Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Winter Vacation

Seven movies, three car repairs, two plumbing repairs, five conversational meals, three table games, two poker tourneys, and not nearly enough sleep.


"The Collection" pretty much wants to be "Saw". It isn't.

"Killing Them Softly" pretty much wants to be "Get Shorty", or any similar movie that features fast talking underworld types going about their nefarious business. It is set against the 2008 presidential campaign, but all of the cars in the film date from the mid-70s setting of the original novel. The movie fails to provide a single character who matters AT ALL, which makes the whole thing kind of a slog.

"Hitchcock" is wonderful. It has a great cast, a solid script, and fascinating subject material. One of these days I am going to have to actually WATCH "Psycho"...

"Playing for Keeps" is a romantic comedy, sort of. By the end, I found myself hoping that the male lead would take a good look in the mirror and admit that he would NEVER be a good husband, stop trying, and work on being the best father he could be. Not the most commercial ending, of course, and not the one they went for, either.

On Saturday (12/8), with all of three hours of sleep, I attended a "Lord of the Rings" marathon, watching the extended editions of all three films in a bit more than twelve hours. I had not seen the extended editions before, nor had I watched any of the films end to end since they were in the theaters. There is a LOT of interesting material in the extended editions, but the original releases were better films. I remain mystified by some of the changes Jackson chose to make from the original material (and whole-heartedly approve of some of the others). I love these movies in any case, though.


Scott Felton is Ernie Gygax's roommate; the two of us had lunch, then headed back to Ernie's place for several hours of gaming: "Awful Green Things from Outer Space", "Seven Sisters", and "Feudality".

Alec Sanderson is niece Katie's fiance, a brewmaster, and a fledgling beer judge. He has managed to find a career about which he is passionate, AND pays his bills. He is also intelligent and pleasant to be around, and a decent cook, though I have sworn that this meal was the last time I will ever allow anyone to cook for me; the food was good, but I don't need the stress.

Kristin Ballard is someone I met at a backyard party several years ago, and have kept occasional on-line contact with ever since; this meeting was our first real conversation ever, and it was a lot of fun. It would have been better without the commute to Rockford (two hours each way, plus traffic delays).

The Incomparable Nikki continues to be Nikki. I continue to be surprised by how tiny she is in real life; she takes up more space in my head than she does in the world. Conversation was delightful and hyperbolic as always, though at one point she relayed some bad news that was so unexpected she had to say it three times before I realized that she wasn't joking.


Several minor repairs kept one car or the other tied up from Monday morning until Saturday morning. None of it was terribly expensive, fortunately. Along the line, the bathtub drain decided to make it rain in the kitchen, and the main sewer line decided to back up. Access to the tub drain is so restricted that I can't work on it, but Dementia could, and did. The sewer line clogged as I was on my way out the door, and it was not my finest hour; I decided to continue with my plans, and left Dementia alone in the house with no car and no running water, and got on with my life. When I got home sixteen hours later, I fixed the drain. To be honest, I COULD NOT have done anything worthwhile with the drain in the morning; my brain was as clogged as the sewer was. But I still felt like a heel...

Uncle Hyena

(Dementia points out that she continued fighting with the plumbing while I was off gallivanting, and made a decent amount of progress. I just felt too guilty about the whole thing to mention that.)
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