A few days ago, I received another birthday present from my Amazon Wish list: the Hagrid-sized office chair!

The Tecno Big and Tall Executive Chair is specially designed for the plus-sized man who sits at a desk all day. In other words, me! The chair is roomy, higher than normal, and better for my knees. It's beautiful, too! The black leather is easy clean, which is important for me -- cloth chairs don't always work well for me, for various reasons.

My little sister ordered it for me, the sweetie. I'm so pleased with it! Thank you, Nettie!

And herein lies the tale:

A Hagrid-sized chair is shipped in a VERY LARGE cardboard box. A very STURDY cardboard box, the kind that you don't just want to throw away. It could be used for moving, storage, or any number of other uses. I just didn't have the heart to even put this big box in the recycling bin. SOMEONE would want it, I was sure!

So I put an ad for it on Whatcom Potlatch. No takers. So I listed it on Craigslist. Over the course of several days, I had two nibbles, but both backed out.

So I'm sitting here cleaning my room for [livejournal.com profile] snousle's visit, and it's just taking up space. (A lot of space.) So I think to myself, "I'll put it on the curb! Here in Bellingham, lots of people put free stuff out on the curb when the weather is nice, and it usually gets picked up by someone. Lots of hippie students in this neighbourhood, surely one of them will want this cool box!

So I printed out a sign that said "FREE BOX," taped it to the box, and set it out on the curb.

An hour later, I checked, and the box had been moved to the recycling. WTF?

Turns out the landlord was here, thought it looked trashy, and threw it away. Awwww, c'mon! Someone is destined for this box! I can't just throw it out!

So, defiantly, I picked the box up, carried it across the street, and put it on the curb there. Now it's off the landlord's property, and he can't do anything about it.

Twenty minues later, I step out on to the porch to smoke a cigarette, and I look over at the box. Four college kids were gathered around it, talking excitedly! They were climbing in and out of the box and talking about how cool it was -- reminded me of the Transmogrifier from Calvin & Hobbes.

Then the girl in the group picked the box up and put it over her head, and started walking around. She looked just like an EG-6 power droid from Star Wars!

One of them took a marker and wrote "AWESOME-O" on the box...

And then they walked off with the box.

See? I knew SOMEONE would want that box!
I went to see Watchmen again today. As I mentioned earlier, my little sister sent me the Watchmen Motion Comic DVD set for my birthday. Included with the set was a free pass to go see the movie! Cool, eh?

I must say, I enjoyed the film much more the second time around. I wasn't all hyped up with anticipation this time, so I was able to watch it more objectively than the first time. I knew what to expect, so I wasn't busy comparing it to the graphic novel, and I was able to judge it on its own merits (mostly -- see below).

Despite everything that is wrong with the Watchmen film, I must say I continue to be impressed with the film's faithfulness to the graphic novel, especially visually, which far outweighs the differences. It is a visually rich movie to watch. This can be attributed to the visual richness of Dave Gibbons illustrations in the original. And therein lies one of the movie's problems -- a lot of the backstory is presented in details like newspaper headlines and TV clips, as well as through one-line bits of exposition -- and all of it is so rapid fire that, unless you're paying real close attention, it's very easy to miss.

As I mentioned in my initial review, the film suffers from inadequate editing in places. I still maintain this is true. And upon second viewing, I saw some more places where this was true. For instance, the backstory detail that I just mentioned would be easier to catch if the shots with visual detail could be held just a little longer.

The scene where Jon Osterman learns to recreate his body after the Intrinsic Field accident goes by just a little too fast for comprehension -- there's an edit jump to "A partial circulatory system was seen..." which happens so suddenly that you don't have time to comprehend what's happening. The editing feels really rushed in a place where a bit more exposition and a slightly slower pace would help, and I suspect there is a lot more material there that just got edited for time. Again, I await the Director's Cut, which will be released later this year.

A couple of other notes:

I stand corrected on Rorschach's journal -- it actually does appear early on in the film, when Rorschach breaks into Dreiberg's home the first time, it's sitting on the dining room table, but no attention is drawn to it, so it's easy to miss.

Rorschach's "The End is Near" sign is really hard to read at times -- like when he stands outside the cemetery. I wish that it was more visible in places, so you really know that this character is the same one you see earlier.

And I miss the smoking in the movie. In the graphic novel, Laurie smokes constantly, smoking the strange glass ball cigarettes that are seen throughout the book. They are strangely absent in the film -- I'm guessing someone at the studios decided they looked too much like crack pipes, and that they just couldn't have the main female character smoking cigarettes all the time. Which is too bad, because it would have been relevant to the time period -- smoking was more socially acceptable in 1985 than in 2009 -- and the Silk Spectre is, like all Watchmen characters, a deeply flawed human being. Keeping her tobacco addiction would have just added to her complexity.

OK, enough for now. Again, the film is definitely worth a second viewing.

kevyn: (Default)
( Mar. 25th, 2009 09:42 pm)
Today I got birthday presents!
Two items from my Amazon.com Wish List were delivered to my door:

The Watchmen Motion Comic DVD set
This was a Birthday Present from my little sister, Nettie, and her husband, Joe. I LOVE the Watchmen, worship Alan Moore, and really enjoyed the first chapter of the Motion Comic, which was made available for free on iTunes, so I was very excited for the chance to watch the other 11 chapters! Thank you both so much for this!

The Quotable Atheist:
Ammunition for Non-Believers, Political Junkies, Gadflies, and Those Generally Hell-Bound

This was a gift from my ex, [livejournal.com profile] beest. I added this one to my wishlist because it looked interesting. Quotes about atheism are useful for me in my writing, and I liked the title. Thank you, John!
Yesterday turned out to be a much more delightful birthday than I could have hoped for!

The morning started with a visit from my friend and former neighbour Jahan, who came back up to town from Kirkland to pick up his bed. After we loaded his mattresses into his pickup truck, we hung out and watched Family Guy.

Then I discovered that my little sister, Nettie, who is currently serving a tour in Iraq, went on my Amazon.com Wish List and purchased the "Big and Tall" office chair that I have been needing badly (small office chairs hurt my knees). Thank you so much, Little Sister!

In the afternoon, I took the bus down to the Amtrak station to pick up Mom. She arrived on time, and was very happy to see me. I have to confess, I'm happy to see her, too! After picking up a rental car, we went and had a late lunch at Pelmeni. Then we got her checked into her hotel room.

We talked a bit about the tension between us lately. "I know you think I'm awful," she said. "Mom," I replied, "I don't think you're awful. I think you're wonderful. So we don't see eye-to-eye politically, and we bicker over email. So what? Sometimes, bickering's just a way for people who love each other to communicate!" She seemed delighted by my saying this.

After leaving her at her hotel to clean up after being on the train for 3 days, I went home and took care of some things. Then I went back to her hotel room to pick her up for dinner. I also showed her the Message for Obama book I was published in. I explained I did it for Nettie, and she seemed very pleased.

Then we went to the Cliff House for drinks and dinner. I was incredibly pleased by the turnout for my birthday dinner! Ted was there, and Richard and Brian, and Robert, and even [livejournal.com profile] man_of_snows and his partner Justin attended! It was like Faerie Coffee for dinner!

Dinner itself was wonderful. I had the Chicken & Dungeness Crab, and at the end of the meal, the restaurant brought out a HUGE complimentary sundae for me with a candle on it, while Ted serenaded me with a lovely birthday song. After making my wish (for financial security), i shared the sundae with everyone. It was a lot of fun, and I was stuffed! It was an expensive meal, and Mom paid for much of it... and I am grateful for it.

After getting Ted on the bus to go home, I took Mom back to her hotel, and then headed home myself, satisfied with a delightful day.

Thank you everyone who made me feel so loved on my 41st birthday!
kevyn: (Default)
( Dec. 19th, 2008 04:54 pm)
Went down to the Post Offices, bag full of parcels to mail to Iraq and Japan and Kentucky (Sister, Brother, Mother). Felt really holiday spirit-y. Especially when I discovered there was only ONE clerk was working in the downtown P.O., and the line was out to the lobby...

Spent some of my Christmas money and bought a new broom at the feed and seed store, so I can sweep the snow off my porch. Also picked up my shirt and pants from the cleaner (seat repair!), and dropped off another of my dress shirts to be laundered and heavily starched.

Went to the power company to pay part of my bill, but the office had closed early due to weather. Later on that payment, then.

I dragged everything home, and now I'm taking a quick warm-up break to write this before I head out again to get supper!
As my regular readers know, my sister, Nettie, is a medic in the U.S. Army, currently serving in Iraq.

And Erin Mansur, an old friend and colleague from my Kansas State Collegian days, is THE MOST AWESOME PERSON EVER. She's a 6th grade teacher in Brooklyn, NY, and after I expressed my anxieties on my blog about Nettie going to Iraq, she encouraged her students to "adopt" my sister!

She got them to send letters to Nettie! My sister is going to be sooooooo surprised when she gets a bunch of letters from 6th graders in Brooklyn! She has no idea what's coming.

Here's the message Erin sent me today:

The first batch of letters from my 6h grade class are off in the post to Nettie today. I read through them. Some of my favorite quotes are:

"How long were you in training to be a metic"

"I hope you are doing well and are not worried about your job. You are going to be doing a dangerous job but you will be helping many people and I honor you for that."

"I hope you understand how many people appreciate that you are doing this, because I do."

"I hope you have amazing Thanksgivings with all of your friends around you"

"Here are some of my best drawings. I hope you enjoy them"

"Sometimes I go to independent films. But I can't go that often because I have a three year old sister and she doesn't behave well"

"The 6th grade and the whole middle school hold you in the light and wish you a happy holidays."

"P.S. you are always in my mind"

Thought you might appreciate knowing that.

Love, E

Erin, you have no idea how much I worship you, now!
kevyn: (Default)
( Aug. 30th, 2008 04:23 pm)
So, before I do anything else, I think it's time for me to take a moment and stop and express my deep appreciation for everyone who has helped me get to where I am now in my education.
Click for a long list of thank yous )
Called mom this afternoon after class. She had just had more dental surgery, so she was really groggy.

Told her that I would be graduating June 14th. Turns out my sister is getting married on that day to her fiancé, Joe, and mom has already committed to being there for her. It's not a huge deal, though -- it's Nettie's 2nd wedding, we all did the big family wedding the first time around, and they're just going before a Justice of the Peace -- so I'm not stressing about not getting to go.

Mom, however, is stressing, because she can't be in both places at once -- at Nettie's wedding and my graduation. Just bad luck that they'll both be on the same day. I wasn't expecting her to fly up her for the graduation anyway, so I told her to put away the sack cloth and ashes. Catholic Guilt not necessary. She laughed when I said that. She's really happy I'm FINALLY graduating, though.

Dale's in Alaska on TDY, his second assignment away from Japan this year (he was in Malaysia earlier in the year). I know Cindy's gotta be going nuts with those two little kids in Japan all alone (she hates it there). Dale had a layover for a couple of hours in Seattle this weekend on the way up to Alaska, and emailed me, asking if I could drive down to visit. I had to explain to him that I'm almost a 3-hour drive from SeaTac, depending on traffic -- there's no way I could do it with no advance notice. Poor guy, to be so close, and yet so far.

The BIG news, and the reason Nettie and Joe are getting married in a hurry: Nettie's getting sent to Iraq in early October. Merde. Dale also might be going to Iraq next year -- looks like both of my siblings could end up in Iraq soon. I am worried.

DAMNIT! End this fucking pointless occupation!!!
As I wrote last week, my sister Nettie is a U.S. Army EMT/medic, whose unit in Kentucky was called up to assist in relief efforts in New Orleans.

After several days of having all their gear packed up, ready to go, just awaiting the go order, they were told to stand down.

I guess they just weren't needed after all.

At least Mom is helping out with the Red Cross.

I'm going back to bed.
I spoke with my little sister, Nettie, on the phone tonight. Her unit is being sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, tomorrow to help with the rescue efforts in New Orleans. (She is an army medic/EMT, based at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky). She'll be EVACing people out of New Orleans by helicopter.

She only told Mom that her unit is being sent to Mississippi to help with the Gulf Coast disaster relief efforts. She hasn't told Mom that she'll be flying missions into New Orleans, because she doesn't want Mom to worry overly much.

I just have to say, I so immensely proud of my little sister.

Go Go Nettie to the Rescue!


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