15 February 2004

Happy Half-Price Candy Day!

I was good. I didn't buy any. Of course I didn't go by Kroger, which had the Russell Stover low-carb candies in Valentine baskets, either. :-)

14 February 2004

Be My Valentine

We had a nice Valentine's Day, even if it rained miserably all day. We started out the day with lunch--or rather dinner, since we had the dinner portion--at Olive Garden. We went for broke: appetizers, entree and dessert (the black tie mousse cake, of course). We bought substantial parts of each of the first two home with us.

We also "did presents": I had a copy of PhotoImpact 7 and part of the price of the Lost in Space season 1 DVD set. I had bought James X-15 and The Princess Bride DVDs.

We watched X-15 after we got home from doing errands (errands still must be done on Valentine's Day). There's a domestic plot with Mary Tyler Moore, but for James the attraction is all the aircraft shots--and I think he was a bit disappointed. The movie is on DVD in widescreen, but all the shots of the aircraft in the air are distorted, as if they took a full-frame picture and stretched it sideways. As X-15 was originally made in widescreen, neither of us can figure out why this is.

X-15 is memorable to me simply because of the music. The first time James ever turned the movie on, I listened intently. "That sounds like Nathan Scott," I said, about a second before his name showed up in the credits. Nathan Scott did the music for Lassie from 1963 through 1973, and it's very distinctive; lots of violins and trumpets, and much of his score for X-15 sounds a lot like his Lassie motifs.

After that we put on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which we'd also picked up at Costco (along with LIS). I didn't realize it was out already and picked it up in delight. It's been a long wait between Trek DVDs as I wasn't about to pick up The Final Frontier. I might grab it if it turns up used on discount somewhere; I do like the park scene, and a couple of the quips, and of course Shatner finally getting to ask the most damn obvious question that no one ever seems to ask the so-called omnipotent being that captures their craft: "What does God need with a starship?" Unfortunately the rest of Final Frontier ain't worth the price.

09 February 2004

Happy Birthday, Mom!

She is 87 today!

I sent her a big box of goodies last week: her actual birthday presents: copies of Seabiscuit and My Big Fat Greek Wedding; a birthday card and a Valentine card, and copies of the pictures we took over Christmas and New Year's.

I also sent her our old Babylon 5 tapes (seasons 1-4, anyway) since we have the series on DVD. She didn't watch the show, but she likes SF, continuing stories, and Bruce Boxleitner, so she ought to love them. I also sent her a tape set a nice friend gave me of an entire day's programming on a Washington, DC, radio station in 1939. Yet another friend had sent me the entire day on CD as an .mp3, so I thought I'd pass the tapes, which she could play, on to her. It's created a little room in the videotape cabinet, which makes me happy, and it's something she likes, which makes her happy. Everyone wins!

04 February 2004

The Yearly Complaint

It's Valentine's Day and the jewelry commercials are in full swing.

You know it's one thing if MS (male sweetheart) asks FS (female sweetheart) what she would like for Valentine's Day and she says "Oh, I'd love that little diamond pendant we saw at the jewelry store."

It's another thing for a commercial to imply that unless you buy FS a diamond, she will not know your love for you is eternal. Oh, good God. Oh, and that your love is proven by how much you spend on this bauble. I read somewhere that a woman's engagement ring is traditionally supposed to cost the equivalent of the man's monthly salary for two months. I believe the average works out to something like $4000. $4000 for a piece of pressurized coal? Are you mad? Do you know how many really useful and/or fun things you could do with $4000? My God, for that money I could get at least some of the horrid wall-to-wall carpeting out of the house and have real wood or laminate floors. Or we could have a nice vacation and even stay in NYC. And you want to waste this on jewelry?

I'm also amused by the fact that between the months of November and December, every facet of display was urging to people bake or cook something delicious (that is, when they weren't sitting down producing fifty "charming" craft projects). Wham! Walk into the bookstores on January 1 and everything's covered with dieting books and now articles are telling you how to lose weight. Lo February appears and the aisles of everywhere fill up with candy containers. (We'll have more dieting for Lent and then another chocolate surge for Easter.) No wonder people have weight problems...

02 February 2004


Today is Candlemas, the traditional day that all the church candles for the year were blessed. It is also the last day to take down your Christmas greens.

(How the heck, I hear someone say, could you keep real Christmas greens up this long? They would have dried up by now. Well, yes, today. Remember homes didn't have central heat back then. Fresh greens in the family parlour, which was only used on holidays and perhaps Sundays, would last for a while.)

I don't have any greens, but I still do have my Christmas cards up. It's about time I took 'em down. They're so pretty it's a pity not to leave them up longer than a few weeks.

I understand General Lee didn't see his shadow, so spring is a'comin' to the South, but Punxatawny Phil the Pennyslvania guy did. Pity we can't swap forecasts. The Northeast could use an early break from the snow and I'm not looking forward to more heat, mosquitoes, and pollen everywhere, especially since I'm allergic to anything live and green out there.

Some people get massively depressed at Christmas. I've been massively depressed since Christmas was over, even before Bandit died. Now without him to have to care for and keep his spirits up, there doesn't even seem to be a reason to get out of bed in the morning.