arkratirma: (rorschach)
Early this morning, Kat kept me distracted and cheered me up over Messenger as I waited for Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry to return home (thank you again SO much, Kat!). They arrived just as I was taking off my glasses and necklace to head to bed; I heard the Astro's doors shut outside, then ran to the front room to unlock the door for them. Uncle Larry's kidney stone was confirmed, but he now has a much stronger medication to handle the pain. He felt great when I asked them about the visit.

Went to bed at 4:37. Hadn't been up that late in a couple months, I think.

I remember waking up at 10:something this morning, then thinking I'll just sleep until 12:00. HA. I got up just before 2:00.

I showered, ate breakfast, brushed my teeth, and took Uncle Larry to Oregon City to pick up his prescription at Albertson's. We headed to Fred Meyer as the prescription was filled; I deposited a check I recently got for leftover loan money for the quarter (the most I've received yet; I'm going to put about half of it into my savings), and Uncle Larry picked up cat litter. Got his prescription from Albertson's, then we were off for home.

It was stunningly beautiful today, warm and practically cloudless, just above 60 degrees F. I took advantage of the mild weather and went on a bike ride. Did my stretches once home, ate a bit, then finished reading Little Children with Harley on my lap.

The novel is wonderful, but I honestly prefer the film's ending. Its shock value is so much more pervasive, so much more shattering. I won't give any spoilers except to say that both Ronnie, the convicted sex offender, and Larry, the lapsed cop, are far more unpleasant in the novel than they are in the film; it only brings a deeper significance to their personalities which I found refreshing and unsettling. Ambivalence and conflicting emotions can be thought-provoking. I don't feel I should be entirely pleased with everything I read.

Tom Perrotta's Little Children is the second satire I've read (since reading Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" in Mr. Elkin's senior year English class), and it's the first satire I've read of my own accord and interest. I like branching out. I was a Koontz-head for a long time (well, I still am a Koontz-head), and it feels good to read novels I wouldn't imagine myself reading a few years ago. Of course, my interest in the novel came from my appreciation of the film*, and I like the differences between the two. The scenes that are included in the film translate almost word-for-word from the novel.

*Silly as it is, my desire to watch Little Children stemmed from wanting to see what Jackie Earle Haley's acting would be like: I wanted to get an idea for how he'd handle Rorschach (and Kat said it was a good movie - AND SHE WAS RIGHT). Needless to say, I knew after watching the film once that he'd nail the role (AND HE OWNED IT). Whee!

As long as I'm on the subject of movies, Bolt is absolutely adorable. It would feel right at home shelved next to Pixar movies. HUGE improvement, both technically and in terms of story, over Chicken Little. Incomparable, really. I found it grimly fascinating that, in order to make Bolt truly believe that Penny was in mortal danger, he was never allowed off the set. The scene of Dr. Calico's cats taunting the little dog in his trailer is hilarious. :D

AND OH MY GOD RHINO. BACK THE FUCK UP, IS THAT A TV-OBSESSED, HYPER-ENTHUSIASTIC HAMSTER IN A PLASTIC BALL I SEE? WHY, YES. YES IT IS. GIVE IT UP FOR RHINO!

Bolt and Mittens are precious, and I LOVE the pigeons. Goddamnit, those pigeons! The animators caught every single imaginable nuance of pigeon behavior in those delightful little birds! - constantly rotating heads and necks, puffing chests, fluttering feathers.... Lord. The Hollywood pigeons cracked me up the most. "HOsnap!"

I'll go ahead and include my unfinished post from Friday evening in a cut. Further Watchmen thoughts, Brian K. Vaughan's Pride of Baghdad, and more tl;dr goodness! )

Um... well, I should get to bed soon (though I'll probably sketch a bit first).

The director's cut of Watchmen would be fantastic in IMAX format. ;__;
arkratirma: (x-files)
Lew sent Grandma Jo and Grandpa Jeff copies of Grandma Ruthie's will again.

How friendly, considering Grandma Jo is going through chemo now.

Aunt Pam wrote him a sincere letter for cathartic relief. Lew was unfortunately brainwashed by Mom's shit-for-brains half-brother, Brent, two years ago. Some of my friends might remember the post I'd made about the ordeal, but I won't bother going over it in extreme detail again.

Grandma Jo and Grandpa Jeff took care of Grandma Ruthie in their own home for over nine months while she was ill. They fed her, cleaned up after her, always loved her; never complained. Grandma Ruthie was in such good hands with them.

Brent convinced Lew that they simply were trying to suck money out of Grandma Ruthie.

Brent is a perverted fucking bastard.

I can almost say I hate him - yet, despite the shit he's caused, I am not the begrudging type.

Getting past that bit of anger....

Another rainy day today. Woke up to Roxie scratching on my door, whimpering to be let in. Visited with Jessi and the pups for a while before cleaning up my room a bit. Later, settled onto the small sofa in the living room with Draco and began reading Little Children. The movie is one of my favorites, but it's fascinating getting to delve deeper into the characters' histories with the novel.

It's also more risque, but that probably goes without saying.

Aunt Pam asked if I wanted to go with her to Costco, and I agreed. She had an optometrist appointment, so I wandered around for about an hour looking at books (Costco carries Watchmen for $11.99?! DAMN IT!), DVDs (I'll have my seasons of The X-Files someday! SOMEDAY!), and electronics. I picked up a six-pack of pressure dusters.

For dinner, Aunt Pam and I had Polish dogs and drinks; I was also able to indulge in my beloved berry smoothie.

There is not a meal deal in the WORLD that beats Costco's $1.50 quarter-pound Polish dog and soft drink with a free refill. NOTHING. NOWHERE.

I filled up my drink with root beer, and then we headed off to Jessi, Maddie, and Mitch's place. Aunt Pam helped Jessi primp up the crib, and I hung out with Maddie. She really is like my younger sister. She's an absolute goofball, and very weird - I love her so much. Hugged her and Jessi and Mitch goodbye; Maddie then followed me outside to nab some of my root beer, because I agreed to give her some. I'm such a nice cousin. :3

Continued reading Little Children once home, then read over Aunt Pam's letter to Lew at her request. I've polished off 208 of 355 pages. For a long time now, I've been in the habit of reading a novel in a day, or getting through half of it one day and finishing it the next.

It just feels good to read again. I also read my volume of Poe's "The Black Cat" the day before yesterday.

Oh, and April 1st is Finch's birthday. (I know, I'm terrible.) Happy birthday, Finch! You're not getting any older 'cause you're a fictional character! :D

In closing, this macro made me STUPIDLY happy. You have no idea.

Photobucket

What a comforting thought! - knowing that, as this "ginger bitch" drops you down an elevator shaft, you can squee at his wee li'l gloves. Awww.

I am far too easily amused.

(That definitely goes without saying.)

Also, I made some icons to brush up on my Photoshop skills (but mostly just to have fun with funky textures and artsy-fartsy attempted graphic design know-how). Feel free to use if you are so inclined! Credit for the movie caps goes to riddlemethis. Working-size files under the cut. :)

Photobucket _ Photobucket _ Photobucket <--- (Rorschach has the best goddamn one-liners EVER.)

Working-size files under cut! )

OH, and something that saddens me: Watchmen has already stopped playing at the Regal Cinemas Hilltop 9 in Oregon City.

It's time to migrate to the Clackamas Town Center! I may just go see it again later today.... WANT.
arkratirma: (lone gunmen)
LONE GUNMEN REPRESENT.

Guess where I'm accessing the Internet from?

...HOME.

FUCKING FINALLY.

Today I had a three-hour phone conversation with Robin, a Dell technician, and what we ended up doing was re-imaging my desktop computer (the Dell XPS). In other words, we restored it to its factory defaults; the computer is as it had been when I first got it set up in October.

Robin had me go through a lot of what Dad had asked me to do, including using Command Prompt (but with the PING command, which didn't work; its repeated "transmit failed, error code 5" meant that something bad was up). He even had me move the DSL modem and router from Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry's computer into my room to try to temporarily access the Internet so that he could perform Remote Access, but that did not work. System Restore did not work.

Long story short, Robin's further troubleshooting and research isolated the problem: I still had malware traces on my computer from when I'd dealt with the Trojan a month back. These malware signatures had disabled McAfee and were also tied into my networking problems. Robin discovered them by directing me into Device Manager and selecting Show hidden devices. Under Non-Plug and Play Devices, there were five entries for McAfee, showing that the malware had imitated the antivirus.

To access Dell's re-imaging option, I had to disable my PC's Fast Boot option (by pressing F2 on the startup menu), then I had to press Ctrl + F11 repeatedly to make sure that the computer understood that I wanted to access the re-imaging option. This took six separate attempts, and a restart was required for each attempt. Robin was ecstatic when I told him I was finally able to access that option.

I learned a shit-ton of technical stuff today. Just rechecked Non-Plug and Play Devices; those entries are still listed. Hmmm....

Regardless, I was extremely grateful for Robin's help and will call him again if I experience more trouble. I'll see how things go during these next few days.

BUT I'M ON THE INTERNET AND I'M AT HOME.

Oddly, I cannot access the Internet on my laptop, but I'll mess with that later.

When I got up this morning (nearly 12:00), I was surprised to find that Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry were gone. That hadn't told me that they would be anywhere, but I guessed that they'd gone to an appointment of some type.

They returned while I was still talking with Robin. Aunt Pam explained that they'd gone to the emergency room. Earlier this morning, when Uncle Larry had gone to feed Patch (Sherri and Ed's dog), he'd begun experiencing bad pain in his kidneys. The pain only worsened, eventually to the point were severe nausea set in, and Aunt Pam finally talked Uncle Larry into going to the hospital. Uncle Larry has dealt with about five to six kidney stones before, but there was no blood in his urine to indicate that his pain was caused by another kidney stone. His white blood cell count, on the other hand, was sky-high; he's got medication to fight off an infection and is resting at the moment.

I was shocked when I heard "emergency room." Robin asked me if things were alright, and I told him my uncle had had to go to the emergency room for a possible kidney stone. Robin related that his brother had gone through the same thing, and I shared that Dad had also dealt with a kidney stone several years ago. God, that thing scared the shit out of us.... I remember Dad crying and bent over in agony. Cammy and I ended up spending the night at our landlords' house (this happened when we lived in Weimar).

Friday shenanigans! )

Blaaaaah! I should go eat something else now. My talk with Robin took up a huge portion of the day... but I did get up at 12:00. :|
arkratirma: (stork)
Draco meme


I made this around March last year. Thought I'd post it for fun. And because Draco is precious!

This post is also an excuse to use the silly Stork icon I made. Watched the first episode of Storm Hawks via YouTube. Fuck that is a FUN show.

Tomorrow (er, later today) will be academically productive. Yesterday, I dusted my shelves, did a load of laundry, walked to Beeson, talked with Cammy on Messenger (it was good to talk with my brother again), and got all caught up with The Dreamland Chronicles.

Cammy watched and really enjoyed Little Children, but he actually didn't care for Sarah or Brad much at all, and wishes the movie focused more on Ronnie.

Although the "date scene" kind of scarred him - but that's to be expected from practically everyone who watches Little Children.

...Yay Jackie Earle Haley! :P

OH! Speaking of JEH, check out this photo of Rooooorschaaaach because HOLY SHIT it's AMAZING.

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm266504960/tt0409459
Teeheehee JEH is a tiny li'l bastid.

TWO WEEKS. TWO. FREAKING. WEEKS!

LORD I SHOULDN'T BE THIS AWAKE!

I haven't even had caffeine.

Let it be known that one of my resolutions this year is to attempt to develop better sleeping habits.

But I don't think I'll achieve them. D:

And I actually got up at a rather decent time yesterday morning: just before 10:00! That hadn't happened in, what, more than a month?

That's it. Time to brush my teeth, then bed.

Or brush my teeth, then sketch, then bed?

Or sketch, brush my teeth, and finally--

*is hit in the head with a cinder block*

WAIT.

I KNOW WHAT THIS MADNESS IS.

IT'S THE WATCHMEN WIGGLIES!
arkratirma: (Default)
Kat's dad dropped her off here sometime after 3:00 Friday afternoon. Commence the usual Kat-and-Jill craziness! We listened to music, geeked out over various boards on the IMDb, made gratuitous use of the SSE, hung out by the creek, face-palmed more times than I can count, and watched Little Children.

Of the last several films I've watched at home, Little Children is undoubtedly the best.

For a film that addresses such controversial and unsettling circumstances (among them: having a registered sex offender move into your neighborhood; repeatedly indulging in an affair while constantly questioning and ignoring its morality; and learning to forgive people who have done bad things), Little Children concludes its characters' stories so beautifully and tragically that absorbing everything you've just watched takes a good couple of hours.

Kat and I discussed it at length long into the early hours of Saturday (we'd watched it very late at night). Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson work fantastically together as Sarah and Brad, each bored, dissatisfied, and longing for something outside the confines of unhappy marriages. Jackie Earle Haley (I'd been adding an extra Y in his last name, curses) is phenomenal as Ronnie J. McGorvey, recently released from prison after exposing himself to a minor. Noah Emmerich is equally engaging as Larry, a police officer retired in disgrace who makes it his duty to keep watch on Ronnie's home and harass him and his ailing mother.

There are so many standout scenes in this movie.... First among them - the kickoff (if relatively mild) shocker - is the kiss Sarah and Brad share at the park as their children and three prissy suburbanite moms watch, stemmed from the mothers' bet that Sarah couldn't get Brad's phone number.

There's Ronnie's excursion to the public pool: he casually makes his way to the water with fins, mask, and snorkel, and proceeds to satisfy his predatory urge to be around children. The panic and fear the parents feel once they realize that the pervert is in the pool is astounding to watch.... Even more disturbing is how quickly fun at the pool resumes after Ronnie has shouted a defiant "I was only trying to cool off!" and been escorted away by the police. (Jackie Earle Haley's tiny frame is part of what makes this scene so arresting to me.)

Mom had warned me that "You see a WHOLE lot of Kate Winslet" in Little Children, which is... very true. You also see a whole lot of Patrick Wilson's ass. ...Phaaahaha, I can't help finding sex scenes hilarious, especially when a friend is around to make oddly witty jokes to concerning them. For acts supposed to be so intimate and relieving, they sure look ridiculous, don't they?

...I guess it's just me, then. Anyway!

The infamous "date scene" is the most upsetting and painful sequence I've seen in a film recently. If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm referring to.

'If you tell anyone....' and more spoilers.... )

I felt quite satisfied with the film's ending. Watched Little Children again late last night.

I can rightfully say now that I can already see JEH as Rorschach - as perfect a Rorschach as anyone could portray. Jackie Earle Haley has the right height, build, age, and intensity to make Rorschach as captivating as he is in the novel. SO. DAMN. EXCITED.

I drove Kat home and picked up a Monster Khaos for us to share and SweeTarts for each of us. Helped trim Sam's claws, then headed home. Cali hung out for a short time, but it was a lot of fun. Mom was very happy that you enjoyed dinner so well! :)

Yesterday, Mom, Dad, Jim and I drove down to UC Davis to bring Cammy some supplies and Dad's bike. We ate lunch at In-N-Out, dropped Cammy back off at the college, then went home.

Alex and Kile hung out here for a couple hours; we had fun playing with the PC Tablet handwriting recognition pad. I'll have to post some of the screenshots here soon; they're hilarious.

After Alex and Kile left, I'd gone outside again to enjoy some Twizzlers and just look at Dad's garden area. I discovered two baby blue-belly lizards in the bottom of the now-empty koi pond and got them safely out to the rocks surrounding the tub. Poor dears must have been sunning when they slipped into the tub; I wonder how long they'd been there? The second lizard seemed ready to let go until I gently tried to pick him up, at which point he began scrambling to get out. Such cute little lizards!

At Dez's urging, I added a little chunk to Brainsick a few nights ago, and have reached 26,000 words.

WELL, THAT'S ALL FINE AND DANDY.

NOW FINISH THE FUCKING STORY! :|

January 2012

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