love story, but had some twists. Gallo plays a stupid criminal. Same with Palookaville... What a bunch of dopes! I really wanted to like The Brown Bunny because it was written, directed, and produced by (ta da!) Vincent Gallo. He's kind of an indi-film guy and his movie was over-the-top artsy. It really required something of me to stay engaged with it, but I stuck it out and found some very touching moments. It's funny. Vincent always gets the girl, but then is too neurotic to do anything with them.

- Friday, July 28, 2006 at 13:34:44 (EDT)
The top shelf (no kids) yielded another indi-treasure last night, Buffalo '66. I don't remember seeing Vincent Gallo before, but his portrayal of an affected Gen-X ex-con was so on target that it must have been his real personality. His unlikely love story with Christina Ricci was as odd as could be and earned her a permanent space in the "great actors movies the kids shouldn't see" section right between S.F.W. and The Man Who Cried (guess the actors). Cameos by Mickey Rourke, Rosanna Arquette, and Anjelica Huston push this movie into classic status. It's not for everyone. Indeed, it's the kind of movie only wierdos and misfits will relate to. In it's genre, it's one of the best and gets my highest reccomendation.

- Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 12:32:08 (EDT)
The kids left on a week-long vacation to the Sierras with my folks, so I reached to the top shelf (new movies the kids shouldn't see) for Cecil B. Demented, a John Waters film. I have never seen one of his I don't like. They are so anti! I could go on and on about how great he is. After the movie I took a nap, then read Lonesome Dove until it was late.

- Monday, July 24, 2006 at 12:20:38 (EDT)
Saphira had a sleep-over at Sheridan's house (we got her a pre-paid cellphone for her birthday) so Caleb and I followed tradition and watched a creepy movie, Van Helsing. It wasn't scary enough, so we switched over to S.F.W. with Reese Witherspoon. We love her in the distressed roles! In this one she was a good girl in a bad situation, rather than a bad girl in a bad situation. It ended up being a love story, which is fine by me!

- Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 15:13:18 (EDT)
My sister mentioned 11:14, so I took the time to check it out since the kids went to the Pops with my folks. Pretty cool movie, like Crash. A bunch of stories take place in the same time slot and blend together into one messed-up night. Lots of bad stuff happens and not much that's good. After that tension, I wanted a feel good movie and turned on Under The Tuscan Sun. That was more my style. A pretty lady flirting around in a foreign country who has all her wishes come true in the end. Then, the kids came home for bedtime. Again, I was reminded that life can be better than any movie!

- Friday, July 21, 2006 at 20:04:43 (EDT)
When I was growing up, I used to spend hours deep in the canyons around our house groveling through deep brush, hopping fences and burrowing through tunnels and drain pipes. Everyday I would dissapear for hours into the netherworlds. Well, being a dad that wants my kids to have at least what I did, I took the kids on their first "canyoneering" adventure this weekend right from our backyard gate. We would go a ways until it seemed we could go no further, then I would bushwack a way through. In this fashion, we traveled all the way through until we climbed a drainage ditch onto the street. They thought it was cool. So did I.

- Monday, July 17, 2006 at 16:10:55 (EDT)
I've been wanting to see S1m0ne for a long time and finally pulled it off the "must see" pile last night. It exceeded my high expectations. I bought it because I really like the cyber-type movies (Hackers, Swordfish, Johnny Nmumonic, Teknolust...) where computers take over. Not knowing who was in it, I was pleasently suprized to see Winona Ryder and Catherine Keener. Al Pacino displayed his mastery of movie-craft, but the real star was Rachel Roberts as Simone. Amazingly, this is her only movie. I bet we will be seeing more of her!

- Friday, July 14, 2006 at 19:18:26 (EDT)
I finished watching Bubble last night while waiting for the kids to be dropped off. Maybe it was supposed to be boring, being a small town movie and all. It ended up with an interesting ending, but not much action. After bedtime I was antsy, so I stayed up and pre-screened a new Reese Witherspoon movie, Best Laid Plans. It made it into the pile of great movies the kids shouldn't see. There was lots of crime and murder and intrigue. The best thing was seeing Reese all tortured looking with her makeup running down her face. I love that about some of her movies (Freeway, American Psycho). I was up way too late, however, and am kind of wiped out at work. I don't know how I used to go out to see bands on weeknights until the early morning... Guess I'm getting old.

- Thursday, July 06, 2006 at 13:38:31 (EDT)
We went to the "traditional" fireworks spot overlooking Lake Murray last night and found a spot at my old "fort" from when we used to live there in the Lake Park condos. I thought it was a cool place to kick it, but the kids thought it was lame. When we heard the live band from the other side of the lake we were all reminded of the big party they have over there. It was too late to get there in time, so we all were bummed and bored. The fireworks were close and loud, which is cool, but our mood was kinda sour. Oh well... Next year we will do it right!

- Wednesday, July 05, 2006 at 14:52:16 (EDT)
They let us off work early Monday, so I went home and (what else?) watched some movies. First off was Mary with Juliette Binoche. I love the actress, but the movie was dull. It was supposed to be a controversial account of Jesus's disciples, but it was tame compared to my radical theology. After that, I watched Better Off Dead. It was also pretty weak. John Cusack is one of my favorites, but in this one he was just a kid. I wasn't able to see the end of Bubble cuz I had to go get the kids. I'm barely motivated to see the end of it either. We went to the drive-in to see Click and really had fun! Finally, a movie worth seeing! Adam Sandler is always good and Christopher Walken is a family favorite. Finally, I laid around on the 4th and watched Death To Smoochy, a movie I expected to hate, but liked a lot. Catherine Keener was the draw, but Edward Norton, Danny DeVito and Robin Williams were a crack up!

- Wednesday, July 05, 2006 at 14:42:02 (EDT)
It was a Nicole Holofcener weekend. I finished watching Lovely & Amazing and was so impressed that I followed it up with Walking and Talking. Both movies were just wonderful! Catherine Keener is for sure a new favorite with her somewhat Gen-X deadpan. I could totally relate to the 30-somethings in Holofcener's films... I love it when that happens! Can't wait to see Friends with Money, as it comes out soon. Jennifer Anniston AND Catherine Keener! Saphira watched Deeply and gave it 5 of 5. Yeah, I thought so too. We also watched most of the Scary Movie movies.

- Monday, July 03, 2006 at 12:24:39 (EDT)
It seems all I talk about is movies... That's just what we do! Last night it was Bring It On, yet another Kirsten Dunst movie. In this one, she was captain of a cheerleading squad. In sports I was a benchwarmer, so cheerleaders hold a special place in my heart. Togight, we finished seeing Being John Malkovich. I'm a big fan of John Cusack. In this movie, his puppet shows were exquiste. Great acting by Catherine Keener as well. Highly recommended! Now, Lust In The Dust is in, but I'm bored with it.

- Friday, June 30, 2006 at 00:55:43 (EDT)
My car was in the shop yesterday morning (new spark plug cables and distributor cap) so I had a chance to grab another Kirsten Dunst movie, Deeply, off the stack to watch. It was really good. It's funny how I watch kid movies a lot now. I guess it's a Daddy thing to pre-screen them. I also watched Miranda with Christina Ricci. It was as forgettable as the other was memorable. I was barely interested and can't even tell you what it was about. After the kids went to bed I fell asleep watching Lovely & Amazing. It was a great movie by Nicole Holofcener, a new filmaker I'm checking out. Maybe tonight I can finish that one...

- Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 15:45:49 (EDT)
Man! It was HOT last weekend! We just had to get wet. Saphira has been talking about how she can dive under waves, so I took her to Big Rock in La Jolla to tackle the shorebreak. Both kids got pounded, but I showed them how to get outside the wave zone and float around. Caleb was spooked, but Saphira could do it alone. She screamed when I swam up to her underwater and grabbed her foot. Such a Daddy thing to do... There was excellent rock climbing there too with sand landings. We will surely go there again, especially now since the water is warm. At home, we had to keep the kiddie pool full as well and dunk from time to time. While we were in the poolside shade, I read aloud from The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. Pretty cool stuff! In the evening we watched The Importance of Being Earnest. (Reese Witherspoon!) What a great movie!

- Monday, June 26, 2006 at 13:58:15 (EDT)
It's been quite some time since my sister Jan gave me the soundtrack to Kissing Jessica Stein, but it wasn't until last weekend that I was able to see the movie. It was really really good. Quite clever and full of drama. Knowing the soundtrack was very cool, since the songs would kick in and enhance the moment. The Jewishness was quaint and the relationships were meaningful. Overall, it was as good as movies get. We also saw Imagine Me & You, which was another touching portrayal of love issues between females. It was an interesting movie weekend.

- Monday, June 26, 2006 at 13:00:00 (EDT)
It's been all about Kirsten Dunst lately. I bought a bunch of her movies (I LOVE HER!) and have been watching them with the kids. Last night it was Get Over It. It was a kid movie, but quite fun. Not the best, but better than the previous night's Drop Dead Gorgeous. Both were cool and the kids liked 'em. I liked 'em too because I could get an eyeful of her. I'm surely going to watch Elizabethtown again, this time with the kids. It's her best and the one that started the infatuation in the first place.

- Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 20:13:38 (EDT)
Well, it's a tough call. I've been having the leading lady shootout with the following movies: Pleasantville with Reese Witherspoon, In Good Company with Scatlett Johannson, and Wimbleton with Kirsten Dunst. I'll tell ya, the actress makes the movie! My kids wish I would just decide already... They're sick of hearing about it! The truth is, they all were the best when the movie ended. Nobody can win because they all do in the moment. I guess that settles it.

- Monday, June 12, 2006 at 23:04:10 (EDT)
Saphira has a giant project building a model of Mission San Francisco de Asis for school. We found the materials needed at Michael's, an arts and crafts superstore, for $90. Then, I spent a couple hours figuring dimensions and drawing plans. I guess it's a daddy thing to do homework! While we were at the mall, we ducked in to see Cars. Pixar stuff is always great, and this was no exeption. There weren't any seats together for the 2nd show (X-Men). No big deal, since Saphira didn't want to see it anyway. She was picky shopping too. Finally we found a pair of Converse she liked. Caleb was easy. He wanted something everywhere he looked!

- Monday, June 12, 2006 at 13:18:55 (EDT)
I was in a Jennifer Aniston mood, so I watched She's The One. It was bonus because Cameron Diaz and a hot new girl named Maxine Bahns were in it. It was a pretty complex romantic comedy with layers of love triangles all over the place. It was nowhere in the caliber of films I've been seeing lately, but fun.

- Friday, June 09, 2006 at 12:46:39 (EDT)
The kids were late getting home last night, so I had the chance to see Crazy Beautiful on TV. It was a fantastic movie and really heated up the favorite leading lady situation. I'm still totally in love with Scarlett Johannson, but Kirsten Dunst is just as hot. She was great in this movie, but her best was Elizabethtown. Scarlett was best in A Love Song For Bobby Long. It's a total tie and I have no tie-breaker movie to watch tonight. Dang! (I just got sidetracked and bought some Kirsten Dunst movies). We will have to defer this discussion, I guess. Besides, I think tonight is a Jennifer Anniston night anyway.

- Thursday, June 08, 2006 at 16:21:50 (EDT)
I just wanted to make an entry because the date is 6/6/6.

- Tuesday, June 06, 2006 at 13:14:08 (EDT)
Friday was the annual Spring Fling dinner and auction at the kids school. I got out-bid on most of the stuff, but Saphira blocked people from raising our bid on her class's "Fun In The Sun" package. Again, I paid more than it was worth, but my daughter's status rose when we bought it. The next day we played with lots of the water toys and slip-and-slides in the heat. On Sunday Grandpa took us fishing and I didn't have much fun. Rocking boats have always sucked for me, but the kids had fun.

- Monday, June 05, 2006 at 10:28:01 (EDT)
I had the chance to finish watching Match Point last night. I thought it would be funny, being a Woody Allen movie. It wasn't. Sure, it had it's moments, but overall it was disturbing and tense. The cast was stellar. Of course, I thought Scarlett Johansson was great. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Emily Mortimer were equally superb. I was definately rivited to the screen with suspense! It was a good movie worth seeing, but I won't be showing it to the kids, that's for sure.

- Thursday, June 01, 2006 at 13:06:10 (EDT)
We didn't do much on Saturday but watch The Perfect Score on TV. It was pretty cool, like the Breakfast Club mixed with Ocean's Eleven. Pretty exciting stuff, plus Scarlett Johannson! We also watched the Juliette Lewis movie The Other Sister. Sunday was more busy, since we went to SeaWorld. It was pretty crowded, but we still got to see some cool shows and rides. Staying until closing time, it was past midnight when we got home. We dragged ourselves out for a hot and dusty session at the Santee Boulders on Monday (holiday!). The kids hung tough, but it was too brutal a day for them to send much. They saw the problems though... We'll be back to climb 'em some day!

- Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 12:20:13 (EDT)
Work got out for the holiday and I couldn't wait to get home and watch another Scarlett Johannson movie. This time she was with John Travolta in A Love Song for Bobby Long. Now I don't have to tell you how great he has become, but I just have to talk about her for a minute. Every movie I love her more. If this wasn't her best movie, than I am going to die watching that one. I cried so many times. I was so moved. Travolta played an English Professor gone to seed who's wisdom and honor were so great that he was a true hero. He was one who loved books even more than me. His world was a glimpse into my own and I am forever changed. I cry as I write this. The world is a beautiful place if we only take the time to love it. I am blessed to be able to see such movies and tell you what it means to me. I don't think I'll ever see one better than this.

- Friday, May 26, 2006 at 20:04:17 (EDT)
I really wanted to like Lost In Translation last night. Sure, it had Scarlett Johannson (oh yeah) in it, which made the movie great kinda by default, but it also had Bill Murray. Bill has perfected his deadpan delivery for his recent movies (Broken Flowers) and is lots of fun. Still, Lost In Translation felt too modern for me. It was so hip and contemporary, which was cool but somewhat disconserting. The Japanese nightclubs, for instance, were just plain wierd. Overall, it was an enjoyable movie, but not as good as the period piece love stories I've been seeing lately.

- Friday, May 26, 2006 at 12:29:04 (EDT)
It just keeps getting better! Last night I had a chance to watch A Good Woman and just loved it. The best type of movie, it was a period-piece romance set in the '30s at an Italian resort for the wealthy. Scarlett Johannson is still my favorite after this movie, but Helen Hunt was also excellent. When she was called "a good woman" it brought tears to my eyes. The entire film was passionate and wonderful. When it ended, I actually hugged the DVD case! How silly is that?

- Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:05:54 (EDT)
Keeping with the Scarlett Johannson kick (she's the best!) we watched the wonderful Girl With A Pearl Earring last night. It was incredibly moving, for me at least. As an art history buff, its portrayal of an era was fascinating. Plus, Ghrit was absolutely beautiful and virtuous. This was one of the best movies EVER and I can't recommend it more!

- Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 13:26:44 (EDT)
Caleb had a Cub Scout campout during the weekend and it was almost fun. The other parents must think I'm kinda lame because I just lay around and read books most of the time. Hey! I've always been that way! At least I had Saphira to talk to while Caleb was running wild with the boys. My daughter and I talk for hours, which is a real treat for me. Bob the puppy had fun too on his first campout. He fell in black mud and was covered head-to-toe, which was pretty funny. The real highlight of the weekend was when we got home and watched The Island on TV. Ewan McGregor was good (as always) but Scarlett Johansson was AWESOME! She's the new favorite, hands down.

- Monday, May 22, 2006 at 18:34:32 (EDT)
Saphira had a sleepover last weekend for her friend's birthday, so I thought Caleb and I would watch a crazy movie. He likes that twisted stuff. Well, it turns out that Freeway was a bit much for him (we watched The Whole Nine Yards instead). Reese Witherspoon played a role like we have never seen as a potty-mouthed, murdering, piece of trailer-trash. She was just incredible! I love all her movies and this one especially! Keifer Sutherland played the "Freeway Murderer" and did a great job. Another of my favorites. I had to wait until Caleb fell asleep before I could watch the end. Dang! What a finale! You have got to see it, that's all I have to say about that! We took our puppy (nickname: pee & poop) to Dog Beach the next day and he was just overwhelmed. He jumped into the ocean and decided he didn't like that much. The big dogs were running crazy and would bowl him over. He slept like a log. So did we.

- Monday, May 15, 2006 at 11:32:04 (EDT)
I've been on a Woody Allen kick lately. The best of the bunch was Anything Else, a wonderful film with Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci. Jason is a funny guy, but Christina is just fantastic. I just love her in every movie I've seen. Definately a favorite! We watched Annie Hall a couple days ago and the kids let me get away with it. The made me turn off Hannah and her Sisters last night though to watch Envy instead. Turns out it was a good move. Ben Stiller and Jack Black were an absolute crack-up. Rachel Weisz was beautiful as ever, but the real suprize was Christopher Walken as the "J-Man". Classic!

- Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:58:19 (EDT)
We bought a Shetland Sheepdog last night... a total impulse buy. Caleb had a Cub Scout meeting at Shakey's Pizza and we were walking in the mall and saw an adorable puppy in the window. It was love at first play, so we just walked in a bought it. So sweet! It slept on our bed last night and loves to play and has a tiny little bark. It way have been rash, but it felt so good to have him with us at home. He's alone now, so I imagine there will be chewed up stuff and poop when I get home. What fun!

- Wednesday, April 26, 2006 at 12:02:06 (EDT)
I love my new job! We service 7000 advisors and the phone rings all day long with stuff for me to do. It's so cool. I have tons of responsibility and chances for advancement. I'm really happy. Way more than my last job. I think I'm going to be here a long time.

- Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 17:22:45 (EDT)
I'm sitting at my new desk at the new job. It's not a tiny cubicle as I feared. Instead, I'm in a bigger area with four desks, which is pretty cool. The orientation meeting took two hours and had more forms than I have ever seen to get a job. A downer is that there will be no employer matching on my 401k plan this year and I'll have to pay for the kids insurance. A neat benefit is I get discounts for amusement parks and movies. I'm dead in the water now without network logins, so this is a phone entry. I am never off line!

- Monday, April 17, 2006 at 14:10:22 (EDT)
Our trip to Knott's Berry Farm started out as a dud. Our room was way more expensive than last time (vacation time?) and not as nice and we had seen most of the in-room movies already. We did watch The Producers and it ended up being fun. Anything with Uma Thurman is great in my book. What really peeved me is the kids began by wimping out on the rides. They redeemed themselves by doing Montezooma's Revenge a bunch of times with it's incredible high-speed flip. They wouldn't do The Boomerang, but we did the Jaguar, Thunder Mountain, Ghostrider, and Bigfoot Rapids. What made the trip a winner was returning at night to do rides. Now that was cool! They passed out watching Tristan + Isolde on TV. It was a great movie and made everthing worth it in the end. We drive home today and I start the new job tomorrow.

- Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 12:28:22 (EDT)
We had our first Passover Seder at home last night and really enjoyed it. For every year of the kid's life, they had gone to a friend, family or synagogue seder. Doing it at home was sooo special! We all took turns reading and lingered over the ancient rituals. I think it meant a lot to them. I know it did to me!

- Thursday, April 13, 2006 at 15:26:30 (EDT)
We caught a fun double-feature at the drive-in last night. The first movie was The Benchwarmers. It was the stupid and quite enjoyable story of three dorks, played by David Spade, Jon Heder and Rob Schneider, who never were the part of anything until they formed a baseball team to take on all the bullies. Especially colorful was Jon Lovitz as the nerd who grew up to make millions. The second movie was Aquamarine, the story of some teen girls who befriend a mermaid and help her to fall in love for the first time. I'm embarrassed to admit that it was pretty cool. I usually hate kid movies, but we had a great time.

- Wednesday, April 12, 2006 at 11:46:19 (EDT)
Between interviews and job calls I watched some punk rock movies. First off was the excellent SLC Punk, a tribute to wild youth with a blistering soundtrack. Next up was Suburbia, an equally accurate picture of 80's rebel youth. Then it was Repo Man. Dang! Now that's a triple header! Then, for perspective, it was a heavy metal tribute called Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg. Pretty cool stuff. I might as well watch This Is Spinal Tap next, while I'm at it.

- Tuesday, April 04, 2006 at 16:48:05 (EDT)
Here's some scary stuff. I was using Microsoft Anti-Spyware and NOD32 to keep my computer safe and just installed Spyware Doctor to be sure. It found 132 infections! Granted, some of them were cookies I allow, but a bunch were malicious. Dang!

- Tuesday, April 04, 2006 at 11:42:13 (EDT)
I had such a good time watching Kevin Smith movies that I had to get some more. Mallrats was pretty cool mindless fun with a bunch of my favorites in it (Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, and of course Jay and Silent Bob). The one that took the prize, however, was Jersey Girl. What a sweet story! I didn't think Kevin Smith had it in him after all his quirky movies, but we really enjoyed it.

- Saturday, April 01, 2006 at 14:21:28 (EST)
I went to see The Libertine today before it dissapeared forever. This movie, which was showing at one time at one theatre, must be the flop of the season. How could it not be? With a subject manner so devoid of "Oscar Formula" goodness it is sure to fail. It's the tale of the Earl of Rochester, a man of wealth, talent and title that debauches it all away and dies painfully of horrible disease. As it ended, I sat in shock, deeply moved, wondering what I have in common, if anything, with this man who drank too much, smoked too much, and loved the wrong people entirely too much. It takes a certain kind of person to find a hero in such a man, but that was the feeling I was left with. Leaving the theatre, I saw all the nice people there to see nice movies and felt as at odds with them as the Earl did with those around him wondering, why is it that some of us are born to feel this way?

- Friday, March 31, 2006 at 19:40:30 (EST)
I just had an amazing Kevin Smith double header. It started when I watched Clerks again. It's a great story of a bunch of nowhere people living out their useless lives and trying to find meaning in it. Nothing deep, but lots of fun. Especially Jay and Silent Bob. I love those guys. After it was over, I figured I might as well watch another of his movies and popped in Chasing Amy and got fairly blown away. It was one of the best movies ever about love and how we ruin it with preconceptions of how it should be and disregard for how it really is. The best movies resonate with hard truths and bring up feelings that we never knew we had or had buried so deep that we thought we would never experience them again. Sometimes, when they resurface, we are made better by the experience and other times we just feel like crap. I'm having a little of both right now, and that's a good thing.

- Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 14:41:01 (EST)
I saw another Academy Award winning piece of crap yesterday, The Constant Gardener. I guess controversy was the ticket this year - race issues (Crash) sex issues (Brokeback Mountain) political issues (Constant Gardener)... I would rather not have such stuff clogging up my movie experience. Keira Knightley blew away Rachel Weisz for her supporting role in Pride & Prejudice and should have won that Oscar. It was a brilliant movie. I watched another great one after the kids went to bed, Sense and Sensibility. Now that's what a movie should be!

- Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 10:26:38 (EST)
Every time I see a Johnny Depp movie, he rises a notch in my estimation. Last night we watched Sleepy Hollow. It was freaky wierd. We all jumped when a bunch of heads came rolling out of a tree stump, among other scenes. There was witches and superstition and above all the great acting of Johnny Depp. Today I watched Donnie Brasco and it was just awesome. It was all gangster and intrigue. I felt like I was in a movie after it was over as I went through my day. Ever get that feeling?

- Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 19:46:41 (EST)
Man! I just saw an incredible movie called Teknolust. It was right up my alley! It was about these computer generated clones that develop a mind of their own and become human with feelings and desires and what-not. There was a bunch of fantastic technobabble about computer viruses that infect people through their screen and downloadable emotions and other far-out stuff. Tilda Swinton, one of my absolute favorites, plays the scientist who created the clones and also plays the clone Ruby who interfaces with the real world for her clone sisters and has a web portal where people experience her in incredibly futuristic ways. Eventually, Ruby falls in love and brings the experiment full circle. Wow!

- Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 13:18:49 (EST)
Well, we made it back from Julian and had a really good time. We ended up seeing a lot of fun movies on TNT in or room: While You Were Sleeping, My Best Friend's Wedding, and Mr. Deeds. The kids were so psyched on the movies that they made me run out for Subway sandwiches rather that eat at one of the great country restaurants. So, we had our BBQ ribs for lunch today instead. Then, we drove out through a back dirt road I know through all kinds of wilderness to the highway. We even crossed two rivers! It was pretty exciting. I have an interview with the HR folks at LPL Financial tomorrow, so I guess they will offer me a job. I need one, so it's a good thing. It was nice having a few days off, but it will also be good to work again.

- Monday, March 27, 2006 at 00:49:09 (EST)
I'm posting this from our hotel room in beautiful Julian on my phone! We came up to play in the snow and when we came to town the kids were frozen stiff so we checked into a cute little bed and breakfast inn to thaw out. This is a total hick town and I don't know what we are going to do all night. BBQ is definitely in the mix and there is cable TV. Maybe we will get lucky and catch some cool movies. Our room is very quaint and rustic. Cool!

- Saturday, March 25, 2006 at 19:41:58 (EST)
I had a great interview at LPL Financial yesterday. It took over two hours for me to meet with three people and they all seemed to like me and my experience. I guess it's going to be life insurance marketing as my career path now. It's what I'm good at and the internet graphics thing has run it's course. I have to do what's best for my little family and I feel good about it, even though it's sad to leave a fun career behind. There were four openings at LPL, so it looks pretty good for me having a job next month. Today, I'm just going to take it easy and watch Jackie Brown. I've been wanting to see it for a long time. I bet it's going to be good. Quentin Tarantino movies are always a sick good time!

- Friday, March 24, 2006 at 11:06:08 (EST)
Between posting my resume, making calls and setting up interviews, I was able to watch a couple good movies today. The first was The Good Girl with Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal. It's the story of a small-town cashier, stifled in a rudderless marriage and miserable at her boring job, who has an affair with a younger co-worker, leading to a series of confounding personal events. Good stuff! After that I watched Aeon Flux. Charlize Theron did an awesome job as Aeon Flux, an amoral rebel that was completely detached from everything and everyone. In the end, she finds love and hope. You know how I love romance, especially when there is lots of kung-fu and stuff blowing up!

- Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 23:30:24 (EST)
I saw Crash today and I wanted to hate it, seeing how it won the Academy Award for best movie. There were so many good movies like Family Stone, Elizabethtown, Pride and Prejudice, even Pink Panther, that didn't even get a mention and I thought this would be one of the phony "formula" films that win those awards. But, as the movie went on and I was drawn into the intricacies of the plot, I began to see why it would win. It really was a good movie. Not the best in my opinion, but pretty darn good.

- Friday, March 17, 2006 at 15:59:29 (EST)
I got laid off at work today. Oh well. It's not a good thing, having kids and a mortgage and what-not. I wasn't happy there anyway and had an awful commute, so I hoping something good will come of it. At least now I have a good reason to quit smoking... I won't be able to afford that filthy habit anymore!

- Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 23:04:15 (EST)
Well, there wasn't any booze at the Purim Seudah last night, so that's one mitzvah down the drain! There was lots of great Sephardic food and a magician though. We all had a great time celebrating a great holiday. On a similar Jewish note, I've been listening to this Hasidic reggae star named Matisyahu for the last couple days. He's an Orthodox Jew from Crown Heights who mixes Torah values and Hebrew niggids into his music. I was sceptical, but it's actually pretty cool stuff!

- Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 12:12:03 (EST)
Last night we rushed to shul to hear Megillah Esther, one of the essential mitzvot of Purim, and made it just in time. We were stalled trying to find a suitable Vashti costume for Saphira. Caleb was easy... He's got costumes galore. The chevrah gave us a wonderful Shaloch Manot bag and we had a little seudah in our van. Tonight, we return to the Beit Ha Midrash for the big Purim Seudah and to drink until we can't discern the difference between "blessed be Mordachi and cursed be Haman." Yeah, on Purim it's a mitzvah to drink. Pretty cool, eh? I knew there was a good reason why I became a Jew! ps. How do you like all those fancy words above? Clarification can be found here.

- Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 13:17:01 (EST)
We had an awesome time at La Jolla Cove yesterday. It was my daughter's suggestion and I wasn't very excited by it. But, being a daddy, I went through the motions and ended up having a wonderful day. The main attraction was the 145 step descent into Sunny Jim Cave, a man-made tunnel completed in 1903. It ended up in a seaside cave. We then hiked up to the cliff top and climbed down to the water. It was kinda scary, but my kids are used to adventure. We scrambled over the rocks and found a perfect beach that we had all to ourselves. There was excellent vertical rock walls that we tried our climbing skills on and tidepools with giant sea anemones and urchins. There were even seals! At one point it started to rain and we sat it out under the cliff overhang. We pretty much spent the whole day there and got home pretty pooped out. Goes to show that good times can be had even when the plan seems like a dud.

- Monday, March 13, 2006 at 12:20:38 (EST)
It's a Leonardo Leonardo DiCaprio weekend. After seeing Titanic, the kids wanted more of him so I got more. The first was Romeo + Juliet and it was kinda wierd. Even though the tale was modernized and featured guns instead of swords, the old english dialogue was a bit disconcerting. The kids kept saying that they didn't know what the heck they were talking about. After that we watched The Beach. That was a tale we could dig our teeth into! It had some creepy parts that earned it an R rating, but we enjoyed it quite a bit. Plus, I kind of have a thing for Tilda Swinton these days. Finally, we cracked up watching Catch Me If You Can. Now that's a great movie. Leonardo was fantastic, as was one of our other favorites, Tom Hanks. We didn't have time for Gangs of New York, so I'll have to tell you about that one later!

- Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 22:25:20 (EST)
While I was waiting for Grandma to drop off the kids last night I watched American Psycho. What a sick movie! We got it because Reese Witherspoon was in it, but her part was totally minor compared to the murdering crazy sick cannibal played by Christian Bale. He was truly a modern day Ed Gein. Dang! I put that movie away where the kids would never find it. When they came home we toned it way down and watched ?Three Amigos!, a mega-classic super comedy with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. If you haven't seen it yet, you should. We laughed our heads off watching those idiots become heroes.

- Friday, March 10, 2006 at 11:53:51 (EST)
I guess all it takes is time (and a couple hundred friend requests!) because now I have a handful of friends who take the time to write and respond to bulletins and stuff on Myspace. I wish they would add a comment to my page though... It looks kinda naked right now. I watched the movie Constantine last night... It was plenty spooky! That devil stuff always got to me (like The Exorcist. Scary!) because it seems like it COULD happen. Keanu got dissing reviews for this film, but I thought he was great. So was Rachel Weisz. I especially liked Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel. We have been fans since seeing her as the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia. It goes to show that one can't always base their opinion on those of others. The kids hated Constantine, by the way. They would rather watch The Pink Panther again!

- Thursday, March 09, 2006 at 13:15:54 (EST)
I got the new Hank III CD yesterday and it is about as good as music gets. He lays off the heavy metal stuff long enough to place himself squarely onto the honky-tonk throne. It's a funny dichotomy, the way his music is so pleasing yet his lyrics are clearly rated x. Hank III isn't for everyone, but he is my absolute favorite. So there.

- Tuesday, March 07, 2006 at 11:47:34 (EST)
We had a pretty busy weekend centered around a couple family lunches for Caleb's birthday. He's going to be 8 this month. Boy, they sure grow up fast! A special event was going to see the Asylum Street Spankers in concert. They don't get to see shows much, so they were real excited for a while, then got bored and made us leave. Oh well. At least we got t-shirts and a "spank me" bumper sticker. It was a movie weekend as well, starting out with The Pink Panther and In Her Shoes, a couple great movies that the kids really enjoyed. When the kids were playing I finished Four Rooms. Very, very funny. We also watched Family Stone again and Walk The Line, probably my two favorite movies right now. The weekend ended with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a movie bought for my daughter that ended up being pretty cool.

- Monday, March 06, 2006 at 12:20:24 (EST)
I posted some Avril music at KrayTracker and recieved an amusing torrent of comments. Pretty much everyone was incredulous that I could listen to such stuff! It suprises me too. We watched Rumor Has It last night. It was pretty cool. I really like Jennifer Aniston and Mark Ruffalo. Dang, even Kevin Costner put in a good showing. Especially entertaining was Shirley MacLaine, one of the all time greats! On a final note, our neighbors across the street are selling their house for $800,000.

- Friday, March 03, 2006 at 12:19:34 (EST)
Those of you who know me are gonna think I've lost it, but I just have to say I love Avril Lavigne. She is such a crushingly adorable tomboy punk princess. I started playing her for the kids cuz I want them to grow up into good little punk rockers, but they're not ready for Black Flag and Minor Threat yet. Well, I started saying things like "that's a cool song" and "Avril Rocks!' Before I knew it I was a fan and even though I'm old enough to be her father, I still wanna marry her. We were checking out her new My World concert DVD this morning. Wow! Now that kid tears it up!

- Wednesday, March 01, 2006 at 12:54:39 (EST)
The kids were at my folks last night, so I was able to watch Kill Bill, Volume 2 on TV. When they are around I can't watch these ultra-violent movies I enjoy so much. Quentin Tarantino is one of the best filmakers these days and he has a way of creating tense and surreal scenes. For instance, there was the one last night where Uma Thurman was buried alive after being blasted at point-blank range with a double barrel of rock salt. Intense!

- Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 15:32:28 (EST)
Caleb's Cub Scout camping trip was a big success. The parents were cool and the camp was nice. The boys pretty much goofed off the whole time and got along real well. There were a few activities like BB gun shooting, archery, knot tying and hiking, but mostly it was just playtime. Scouting was important to me as a kid and being a scouting parent brings a whole new dimension to it.

- Monday, February 27, 2006 at 12:12:03 (EST)
I really wanted my kids to be involved in scouting because it was such a positive experience for me. It was easy to find Caleb a troop he liked (we're having a campout this weekend with them) but Saphira has had a hard time finding a troop. Well, last night we went to another first meeting and this one had girls she liked! Yippee! I hope they remain friends forever!

- Friday, February 24, 2006 at 12:52:36 (EST)
We went to Big 5 to get a new sleeping pad for our tent (our old one got a hole at Joshua Tree on its 2nd trip) and ended up with a new stove and coffee pot as well. Caleb got mad at me because I wouldn't buy him Heelies. He should know he'll get 'em some day. In the end, he always gets his way. Blockbuster was next door, so we ended up with a bunch of new movies including Mona Lisa Smile (Kirsten Dunst!) Here Comes Polly, Must Love Dogs, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, and Around the World in 80 Days. I love buying movies, but it's kinda expensive. The worst thing is buying crappy movies, like when we got My Date With Drew. I hated that movie!

- Wednesday, February 22, 2006 at 16:45:00 (EST)
Man! My feet, ankles, and legs are so sore from all the Disneyland walking that I am practically crippled! I actually limped as I dragged the kids from bed for school. I asked them if they were sore and they said no. Ahhh... To be young again!

- Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 13:05:03 (EST)
We had a blue-ribbon day at Disney's California Adventure. The kids did their first rollercoaster flip on the California Screamin' ride. It was so mega-excellent that we did it twice. We also did the very worst ride ever, this giant swinging/sliding ferris wheel. We actually asked them to stop it and let us off because it was so sickening. The Grizzly River Run was soaking fun and Soarin' Over California were top-notch, but everything else was kinda so-so. We stayed too long and got home late, but man... what a weekend! I dropped a bundle, but it was worth every penny. Dang! Good times like that make life worth living!

- Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 00:46:31 (EST)
We spent 13 hours at Disneyland yesterday. We rode all the classic rides like the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, It's A Small World and like a zillion others. Notables were Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Gadget's Go Coaster, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Alice In Wonderland, Pinnochio's Daring Adventure, Snow White's Scary Adventures and Mister Toad's Wild Ride. We finished the night, exausted, with a magical fireworks show. It was just about a perfect day!

- Monday, February 20, 2006 at 11:26:54 (EST)
It's hailing on our Disneyland day. The kids think it's cool. but as a practical parent, I think it sucks.

- Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 11:16:14 (EST)
Our Disneyland hotel is way below our experience, but at least it has HBO. Last night we watched The Whole Ten Yards (very funny), Elektra (classic Frank Miller tale), Welcome To Mooseport (extremely entertaining), and Cast Away (also classic). Somewhere during the movie binge we had ribs, chicken, and pizza delivered. We also took our skateboards and checked out the town. It was a dud compared to Hollywood, but what town isn't?

- Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 11:08:38 (EST)
I'm doing a silly thing by creating a MySpace site. I did it on a whim to get in touch with a band and ask them a question and it turned into this crazy time-killing addiction! Dang, there's a lot of people on there and I invited a whole bunch of rockstars and actresses to be my friends. I'll be virtually connected and popular. Cyberspace is a funny thing...

- Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 16:20:26 (EST)
I went to another stupid all ages show this weekend at the House of Blues. Tiger Army was the draw and they sold out two nights in a row, but I thought they were lame. I had high hopes for the opening band, The Phenomenauts, but their stupid outer space schtick was idiotic. I had way more fun the next day when the kids and I saw Hoodwinked and Nanny McPhee at the big ol' twenty-plex theatre in Mission Valley. We ate food and snuck around all the theatres and generally goofed off all afternoon. The whole world is a playground. Saphira learned how to sit on a handrail and slide down it. Now, that was the weekend's highlight!

- Monday, February 13, 2006 at 12:08:34 (EST)
I had a romance movie triple header this weekend and all the films were wonderful! First off was Shopgirl, the story of a lovely gal (Claire Danes) who has a little trouble finding true love, but gets it in the end. Next was The Notebook. Loved it! Gena Rowlands was just adorable, and you know I fall in love with all the leading ladies! The icing on the cake was Pride and Prejudice. Wow! Turn of the century stuff are my favorite kind of movies. Keira Knightley was just fantastic as the proud and beautiful daughter in a family of daughters. Equally supurb was the performance of Donald Sutherland as lord of the manor. Needless to say, I was in bliss watching these movies!

- Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 14:46:44 (EST)
Our long awaited Titanic DVD came in the mail yesterday and we watched it right away in movie rapture! Everyone agreed it was one of the best movies ever! It was happy and sad, beautiful and ugly. Saphira was overcome by the cruel ways people can show in a crisis. Caleb was amazed to see the sinking ship. I (of course!) was swept away in the beautiful and pure love shared by the characters of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Their performance was worthy of the best picture Oscar they earned. It is so cool the way we can score old movies and enjoy them so much!

- Friday, February 10, 2006 at 12:22:56 (EST)
A power line fell down in the street in front of our house and the kids thought it was pretty cool that we had a blackout in our house. We had candles burning all over and used flashlights while we goofed off in the dark. It wasn't so cool the next day when I had to wait all day for an electrician to restore our power. The neighbor's went back on fine when the line was repaired. It's just our luck that ours didn't. I was lost without the DVD player, but I did have the chance to read a bit of All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland. His books are pretty cool.

- Thursday, February 09, 2006 at 22:02:38 (EST)
Caleb got an award at school today for good citizenship and academic progress. I'm so proud of him! I may not be the best example for him with all the punk rock and creepy movies and wierd ideals, but he's turning out to be a good kid. I guess that's my reward for all my efforts!

- Monday, February 06, 2006 at 13:09:58 (EST)
Boy, did we have some fun this weekend. On Saturday we rode the trolley to Santee and ended up having a spending spree at Old Navy. Saphira got some "tre cool" shirts and skirts, but Caleb got the prize with his kickin' new jacket with all the stripes and what-not. On the way home we jumped off at the Underground SDSU station to goof off on the escalators and glass elevators. We ended up at the Aztec Center Bowling Alley. It was the kids first time. They had these guard things that kept the ball out of the gutter and it would riccochet down the lane until it hit the pins. So cute! On Sunday we rode our skateboards around Hillcrest shopping. I wanted them to get some punky shoes atTredair U.K., and they did. We all did. Mine have skull and crossbones on the soles. Saphira had a hard time picking, but ended up with the Rose and Swallows TUK Sneakers. Very cool. For sure she's the only kid with those at her school. I really wanted her to get the TUK Emily Argyle Sneakers, but she wouldn't go for it. Caleb got red checkerboard Vans. Common, but they were what he wanted.

- Monday, February 06, 2006 at 13:02:55 (EST)
The kids were out late with grandma last night, so I had a chance to watch our new Vanity Fair DVD. Wow! What a great movie! I love all that turn of the century stuff! There was a time that I read nothing but Jane Austen novels. This movie was just like that, with the extra plus addition of a great portrayal of a somewhat scandalous lady by Reese Witherspoon. She is fantastic in every movie I've seen her in! We got Legally Blonde II in the mail and haven't watched it yet. Maybe that's what we will do tonight, but the competition is pretty tough because we also have Spiderman II with Kirsten Dunst to see as well. I'll keep you posted on the leading lady competition!

- Thursday, February 02, 2006 at 15:00:07 (EST)
The kids were at my parents, so I had a chance to watch a couple of movies that were decidedly not kid friendly. First off was Lost Highway, a freaky David Lynch picture. All his movies are wierd and this one was particularly so. Patricia Arquette put in a good performance that I enjoyed. The real star was Robert Blake in his portrayal of the "Mystery Man." Truly psychotic. After that, I watched Boss'n Up starring the most crippinest homey Snoop Dogg as "young pimping" Cord? Christopher, a grocery clerk turned player looking for fast riches. When master-pimp Orange Juice takes him under his wing, Cord?'s life gets kicked into overdrive. He starts wearing furs and other outlandish outfits and has all kinds of hoes calling him daddy. It was a suprisingly good movie and I always enjoy Snoop, be it movies or music.

- Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 18:46:23 (EST)
I'm feeling meloncholy after doing some depressing stuff today. First off was watching the 1985 TV movie Death of a Salesman starring Dustin Hoffman as a man who comes to the end of his life and realizes that it was a sham that didn't amount to squat. John Malkovich plays the part of his favorite son who Hoffman believes will achieve greatness and ends up a failure like he himself had become. Wow. Then I read Life After God by Douglas Coupland, THE spokesman for Generation X. Now I feel all useless and old like life is passing me by. Don't you just hate days like that?

- Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 15:26:27 (EST)
The kids didn't watch Elizabethtown with me tonight. Caleb was into his video games and Saphira was taking a bath and doing girley stuff. It wasn't really their kind of movie anyway. It sure was mine. Stories with happy endings always make me feel a step above the sometimes menacing details of life. I guess Kirsten Dunst is my favorite now... When it comes to actresses I'm pretty fickle! She's so young (born in 1982) that in most of her movies she's just a kid, but I look forward to seeing more of her now that she's all grown up!

- Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 00:20:15 (EST)
We watched a couple cool movies last night that were quite enjoyable, but got bad reviews. The first, Sweet Home Alabama had our current favorite Reese Witherspoon in the lead as a gal who leaves the south and attains success in New York, just to find that "you can't take the honky-tonk out of the girl." I think love stories are the best and this was a good one. The other DVD, Cheaper By The Dozen II has the old favorite, Hilary Duff, playing another cute role. Steve Martin was also great. I get kinda bored with kid movies. The kids did too and quit to play video games.

- Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 12:22:16 (EST)
The kids were busy playing the Star Wars Lego Game on the iMac, so I had a chance to watch one of our new DVDs, Little Women. It was really good, great actually. I read my Grandma Lucille's copy of the book long ago and the movie did it justice. Like usual, I got a little sentimental at the end. Jeez! What a baby!

- Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 13:42:47 (EST)
We had a wild time at the Monster Truck Jam this weekend. There was a huge and crazy crowd totally jacked up by the noise and excitement. So many cool rigs were there. Monster Mutt, Escalade, Blue Thunder, Iron Warrior... Our favorite (and the crowd's too) was Gravedigger. We even got a pink Gravedigger hat with flames for Saphira! Man, was it noisy when those giants fired up. We got pictures in the pits afterwards and the wheels towered over the kids heads. Awesome!

- Monday, January 23, 2006 at 12:16:45 (EST)
We laughed our heads off watching Wedding Crashers last night. What a crack-up! After the kids went to bed I shifted gears and saw The Family Stone. Now that was a great, great movie. The star-studded cast was just wonderful. Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson... all super. Diane Keaton stole the show in her portrayal of the clan's mother. There was so much love, respect and caring... A lot like my family is now. At the end I cried, not just the regular watery eyes that great movies give me (I know, I'm a sap) but real live bury your head in the pillow sobbing. I can't remember ever doing that for a movie!

- Friday, January 20, 2006 at 16:07:31 (EST)
After seeing Just Like Heaven we all pretty much agreed that Reese Witherspoon is our current favorite. So, we went and bought Legally Blond. What a fun movie! She is soooo cute! News is Reese won the Golden Globe Award for best actress. I guess were not the only ones who think she is fab!

- Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 12:33:37 (EST)
So here's a funny thing. We got a $50 gift card for Christmas and twice we've gone to the store to use it, first at Home Depot, then at Blockbuster. Both times we gathered up stuff we didn't really need to use up the full amount, then at the register the card was denied! Well, each time I ended up buying the stuff with cash. Fed up, I called their customer service line last night and discovered that the balance was in fact $48.50. That $1.50 difference ended up costing me $100!

- Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 11:47:54 (EST)
Here's some breaking news. I saw at some news site that the tracker I used to use for downloading music and movie torrents has been sued by the MPAA. The attached letters listed movie titles that were targeted in the lawsuit. Here's the scary part... I had downloaded two of the movies on the list! YIPES! That's just what I need, to pay huge fines and go to jail. Bittorrent was fun, and as a techie it was an irresistible challenge, but I decided that it was too risky and just plain wrong. Looks like I quit just in time!

- Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 16:26:03 (EST)
Speaking of movies, we watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape last night on DVD (been buying lots of those lately...) and got kinda shook up. It's really a tragic story because poor Gilbert has so many responsibilities that he had no life of his own (I can sure relate to that!). We kept saying things like "this is really sad" as we watched it. At one point, one of the kids asked me to do something for them and I replied with a comment like "I am only one person with nobody to help me" or something to that effect. It's funny how much films affect me. The happy ones make me happy and the sad ones make me sad. Last night, after watching What's Eating Gilbert Grape, I was sad. Real sad.

- Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 14:46:46 (EST)
One of the best things about vacation is watching movies in our room, as funny as that sounds. At Knott's Berry farm we started out with The Perfect Man. It had one of the kid's favs, Hilary Duff, and one of mine, Heather Locklear (yes, I used to watch Melrose Place!). It was fun. So was Sky High, a movie about a school for the kids of super heroes. We all enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as we did Just Like Heaven. We all agreed that it was just about the best movie we have even seen. Mark Ruffalo put in a fantastic performance, but the show-stopper was Reece Witherspoon. Just fantastic! I couldn't recommend it more!

- Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 12:50:49 (EST)
We were pretty brave when we got to Knott's Berry Farm today and jumped right onto the awesome Ghostrider rollercoaster ride to scream our heads off. On our way to some more scary rides the kids scoffed at the Camp Snoopy kid attractions. Well, the Silver Bullet, Montezooma's Revenge and Boomerang rides ended up being way too intimidating. We rode the Jaguar a couple times and checked out the view from the Sky Tower. On the way back we ended up having a blast on the Camp Snoopy rides after all. It was a reminder that the kids are still little after all. I can't wait to go back when they get a little older and do the rides I want to do!

- Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 22:20:14 (EST)
We got a new DivX player that supports "Rated I" DVDs burned off our iMac. Last night we watched I Am Sam. The audio was out of sync with the video and the oriental subtitles couldn't be turned off, but it was an excellent experience anyway. Saphira and I cuddled closer and closer as the movie went on (it's about a father/daughter relationship) until we both cried at the end. Afterwards, she kept hugging me at odd moments and saying that I'm a great dad... I wish all movies had such a wonderful outcome!

- Friday, January 13, 2006 at 13:06:41 (EST)
It was a real bonus movie weekend, thanks to bitorrent! First off was Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, a real gem by James Jarmusch. Quite excellent and highly recommended. One of the best movies I've ever seen. Equally excellent was Chocolat. I got it for Johnny Depp, but the real star was the incredibly beautiful and sexy Juliette Binoche whos character moved into a provincial French town and ended up liberating it from its uptight roots. Classic! Rounding out the binge were some fun Star Wars movies, Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi. These were the only ones the kids watched. Chocolat was too boring (what?) and Ghost Dog too violent (of course!) so I just laid around in the bedroom, just me and our iMac. I started watching Lords of Dogtown, but we had to split and go to Momarsh's birthday party.

- Monday, January 09, 2006 at 13:00:44 (EST)
Caleb spent most of the night playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater yesterday. We bought the full version that lets you make custom skateparks and riders. His guy had a mohawk and lots of tattoos. The park he built was soooo comical! It had ramps that ended in fences and walls and all kinds of other unridable terrain. Still, he wanted to skate his creation. I was cracking up and happy he was occupied (Saphira was asleep, since she hasn't been feeling well) because I was watching our new Sin City DVD and it was totally inappropriate for kids with all its killing, torture and blood splatters. It was awesome. I read the comics years ago and believe that Frank Miller is the most awesome comic writer and illustrator EVER! Our new Dead Man DVD came too... Another mega-classic that the kids shouldn't watch (and probably will). We pre-ordered our absolute favorite, Corpse Bride. Can't wait till it comes! We have pretty much all the Johnny Depp stuff I want now except Blow and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, two more movies the kids will hate. Guess I'll go buy those right now!

- Thursday, January 05, 2006 at 14:30:31 (EST)
By the way... Happy new year everybody! I hope it is a good one for you!

- Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 14:00:54 (EST)
Man did we have an awesome weekend! We camped a couple days at Indian Cove in Joshua Tree National Park and just had a blast! We didn't even bother with ropes on this trip. All we did was haul around the crash pad and video camera from boulder to boulder. The kids really improved on this outing. Finishing climbs that they worked on for a while really boosted their confidence as they did harder and harder problems. By the end of the trip they were sending some real classics! Their dad did a pretty good job too! It sure felt good to strain the muscles and shread the finger tips at JT like the good ol' days!

- Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 13:05:34 (EST)

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