Great Galaxies!

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My comic book store, Earthworld Comics, sponsored a contest on Facebook to win free passes to see the recently released Marvel Comics based movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” I entered and, lo and behold, one two free passes. There were a few downsides:

  • The showing we won passes to was at 10:00pm, about an hour past our usual bedtime.
  • The showing was on a Thursday night. Although I’m still out of work for a few more days, Jeffrey is not.
  • The movie was at a mall I try to avoid like the plague, as it is patronized mostly by teenagers.
  • This is opening weekend, which we normally avoid because we hate the lines and crowds.

Regardless, we decided to “man up” and take advantage of the free passes, and prove to ourselves we weren’t as old and fuddy-duddy as we think we are. (Although, as a precaution, Jeffrey took today off.)

We loaded up on caffiene and headed to the mall. The ONE plus to this mall is that it houses the Apple store, which we needed to visit prior to the movie. My comic store owner (JC) showed up at 9:00 PM and gave us tickets to the 10:00 showing, which we found out was the 3-D/IMAX show. We’ve seen 3-D movies before, but never in an IMAX theater. Normally, we would be perfectly content in the cheaper, 2-D/non-IMAX version, but these were free. We had to stand in line for 45 minutes, something I’m normally loathe to do, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

We were pleasantly surprised to find the theater was not filled to capacity. Also, the theater has 3 sets of seats in the very back, separated by large spaces for people in wheel chairs. We plunked down in the middle set. I prefer seats along the back, as I have a thing for people sitting behind me. I also loved that there was space between us and the other two pairs of seats to our left and our right (I should note, we would have gladly given up our seats in a  heartbeat had any one showed up with someone in a  wheel chair and wanted them, but no one did.)

I am not a GOTG aficionado. I have never read their comic and do not know a ton about their history. I am familiar with them in the Marvel Universe of Comics and have read a few stories that featured them, but I am by no means an expert, so I had very few expectations going in. I was a little concerned about how campy it might be, due to the portrayals in the previews, but I was mostly happy to be seeing it for free with hubby.

We really enjoyed the movie. A lot. SO much so that we may go back and see it again. It was the perfect blend of comic book, sic-fi, humor, drama and even a little emotional heart string pulling, to boot. My two favorite characters (big surprise) were Rocket (aka Racket Raccoon) and Groot. And we love 80′s music, so loved all of the featured songs from that decade. Lots of great characters I know from the comics, and the post credit snippet was a great comic geek moment, although not essential to the movie or it’s sequel in any way. (Or is it?)

I will just say it was, I guess, kind of neat to see it in 3-D and in an IMAX theater, but I just don’t think it enhances the experience enough to justify the (what would have been if we paid for it) extra cost. Just my opinion. Still, it was a great movie and a fun and free night out. (If you decide to see it, Ray, I’d love to read your take on it.)

Definitely in my top 5 favorite Marvel Movies.

Popping In

The staycation continues.

It has been a series of relaxing and stressful moments; successes and failures; satisfaction and disappointment; as we continue to tweak and modify the home decor and set up, shop for various items, replace and clean things as needed and discover new things about the house that need our immediate attention.

In between, we’ve managed to cook our first meal and entertain our first dinner guest, enjoy a couple of fires in our new fireplace, confirm our shower comfortably accommodates at least two grown men, and see two movies: one at home, which we hated (Cowboys & Aliens) and one out, which we loved (Wanderlust).

We’ve also gone out on small shop and search adventures. We’ve managed to avoid major furniture/appliance purchases so far, sticking to smaller purchases, such as lighting, pillows, curtains and small fixtures. We did have to buy a microwave and we purchased our first power tool: a drill.

In 2 weeks we will do our first major home upgrade: we have a company coming to remove the old oil tank in our basement and install central air. Still no Hot Tub, but we’re working on it.

Sadly, we had to cancel plans to travel and see friends this weekend, plans we made prior to knowing we’d be buying and moving into a house at this point and time. I’m not a fan of canceling on friends, but this was an unforeseen event and I hope we can make it up to them in the near future.

So that’s what’s been going on at Breen Acres. Still plan to do a picture tour soon but haven’t gotten to it yet.

Now I’m relaxing with a peanut butter & fluff sandwich and watching Malcolm in the Middle episodes on Netflix until I’m tired enough for my usual 3 hour nap between the hours of 12:00 am and 3:00 am.

Yay.

I Heart Muppets

The world is full of ugliness. People hating and hurting one another. Politicians selling our financial security and civil liberties to corporations.  People crushing people to buy cheap TVs. Cops pepper spraying innocent peaceful protesters. Couples being denied the right to marry. Justin Bieber.

And then there’s the Muppets.

For 98 minutes, we were transported to a world filled with singing, dancing, rainbows and jokes. A world filled with family, friendship, love and nostalgia. A simpler world where the characters embrace their own cheesiness while laughing at themselves in a fun-not-insulting way and poo-pooing how dark the world has become.

In a  nut shell, it was a big basket of childish warm fuzzies. And I loved it. Every minute of it.

Perhaps I loved it because I grew up watching and loving the Muppets. Perhaps it’s because “Rainbow Connection” is still one of my all time favorite songs. Perhaps it’s because I am still a child at heart and love show tunes and spontaneous group synchronized dance routines and talking puppets.

But I think it’s more than that. We are exposed to the uglier, darker side of the world and humanity more and more  every day. Violence and horror are the entertainment of choice and reality shows profit off of the shallowest examples of humanity. Churches have become full-time pulpits for preaching hate and more people are struggling every day to keep their homes, feed their children and afford the most basic health care. I know I am growing more cynical and pessimistic as I get older, no matter how hard I fight it. My belief in unconditional friendships, family and love have been shaken. My hope for a better future grows weak, and my patience for things to get better and brighter wears thin. I just don’t see a lot of good in this world or people these days and I am rarely inspired by anyone or anything. The Muppet movie is a symbol of defiance against all that. It showers us with happy smilely hugginess, bombarding us with non-stop good ideas, good thoughts, good actions and good characters. It is an escape into a childs world of imagination and silliness but, more important, also a world of innocence, friendship and love.

There are countless good messages throughout the film: Believe in others but also believe in yourself. Don’t let go of important people in your life. Mattering to one person is all that it takes to matter.  Trying is as important, if not more, than succeeding. Just because you don’t fit in where you are now, doesn’t mean you won’t fit in somewhere at some point.

These are all awesome ideas. And they’re all presented by colorful, silly, fuzzy animated fabric friends who remind us that goodness and happiness and love and fun are still wonderful qualities to embrace and exude.

So get a friend, grab a loved one or treat yourself to this movie. You may think it’s hokie, silly and juvenile, but before it’s over, it’s going to make you smile. I guarantee it. And with the world the way it is today, being able to smile, even for a moment, is pretty damn awesome.

 

No friends? A blessing in disguise.

WARNING: This post is long, meaningless and will bring about no great epiphanies. But it’s Friday, I’m at work, I don’t want to be, I’m in a great mood and I have new toys to brag about. Plus, I’m wearing my recently purchased Wonder Woman T-shirt and I swear I can type faster while wearing it. (I’m also super strong and can fly with it on…hmmmm.)

Well, yesterday ended nothing like I expected, and I blame our friends who abandoned us and caused us to seek solace in destructive ways. Read on and have pity.

After my post about the flaws in my social life, I decided to take the bulls by the horn and try to pull together an impromptu movie and dinner night with friends. Unfortunately, it was last minute and most people did not get home in time to join us even if they wanted to, so there were no takers. While checking my e-mail for responses to my e-vite, I was also doing my daily account balancing and noticed we got our federal tax returns direct deposited. Woohoo!
Later, while Jeffrey and I sat at Applebees eating our Weight Watchers dinners and checking our e-mail (via cell phone) for any last minute joiners as well as ogling the adorable server with the spiked hair and goatee (so sue me: I have a thing for short/no hair and facial hair…woof!), we decided we had too much energy to sit through a movie for 3 hours, and wouldn’t be as fun with out a gang of guys to go with. (We did do drive by and check out the theatre lobby just in case anyone showed up last minute to meet us.)So, 2 gay men, lots of energy, no plans, and lots of money in the bank….whatever we’re we to do? Go shopping, of course! It’s like the Universe was practically forcing us to go.
We stopped at Target, where we started our shopping spree by purchasing tighty whities (I’ve been having the urge to don a pair lately…it’s been years since I wore anything other than colored boxer briefs) and some canvas box organizers for our bedroom.
Also, we made an impulse buy: Chris Daughtry’s Album “Daughtry.” You may or may not recognize his name. He was one of the 3 finalists on last season’s American Idol. He is breath-takingly gorgeous and has a voice that makes me quiver. We watched every week just to see him. (In fact, we Tivoed it and fast forwarded through everything but his screen time.) We were so devastated when he was voted off that we immediately stopped watching and swore off AI for life. (Honestly, we were never really fans; we just happened to notice him during auditions and fell instantly in love with him so had to watch the show to get our Chris-fix!) I will admit our purchase was based partially on lust, and we did not expect to like the CD, even though we love his voice, but we were SO WRONG!!!! This CD is awesome. I highly recommend it! Plus it comes with a little poster of Chris that fits nicely in your office cubicle. Well, it does in mine! Then we headed to Crossgates where we hit FYE so Jeffrey could get some ELO CDs.
While he was being helped by a cutey who also was a fan of ELO, I wandered over to the DVD section, where I was pleasantly shocked to discover FYE now has a GAY AND LESBIAN section. Well, they call it “Alternative Lifestyle” but it was a fairly decent selection of G/L DVDs. (Well, it was a t one time…looks like they were sold out of most of the movies they had place cards for.)
I picked up “Bulgarian Lovers”, which we first saw in P-Town at 11:00 at night with a bunch of men in a small dark theatre on the 3rd floor. The sexual tension was so thick I swear I expected an orgy was going to break out at any moment. Don’t know if viewing it at home with just the 2 of us in our jammies will have the same effect, but one can hope; “Guys & Balls”, a cute, relatively unknown film about a gay soccer player who gets booted off his team and forms a gay soccer team. There’s an adorable Bear threesome in the movie that, for us, steals the show and makes it worth owning; and “Metrosexuality”, a multi-part TV series that was not only fun to watch, but features the character that inspired my Mohawk; all for under $15.00 each.  Then we headed off to the main event: the Apple Store, where we purchased….

wait for it….

you guessed it…..

….. our first iPods.

It’s an 80 GB Black piece of heaven. I can’t believe I ever lived without this. I could actually feel my quality of life improving as the young man rang us up.

I will say we had a small disappointment in the Apple Store experience this time around. We have always had great service, very friendly and knowledgeable employee help, and a great time in general. It’s like going to a secret club house where we all have a secret and share a bond of technological elitism.  Each time we go, we notice the very attractive man with the shaved head and piercing eyes whom we’ve never had the pleasure of interacting with. Much to our excitement, he was there last night, staff was low and after mulling about on our own for a bit, we were finally approached by him to see if we needed help, and let me tell you: major disappointment. Not only was he less pleasant and helpful than all the other employees we’ve worked with (although by no means rude or inappropriate in anyway) he did not even come close to living up to out fantasies of what we thought he’d be like. Very dry personality, monotone voice and he didn’t suggest we go out for drinks, coffee or even dessert. He did not ask us questions to get to know us better and I don’t think he flirted or batted an eyelash even once. Didn’t even crack a smile. What a disappointment. Just goes to show that looks can get you only so far…if there’s no personality, you might as well be a poster hanging on my wall: pretty to look at, but completely 2 dimensional with no substance to warrant more than a passing glance as I walk by! So, we purchased our matching black iPods, with accompanying belt clip (which converts to an iPod stand), adapter cord for listening to them in the car and an adapter cord for connecting to our TV and stereo.  So, finally, 3 hours from when we left the house, we returned to our reserved parking spot behind our building where we trudged from our car, through the dark and snow, to our apartment with our bags of swag.

Needless to say, we spent the evening loading music onto our iPods and testing our TV connection. (I will transfer some photos once I have some…ahem…filtered photo selections safe for public viewing y all.)

Although there were some problems with our internet connection (not related to the iPods in anyway, I’m just saying) it was an exciting evening and we got to bed WAY too late for our own good.

So here I am, the next morning, after happily prancing to work listening to Chris Daughtry woo me with every word and note, stuck in my cubicle, listening to my iPod shuffle-play through my 1700+ songs while I type away.

The way I see it, if even one friend had shown up last night, we would never have spent all this money and I’d be typing my (probably negative) review of the Ghost Rider movie now with nothing ringing in my ears other than the sound of my keyboard clacking away.  So, you guys all owe me a night out and (X amount of) dollars for our consolation purchases. In return, I’ll let you watch my clip of “Guy Love” as performed by JD and Turk from the musical episode of “Scrubs” on my new iPod…and maybe you can come for that potentially risqué viewing of “Bulgarian Lover.”

Happy Friday all. I have decided this will be a lemon free day!