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Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Christmas 2013

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 No comments

I had a good Christmas this year.  I decided to remain in Portland this year. It’s nice to spend a holiday resting instead of traveling.  I missed seeing my family, but I didn’t mind missing out on the airports. I worked on Christmas Eve for the first time ever, but I did take a vacation from work beginning on Christmas Day and ending on New Year’s Day. On Christmas Day I saw two movies, two of many movies I plan to see during my break. I’m going to a game night on New Year’s Eve, but that’s the only social activity.  I have planned.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas? My friends and family took very good care of me this year.

  • Grimm lore book
  • Batman figure
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Princess Mononoke on DVD
  • 2(x)ist underwear
  • Pizza pan
  • Beanie
  • Enterprise-D model
  • C.O.P.S. Vol. 1 and 2 on DVD
  • Batman snuggie

I sent my niece a toy Dora the Explorer guitar. I hear that she really liked it and was doing air guitar not long before she got her gift.

A Night at the Drive-In

Sunday, September 15th, 2013 No comments

When I was living in Mississippi, I was often jealous of things that my Twitter friends could do in their cities that I couldn’t do in Starkville. One of those things was going to a drive-in theater. I see tons of movies every year, but drive-ins are a part of cinema history I had yet to experience. That changed last night.
99W Drive-In

I know I searched for a nearby drive-in either before I moved or soon after. The 99W Drive-In is in Newberg, which is a 35-minute drive from where I live. This theater has been around since 1953. My friend Arturo and I went down to watch a double feature of Pacific Rim and The Conjuring for $8 each. I had seen both of them, but he hadn’t seen either of them. I had thought about going a few weeks ago, but they weren’t playing anything I wanted to pay money to see at the time. We got there early and got a space right up front. Each row has a little hill so you can park your car at an upward angle and get a more comfortable view of the screen. There were people there who were obviously more experienced at this than us. They brought chairs, blanket, blow-up mattresses, etc. Most of these people were in SUVs, vans, or trucks, and parked in reverse so they could lay down in the pack. I took some mental notes for next time.
99W Drive-In

It was packed by the time the first movie started. They played the two movies back to back, with an intermission in between. Along with previews for current movies, they played some advertisements from the 50s and 80s. I enjoyed seeing those 2 movies again even though it was weird hearing the sound through my car speakers. I had a great time there and I definitely plan on going back.
99W Drive-In screen

One thing I didn’t know until a few weeks ago is how much danger drive-ins are of going out of business. This is the last year that films will be distributed in 35mm and most theaters can’t afford the $75-$80K digital projector upgrade. Honda had a contest where they allowed you to vote on which drive-ins to save. They would donate a free digital projector to the top vote getters. When I found out about it, I spread the word amongst my local friends. Without this, 99W would probably have to close. As of last night, Honda had announced a few winners, but 99W was still waiting to see if they’d won. Earlier today I got a message from Arturo saying that 99W had won and they were doing free movies and snacks today in celebration. I’m glad that they’re staying in business and that I may have played a small part in it.
99W Drive-In won Honda contest

Star Trek Into Fun

Monday, May 20th, 2013 No comments

Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t overly impressed with many of the movies I had seen this year. Other than Warm Bodies, I hadn’t seen anything that I would consider great. Yes, I haven’t gone to the theater as much as I did last year. Word of mouth and laziness has made me skip a few movies I had planned to see.

The first few months of 2012 brought us some movies that I really enjoyed: Chronicle, The Cabin in the Woods, Haywire, and The Hunger Games. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

This year hadn’t been as enjoyable. But then Iron Man 3 came along and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has some flaws, but overall it was a great ride.

And then a couple of weeks later we got Star Trek Into Darkness. I loved this movie to the hundredth power! I’ve been a Star Trek since I was a little boy, so the chances are that I was going to like it at least a little. This movie exceeded my expectations. It had everything I wanted! It’s the most fun I’ve had in the theater since The Avengers about a year ago. I’m already planning to go see it again, and I don’t see many movies in the theater more than once. I think The Avengers and the first Iron Man were the last two I did. Hopefully, the rest of the year can produce movies that are close to as entertaining. Go see it in IMAX 3D if you can.

A Visitor

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 No comments

John was here in Portland for 10 days.  He arrived on Thursday the 14th and left on Sunday the 24th.  He told me he wanted to come here for his 30th birthday (the 21st) about 5 or 6 months ago and we’ve both been looking forward to it since.  We had a blast!  I wanted to write as much down as I could recall to help remember the trip.

Thursday – John’s flight was scheduled to arrive late Thursday night, shortly before midnight.  I saw online that it would be arriving a little late.  At some point, I stopped my car while I waited.  Some security lady told me that I couldn’t stay there and I had to circle around.  When I tried to start my car, it wouldn’t start.  I waited for John to arrive and then went to get help.  The airport sent someone to jump my car and we were on our way.  It was a great way to start John’s trip.

Friday – John went out and explored the city while I was at work.  My company had a party celebrating the opening of our new office here in Portland.  After John and I went to get my battery replaced, we chilled at my apartment that night.

Saturday – We got up and drove to Vancouver, British Columbia.  It was my first time leaving the country and John’s first time in Canada.  The hotel was pretty cool.  We went out to some clubs that night.

Sunday- We went to Granville Island and had lunch with my married friends Michaela and Dave.  After that John and I drove to Cleveland Damn and went on a short hike before it started to get too dark. We decided to go ziplining the next day in Whistler. We were exhausted after that, so we went to bed early.

Monday – We drove up to the mountains to Whistler.  I believe they had some winter Olympic events there in 2010.  The zipline tour on Cougar Mountain was so much fun. We got quite a bit of snow. We spent the night at Michaela and Dave’s in Richmond.  We had a steak dinner and some great beer.

Cougar Mountain, Whistler

Tuesday – We made our way back to Portland.  We stopped in Steveston Village, which is where they film Once Upon a Time.  It was cool seeing some of places where they film the show.  When we got back to my apartment we watched the latest 2 episodes.

Steveston/Storybrooke

Wednesday – I went to work and John did some more exploring.  Later John went to dinner with Breck and Mickey, two people that we knew back in Mississippi but have recently moved to Portland, unbeknownst to me.  After that John and I went shopping at Powell’s and Buffalo Exchange before heading home.

Thursday – This was John’s 30th birthday.  I got him a cake and an hour-long massage.  That night we went out to dinner at a pub and we went out to a club.

Friday – We had lunch at Little Big Burger.  They have delicious fries.  We drove to Tillamook near the coast for a wine and cheese tasting.  I discovered some great wines we both brought back something with us.  I don’t remember what we did that night.

Blue Heron French Cheese Company

Saturday – We went to the first ever Portland Comic Con.  We had 3-day passes, but I think we did everything we needed to in that one day.  We got to get Morena Baccarin’s autograph and see a bunch of stars.  That night we went to see Skyfall ant Baghdad Theater with Breck and Mikey.

Portland Comic Con 2013 crowd

Portland Comic Con 2013 - Morena Baccarin's autograph

Sunday – That morning it was time for John to go back to Mississippi.  I always hate parting from friends after having a good time. After he left, I cleaned a little, took a long nap, did some grocery shopping, and watched the Oscars.

I was glad that John got to visit.  I was worn out after being on the go for 10 days straight, but it was worth it.  I hope he’ll be here again soon.  I think he liked Portland and the Northwest enough that he wouldn’t mind living here.

Christmas 2012

Saturday, December 29th, 2012 No comments

Leading up to Christmas, there were times when I was really into the season and times when I wanted it to be over. Of course, the traveling was what I was dreading. I hate flying and driving gets old after a while.

I flew to Mississippi on the 23rd. This is the first time I’ve flown United. I had already made plans to fly to Jackson months before I knew everyone would be in Georgia for Christmas. I was going to cost around $1000 to change the flight to Atlanta, so I figured I would drive the rest of the way since I had already planned to rent a car. I spent the night in Jackson and drove to Decatur the next day. I had a blast in Georgia. I hadn’t seen my sister, brother-in-law, and niece in a little over 2 years and my mom since February. My niece is almost 3 now. She is adorable. I never got tired of her calling me “Uncle Will”. She wore me out a few times. I don’t see how parents do it. Seeing her joy at opening her gifts made me happy. It was great seeing everybody again and getting caught up.

The day after Christmas it was time to return to Portland. I drove back to the airport in Jackson. I ran into a high school classmate at the airport. Our plane was late leaving Jackson due to the plane arriving late in Jackson due to bad weather in Houston. I think we made up some time in the air, but it wasn’t enough. Between leaving late and being stuck waiting for a gate to open up after we landed, I missed my connection. I rushed through the airport as fast as I could. When I made it to the gate for my next flight and handed the lady my boarding pass, word came over the walkie that the door had closed. It was too late in the day for another flight. I was put on standby on the first flight out the next day. I didn’t like the fact that the customer service guy made it sound like it was my fault that I missed my connection. United put me up in a room in Houston, but I had to pay for most of it because my missed connection was caused by something beyond their control. This will probably be the last time I fly United, though other airlines would’ve probably done the same thing. I got a seat on that flight the next day and was glad when I finally made it home. Overall, a great Christmas, but I may be trying to convince everyone to come to Portland next year :).

What did I get this year?

  • How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
  • Super Fly on DVD
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlen
  • A Best Buy gift card that I’ve already spent
  • A nice shirt that I’ll probably wear on NYE
  • The Bourne Legacy on blu-ray
  • A Tardis cookie jar and Texas cookie cutter
  • One gift that I still haven’t received yet

Cabin Fever

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 1 comment

One benefit of working at home: It’s been about a month since I filled my gas tank and I still have a little under a quarter of a tank left.

One drawback of working at home: I’m going a little stir crazy. Other than trips to the gym and to the grocery store, I haven’t gotten out much lately. I’ve probably said this before, but this town is so boring. I’m glad to be leaving.

I think I’m going to the movies this weekend. Haywire looks really good and it’s getting good reviews. I’m interested in Red Tails as well. Watching the Golden Globes this past weekend made me realize that I slacked off on movies last year. That’s partially because a lot of movies I’m interested in don’t play in Starkville, but it’s also because it’s a lot easier and cheaper to stay home. Maybe I’ll go to Columbus and do some shopping as well.

Small Town Frustration

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 No comments

Last Wednesday, I had a cold and took a day off work. I went to Walmart to get some medicine and get a copy of Attack the Block on blu-ray. Attack the Block is a British sci-fi film that a lot of geeks were going crazy about earlier this year. It never played here in Starkville. It came out on video last Tuesday. I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that Walmart didn’t have the blu-ray and only a few copies of the DVD. I guess Walmart didn’t get many copies because people around here aren’t big on blu-rays or British sci-fi movies. They couldn’t have sold out in 1 day, could they? Grocery stores and drugstores do have some movies, but I doubt that they would have this one. Sam Goody, Blockbuster, and Movie Gallery have all closed. Redbox probably won’t have it for another 28 days if at all. I went home and ordered a copy from Amazon. I’m so tired of having to order everything I want online because Starkville doesn’t have any place that sells them. No real bookstore, music store, video store, electronic store, or clothing store. I don’t mind paying a slightly higher price than I would online if I can drive to a local store to get what I want.

It’s not just shopping that I can’t do in Starkville. When I needed surgery, I had to drive 2 hours and then drive back a week later when I was still recovering. When I was having trouble hearing in one ear, I had to drive 1 hour to Tupelo to see a specialist. When my doctor wanted me to get a spot on my skin checked out, I had to drive to Columbus and the earliest appointment I could get was over a month away. When one of my teeth was hanging loose and causing me a lot of pain, I had to wait a week before I could see a dentist. Since most medical services that are available in town are only open 8-5 on Monday – Friday, I have to take time away from work whenever I need to see anybody. Maybe I’m kidding myself to think it would be different in a bigger city.

I guess I’m just talking myself into leaving Starkville. I can think of many other reasons I don’t like this place anymore. I need to go. It might not be Austin like I had dreamed at one point, but that’s fine.

By the way, Attack the Block was really good! Check it out!

Scott Pilgrim

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 No comments

Scott Pilgrim is a series of 6 graphics novels written by Bryan Lee O’Malley. It’s a really fun series. Scott is a 23-year-old Canadian who is also the bass player in a band. He meets a woman, but in order to date her he has to defeat her 7 evil exes. I decided to read this after I saw the first preview for the movie adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. the World a while back. Even seeing that preview didn’t prepare me for what I saw in these books. It was a lot of fun. The last volume came out last week. I think they’re each around 200 pages so even a slow reader like me could finish them quickly. I hope the movie is good. At least see the movie if you don’t want to read.

  • Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself
  • Joe Abercrombie, Before They Are Hanged
  • Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings
  • Go, Mutants: A Novel, Larry Doyle
  • Serenity Found, Jane Espenson
  • Incarceron, Catherine Fisher
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  • The Law of Nines, Terry Goodkind
  • The Associate, John Grisham
  • The Fourth Hand, John Irving
  • The Colorado Kid, Stephen King
  • The Stormcaller, Tom Lloyd
  • The Day Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • The Twilight Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • The Final Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko
  • Busted Flush, George R.R. Martin
  • Suicide Kings, George R.R. Martin
  • Kraken, China Mieville
  • The Final Crusade, Chaite Naasiri
  • Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim Versus The World, Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness, Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe, Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • The Darker Mask, George Phillips
  • The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson
  • Towers of Midnight, Brandon Sanderson
  • Titus Andronicus, William Shakespeare
  • Bitter Seeds, Ian Tregillis
  • The Dragonbone Chair, Tad Williams
  • Stone of Farewell, Tad Williams
  • To Green Angel Tower, Tad Williams

Master Chef

Saturday, March 13th, 2010 No comments

A few weeks ago I watched Julie & Julia because I like Meryl Streep and I was catching up on some of this season’s award nominated movies. The movie did inspire me to start cooking better foods. Lately, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple. When I get a new place and get an over that I don’t think is going to kill me is a little more reliable, I hope to branch out some. Maybe I’ll buy Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, so I can make her beef bourguignon. Either that or I’ll find a cookbook for single guys that don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing meals.

2009 Ends

Thursday, December 31st, 2009 No comments

2009 was a pretty good year.   It was much better than 2008, which was a shitty year for me.  I’m hoping for even better in 2010.  The only complaint about 2009 was that work got a little too crazy at times mostly due to outside factors.  I’m not going to complain too much, because crazy is better than boring.

I’ve probably given more to charity this year than all previous years combined.  I have given to:  Autism Speaks, The American Red Cross, The Humane Society, and The Andy Roddick Foundation.

I didn’t get a lot of electronic gadgets this year.  The biggest one I got was an iPhone.  It is the best gadget ever. 

The place I’m living in now was supposed to be short-term.  I should be out of here when my lease runs out in July.  I don’t like the place.  I don’t like the neighborhood.  I don’t like not having a fenced yard.  I’m going to start looking for something soon.

The decade is also ending tonight.  This decade I’ve had the best times of my life and the worst times of my life.  Of course, I’m looking to make things better in the next decade.

Right now I’m enjoying another quiet New Year’s Eve at home with the dog.  I’m finishing my Lord of the Rings re-watch today as is tradition.  I used to watch the New Year’s Eve stuff on TV, but not anymore.  Who knows what I’ll be doing tonight.  Maybe next year I’ll go out somewhere.