Saturday, August 20, 2016

Five Favorite Couples Tag

Olivia at Meanwhile, in Rivendell tagged me for this favorite couples tag.  Thanks, Olivia!

1.)  Pick one couple from each category
2.)  Tagging is optional
3.)  Link back to my site

1.) Period Drama Couple
2.) Sci-Fi/Fantasy Couple
3.) Superhero Couple
4.) Preferred Couple (from a love triangle)
5.) Couple Ended Too Soon

This was tougher than I thought.  At first, I couldn't think up any couples!  Then, all of a sudden, the floodgates opened and I had way too many and I couldn't narrow it down.  Typical.

1.) Period Drama Couple
This is one of the options where I have way too many I could select from, but for now, because I recently re-watched it and it's fresh on my mind, I'm going with Tristan and Isabel Two from Legends of the Fall (1994).  This is one of those movies I had to grow into.  When I first saw it, I liked the first half, then thought it went all weird, and nothing worked for me (other than James Horner's score).  But with age comes experience and a different mindset, and after I passed forty, suddenly this movie made sense, clicked in place, and became one I now rewatch quite frequently.  And I adore Isabel Two.  She's so beautiful, strong, sweet, gentle.  After all the messed up relationships in this movie, when Tristan and Isabel fall in love, it is such a healthy, happy relationship for them both, they just make me happy.  I want them to live happily ever after forever and ever.

2.) Sci-Fi/Fantasy Couple
Herbert and Amy from Time After Time (1979).  They're amazing.  It doesn't hurt that the Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenbergen fell in love making this movie, as that definitely shows in their performance.  They're not just my favorite sci-fi/fantasy couple, they might just be my favorite movie couple ever.  It's magic whenever they're together on screen. 

3.) Superhero Couple
Okay, I don't know many true superhero couples, and I don't feel like picking any of them.  So, I'm going with a slightly different type of superhero:  Wall-E and Eve from Wall-E (2008).  They're robots, so they can do far more than any human, which makes them "superhuman" in my eyes.  For two characters who don't really speak in words, these two are more expressive (and far more human) than many live performers.  The way Wall-E gets an instant crush on Eve, the way she comes to love him... these two are so wonderful together.  I never tire of watching Wall-E and Eve "dancing," or Wall-E proudly showing her his collection, or taking care of her when she shuts down...  Their relationship is one of the many things that make this one of my favorite Pixar movies.

4.) Preferred Couple (from a love triangle)
This is the one I had the hardest time with.  For some reason, I just couldn't remember any love triangles in movies.  How lame is that when there are so many?  But every time I tried to think of one, my brain went to the world of opera where there are love triangles by the boatload and I couldn't swim back to the world of movies.  So, going with something rather obvious, but... Manolo and Maria from The Book of Life (2014).  We watch this movie a lot at our house, and it just gets funnier and better with each viewing.  Manolo and Maria are adorable.  To love a couple, I have to love the individuals by themselves, and I dig them both. 

5.) Couple Ended Too Soon
Lt. Cable and Liat from South Pacific (1958).  Cuz really, why'd he have to die????  They are so young and beautiful together, and once he figures out he loves her and really wants to be with her... it's too late.  They make me cry.

So, that's that.  If you want to play along, by all means, do so!

Monday, August 15, 2016

August update

Is it autumn yet?  I am so done with the misery that is summer, of not being able to sleep at night because it's too hot, of not being able to take my dog for a walk because it's too hot, of watching my yard die because it's too hot and we're in a severe drought and can't water.  Come on, October, get here already.  End of September will do for starters... the nights finally start cooling off then at least.

Silver is doing well.  Here's a couple pictures I snapped last night, of Rosie cuddling up with him. She love him so much, it's hilarious.  He always cleans her ears and head when she gets close to him.

He really is such a good boy that I have to remind myself he's only 6 months old, and that he will be getting even better as he gets older.  He's rambunctious, of course (puppy!), and so very social.  I've never had any dog who loves other dogs and people as much as he does.  I'm sure he'd love nothing more than if I were to get a second dog.  Some days, I even consider it, as the two would keep each other happily occupied and, more importantly, worn out.  But... I had two dogs for many years, and it was a handful and I'm not sure I want to go there again.  Besides, we have a nice predictable routine right now.  Up at 6, breakfast and play in the back yard awhile.  Take a 1-3 mile walk about 6:45.  I start work at 8 am, and he goes to sleep, and he literally stays asleep until somewhere between 3 and 4 pm.  I mean, come on, how perfect is that?  He's a Husky!  And he's okay with sleeping all day!   I usually take him out around 1 pm to go to the bathroom, but he comes back in and goes back to sleep.  It means I can actually do my job without any interruptions.  Then, after 5 pm, we go play some more, and right now I have to wait until abut 7:30 or later, when we can finally go for our evening walk (and sometimes it's still too hot).  Then I go to my sister's for dinner, and he crashes out again until bedtime.

There's only one problem with this. I'm an ISTP and I hate doing the same thing every day.  It's like a soul-eating torture.  So it's like this blissful, easy way to know what Silver is going to do at any point in the day... while I secretly chafe and stress over the fact that it's so easy and I should really appreciate this but I really want to do something else in the middle of that schedule.  Ah well, I knew when I got him that I'd be giving up one kind of freedom, so I my complaints are really just to vent and then feel better.  The dog comes first.

I got back last week from attending the 50th Anniversary Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, with my sister and my best friend, Hamlette, who has very awesomely posted reports on each day of our activities on her blog, complete with lots of pictures and (as always) more details than I can recall!  It was an absolutely, ridiculously fabulous time with my two favorite people in the whole world.  Wouldn't trade those few days for anything.

Here's one picture: me with a gentleman cosplaying my favorite Star Trek series guest character, Captain Merik, from Bread and Circuses, which is my favorite original Star Trek episode.  I had to get a pic with him!  It was my first time cosplaying anywhere, and it was way more fun than I realized it would be.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Almost done with July

Sorry for lack of posts.  Summer just sucks the life out of me.  Counting down the days for autumn or at least late summer, when the days are still hot but the nights start cooling off.  I never can seem to do anything creative during summer.  I hardly can even bring myself to watch anything during summer.  I just want to sleep sleep sleep until it's over.

Silver is 6 months old, over 42 lbs now, and has been neutered, microchipped, and licensed.  Here's a picture from last week, after he got the stitches out and the cone of shame off and was able to play in his pool again.  He wore himself out and came in and crashed.  Hee.  Puppyhood sure doesn't last long at all.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Move along, move along

This blog is currently quiet because nothing is going on here worth sharing.  No writing, no reading, very little movie watching, not even any walking, but that latter's only because Silver has hit six months and went in to get neutered last week, poor baby.  So, I'm not allowed to take him out and about until the stitches come out next week.  Having a young hyper dog is interesting when you can't wear them out with a couple walks a day.  However, we've had a spat of off-leash dogs -- pit bulls no less -- running around the neighborhood, so maybe the break will get those guys off the street so I can take my dog for a peaceful walk without stressing out about what we'll run into.  We've already been attacked once, really don't need that in our lives.

The Cone of Shame (and pink tongue)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A bird in the tree

We have lots of wild green parrots in Southern California.  I've seen big flocks of them flying over in Whittier.  We don't have many out my way, but last year, we had a single green parrot in our neighborhood.  He was beautiful... and he was lonely.  He cried.  Let me tell you, it was heartbreaking.  He would cry and cry and cry, and we felt so badly for him.  (That's an audio cry, not a tears-from-eyes cry. LOL)  He consoled himself by hanging out with a flock of pigeons.  Where they went, he went, but he cried and cried.  And my family made sad faces at each other every time we heard him.  He was very loud, very distinctive, and very forlorn.

Well, earlier this year, he got a girlfriend!  Or just a pal.  I don't know enough about wild green parrots to know male from female yet.  But he stopped crying, and the two are inseparable.  It's still just the two of them, but they can be seen all over our neighborhood.

Including in my apple tree!

Silver and I spooked them the other day when we were coming back from our morning walk.  And this morning, they came after we were back in the house, and I got to watch them.  I took some monumentally lousy pictures with my cell phone through the window, but it was the best I could do without going outside and spooking them.  My sister was leaving for work at the same time, so I quickly called her and she was able to see them from her car, so she took an equally lousy picture from the other direction.  Still, they're way cool.

They perch on their right leg, pick an apple with their left talon, then hold it up so they can eat it.  It explains all the half-eaten apples I have out there!

Click to make the pictures bigger.

My pic from inside the house... let's play can you find the green parrots on the green tree??
This is the pic my sister took, with only one of the parrots in it.
Amazingly enough, the trees are nearly devoid of apples now, though it make look like there's still a lot.  They're at the end of their run.  I'm happy to let the parrots get some fresh fruit.  I know they love fruit.

And an extra Silver pic, just because.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Silver in June

Not a puppy anymore!  (With his three favorite toys: Hedgehog, Blue Rabbit, and Red Dragon)
He still thinks he's a lapdog, though.
And just because Huskies are big dorks sometimes...

Monday, May 30, 2016

WWII movie scores

Here are selections from five of my favorite WWII scores. Not my top five, just five of my many favorites. If I did just my top favorite five, I'm afraid the list would be dominated by Goldsmith, but there's plenty of other scores I love and listen to frequently.

1. The Blue Max - Jerry Goldsmith

2. Patton - Jerry Goldsmith

3. In Harm's Way - Jerry Goldsmith

4. The Bridge at Remagen - Elmer Bernstein

5. The Dirty Dozen - Frank De Vol

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day weekend

It's nearly June, and Silver continues to grow. He's up to 30 lbs now.  He's had all his vaccinations and we're now out walking the neighborhood daily, sometimes in the evening as well as the morning.  Depends how much energy he has and what the outside temperature is.  It's still nice out right now, but that's going to change as we head into summer.

I received a copy of a newspaper article from Feb 2nd 1945.  It's about my great grandmother receiving the news that two of her sons had died in WWII within 10 days of each other (one in Belgium, one over the Atlantic).  My dad has always told me the story of my great-uncles, but the article had dates and specifics and reactions.  I'm glad this was saved by family to be passed down.

A gentleman in line behind me at Walmart last week had served in the Korean war.  I thanked him for his service and he seemed greatly pleased to be recognized.  He said how cold it had been while he was there. I had to get home to Silver, but I wish I'd been forward enough to ask him if I could take him for coffee and he could tell me any stories he wished to pass on.  I regret not asking him that.

To all our veterans and servicemen and women, past and present, thank you.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Silver in April

Ack, look how fast he's growing.  19 pounds this morning. 19!!!  He almost doesn't look like a puppy anymore, but has graduated to "young dog."

I've been taking him to "puppy play time," which Petco offers free several times a week to let puppies socialize with other puppies in a safe environment, with a trainer to help correct behavior and keep an eye on everything.  He loves it, and it's always interesting how if there's another Husky pup there, the two will gravitate right to each other.  My sister came with me to the last session, and she said Silver was both the handsomest puppy there, and the most regal.  He stands very proudly, in that classic show-dog stance.  I thought those dogs had to be taught that, but maybe some stand that way naturally?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)

I was in the mood for some wackiness this past weekend, and that's exactly what this movie is:  wacky.  It's a light-hearted, quite zany WWII movie, with a cast I love:  James Coburn, Aldo Ray, Sergio Fantoni, and Dick Shawn.

The plot concerns an uptight by-the-book Captain Cash (Dick Shawn), ordered to take the remains of an exhausted company and capture the village of Valerno.  (This is set in 1943, in Sicily.)  The Italian soldiers there, under the command of Captain Oppo (Sergio Fantoni) are more than willing to surrender -- as long as they're allowed to have a festival that night first.  Naturally, Cash strenuously objects to this, but the offer of a peaceful surrender wins him over.  A gigantic village-wide wild party ensues that night.  The Italians get ready to surrender in the morning as promised, but things start going awry.  Things really go wrong with the Germans show up unexpectedly and capture the entire town.  Then the Italians and Americans have to work together before they're all executed at dawn.  This being a comedy, there's no doubt of the outcome, but it's how they beat the Germans that's so funny.

This movie isn't perfect.  The humor style isn't going to work for everyone.  And the festival drags and drags (though it's not without its moments).  On re-watches, I admit, I tend to skip right over that part. The section right after it, with everyone hung over and trying to deal with the aftermath and Major Pott and creating a fake battle is probably my favorite section, but I also love the whole end once the Germans occupy the town.  I mean you get Dick Shawn in drag, as just about the ugliest woman imaginable.  Makes me laugh and laugh.

James Coburn and Aldo Ray are, of course, my favorite parts of this movies.  They play Lt. Christian and Sgt. Rizzo, respectively.  They are hilarious without being outright silly, like some of the rest of the movie.  Aldo Ray gets to speak a bunch of Italian, which is awesome.  He spends a good portion of the movie in an Italian uniform that is too small for him (it'll stretch!), and that alone cracks me up.  I'm also extremely fond of Sergio Fantoni, who I know mostly as Captain Oriani from Von Ryan's Express.  He was one of my favorite characters in that movie, and I love him here too.  He's the perfect relaxed foil for uptight Captain Cash.

I spend a lot of this movie imagining some of this company hooking up in a couple years with Lt. Hanley and Sgt. Saunders in France.  Particularly as William Bryant is in this movie, as well as Kurt Kruger, and Horst Ebersberg, and Jay Novello.  It's hard not to think Combat! while watching this, as there's so many common denominators.

It also has an absolutely fabulous catchy main theme by Henry Mancini that I never tire of hearing:

Favorite parts:

The main title music
Lt. Christian translating Oppo's gesture.
The entire village brawl
The fake battle, particularly where Oppo shoots Christian and he refuses to fall down.
Capt. Cash in drag
Aldo Ray kidnapping Major Pott
When Major Pott flips his wig and starts spouting the most odd things

Friday, April 08, 2016

Sprinkler fun


Looks like Silver is far more interested in water than my previous Husky, who really never wanted to see water, ever.  This video was a couple days ago when it soared up over 90 degrees here.  The following day, it dropped to the 60's and was raining.  He was out playing in the rain, running back and forth repeatedly beneath the drips coming off the garage roof.  Think I'll pick him up a little wading pool for summer.

So far, he's been gaining about two pounds a week.  Yikes!  Growing fast.