Wow...one whole weekend of no posts and there's no howling mob of angry protesters outside my windows, demanding humour and clever insight into one man's day-to-day life.
It was a strange weekend, let me tell you. Not strange in a bad way, just out of the ordinary. The usual routine that I often find myself safely ensconced in was gone this go-'round, and it left me feeling vaguely uncomfortable all weekend, just a mild nagging sensation, like someone had pulled out one of my teeth and I simply hadn't quite noticed it's absence yet.
My delightful boss let me off early on Friday at a hair's notice (about half an hour's worth) as I had intended on getting home to wash my wife's car. She was due to arrive back from her family trip to San Antonio that afternoon, and I thought it'd be nice to have her car washed and waxed for her when I went to pick her up. That was a mistake. I stepped foot outside with cleaner in hand and managed to get her dashboard dusted and her change tray cleaned out when the heat decided that I was through with my outside time. It was ASTOUNDINGLY bad, so I literally threw in the towel and went inside, to spend the rest of the day washing clothes.
We had supper that evening at Cracker Barrel, and I went out on a limb and ordered the Chicken Dumplings. Now if you're not a Southerner, "chickn n dumplins" might be a foreign concept. When I was a boy, we would make a bi-monthly trip to the heart of Mississippi to visit my grandparents, and there were times that more of the family would also happen to be there or passing through, and my grandmother would make chicken and dumplings for Saturday lunch. Back in the days when my father was growing up chicken and dumplings was no doubt a staple, because it used so little 'real' food. A little water and flour to make dough, cut into strips, and one whole chicken, using every bit possible, some butter, heat, and you had it. When she made it, the pot would be full of this wonderous milky white gravy, with huge dumplings floating in it, and huge chunks of chicken meat, with a wash of butter and a light crust on the top. When I ordered it at Cracker Barrel it was a wash of pale dumplings and two pieces of chicken buried under them, pieces of meat that could have come off each side of a single thigh. Letdown? A bit, but didn't Thomas Wolfe say "You can never go to your grandmother's house again?" Something like that.
The routine was further damaged by me avoiding cutting the grass entirely. Nice in it's own way, but it threw me off further still. We did, however, get to go back to the firing range Saturday morning for some target practice, and some time to familiarise my wife with her new 9mm. It soon got too hot, naturally, so we packed it in and headed to Wal-Mart, both for a present for a friend's child's first birthday and for some pistol cleaning supplies. One race home later, half an hour or so spent learning the last bit of handgun ownership (cleaning) and some fierce wrapping on behalf of my wife and we were at the birthday party, hoping that the roiling family issues under the surface would stay there, which they did. Very nice.
Saturday evening was spent suffering through the waste of film "The Boogeyman." These poor clods took a great three minute story idea and padded it into 88 minutes of poorly done movie. There's only so many times you can make the audience jump with shock when you pop something out at them before they simply get sick and tired of it.
Sunday was equally out of synch with Irrelephant's Usual Weekend--we utterly broke with tradition by going to the movies at 10:15 in the morning, to see George A. Romero's "Land of The Dead" with my older daughter in tow, who at 28 years old got carded at the ticket window. The movie ranked up there with the Top 5 Best Ways To Spend A Sunday morning. Marvelous movie, as good as the originals but free of the constricting bands of an indie budget. Romero went all out; enough blood and guts that I'm suprised the censors didn't just ban it outright, and a great story to boot, as well as the Romero mix of humour and horror. He really expands on the "Okay, so what happens the months and years AFTER the dead start walking the Earth. How do people cope?" Well worth going to see, and watch for three cameos--Tom Savini, makeup guy and cameo-star from the previous movies, Simon Pegg who played Shaun of "Shaun of The Dead," and the director of said same movie. And if you're a big fan of the now-cancelled Nero Wolfe TV series on A&E, watch the butcher zombie--none other than Dinky Bines!
The rest of the day was spent fighting with Chinese dumplings. Dumplings again...seems to be a pattern. A tiny bowl of meat and cabbage mix seemed to last forever while I failed miserably to be a pastry chef, my elder daughter made several passingly round dumplings and the wife gamely fought her way through about seventeen dozen others. Tremendously good, tho, even if they were awfully labour-intensive.
The rest of the day was spent playing PS2 and folding clothes and in general mostly avoiding any sort of work, which further made the Protestant/Catholic guilt raise it's ugly head in me for Not Getting Anything Done. This was further compounded by us watching "Alone In The Dark," an unfortunately video-game to movie crossover. My wife said afterwards that the best bit was the last third, which she slept through. Christian Slater used to be good back in the 80's and is no longer, the blonde chippie who was his sex interest was about as wooden an actor as Keanu Reeves' wooden leg, and the crowning moment in the movie was when the group was having to leave behind a dead team member; as they all flee the room the dead girl raises her head up off the floor, apparently not willing to wait for the director to call "Cut." Roger Corman Guerilla-Style Filmmaking at it's best. "Did anyone notice that? No? Good, then print it! Next scene..." Me, I thought it was nice of the director to give that dead girl a continuing role in the movie.
So in all honesty yes, there is a part of me that knows being in a rut is a bad thing, but there's a lot of me that likes having the comfort of that rut. Saturday mornings are for cutting grass, Saturday afternoons are for inside washing load after load of clothes, the evening for Prairie Home Companion at 5 and Nero Wolfe at 7. Sunday morning is for finishing up whatever outside work there is, maybe washing cars or motorcycle maintenance, and then change all the bedsheets day, more washing, and cleaning the house, and that evening Sherlock Holmes sees me to bed.
I need to get out more, don't I.