Showing 1 - 10 of 155 posts found matching keyword: mom

Today, the UGA Bulldogs won their first SEC Championship game since 2017 in dominating fashion. Hooray!

But the real news of the day is that I have a new dog.

Like Henry before him, this good boy is a rescue puppy whose first family couldn't care for him. His original name was Ricky, though his temporary foster parents discovered he didn't seem to know it. They renamed him Coco Puff, but he never really cottoned to that name, either. Mom decided we might as well call him something that sounded good alongside "Henry."

(Side note: I might have ambushed Mom with the idea of a new dog just yesterday, so she justifiably needed some appeasing before she would allow another standard poodle in her house run by Audrey the Hungry Havanese — whose birthday is tomorrow! If that means Mom gets to name my new dog, so be it.)

Therefore, allow me to introduce Louis, pronounced like a French king, unless you're my dad, who insists on saying it "the American way."

Henry doing his best impersonation of the shark from Jaws

Of course, I'm particularly sensitive to whether Henry might get his feelings hurt by having a new dog in the house, so I woke up early (for me) to take Henry to the PetSmart in Peachtree City for an interview with his prospective new playmate. As it happens, the Peachtree City PetSmart is right beside a cemetery, and when Henry and Louis (nee Coco) politely paused their inaugural rollicking to let a group of funeral-bound mourners pet them, I was pretty sure we were going to be all right.

I'm quite pleased that Louis is a brown poodle, a first for my family. White poodles can be pretty, but you really have to keep them on their pedestal, especially on rainy days when playing with new puppies in the mud.

He's a white poodle in a chocolate overcoat!

Immediately after this picture was taken, I introduced Louis to my bathtub. It was an eventful day, indeed.

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October lawn art is a real treat:

Everyone's favorite Halloween candy

I'm a little worried that people will interpret this one to mean that we'll be giving away candy this year, which we absolutely will not. (Mom and I both hide behind curtains whenever anyone rings our doorbell.) I think my solution will be to put an empty bowl on the porch beside a sign that says "Take as many as you like."

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Mom's Mother's Day gift from her sister was a NuFACE Trinity Microcurrent Facial Toning Device, which in theory electrocutes wrinkles away as you rub its balls on your face.

Froggy went a courtin'

But it sure looks like a sex toy to me.

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I watched only 8 new-to-me movies in October — partly because I spent time watching several movies I had seen before, movies like Unforgiven, The Bad News Bears, and Metropolis. I'm still 17 short from 150 on the year with only 2 months remaining. Will I get there? Oh, the drama!

125. (1984.) The Rocket Man (1954)
Plot: A boy with an unusual voice is given a magic gun by a spaceman who wants him to do good; hijinks ensue. Is this what ran in Saturday morning matinees before everyone had television? (Fact: I watched the whole thing just because the female lead was Spring Byington, and my Mom likes Spring Byington.)

126. (1985.) The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
This movie was widely panned for its lack of focus, but I think I enjoyed it more than the original. Damning with faint praise?

127. (1986.) Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989)
This dark, dark comedy is not a great movie but is still totally worth a watch for Penn & Teller fans, but it blew my mind when I discovered that the director of this movie also directed Bonnie and Clyde. How does that happen?

Drink Coke! (Penn & Teller Get Killed)
With Penn & Teller, you half expect one of them to drink the drain cleaner. Drain Cleaner: the original uncola!

128. (1987.) Frozen II (2019)
Two-thirds of this movie is better than the original, but illogical third acts are what this franchise is all about, I guess. (This was watched on Disney+, by the way. I finally went ahead and just reset Dad's password. Sometimes a manchild has got to do what a manchild has got do to.)

More to come.

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If any commercial could get me to start drinking beer....

For those of you who don't watch the right kinds of television, I created that advertisement from footage of the 1978 The Incredible Hulk television show episode "A Child in Need," in which the Hulk solves a case of child abuse by beating the shit out of the child abuser. Violence is always the answer!

By the way, the title of that video, "Flagler Hits the Spot," was suggested by my mother. So blame her.

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She was very excited about the cake

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The year 2020 has been horrible in so many ways, but Christmas was not one of them.

Because the family was minimizing the amount of time we were spending with one another outside our households, I woke up at 1:30PM and opened presents — provided by friends and relatives who were much too generous — at 3 with just my Mother. When we were done we delivered pound cake and key lime pie to family elsewhere in town, and then came home to a ravioli dinner and a rerun of Jeopardy!. I finished the day watching a silent Hitchcock film and a spaghetti Western staring Toshiro Mifune.

I recognize that most people would disagree, but as someone who generally finds the holiday chafing, I think it was the best Christmas of my life.

Thank you, COVID-19.

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2020 killed my dog.

July, R.I.P.

July beat cancer for the first time in 2016 after having her toe amputated. She beat it a second time when she had a portion of her ear removed in 2019. This past July, she had a mammary tumor removed. Three times seems to be the limit.

In late October, she got wobbly in the legs. We crossed our fingers that it was a spinal problem. She initially responded to treatment, but she took a turn for the worse about two weeks ago when she lost even the ability to stand with assistance. It was downhill from there.

So long as she was lucid and had an appetite, I felt it was my duty to support her however I could — I couldn't justify killing my dog simply because she had become inconvenient. But I realized late last night that we had probably reached the end of the line. (I'll save the gory details except to say that cancer can be a real bitch.) I had her euthanized this afternoon, and she died in my arms.

For the better part of the past decade, July had been my shadow. Her sister, Victoria, wanted to be near me; July *needed* to be near me. She followed me everywhere and complained to whoever would listen when she couldn't see me. I can't blame her. Who else was she going to get to take her for walkies or hand her a slice of pizza?

I already feel like I'm missing something when I walk into a room and don't hear the tappa-tappa of toenails trailing behind me. I keep looking for baby, and she's not there anymore and never will be again. That will take some getting used to.

Thanks to Kelley for bringing her into my life and thanks to Mom for being a substitute Walter when necessary over the years. Thanks to her vet, Jeff, for helping me keep her around as long as we did. (Fourteen years is a good, long life for a standard poodle!) And especially thanks to July for doing your best to make 2020 bearable for as long as you could.

In happier times

I loved my girls.

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True story: Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel, and I was really looking forward to the latest movie adaptation when it finally opened in my local theater the second weekend in March. (I've seen other adaptations, of course. The 1996 version is good enough that it almost made me like Gwyneth Paltrow.) However, the second week in March coincided with the arrival of COVID-19 and the global shutdown. That's right, this whole pandemic exists just to keep me from Emma. Curses!

Well, I finally fooled you, COVID-19.

126. (1780.) Emma. (2020)

Fifteen minutes into my rental, Mom asked me, "What is it you like so much about bitches?" She was referring to protagonist Emma Woodhouse, who at the start the novel is very unlikable indeed, something the movie leans into *hard*. (Some might say that she's not much better at the end. Those people are heartless monsters.) Mom also knows I just watched 6 seasons of Downton Abbey and developed a bit of a crush on Lady Mary Crawley, another character who always gets it her way. In response to her question, I replied, "I like women who are like my mother." We did not talk much for the rest of the movie.

The enjoyment of Jane Austen's story is Emma's journey of self-discovery through a series of misadventures and comic misunderstandings which the movie does perfectly. In fact, the movie does just about everything perfectly. If you can't get behind Miss Woodhouse and the rest of the amazing cast, you at least should be able to marvel at the lush, Technicolor-like cinematography and stunning Regency period outfits. (Oscars for everyone!)

If I have any complaint, it's that the relationship between Emma and her beau develops too quickly. (Austen's Emma is constructed more as a detective novel than a romance. All the clues are there the whole time, but nothing comes together until the end.) It's a minor quibble, and the modernization of the plot does nothing to damage an otherwise wonderful adaptation. (The Harry Potter movies disabused me of the notion that movies should be exact visual duplications of their source material. If you're going to adapt another piece of art, you need to bring something new to the table.)

I've been in such a foul humor lately, what with the eternal cycle of bad news, that it's truly an unexpected delight to have a distraction like this. While I've always highly recommended Emma, the novel, I can now do the same with Emma., the movie.

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Superman might not have time for movies, but I do. (Have you seen what's on television? I can only watch so much of that.)

First off, let's knock out these five at once:

58. (1712.) Mystery 101: An Education in Murder (2020)
61. (1715.) Ruby Herring Mysteries: Prediction Murder (2020)
71. (1725.) Flower Shop Mystery: Dearly Depotted (2016)
75. (1729.) Matchmaker Mysteries: A Fatal Romance (2020)
91. (1745.) Flower Shop Mystery: Mum's the Word (2016)
94. (1748.) Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Heist and Seek (2020)

There's not a whole lot to say about these individually. Most of them are fair to middling mysteries, nothing to write home about. Ruby Herring is still getting better with each installment, while Aurora Teagarden has given up on even acknowledging its red herrings. The others are good enough for watching with your mother when there aren't any game shows on.

74. (1728.) Comrade X (1940)
Imagine if they set a Cary Grant romantic comedy against the backdrop of the Communist revolution. It goes out of its way to intentionally misunderstand the revolution its satirizing — girls can't be boys! — but it does have its moments.

76. (1730.) Taxi Driver (1976)
I've been avoiding this for years because I thought I wouldn't like it, but I finally gave in... and discovered I was right. I felt slimy for watching. (Fuck Natural Born Killers. This is how you inspire murderers, as Hinkley Jr proved.) However, it does look and sound great. If any one movie is responsible for the feel of Fight Club, it's got to be this one. Probably not the best choice in the current political climate.

Drink Coke! (Taxi Driver)
You drinkin' from me?

77. (1731.) Our Miss Brooks (1956)
Eve Arden and her radio/television show of the same name are great, but this film isn't. Ninety minutes is simply too long to sustain the man-hunter plot.

78. (1732.) Peter Rabbit (2018)
My Dad said he hated this because that rude rabbit Peter killed old man McGregor, which I really think says more about my father than this movie. I thought it was cute, especially thanks to the antics of the good bunnies, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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