Wednesday, September 05, 2007

August Books & Movies

I can't believe summer is over and that my non-existent Secrets are back at school. Here in Michigan there's a law that keeps public schools from starting before Labor Day as it was killing tourism to have kids in school before the long weekend. I have to agree with it because it was getting ridiculous, I thought. I know that when I started high school, we started the week before Labor Day and it made me most unhappy because that was the year (or maybe the year before) when we had started going to Camp Dearborn for that week (same cost as a regular week in the summer, but you got the extra two days of Sunday and Labor Day, since CD closed on Labor Day for summer camping). The Former Father had to drive me into school while he went to work. The funny thing is that I thought it was so so so far from home, but people drive that distance and much further to work these days. Not me, of course, with my 1.7 mile drive which in one week will be back to my 13 minute walk. Woohoo!!!

Yup, next Wednesday I will be out of Building C (for Crappy) for ever and always, I hope, and back in Building A (for Fabulous) which has coffee rooms everywhere (vs. one for this stupid building and the water isn't even hot). I haven't mentioned this before, but I think the cleaning guy on my floor has it made. Whenever a wastebasket gets used too much, it disappears. Honestly. There was a food waste container not far from my desk when I first moved here. About 3 or so months ago, it simply disappeared. I talked to the cleaning guy's boss and it re-appeared very briefly (less than a day). I called the boss and he said he would talk to the cleaning guy. That was the last time I ever heard from the boss and needless to say, the food waste container never reappeared.

The closest one to me then was in the main hallway between me and the lady's room. I used it all the time to toss out my paper towel, because I don't open public restroom doors with my bare hand. I was also using it for my food waste after the disappearance of the other container. It got moved down a cross-ways hallway just outside the men's room. I've been tempted to throw my paper towel at the container, but know it would never make it, so I have to carry it all the way to my desk. I'm sure he never has to empty that one either.

3rd example of eliminating your own workload – there was a food waste container in the center of an area where every desk has someone in it…you know, handily located. It was between me and my former boss who brought a microwave in since there was only one microwave for the entire floor which worked out nicely for when I bring in my food. It was quite a popular wastebasket, but yes, you guessed it, it disappeared as well. The plastic bottle/can recycling box disappeared as well. There's one downstairs, which I definitely use, but I just think it's interesting.

What is it with cleaning people who empty your desk trash cans and then instead of putting them back where they found them, they just throw them into your cube, so you trip over them? I didn't have this problem really in Building A, but I definitely noticed it at my job in SF. Is this common everywhere? Are your desk side trash and recycling containers put back where they're found?

Time now to list my books and movies for the month of August. I was a complete slacker, so this will be short and sweet.


Invisible Prey by John Sandford – 388 pages – I've read every book by John Sandford and not just his Prey series. His crimes can be a tad violent/gory, but I enjoy his writing style and his plots. And he has the coolest detective ever.

Steve Diggle's Harmony in My Head: Rock & Roll Odyssey by Steve Diggle – 256 pages – This book was about The Buzzcocks and while I did appreciate reading about how they got started and everything, I thought that Steve Diggle came across as a bit of a dick. In his opinion only four bands that came out of the punk/postpunk era were any good: The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, The Jam and The Clash. He pretty much stated that everybody else was shite. I like The Buzcocks' music, but I think I'd like to read Pete Shelley's side of the story. I also would have liked it if Mr. Diggle's editor had done a little editing. Bloody hell, but the writing "style" was atrocious, to say nothing of the grammar!!!

McQueen: The Biography by Christopher Sandford – 476 pages – The cover had a quote from Mail on Sunday which read "A Riveting Portrait of the 'uber-cool' of film actors." Wow, this book was amazing. It did not shy from the less appealing of Steve McQueen's personality (from hitting his first wife to sleeping with everything that moved), but it was quite obvious that the author has a strong case of "man-love" for Steve McQueen. In his opinion there was no greater actor ever in the history of the world. I understood his making allowances for Steve's horrific childhood, but I was very sad to read that Steve *hated* Paul Newman and referred to him as "Fuckwit." In fact, Steve McQueen had been offered the role of the Sundance Kid, but when he heard that Paul Newman had the Butch Cassidy role he refused it. Apparently, later in life, he got over his snit, and was one of the first people to call Paul Newman when he heard that Paul's son Scott had OD'd, but still, I thought the "Fuckwit" a little harsh. I have put every Steve McQueen movie that Netflix had in my queue in the order in which they were made. I'll probably start watching them next week.

I also read the August 20, 2007 issue of AutoWeek. It was thrilling.

Book of the Month was McQueen: The Biography. It was well worth the read.


I finally finished Stargate SG-1, all 10 seasons (technically, I didn't watch the final episode until September 3, but I'm counting it in August, so that I don't have to think about it anymore.) I loved all seasons of Stargate SG-1, even Seasons 9 & 10 which didn't have Richard Dean Anderson. The first time I saw Vala I thought she was annoying, but by the end of the series, I was fond of her and liked the dynamics of the team with her and Ben Browder as the RDA replacement. I hope to get off the sci-fi jag now, although watching the tenth season with Morena Baccarin as Adria had me wanting to watch Firefly, so I've started that series again.

The Three Musketeers - 1948 (TCM) – Rotten Tomatoes' rating 71% – I didn't set the VCR long enough so I missed the very end, but let's just say that Gene Kelly as D'Artagnan didn't work for me at all. I'm quite partial to the 1973 version with Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch and Christopher Lee. I feel I must admit that I have never watched the version with Kiefer Sutherland and don't really plan on it, unless one of you tell me it's utterly fantastic and how could I not have seen it, etc. Okay?

Underdog - 2007 (Theatre) – Rotten Tomatoes' rating 13% – I saw this on my birthday. It was not my choice, just for the record. I was in Baltimore for my b-day and RR promised her son that if he were good while we traipsed around the mall (it was rainy and miserable and crappy once again on my b-day) then we'd take him to see Underdog. I went into it expecting it to suck rocks, and I find that's a good way to approach a movie because I ended up thinking it was cute. It also helped that the 3-year-old loved it. The ending was a tad predictable, but it was a kid's movie, so what the heck. I can say that it was fun. This review summed it up quite well by saying if you set your expectations low enough or are an easily satisfied 8-year-old, you'll enjoy it.

Say Anything - 1989 (On Demand) – Rotten Tomatoes' rating 100% - After Underdog, we went back to RR's house for a little dinner and found this On Demand for free. Can't go wrong with John Cusack or this movie. Who doesn't appreciate Lloyd Dobler?

The Thomas Crown Affair - 1968 (Cable) – Rotten Tomatoes' rating 80% - I came home from work one day and found this movie just starting. As I just finished reading the McQueen biography, I decided to watch it (yes, out of sequence). I watched it a few years ago expecting to love it and was, instead a bit disappointed. This time, however, I watched it with different eyes, and although some of the cinematography tricks are extremely dated and beyond annoying, I was able to get past that and just appreciate the movie.

Thankfully, I haven't made a rule for myself where the Book or Movie of the Month have to be something not read or seen before like Heather, because I'd be picking Underdog as the Movie of the Month (egads). Instead it'll go along with the theme of the month – The Thomas Crown Affair and Steve McQueen.

I think that's enough for now. Oh, except for the fact that a mouse was found today in Building C (for Crappy)…it was dead as it was stuck to one of those hideous mouse traps that use glue or whatever to hold it still and let it starve to death. It was the teeniest little thing and looking at it made me sad. I'll be glad to get back to Building A where I never saw a single mouse in the previous six and a half years. Just the biggest cockroach I've ever seen in my life, but I don't care if those nasty things die. And please don't feel obligated to tell me that mice carry disease, etc. I know, but they're still cuter than cockroaches. And much less bold.

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At Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, Blogger Sal said...

The cleaning woman here at CNET has decided where my wastebasket goes, it doesn't matter if I move it to where I want it to be, it always reappears where's she's decided and I've learned to live with it. Although I don't think anyone who makes such delicious lemonade could possibly be a fuckwit, it is now one of my favorite new terms right up there with fuckery. Now on the mouse front, you know how I told you Mishka has a job looking after an 84 year old queen once or twice a week, well she killed a mouse in his apartment (in ours she won't even eat a moth), I was so proud of the little flea flicker.

At Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, Blogger trinamick said...

Considering I'm the one who cleans our office, the trash cans go back where I found them. I'd hate to get fired from both jobs otherwise. :P

At Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Sal - I think they just like to be perverse and see if they can annoy the people they think make more money than them.

Trina - See? That's what I would do...put them back where I found them. I don't understand just throwing them down so people will trip over them.

At Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

I'll be happy for you when you are finally rid of Bldg. C (for "crappy"). I guess I am lucky. The janitor at the alternate work location is as sweet a person as they come. He won't go in and change out my trash while I am still working, no matter how late I work. And he never 'loses' a trash can and everything is always spotless in the morning.

At the main work location, I don't think any of the janitors speak english. And they have a bad tendency to lock all the offices after they take out the trash, which means when I work late doing machine QA, I can get locked out of my office. So now I have to have a key on me at all times. They seem nice, but not very communicative (and they lock me out of my office all the damn time).

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Anonymous The Zombieslayer said...

Everyone else was shite? He didn't like the Ramones? They're by far my fave punk band, and no, I'm not into punk, but I like them because they're fun.

I'll have to tell Badman about this book and see what he says.

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

Re Buzzcocks: A lot of the British punk scene was hit-and-miss; it was all about attitude, not music. I'd agree, the Buzzcocks, the Pistols, the Jam and the Clash were the best of the bunch. Great albums that they are, I don't think I've played either Singles Going Steady or Never Mind The Bollocks since I got married. I can still remember the pained looks my wife-to-be would give me when I put that stuff on - this was back in '85-'86. I still play the Clash regularly, though; they belong among the greatest bands of any era.

I seem to recall a certain President referred to as "fuckwit" in certain blogging quarters...

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Fermi - My lungs will be especially happy when I'm out of Building C (for Crappy).

Zombie - I'm not sure he even discussed The Ramones as they were lowly Americans and what did they know.

Doc - I have to disagree. There were a great many bands that were quite good. Joy Division, The Smiths, The The, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc. I love Singles Going Steady and have listened to Never Mind The Bollocks quite recently. Yeah, the guy I was dating a few months back totally turned his nose up at The Stooges "I don't even know why that was made. It's not music."

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger Heather said...

I love Steve McQueen but I agree with you - "fuckwit" is pretty harsh.

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Kat. Have you seen the updated version of The Thomas Crown Affair? It had Renee Russo and Pierce Brosnon in it and I liked it a lot.

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

I used it all the time to toss out my paper towel, because I don't open public restroom doors with my bare hand.

Hello, my friend, hello. (singing to you) And a heart amen!

"Say Anything" is such a flashback, but a good flashback!

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Heather - I love Steve McQueen, too, but I love Paul Newman more.

Anonymous - Yes, I've seen it. I quite liked it, but August was all about Steve McQueen.

Beth - ;-) I've seen too many people walk about of public restrooms without washing their hands...eeewwwww!!!

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

And I'd bring up Elvis Costello, the Pretenders, and the Undertones too for examples, except that none of those others that you and I mentioned were quite punks. The New Wave of the late 70's encompassed an entire range of styles and attitudes, of which punk rock was only a small subset.

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Doc - I'm not thinking solely punks, but the entire postpunk genre, since even The Jam wasn't true punk.

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger mr. schprock said...

I am a big Steve McQueen fan myself. I think I might like Bullit the best, although The Great Escape and The Blob are right up there.

Great idea using paper towels to open restroom doors. Make more sense than using your tongue like I do.

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger mr. schprock said...

Speaking of keyword...

At Thursday, 06 September, 2007, Blogger mr. schprock said...

Instead of "keyword" that's supposed to be "Bullit."

At Friday, 07 September, 2007, Anonymous The Zombieslayer said...

Ah, I had a feeling that he was just discussing the English punk scene.

At Friday, 07 September, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Schprockie - As always you made me laugh.

Zombie - I don't remember exactly if it was just the English scene or not, but I do remember him dissing Bauhaus, Joy Division, etc. I lent the book to some friends, so I can't look it up.


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